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  • Hillora Lang

Seafoam and Starlight

Here's a short story about the beginning of a relationship, with a touch of fairy tale magic.


Seafoam and Starlight


Let’s play a game,” Claire said.


Peter considered for a moment before answering. “Okay, but I get to choose.”


The midnight sky was filled with sharp constellations; the smell of newly-mown grass filled the still air. Claire lay back on the front lawn, not thinking of the grass stains which her white dress would show in the light of morning. Her mom would freak.


Her mom would freak if she knew she was lying here in the dark with her boyfriend. Dangerous things happened in the dark, unchaperoned.


Mom should know there was nowhere safer than here, beside Peter, even in the dark. She felt safe with him; she could trust him to make up a game which would be interesting, and inventive.


“Alright,” she said. “What are the rules?”


Peter lay beside her, lacing his hands behind his head. “We take turns,” he began, “asking questions. Then we have to answer them in the most outrageous way we can think of. Then—at the end—we have a new poem. A poem to remember this night by.”


“You first,” Claire said.


Peter thought for a moment. “What are you made of?” he asked.


“I am made of…moonbeams reflecting off a snow-covered mountain in Nepal.”


“Good one!” he said. “Your turn.”


“Where is your history hidden?”


“In an antique pickle jar buried at the bottom of the sea.” He hesitated, then asked, “What is your heart?”


Claire smiled, and reached over to rest the back of her hand on his chest. Falling in love was a wonderful thing. “My heart is a mosaic crafted of shards of luminescent Roman glass dug from the sands of Persia, spiral shells worn smooth by a thousand waves, woven together with scraps of handmade mulberry paper.”


Peter unclasped his hands from behind his head, turning on his side to gaze into her face. He caught her hand as it slid down his chest, lifting it to his lips and kissing her fingers one by one.


“No fair!” she said, laughing. “You’re trying to distract me. Okay, who do you want to be?”


“I want to be,” Peter said, “a hunter, a warrior of the Leopard Tribe, rescuing a vine-bound maiden from a mound of orchids and animal masks in the Amazon jungle.”


“Who’s the maiden?” Claire asked, laughing.


“Who else?” Peter thought carefully before asking his next question. “What will your prom dress be made of?”


“Seafoam from the edges of a secret lagoon, iridescent black pearls, the mysteries of a spider’s web, and a kookaburra’s laugh.” Her breath caught, held, and she finally exhaled slowly. “Are you asking me…?”


Peter reached into his pocket and pulled out a cluster of quartz crystal, its many facets coruscating in the starlight. “I know you hate orchids since they have no scent, so I hoped this would do.”


Claire gasped, laughed, and pulled his hand to her. “Does this mean that we can play again?”


“Any time,” Peter said, and rested his head on her shoulder. “Every time.”



SEAFOAM AND STARLIGHT


What are you made of?

I am made of…moonbeams

reflecting off a snow-covered mountain

in Nepal.

Where is your history hidden?

In an antique pickle jar

buried

at the bottom of the sea.

What is your heart

My heart is a mosaic

crafted of shards of luminescent Roman glass

dug from the sands of Persia,

spiral shells worn smooth

by a thousand waves,

woven together with scraps

of handmade mulberry paper.

Who do you want to be?

A hunter, a warrior

of the Leopard Tribe,

rescuing a vine-bound maiden

from a mound of orchids and animal masks

in the Amazon jungle.

What will your prom dress be made of?

Seafoam from the edges

of a secret lagoon,

iridescent black pearls,

the mysteries of a spider’s web,

and a kookaburra’s laugh.

Are you asking me…?

I am asking you for forever.

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©2020 by Hillora Lang