When she was young, she longed to belong outdoors, to live in the plastic house in her parents’ backyard with its green floor and faded orange roof and no door to keep her from wandering. She hated the sun, but in her eight-year-old mind grass was nice between her toes and flowers were lovely woven into her dresses. Most of all, she cherished those brief evening minutes of golden sky, when her favorite blue was overcome by the collapsing sun in yellows, pinks, and strange, disturbing purples.
In the final moments of twilight, she could feel the magic in the hummingbird’s wings on her cheek and the quiet breeze in her hair and the soft laughter of her fellow children as they stretched the last seconds of their beloved play as far into night as their mothers allowed. She chose to relish these moments in reverent solitude, picking crimson snapdragons from her mother’s garden.
Snap snap! she’d whisper to no one at all, feeding her pet dragons Eastercolored marshmallow clouds until their bellies were full.
Satiated, her wilting creatures were willing to dance until Cassiopeia ascended her throne and with blood-flushed cheeks commanded them home.
Inside, Andromeda, the queen demanded of her princess daughter, and leave the dragons with me.
The young girl, with sighs and tears and the tilt of her chin, shuffled to her plastic tower. She kissed the stars goodnight, whistled her dragons into the air, and melted into dreamland, softly singing, Snap snap! Snap snap!