It came on the breeze

by | Sep 23, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 6 comments

It Came on the Breeze
By Laura McHale Holland

It came on the breeze, sidled through Gracie’s nose and lodged in her throat. The vibration was ever so slight, just a hint of sensation. She forgot all about it as she spent the day splashing and sunbathing at the community pool with her girlfriends. But when she checked email one last time before bed, her laptop monitor emitted a strong sepia light. Her heart thump thumped. The light dissipated. Her pulse settled down. She went to sleep.

Then, in the night, her world split open to a thundrous sound directly above. She looked up to a wide crack splitting her bedroom ceiling, the attic and roof. From a sepia orb suspended above the house desended thousands of faerie-like beings, each about an inch tall and carrying a harp or flute. They swarmed her, jigged all over her and played melodies reminiscent of ancient folk songs, but more strident, discordant.

Behind Gracie’s bedroom door, her mother’s voice boomed, “Gracie, what’s going on in there? Turn that awful music down!”

At that, her visitors retreated; the crack in Gracie’s universe closed.

“Thank you.” Her mom strode away, satisfied.

Gracie rolled on her side, thinking maybe she’d been dreaming. Then she saw a tiny harp on her pillow. She dropped the harp into a velvet pouch she kept on her headboard. It landed on a ring of fake garnet and gold she’d gotten from a vending machine while shopping with her mom. In her sleep, she dreamed of flying among the stars.

In the morning, she peeked inside the pouch. The ring was gone, but the harp remained. “Gracie, time for breakfast,” her mom called. The voice sounded weak, as though far, far away. Gracie tucked the pouch into her T-shirt pocket. It vibrated every so slightly as she padded toward the kitchen.


Photo is from ketrin 1407’s flickr photo stream.

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  1. Robin Leigh Morgan

    I read this several times without any success, without any idea of what to write. I closed my eyes for a moment to clear my mind of everything but your “flash fiction” for this week. As soon as I did I realized that a strong sepia light could ever have been emitted from a laptop, it must have been a dream, and that everything which came before it had also been a dream.
    And in this dream Gracie dreamt she has gone to sleep where she had yet under dream [how many times have you dreamt about sleeping and having another dream]. Even when her mother wanted her to turn the music down it was only part of her dream within a dream.
    Everything from her being on the beach has been a dream, and the only reality that exists is Gracie getting up in the morning for break, and her seeing the velvet pouch and the tiny harp that she got out of vending machine which had been next to another one which contained rings. Gracie could only pick one, and she chose the one with hundreds of harps. The reality of what might have been has always been the basis of almost all the dreams we’ve dream about having. When we wake, we treat the reality as if is insignificant just as Gracie did when she place the pouch containing the ring in her shirt pocket and then went off to have her breakfast as she does every day.

  2. admin

    Thanks for your thoughts on this one, Robin Leigh. The universe of the story isn’t the same as the one we live in. One idea I found myself exploring in this is that children have to separate from their parents, even good parents. They will delve into things that their parents can’t understand and it will feel as though they’re in separate universes. This wasn’t in my mind at the beginning, though. It evolved as the story progressed. I’ll need to let this one percolate more, but I suspect I’ll need to have the mom appear earlier in the story, too.

  3. Barbara Toboni

    Interesting, dreamy, and enchanting. Your fairy muses have done you well. Keep working on this one.

  4. Susan

    Hi Laura!! This is reminiscent of my very much loved teddy bear, which I named Archibald. (After the comic character. Don’t know why it’s a “he”!) : ) I still have him and he is one our bed. For me, he is sacred because since 4th grade, when I got him as an unwrapped Christmas present, he has “told me” that things will be okay – some day, some where, some how. His words were a comfort and a support and, at times, they still are. We need our dreams, our fantasies, and our “talks” from something else. Does a flower speak to you when you realize it is beautiful? How about a new mowed lawn? The smiles from a baby? The harp in the bag? I think so. HUGS!

  5. admin

    Your post is very moving, Susan. Thanks for contributing thoughts about such meaningful part of your childhood. I remember you telling me about your teddy bear. I didn’t know you still have him. That’s way cool. xoxoxox

  6. admin

    Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate those adjectives: interesting, dreamy and enchanting! I’ll keep on goin’, and I know you will, too. That’s what we writers do, huh.

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