crayon and oil on paper
30" x 40"

She pushed back the curtain and sunset spilled into the bedroom. Her eyes stung as her pale face neared the window. Hot light bled through fingers pressed against the glass. Her fingertips glowed fresh pink– it had been days since she’d seen color so bright. She surveyed the sun-soaked scene beyond the pane.

Hazy silhouettes darted about the grass– back and forth, up and down, right side up and upside down. They danced with the restless shadows of wind-rustled branches and with each other and with nothing at all. Their eyes were wild and bright, laughter boisterous, hair streaming behind their lithe bodies.

After some time observing, she felt her eyes grow heavy in their sockets and her hands hang heavy from the wrists and her legs so heavy she couldn’t quite stand any longer. So she crumpled below the window frame, backlit by the honey glow of late sun. 

Blinking open her weary eyes, she caught a glimpse of her slumped form in a mirror across the room. It had been some time since she’d seen herself in the light, as she’d grown accustomed to her blurry reflection in the dimness. She beheld her milky complexion framed by an raven mane. The hair rested on her shoulders in pigtails, tangled spirals cascading over her collar bones onto the front of her plain cotton dress. 

She mused at how the tied-off hair looked like two small skirts of tangled yarn. Crawling closer to the mirror on lighter limbs, she made out the tiniest feet under the hair-skirts. Amused, she tickled the arches with her fingertips. She heard muffled giggles as quivering little arms popped out of the hair bands. The girl grabbed a pair of scissors from her bedside table and snipped the pigtails off.

As the two bundles of hair touched the floor, they sprung to life, bright eyes blinking open, standing up on spindly legs of twisted strands. Tenderly taking her hands in theirs, they led her back to the glowing window. The curious creatures ruffled their skirts and chirped, beckoning her to open it. So she did. And they pulled her through it into the thick summer air.

As she sat perched on the windowsill, the heaviness began to fill her limbs again, threatening to pull her back inside. Giving her no time her to settle into the feeling, the creatures held her heavy hands up, leapt down into the bushes below, and sped out into the grassy field.

The girl felt herself lighten with every step, the grass delightfully pillowy beneath her feet, chopped hair bouncing about her flushed face, eyes clear and focused. The running, jumping, exclaiming forms in the distance slowed to a stillness as she approached. The once-blurred silhouettes became hard-lined, solid. Closer now, she saw that they were just rocks beneath the trees. She felt the tendril-hands of her hair friends slip from her palms. Her two severed pigtails lay in the grass beneath her feet.