Stranger: A Fantasy in Miniature

currently playing on my laptop: This Place in Time by Colleen


The silken tip of her kaftan’s sleeve dragged across the water’s surface as she stepped to the next rock. Ripples followed her like disciples. The breeze caught her hair and forced me to notice it, not that I’d been trying hard to look away as I’d been taught.

My breath stuck in my chest, and I gripped the corner of the garden shed, peeking at the stranger like I was still a young boy.

Her bare foot reached the moss I’d tended not an hour ago, water glistening around her pale skin. She lifted her chin to look into the lilac trees as they swayed and my pulse sagged into my collarbone, pushing me to go to her, to speak to her, to learn everything about this stranger.

Leaf-shaped shadows smoothed over her peach-tinted cheeks. Her red mouth never smiled.

She turned away and stepped toward the blooming, indigo mist.

My breath panted out of me.

“Wait!” My voice was heavy, grating. It didn’t belong in the same world as the stranger. I didn’t tie my working robes like I should’ve. I didn’t wipe the earth from my hands. I was an arm’s length away before I knew what I was doing.

It was unforgivable to approach a stranger.

Her eyelids moved like a ship’s sails, slowly rising and falling, her gaze riding over my dirty boots, torn robes, bared chest, and the scar frowning at the base of my throat.

“Some have been wild enough.” Her words spread fingers down my spine and raised the hairs on my arms and scalp.

What did she mean?

“We will see,” she said.

The mist welcomed her, and then all that was left were her footprints, glowing lightly in the green.



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