“You better be careful up there. I don’t think your mom would like this very much.”
“So long as we don’t track any mud in the house, trust me, she doesn’t care.”
My company fell silent and that was somewhat relieving for my concentration. One arm was wrapped firmly (albeit a little humorously) around the base of what I deemed a dependable branch. It was a strangled effort, gangly limbs attempting to counter the sturdiness of a great oak. The oak that stood the tallest in our yard. The same one that also happened to hover two feet away from the roof.
I pondered for a moment on which part of it could be considered the bone. Kids at school were always breaking bones, they said it hurt a lot. They talked about it as if it were bad, while I merely pondered on the prospect. I fell off of things a lot but I never broke anything. I did, however, go through a short period of obsession over my envy of casts. How everyone asked your story, asked to sign it.
I loosened my grip and for a single moment I heard my mother in the back of my head, ‘she’s cruel’. Was I hurting it? How would I know? Would it throw me off like one of those apple trees in the Wizard of Oz? That is not the first impression I wanted to make on it. Why was I always being so rough? So full of pent up fire?
I stared in silence at one knot in the trunk specifically. There were no eyes peaking out from the bark or branches twisting into a fist, but it sure did look like there could be.
“This is boring. How am I even supposed to get up there?”
The side of my lip curved down.
“Uh, I don’t know, maybe by climbing?” I spat back, blonde locks drifting out from the leaves for a moment to shoot a disapproving scowl. The venom seeped a little deeper than usual, and I didn’t like the prospect of why.
She’s small, she’s never going to grow into a full size violin. You can’t play the cello, your arms aren’t long enough. We don’t want her on our team – she’s short and weak. You think she’s going to be able to change a tire? She’s quiet and secluded. She’s difficult. She’s not much of a lady.
“This is how it would be, ______. If we flew on dragons.” I envisioned their scales, the heat of their breathe on my hands. I’d murmur sweet nothings to them and they would coo back that I was their queen. They understood. “I’ll let you in from the window once I get up there, I promise.” It was so hushed I hardly recognized it as my own voice. I expected a ‘what’ to come shooting up through the branches, but she only smiled back.
“Wow! That sounds so fun! How do you always think of this stuff? What would you name yours? I’d name mine Coco.”
I would let mine name itself.
“Not if you had made the right friends…” I trailed off somewhere high in the atmosphere, the sight of slate coming clearer into focus. I spoke on the matter as if I’d any real experience in it, or if I’d even listened to what I was saying in the first place.
How do you always come up with these ideas? How could you not?
“What did you say?” I had to take a second glance to ensure it wasn’t only in my head this time around. Sure enough, there she was. Mouth gawking open mid-speech, a daisy twisting beneath her nose, determining whether or not she liked butter.
“Don’t worry. I’m almost up there, I can see you. Once I get to the top I’ll let you in through the bathroom window.”
“Wait. If we could’ve just gone out the window, why didn’t we do that in the first place?”
Because dragons do not use windows, they fly.