It was a summer night. She remembered it well. The trees danced awkwardly in the wind as birds sang their notes to the dying sun. The dappled pattern of the leaves’ shadows on the forest floor engrossed the brunette as she walked to the Lake.
Two weeks had passed and the Fireflies were not yet back. They used to capture her spirit and whisk her away every night to the magical land of her imagination. They would lift her up, out of her body and she would fly with them across the never-ending sky to a place she called “Zaltana.” It resided on a mountain deep in the forest where a pond was surrounded by little people that lived in small villages and sang songs all through the night.
The Crickets sung too.
Gracefully, the brunette stepped into the clearing and looked around her, grey eyes scanning the sky for any hint of a flashing light. Just one. It was all she needed to know the Fireflies had not deserted her.
That they had not left her all alone.
“Are you coming tonight?” the girl whispered to the darkening sky, the sun slowly setting behind the trees. “Will you take me home…?”
No answer but a hoot in the night and the girl looked down, a sigh deflating her chest.
“I just want at least one more night. I want to say goodbye to the Little People. I want to tell them of what’s happened, of what’s happened with Papa. They said they wanted to know if he’d be okay. I have to tell them that he’s alright. I have to tell them…” With a bite of her lip, the girl walked over to the Lake and sat on the log that rested there, humming low as she closed her eyes.
Her hair danced in the wind, the strands tickling the pale skin at her neck and shoulders.
“One night…that’s it…”
The wind slowly, oh so slowly, came to a stop and the girl opened her grey eyes to the Lake. The surface was so still, as if mimicking glass. Rising to her feet, she stuck her hand into the water and shut her lids once again as the coolness of the liquid stretched up to her wrist, longing to latch onto more of her.
When she opened her eyes again, a gasp filled her lungs.
Millions of golden lights alternatively blinked on and off, alerting her of the presence of her Fireflies.
Tears entered her eyes. “You came…”
The Fireflies seemed to hum in response and dipped down to her, fastening their little legs to her body to where she became a show of lights, twinkling in the night. The pull at her every being then came and the overwhelming feeling of release adorned her. Gently, the Fireflies took flight, and took with them the girl’s spirit.
Over the trees across the never-ending sky to the mountain that accommodated Zaltana. And to the pond where the Little People lived.
They set her on her feet, and the brunette couldn’t help but grin as the Little People ran up to her, as if she’d never even left, and asked her of her Papa.
Years ago, she’d believed in them until society crippled her imagination. Until they molded her into what was accepted. But she still thinks about the Little People, the Lake, and the Fireflies. And whenever she happens to see one of those twinkling lights in the sky, she lets herself forget about reality.