Sometimes she whispered her dreams. Words so quiet they barely surfaced into reality, breath a hush behind them all. She let her eyes drift closed, her mouth lie open and lax, and in the rustle of the sheets on her rising and falling chest, she let herself go.
Colors and moments, shifting around her like ballroom dancers while she stood still. She watched, but could not participate; admired, but did not create. Let the indigo of her sunrises and crimson of her seas blend together, and in the deep violet haze that resulted, she lifted brush to sky and painted. Clouds of hunter green and mountains shaded yellow; white-as-ghost nights and moon the exact hue of charcoal beneath the grill, just before the fire goes out and the red fades away.
Her unicorns rode the sky and dragons flew on land, and all the animals spoke perfectly but the humans were silent, curious; watchful and patient but never understanding. Silk fell from clear skies for rain, and thunder broke in the distance when the sun was at its zenith. On the darkest, cloudiest of days, the birds sang clearest, and in their melodies the ancient lore of mermaids could be heard, drifting along the sea breeze to settle in their throats.
She was the conductor in her orchestra of light, and the sound of the sights was enough to make almost anyone mute. She had turned her chair catatonic, and brought her grandmother to life. Dancing across the stage were fireflies, and in the sky crashed turbulent waves. She held her hand aloft and there was a chaos of motion, but when she moved it to the side there was silence.
Blues the world of sky and sea and reds like blood and fire. She watched the crescendo of her dreams, and laughed like chimes in the wind. Tears pooled in her eyes but they stayed there, crouched lions in the grass with the sun a hovering teacher above. Clouds of cotton candy clung to her lips as they closed, parted, closed; formed silent words that spoke loudly and whispered dreams that pranced just ahead of her, waiting. Waiting.
Horses hooves against cobblestone and shadows given contour by the dim streetlamps to the sides. Shutters like exaggerated eyelashes for the windows and aprons hung out to dry like peasants waving from the ceiling. Roof a red-thatched wonder above, grass a green-thatched wonder below. She spun through the streets, arms out wide, laughter echoing, echoing, echoing–still silent, but echoing.
Her eyes opened, but they stared only at the giants trudging across the sky and mermaids undulating on land. The sea maidens swam and sang for her, hair lilting and dancing gracefully around them, caught in currents the eye could not see, skin could not feel, but breath could inhale with every fiber of her being. Sea breeze on the tongue and coral-colored eyes, and the fish darted in the air with seaweed trailing behind; ribbons on the kites dancing through the sky, and she fell back, arms and legs wide, a sea angel on the grass with dirt as her crown and a smile as her proof. Snow fell from the sky but stopped at the trees and drifted back up, an endless cycle, forever caught in the graceful descent from heaven.
Somewhere, a voice spoke her name. Quiet, forlorn, hiding sorrow in bravery and truth in the hopeful words of the damned. She tilted her head, but all she saw was blue grass and green skies, and trees the gradient of twilight strewn across the sky. Colorful lights held among the branches like pearls strung along twine, and it was a necklace for Gaia as surely as it was a celebration for her senses. Candy crackling in the distance and balloons free to skim the grass, and she watched the kites slither ‘round the playground searching for children to grab their strings and run, run, laugh and dance and run and shout out to the world how right it all was.
She could not feel the tears, but somewhere they rested in her silent eyes. Somewhere, a hand brushed back bangs and gave permission–stuttering, tear-soaked permission–and somewhere she smiled. Sad tilt of the lips, but her expression was joyful.
“Fly,” she whispered, and the grass tilted on end and what was up was down and she fell from the heavens of Earth to the sky below, a sea angel drifting through the watercolor to trail behind the clouds. Rainbows grew before her and in the midst of them she saw multi-colored mist that broke around her and regrouped behind like joyful children playing tag. Dogs barked from the windows of the moon, and the sun housed cats all basking in its rays. She looked around, eyes wide and mesmerized, body singing with delight and soul afire with emotion.
She was crying, and her tears mingled with the snow to become crystals joining in the dance. Happiness was so overwhelming, she almost felt in pain; but not quite, not yet. She was content, far more content than she had ever thought possible, and in her happiness she sang.
Somewhere, her eyes stayed open and mouth stayed lax, but the rest of her stilled. Tears crouched finally lost their tension and ran down her cheeks, but she was smiling. With every inch of her skin, every nuance of her body language–she was smiling and thankful and all things wonderful. And in her soul she sang, and in that room, the melody lived.
Tears around and within her, but there were whispers of bravery and a quiet, almost apologetic relief that it was all over. Sobbing in one corner but disbelieving laughter in another, and somewhere within it all, someone whispered simply: