Writing prompt: PRETEND, PERILOUS, QUIRKY
Stop humming. Do. You know as well as I what this is all about, so let us not pretend.
The stories I have told you, they’re quirky no doubt, but they’re real, somehow. You can eat their fragrance. Taste them in your mouth as I do when I tell them to you, tongue swirling.
We’re not so different, you and I, though your hair flows like a black river, dark in the moonlight. Remember the time when we trapped fireflies and let them loose inside our mosquito curtain–made our own sky? Some of them had landed in your hair.
My hair I can feel now at the nape of my neck when I look up at the stars, or backward, at the distant rail tracks, glinting. It sends a shiver down my body—newly-grown hair has a charm all its own. Though you do not like me shaving off my curls each summer, you like touching my round velvety head as they grow back .
So, here we sit, on the balcony parapet on the sixteenth floor, our white legs dangling for whoever cares to look up, two girls suspended in dreams.
Stop humming, you’re doing it again.
I like it better when you curl into yourself, smothering giggles, toppling over the dizzy, perilous edge, but not quite. I like it when my stories make you laugh.
They don’t do that often. When we were younger, barely as tall as out hips right now, our nights together at the slumber parties of two were not always full of joy.
We had sobs, tears even, at some perceived hurt, some made-up harm that my stories had conjured. We sat together, you and I, while my words hung about us like drapes, nets, laces. They were dreams too, dreams of how we would grow up together, much older than we are today. Our parents still call us children, though.
Come on now, you tell me a story, I’m tired. There, that’s the last train, its wail tearing through the veil of the night.
Or should we play our game?
I shall walk the parapet as you hold my hand, and I’ll lean out as far as I can, no, farther, your grip my only grip on reality. I shall not feel this rough parapet beneath my feet and we shall be giddy with laughter.
Come on then, hold my hand. Let me walk, and tell you a story.