Monday, 17 July 2017
SHORT STORY #9: I Have The Dress (Chapter Six)
#9: I Have The Dress
Chapter Six: Finding yourself
The fowl danced and swirled around Rui Lee. Rui Lee sat doing her homework, completely undistracted. It had been three weeks since this bird seemed to have self-taken refuge in her home, and she had gotten used to it flapping its wings and dropping feathers all over the place in her room. Nothing it did, except if it pooped on her bed or her hair, could distract her anymore.
Today, there was something different about the little sparrow. As she scribbled in her workbooks diligently, never did it once cross her mind that the bird was trying to get her attention. At least, not until it made yet another halo around Rui Lee’s head, swooped down, and landed with a plop right before her on her English workbook, almost scaring her out of her wits.
And because she was kind of forced to, she looked into the little bird’s eyes. Being the sharp girl she is, she didn’t just see two beady eyes of a fowl. She saw in them overflowing wonder and curiosity. The sparrow cocked its tiny head and looked back at Rui Lee, highlighting that further. Inexplicable thoughts of magic swirled in her head.
Eye contact helps a lot in relationships between humans, she remembered her mom saying. Rui Lee had never believed in that, but now it was proven to be true. Even with animals.
The sparrow opened its mouth and let out a tiny “tweet!”
Only then did she realise this bird had never made a sound since they first met. Every time Rui Lee sat doing her homework, the bird made soundless patrol rounds in the room, without a single tweet-a-tweet-tweet that typical bird mouths would produce. Only then did it occur to her that the fowl had stuck with her, whilst the dog had left. Only then did it dawn on her that the sparrow never held grudges against her, while she went on ignoring it. And only then did she allow herself to accept the fact that eye contact truly wielded power, a power so strong that could transform this little sparrow before her from a pesky creature into a friend.
Then Rui Lee marvelled at how a meer ‘tweet!’ could tell her all these.
“Let’s… um, go out, shall we?” said Rui Lee to her new friend.
The sparrow chirped its yes.
She held out a hand for the sparrow to hop on. It flew up and landed on her shoulder. It need not be invited, Rui Lee thought amusedly. She had forgotten that it had already been following her for a few weeks.
The days afterward were a lot of fun for Rui Lee. Everywhere she went, the sparrow flew beside her, watching her learn and play. Except in school, which the creature seemed to somehow understand it was forbidden ground. Every day, the sparrow would wait at the school gates, and every day Rui Lee would come out of the school compounds, delighted to see it. The little bird’s presence made Rui Lee really happy, and each day her entire body seemed to shine brighter and brighter, radiating more and more happiness. Rui Lee was unfortunate in a way that she had never had a true human friend. Bizarre as it was, perhaps this is the way she would learn what friendship was.
Of course, Rui Lee knew all these weren’t magic. However, she’d learned to believe that human-created wonders and miracles did exist, real life magic that didn’t involve dark potions, fairy dust or magic wands…although the unorthodox incidents that involved the sparrow a few weeks ago didn’t seem at all ‘human-created’. Then she thought to herself:
I want to have magic powers, too.
With her growing curiosity and pulsing desire to further understand her unique new friend, she penned down all the mystifying things that happened with the sparrow. She expected no answers from her notebook, of course, but she just felt like she should jot it down. It was as bizarre to her as the few weeks with the little bird, the feeling of release when she let out all her questions onto paper, even knowing they may never be answered; the feeling that when they were let out and only if they were let out, someday she may even be able to answer her own questions. With her observance came her detailed descriptions, with her impulsiveness came her abundance of creative ideas, with her fertile imagination came her vivid narrations, with her intuitiveness came her spilling buckets of passion that she poured out from within herself, and with her friends’ isolation came her concentration and undying devotion towards her wonderful new pen-busying hobby. Most of all, she felt really happy, an undefinable happiness radiating from deep within her. Never did it feel better to hold a pen, to scribble on blank pieces of paper.
“Sparrow,” said Rui Lee.
Her mom knew it wasn’t nice to eavesdrop, but she couldn’t help pausing in front of her daughter’s room. The door was slightly ajar. Rui Lee’s milky-white table light spilled out into the doorway.
“This is my new creation,” Rui Lee’s voice said. “Be honoured, birdie. You’re the first one to witness the launching of my new story.” Her mother smiled. Some things just won’t change, take her daughter’s queen-like aura for example. “And it’s about you! Lookie here, birdie.” There was a sound of papers ruffling.
Her mother imagined Rui Lee shoving the papers in front of the bird’s face, and laughing to herself, she walked away to do the laundry.
Rui Lee decided that she wanted her story to be noticed. After a long time of browsing the Internet, however, she did not manage to find any writing competitions that she was eligible for. She was either too young, or did not reside in an eligible country. Just when she was going to mess up her hair in frustration, she found a website that published all stories submitted in an anthology. She bravely contacted the website manager through email, and submitted her lovely story. The money made from the sold anthologies would be donated to a charity that supported the treatment of epileptic children. I don’t have to participate in a contest, she thought. It would be nice to write for charity too.
The email came several months later saying that the anthology was successfully published with her story in it. Rui Lee was so happy she jumped for joy! Although the website had claimed that publications were guaranteed in the first place, but because it was for a good purpose, she did not mind the fact that perhaps her story deserved more. And the feeling of being published and helping others’ was really great! What a lot of things she could do just by using her creativity and imagination.
Let your imagination go wild, let your mind be set free. She made her mother proud. Now she would be her father’s pride.