Away, away, away.

A child sits at the doorstep of her house with a can of soap in her hand. She’s happy but bored, so she puts the can to her lips and blows. A big soap bubble floats out and is carried away on a light breeze. Its translucent surface glistens against the sky, reflecting a rainbow of colors. The child smiles.

As she watches the colorful soap bubble drift away, she finds herself inside it. The bubble is small but cozy. Lit by the morning sun, it feels warm. The child is safe. She watches her house get smaller and smaller.

Soon, the sun begins to set. The light breeze rumbles into a cold wind that carries the bubble farther and farther away from home. The child is scared, but she’s trapped inside the bubble. She screams and slams her hands against its walls, but to no avail.

Now the bubble has drifted very far. The child’s house is but a speck on the dark horizon. Tired and alone, she sits down as the wind carries her away, away, away.

Soon it reaches the edge of the world. Wild trees, dark green needles, twigs, branches cloak the sky. Just when it’s about to drift off into black space, the bubble is pricked by a twig. In an instant, it bursts into nothing with a silent *pop!*

The child falls to the ground. Her flesh is badly gashed and torn. She’s tired and hungry, but relieved to feel the solid earth under her feet. She gathers herself, limping at first, then steady.

She starts her long walk back home.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mona September 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm

The picture is beautiful. We are in a time of our lives are like this sweet girl. We get drifted with different things that we meet or face,we put ourselves in a bubble thinking that we are being safe.It is ‘normal’ to think that ,but it is very important to see and compare ourselves in this bubble with what we can do and have outside. The balance is to be outside the bubble and protect ourselves and live with the people that we love and care about as they do about us,and let the sky and the world be the limit to our vision and motion and not the size of the bubble that we have ourselves in and which later we will realize this is not safety that we are feeling but weakness and no one like to be weak and for sure there is no time in life to be weak because you will be crushed and left behind.

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Meedo September 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Reading my story again, I realize it’s full of ironic imagery. It even opens with a hidden one: happy and bored. If she were truly happy, then there would be no room in her life for boredom. More subtle examples (like “silent pop”) are sprinkled throughout the text.

But I think you picked up on the biggest irony of all, the overarching theme itself: Is the girl’s journey one she took because she wanted to? Was she an active agent in her own fate or did she simply “end up” inside the bubble as a passive passenger? And what of the bubble itself? It is both hard and soft, a flying cocoon and a prison.

I think the real story of the little girl, and ultimately the one that will shape her life, is not her flight in the bubble, which the story goes to great lengths to describe, but rather her final walk back, expressed in a single sentence. It marks the only (and possibly first) time when she took a decision for herself, without the privilege of being in a protective bubble or at the doorstep of her home (itself a protective shelter). Having fallen to the ground, broken and alone, she could have sat there and wept. Instead, undefeated, she made a decision.

This response is my way of agreeing with what you wrote, which I think is very profound. You found meanings in my story that I did not, and brought them out. I now understand it in a whole new light.

Thanks!! :)

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Sanae November 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No mettar. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett

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