I haven’t had a short story in a long time. As I was browsing through some files that I had forgotten about, I discovered this little one that I had written a couple years ago. Then I realized I had yet to share it. So here it is, and may you enjoy it 🙂
Everyone tells me my little sister passed away. They insist to believe that she’s no longer with us, that she’s gone forever. But I know the truth. In a way, she has passed away. But she’s still with us. She’s not gone, and she’ll never be gone, not even after I’m gone. I know, because I witnessed it. I remember when my sister became the wind.
My sister liked to run. She ran everywhere, even when it wasn’t necessary. She was so fast I said she could outrun the wind. That would inspire her to try. She would stand at the top of a hill and run as fast as she could down its side. I would wait at the bottom, and when she reached me she would ask if she was faster than the wind. I always said yes.
The wind was her opponent. Sometimes it was her enemy. When she began to style her hair it would tease her and mess up the perfect honey curls. Then that evening she would challenge it to a race, and as revenge she would win.
My sister was very smart. She made the best grades, she made the best scores, she was teacher’s pet, she was the class president. She was also very pretty. She had these honey blonde locks that always fell the way she wanted it to, and her eyes were as green as emeralds, and in just the right light they would glitter like stars. Her favorite color was yellow. She wore it as much as she could. She said it was because she wanted to match the sun. I told her the sun wasn’t always yellow. At twilight it was red or orange. So at twilight she would put on something red or orange. In that way, she was as beautiful as a perfect day.
I’d like to say my sister was always happy, but that wouldn’t be true. Sometimes she was sad or angry, but one thing was different about her. She was always sad or angry for someone or something else, and never herself. When she saw an animal dead on the side of the road, she was angry at the driver who killed it. When a friend hurt their finger, she would cry for their pain. There was only one time that she cried for herself, and that was when I decided to be different and tell her that the wind won. She looked at me with her emerald eyes, and they started to glitter, not because she was in the right light, but because they were filling up with tears.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her, growing nervous.
“I’m getting slower,” she said woefully.
I realized my little fun was a big mistake. I wrapped her up in a tight brother hug and whispered in her ear. “You’re not getting slower. A storm’s coming. The wind was only faster.”
And to support my explanation, the wind howled in concurrence, and a wave of dark clouds moved in from the north. My sister looked up at them, and the tears stopped, and she smiled.
“Well, wait till the wind sees my storm,” she said gleefully.
She sounded like a poet when she said that. Most everything she said sounded poetic. That’s how she was. Even her speech was beautiful.
It was a storm that would pass without a sound, without a word. It would whisper my name and move on. But first there was a race. My sister was determined, without a doubt, that she would win, and forever be the champion of wind-racing.
We waited for an October day. Those were the perfect days, without sun but without rain, chilled and raw and splashed in grey. Those were my sister’s favorite days.
“Look,” she said, “see how the clouds are gathering? Those are mine. I told you I would make a storm.” She smiled a pearly-toothed smile, and it was a smile that could match the sky.
“It’s a beautiful storm,” I told her. She wore yellow today, because she wanted to look her best.
The race began at the south end of the field, where the deer would often gather. If they had gathered today, they would have witnessed a memorable sight. My sister laced up her racing shoes (my old pair of red converse that she insisted were lucky). Then we waited. I heard the wind before I felt it; it howled and wheezed and whispered a dare. My sister was off before I turned around. All I remember was seeing her gold whip of hair flying. I followed at a jog, because there was no point in keeping up. My sister was fast, whether she raced the wind or not. She scrambled up the hill at the other end just as the wind hit her back. She smiled because she knew she was beating it. She turned left and plunged into green. The woods were dense this time of year. Brown and grey twigs kicked up into the air as those red converse traveled over them. The wind tussled with the branches of trees just behind the yellow figure. It was fighting. It sure gave me a fight as it struggled past. The gravel road was just ahead. The white pebbles that sprinkled the street like snow glittered in my sister’s eyes. She felt the wind on her ankles. She kicked a stone of chalk, laughed, and shouted, “Not today!” The red converse scraped into the road.
I was still on the wood path, but I could see my sister ahead. I heard the typical scratch of loose gravel. There was the scratch of heels and the scratch of wheels. Both were going at the same time. All the while the wind whined in irritation. It pushed past the tree limbs, tossed a shower of leaves.
I remember my sister once saying that she wished she could become the wind. That way, she could go anywhere, and see the world, and fly, and be free. In that moment I saw the white of the road, the red of the shoes, the yellow of my sister, the gold of her hair, and the blue of a truck. It came swiftly and gracefully. My sister saw it, and she stopped to show the man in the front seat a wide eyed yellow beauty. No one will believe me when I say and swear that I saw my sister burst into a million sparkling, fluttering stars. It’s true. I know it. She shattered like a snow globe and became like dust.
I stopped at the end of the wood path. The wind swept past me and picked up that dust, those stars. I sat agape and with tears as I watched my sister fly away with the wind. As always, she looked beautiful in the sky. See, she said she would make a beautiful storm.
Everyone tells me my little sister passed away. But I know the truth. She says hello everyday when I step outside. She says it’s beautiful today, up there in the clouds; she says she’s happy. She races the wind each morning and makes lots of beautiful storms. She’s a bright yellow orb in the sky. No, not the sun; that’s my sister. She just looks like the sun. She still changes into orange and red at twilight.
So you see? My sister is not gone. She’ll never be gone, because I remember when my sister became the wind.