Away, away, away.

A child sits at the doorstep of her house with a can of soap in her hand. She’s hap­py but bored, so she puts the can to her lips and blows. A big soap bub­ble floats out and is car­ried away on a light breeze. Its translu­cent sur­face glis­tens against the sky, reflect­ing a rain­bow of col­ors. The child smiles.

As she watch­es the col­or­ful soap bub­ble drift away, she finds her­self inside it. The bub­ble is small but cozy. Lit by the morn­ing sun, it feels warm. The child is safe. She watch­es her house get small­er and small­er.

Soon, the sun begins to set. The light breeze rum­bles into a cold wind that car­ries the bub­ble far­ther and far­ther away from home. The child is scared, but she’s trapped inside the bub­ble. She screams and slams her hands against its walls, but to no avail.

Now the bub­ble has drift­ed very far. The child’s house is but a speck on the dark hori­zon. Tired and alone, she sits down as the wind car­ries her away, away, away.

Soon it reach­es the edge of the world. Wild trees, dark green nee­dles, twigs, branch­es cloak the sky. Just when it’s about to drift off into black space, the bub­ble is pricked by a twig. In an instant, it bursts into noth­ing with a silent *pop!*

The child falls to the ground. Her flesh is bad­ly gashed and torn. She’s tired and hun­gry, but relieved to feel the sol­id earth under her feet. She gath­ers her­self, limp­ing at first, then steady.

She starts her long walk back home.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mona September 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm

The picture is beautiful. We are in a time of our lives are like this sweet girl. We get drifted with different things that we meet or face,we put ourselves in a bubble thinking that we are being safe.It is 'normal' to think that ,but it is very important to see and compare ourselves in this bubble with what we can do and have outside. The balance is to be outside the bubble and protect ourselves and live with the people that we love and care about as they do about us,and let the sky and the world be the limit to our vision and motion and not the size of the bubble that we have ourselves in and which later we will realize this is not safety that we are feeling but weakness and no one like to be weak and for sure there is no time in life to be weak because you will be crushed and left behind.

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Meedo September 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Reading my story again, I realize it's full of ironic imagery. It even opens with a hidden one: happy and bored. If she were truly happy, then there would be no room in her life for boredom. More subtle examples (like "silent pop") are sprinkled throughout the text.

But I think you picked up on the biggest irony of all, the overarching theme itself: Is the girl's journey one she took because she wanted to? Was she an active agent in her own fate or did she simply "end up" inside the bubble as a passive passenger? And what of the bubble itself? It is both hard and soft, a flying cocoon and a prison.

I think the real story of the little girl, and ultimately the one that will shape her life, is not her flight in the bubble, which the story goes to great lengths to describe, but rather her final walk back, expressed in a single sentence. It marks the only (and possibly first) time when she took a decision for herself, without the privilege of being in a protective bubble or at the doorstep of her home (itself a protective shelter). Having fallen to the ground, broken and alone, she could have sat there and wept. Instead, undefeated, she made a decision.

This response is my way of agreeing with what you wrote, which I think is very profound. You found meanings in my story that I did not, and brought them out. I now understand it in a whole new light.

Thanks!! :)

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