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Untitled by Jessica Gramc

Dead. I start out as dead as the ice around me. I feel cold and brittle, yet slowly the cold starts to fade. Warmth starts to take its place. It grows stronger. It feels safe. The warmth starts to tingle a little, and I like it, but it’s starting to get too warm. Too hot. Burning. I start to squirm. It burns so badly. I have to escape. It’s getting hotter and hotter, when finally I burst out. Air rushes through me. I am born.

It’s cool now, but the air is comfortable. A sense of being fills me. I’m a bud! I’m a small and fragile bud! The tree feeds me and nurses me as the wind cradles me and sings to me. Everyday I’m learning more and more. A strong sense of safety surrounds me. I like this.

As the weather gets warmer, I begin to grow, until finally I open myself to the world for the first time to say hello. Senses flood me. Sight, sound, smell, touch, everything is so beautiful! The sky is so blue! And the flowers are so colorful! I dance for all the world to see; I flaunt my waxy body as it glints emerald in the sun. Everything is sound, peaceful, and perfect.

Even though I should be happy, I’m not. I want more. I want to take off with the wind and race against the tide. I want to see what lies beyond this tree and these bushes and flowers. I want to see the world, but the tree will never let me go. It tells me I’m not ready, yet the wind sings a different tune. It wants to take me.

The day comes. I’m nervous, but I do not show it. The wind comes for me softly at first, but as the tree continues to fight for me the wind tries harder to take me. Soon the wind is wrenching at me, yet the tree will not give, until finally I am wrenched out and away I fly into the world. I turn to say goodbye to the tree before I take off for good, but I’m already too far away.

I turn back to the road before me. Now I’m soaring so high! There are so many trees! I never knew so many existed! The sun kisses my back, casting emerald like a sea of precious stones on the ground below me. Freedom is mine at last.

The wind wants to bring me higher. I cannot protest, but only follow. I don’t like it higher, for I like the familiar sight of the green earth. Now I can hardly see anything but blobs of color. I ask to go back down, yet still the wind carries higher. The sun begins to no longer tickle; now it burns. I try to turn back, want to turn back, but the wind ignores me and goes ever faster, ever higher. I’m so afraid. I want to go home to the tree, where everything was beautiful and I had not a worry in the world. The tree was right all along. I’m not ready. I try to yell out. Make it stop, make it stop! The wind finally hears and drops me.

I’m tumbling, faster and faster. I’m on a crash course with the earth. It’s all spiraling past me. Then it stops as I fall into a white pillow. I stare up into the sky. Thirsty. I’m thirsty and starving. Everything feels cold. I remember the beginning. Will I be born again from this death? I can feel my body losing its once beautiful emerald; it’s turning to brown as it shrivels up. All the pain is fading now. The world is disappearing. I close my eyes. I’m slipping away. Fading... fading.... gone...