a swan, snow-feathered,
you seemed, until you molted
to reveal a duck
with feathers like the mountain:
snow melting, lilies blooming
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[Camp NaNo, Day 9] FootstepsThat summer night, she learned that supermoons were not auspicious omens.
She had been sitting at her desk, the overhead light on, her laptop open and playing quiet classical music in front of her, her statistics textbook open on her lap, her head bent as she read the most recent chapter on confidence intervals. Gray sat next to her, hands folded across his lap, eyes closed. Then she heard her father call her name from downstairs.
"Did you see the supermoon?" he called.
"The what?" she called back. Gray opened his eyes.
"There's supposed to be a 'supermoon' tonight," she heard her father say. "Are you able to see it?"
She glanced at a window behind her and saw only darkness. "No," she replied.
"Let's see if we can find it!" She heard her father get up.
"No, I'm fine," she called back hastily, but the stairs were already squeaking. He entered the room and walked over to the window, craning his neck.
"Did you see anything?" he asked.
"No," she said. Gray was sitting completely still, but
[Camp NaNo, Day 8] AspirationShe remembers a conversation she had with Gray that still makes her sigh.
Many summers ago, he was waiting for her when she walked outside, leaving the house empty. Not going to call Angela and the others today? he asked as they began walking down the street.
Nope, she said. You're more interesting to talk to, and she has soccer practice.
I don't know how to feel about your word order, he responded. She laughed.
They continued down the block and came to a large fountain, with a base big across as a living room and a jet the height of a ceiling. They say that you can see a huge rainbow when the sunlight hits this fountain at the right angle, she said. They walked around the fountain, twice, but saw no rainbows. Screw you too, she told the fountain. She picked up a pebble and tossed it at the fountain. It plinked into the water, like a coin, and sunk.
Why did you do that? he asked. It's not the fountain's fault.
I know, she s
[Camp NaNo, Day 6] ChoughsOne summer afternoon in the city, she sits in the back seat of a car idling in a Kroger's parking lot, waiting along with her father, who is busy checking his Blackberry, for her mother. They had already picked up what they came to the store for, but her mother had noticed a sale on peaches as they were leaving.
There is a man standing outside the front door of the car parked a space away. He is looking at a notepad. As she watches, he crosses one thing out and writes in another. The window rolls down, and a young boy pops his head out.
"Dad!" he yells, grinning. "Dad! Guess what! You can't get in!"
"Oh yeah?" she hears the man say.
"You can't get in, 'cause I locked all the doors!" his son says.
"Mmhm," says the man, still looking at his list.
She looks past them, to the swaying trees lining the parking lot. She listens to their rustling, which is strangely muted. Earlier that day, her mother had seen the two white hairs she had on her head. She had made a displeased noise and sa
[Camp NaNo, Day 5] ConceptIf there was a game made about us, it would probably be one of the most pretentious games ever made, and mildly boring too. We would both be main characters, but I would be the only controllable character, because that's how things work, and you'd be following me around the whole time. They'd find a way to make that work, because if they didn't, the game wouldn't be about us.
It would be an exploration game, but with invisible walls instead of impassible mountain ranges or forests that resemble walls. There would be physical walls, too. I'll walk around town and campus and examine things. For realism, you wouldn't just follow me around--you'd pause to look at something, and maybe that'd influence the player to pause as well.
And inevitably, we'd have to continue on.
When I was seven, my brother let me watch him play all the way through Final Fantasy VI. At the end, he asked me if I wanted to play it. I said no, and when he asked why, I said it was because the graphics weren't good
[Camp NaNo, Day 4] KitesI don't remember how we met.
There were memories, relatively clear, where you were there, though you were different back then. But they weren't of us meeting. You were just there.
Move one memory back in time. One memory back, and the memories fog over, and you were not there.
For that matter, I don't have that many memories from before we met.
I remember a dog and a fence up a hill I was forbidden to approach. Before that, I remember a poster of a giraffe on the nursery walls and my mother before she was old. After that, I remember my first friend, whose name I cannot remember.
I cried bitterly when it came time to move, and to win me over, my parents promised I could fly kites in Pennsylvania.
You were there in Pennsylvania; that, I know of.
My family bought a kite for me to fly, a rainbow delta kite with three blue streamers for a tail. I was surprised, because until then, I had only seen kite-shaped kites. I had not realized that kites could look like birds.
[Camp NaNo, Day 3] LucidityShe was not looking for a husband when she came over to his house for tea.
She had, however, been looking forward to the visit itself before then, and had taken great pains to pack for it, even bringing her English-Sindarin dictionary. It was unnecessary, of course, as Tengwar was an alphabet and the manuscripts they had wanted to show her were all transcriptions of English, but a little Elvish never hurt anyone. Especially if the Elvish in question had examples of Tengwar calligraphy in its back pages.
The drive to his house was long, but somehow it passed in a blink, and she found herself at his front door before she knew it. Before she could raise her fist to knock, the door flew open. His brother greeted her with a smile that lit up his whole face.
"Hey yourself," she said. She returned the smile and offered a hand, which he shook enthusiastically.
"It's very good to meet you," he said, his eyes crinkling at the corners. "Not a lot of people who enjoy Tengwar calligrap
Two separate minds,
encased within helmets
of unyielding bone.
Neither is ready to risk
the hazards of relating.
SolaceShe never slept well in the dark,
not without the children of the sun and moon
to guide her weary lids home.
Guided by the aftermath, she was always two steps behind.
What did the world look like to the girl who had been through it all?
Braved the heaviest of storms,
yet skipping over cracks in the pavement.
They said her eyes were the wisps of clouds before the storm.
To him they were reflections of pages overlooked.
She said it was like she lived the life of someone she had never met.
Laid out to dry, yesterdays news.
He knew her as the girl who was built to never collapse.
He wished he was too.
He loved her more than words could say, and yet her pain was such,
that at times, he feared she wouldn’t make it.
But on nights like these, even when it threatened to consume her,
he became convinced that somehow she would.
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