My Weakness: In which I float away

(Listen as you read for a fuller experience.)

I drift away from the shoreline, letting the tame waves draw me further and further away with each gentle rise and fall.

I am facing the shore and all I have left behind: the high buildings, the changing lights, the car horns and the blaring music, the people streaming over concrete, stopping on corners, briskly crossing the middle of streets.

I have left you there, in the city. You stayed ashore. I asked you to come with me, into the darkness of the cold of the water at night, but you stood still and waved your hand “good-bye.”

Now there’s more and more water and darkness growing between us. I see your form that’s been the light of my life grow smaller and smaller as I float away. I can see your steady, anchoring hand still waving.

I continue drifting and look away from your diminishing figure to the scene behind you. I am far from the shore now, but the buildings still look tall. The lights blend together but their reflection gleams in the water around me. I can’t distinguish the cars, but I can hear their horns, their rushing into the woven streets.

I don’t know what I will miss more, you or the city. In that skyline that meets definite, full streets below there was endless possibility. In your firm, faithful form there was everything I ever wanted. Would I again find endless possibility and everything I ever wanted if I swam back to you now? Maybe their existence fades as I float away, none of us never to return.

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Out of the Woods: In which a girl flees

She ran down the hill, her skirt flying behind her like a little white flag strung up from her legs. It flapped in the wind and snapped the air, telling the world, if anyone had been there to see, that she was laying down her arms, casting away her shield. She had had enough.

She felt the wind whisk by on either side of her face, leaving invisible, nail-thin scratches she would feel long after she stopped running. But at the moment the wind felt fine. It meant she was finally moving, finally putting distance between herself and the dark woods she could feel creeping along beside and behind her, trying to snatch her back into their snares.

She ran and ran. She had been running since morning, but was not yet tired, not yet halted by the stones jagging into her feet, the burning muscle in her thighs, the rasping wheezing in her lungs. All that did not matter now. All that would go away soon. Right now it was time to run, as fast, as hard, as far as she could, father…farther…farther…farther…

…away from the woods.

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