KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Micro-Fiction: 494 words

Listening to the Weather

by Soramimi Hanarejima

She waits as patiently as she can for nighttime, when she can become anything; when she gains her freedom from the daylight that requires her to have singular, definite form. But the minutes only ooze by, and she grows ever wearier of being only human, of this finite perspective and limited scope of experience.

She does not want to play badminton or talk with friends or learn math or listen to the teacher read. Not now, not today. Tomorrow, after she becomes something else tonight. In the world that’s so much larger than this school, she can be so much more, and she needs just a little of that. Even so, she does all the mundane things left in the school day, because that is what she must as a human, what her mother has taught her.

After sunset and dinner with her parents, she at last goes to her room to change. Outside her window is the aubergine sky, so clear and enticing. Through the gap parting the window’s pane from the sill, cool evening air drifts in, gently touching her left forearm, as though inviting her to become a breeze. Which she does and wafts out.

She gleefully whirls about the quiet neighborhood, rustling leaves and rushing down narrow alleyways. Then she heads to the lake. Often she sees it veiled in morning mist that makes this northern edge of the town look like the edge of the known world. Now, the sheen of moonlight on the lake makes the water seem like a wide bridge to a world full of wonders. She glides over that cool, glimmering surface, to the woods of the opposite shore. There, she jostles branches bristly with pine needles, moves alongside owls and bats in flight, strokes the occasional bobcat and grazes the ears of a fox.

When she returns to her room, slipping through the still-ajar window, she’s exhausted and whooshes right under the covers of her bed.

In the morning, she finds the covers billowing. Then comes the jolt of realization that she forgot to change back, followed by the certainty that she cannot go to school today. Not because it would be embarrassing to go like this, but because there are bound to be problems: her classmates getting chilly as she swirls around the back of the classroom; getting pulled into the HVAC system if she stays too close to the ceiling. If she had become an owl or wolf or even leopard, she could still go to school, but this—this won’t work.

“Fine, I’ll call the school and tell them you’re sick,” her mother says, her tone accepting.

Not because she is resigned to this situation, but because she knows that growing into one’s humanness takes time; and that there are few occasions when something in one’s life is truly a breeze.

Soon, she will make two phone calls, then get the kite, binoculars, and her running shoes.


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