#10 First Night

by Sarah Yaure

The child’s cries grew weaker.

The spirit watched as the adults crowded around, voicing irrelevant opinions as if speaking the loudest would make them right. None of their treatments had worked—they weren’t meant to—but they only took this as a sign to despair, rather than accept Nature’s plan.

The doctors left. The night progressed. The spirit materialized to sit its charge’s last vigil. The air was still in the near-empty room. Toys were strewn across the floor; an incomplete canvas was propped, forgotten, against the wall.

The spirit had been Guarding the child for some time now. It had come to love her, and was sad at the knowledge that she must die, but something better than mortal life was waiting for her on the other side.

The child tossed fitfully on the bed. She would be nearing her final test now. If she passed gracefully, she would ascend and become one with Spirit, a Guardian. If not . . .

The child gasped its last breath, and its soul slipped from its body into the heavens. The spirit lingered to watch the body cool, reluctant to lay down its duty before it was certain of her fate. What sign would Nature send to mark her ascension?

The last wisp of heat drained from the body and the spirit turned to leave when a gleaming in the corner caught its eye. On the canvas, where once there had been chaos, the brushstrokes had aligned themselves into an image.

A feather.


Sam Knight said...

A calming, gentle approach to a bad situation. I like the idea that there is a sign of what happened for anyone to find, if they look for it.

Beth said...

This is beautifully written. Nice job.

Flutterby said...

Beautiful imagery. I like that you didn't overexplain.

JRVogt said...

Great closing image. A touching scene.

Anonymous said...

I, too, was a spirit hoovering in the room. Great setting of the scene and mood.

Laura Howe