Another fairytale-ish short / prose story about letting go/growing. Once again, semi proofed it.
Once upon a time, there was a man and his wife who yearn for a child of their own. They visited fertility clinics and practiced a couple of ancient fertility rituals. None, not one left them with a baby.
One day during early fall, the wife was putting out laundry in their small backyard when she noticed a strange colorful bird that reminded her of images of the Birds of Paradise in a black cat’s mouth. She batted the cat with a folded bedsheet until the cat ran and dropped the lifeless body of the bird. There were two bloody teeth marks on the bird’s neck. The bird was gone.
The wife took a shovel and a small box and gave the bird a proper burial. The air got a bit warmer that chilly fall day, it felt like there was a bit of magic in the wind. When the day turned into night, the wife felt her body tighten, and her lower abdomen felt like it was on fire. She went to the bathroom and noticed some body fat around her stomach area. She took out a pregnancy test from the bathroom drawer. It was positive.
When summer awoke the dormant flowers and plants, their baby girl was born. They named her, Nik. As soon one of the nurses placed the tiny baby on the mother’s chest, the strangest thing happened. Nik started to slowly float to the ceiling of the hospital room. The nurse and the father managed to get Nik down. The medical staff managed to get small gentle weighted cuffs to place on Nik’s arms. The doctor asked the new parents if they could leave the newborn at the hospital so they could run some test. The new parents obliged.
The doctors at the hospital couldn’t find anything wrong with the child, only that Nik needed to wear weights for the rest of her life. At first, Nik didn’t mind the weights. After moving around a lot, the little weights would irritate the soft skin of Nik. Her face would turn beet red as she cried and bit at the weights until her parents took them off and cradled her.
When Nik got older, she observed that the kids her age moved faster and sneered at her weights and ostracized her due to them. Her parents explain to her about the weights after one incident when one of the weights weren’t tightly secured. She remembered all the gifts that they bought her after that day. She hid in the school’s library during lunch time and read stories about gods, goddesses, mythical creatures, and angels. From the text, she believed that she wasn’t a typical human.
As she got into high school, she noticed that there was a world around her that was more than the houses, streets and ignorant people of her small suburban town. She began to tinker with the weights that held her, but she thought of her parents and how they helped her through life and how heartbroken they would be if she went off without notice.
A few days after her 18th birthday, they went to the backyard where years ago Nik’s mother buried that bird. Her father took out the unique key that locked weights. Her mother in tears asked her if this is what she wanted to do. Nike responded with yes and told her she couldn’t stagnate in one place. As soon her father unlocked the last one, she floated away from the ground, her earthly parents, her neighborhood, her town, her state, her country and into the ether.
Image by Min An
Edited by me