“Might we not say that every child at play behaves like a creative writer,
in that he creates a world of his own, or, rather,
rearranges the things of his world in a new way which pleases him?”
Siggie created the world in new way, which pleased her. Every day.
In the summer she would get up before the sun. She wouldn’t take the scissors with her. She felt scissors were too cruel, snipping stems with lethal blades. Bending and snapping was much more humane. Her gentle touch and gracious thank you to each stem was more kind. Siggie knew flowers would be pickable only if they were ready. Mrs. Parson’s flowers were generous and no one would know that Siggie took them. She would never take more than needed, just a small bouquet that would fit perfectly into her slender hand.
In the dark she could never really tell what color the flowers were unless the moon was full, so Siggie’s bouquet was always a rainbow. Except once when all the colors were blue. That was a sign. The blue flowers were gathered the morning after the night Alfred left without telling her.
Siggie allowed the bouquet to dry out completely with no water in the vase because there was nothing left to water between Alfred and herself. Once they were dry and faded to a light yellow ocher with a hint of baby blue, she took the bouquet to the park on top of Smoky Hill and let the wind blow away each petal, one by one. And with each loss of a petal she remembered and then thanked Alfred for what he had given her. It was her way of saying good-by.
Every day Siggie would play. Today she sat in her chair by the window overlooking the alley. She was on a corner of the building and could see both the street and the alley, if she crooked her head out the window. Today she chose not the street with people emerging from their morning routines, but it was the alley she looked down.
Opening the window she felt the icy bite of wintered air. Early morning light didn’t shine all the way down to the end. Not just yet. It would take a few more minutes before the sun was high enough to make its crossing to illuminate the entire alley. Siggie knew this. She liked to watch the sun’s path over hers. Today it wasn’t the sun she wanted to play with though, it was the shadows that pulled her interest.
Darkness, shadows, black holes, fascinated Siggie. She always wanted to step into them to see where they would lead. She knew that they were just regular parts of the world veiled in black. But somehow, somewhere she knew deep down that there was more to shadow.
Siggie re-arranged her chair for a better look. A flash caught her eye. It wasn’t big. It was almost as if someone was lighting a match and then blowing it out immediately. Siggie didn’t move. She held her breath. Just as she was about to exhale, it happened again. This time it was more defined. It was a bigger flame. And just as soon as she realized it, again it was swallowed by the blackness.
Siggie decided three was the lucky number, the sign that she needed to investigate further. It took only another moment and there it was. The flame was bright blue, about the shape of a hand, fingers closed, palm flat facing her. It burned and flared. When it went out, it didn’t just vanish. It was as if it had been pulled away, sucked into the deep dark, black hole.
She had to hurry if she was going to find out what it was. She didn’t worry about shoes. Siggie knew she had to get down three flights of stairs, out the door, and through the alley before more sun threw its light to dissipate the secret.
It was cold, but that didn’t matter. She was in her pjs. That didn’t matter. Something inside Siggie told her that this was important. Something would be re-arranged when she found out what the light was.
“Good morning, Siggie.” Old Mrs. Crane peeked out of her door, always nosy as to what was happening in the building.
“Morning.” Siggie flew down the stairs.
“Ouch!” She slid in her socks and hit the front door too fast not getting it opened quickly enough. She bumped her elbow and forehead against it. Siggie never considered herself graceful.
As Siggie headed down the front steps, the sun was getting higher. She had to hurry.
A quick right turn and she bumped into a man with a backpack looking at his phone.
“Sorry.” Siggie spun him around. He paused and watched her disappear down the alley.
All she could think of was the sun. She could feel starting to cross the back of her head. And it was getting higher.
Just as Siggie’s feet came to edge of the darkness, the sun positioned itself just right to extinguish the last bit of shadow. Everything that was once in blackness shined as if it was taking a curtain call. Laying at her feet were three spent matches. The number three was a lucky number, a sign.
Siggie picked up the burnt sticks and walked back to her apartment.
Today I was lucky to offer a Creative Arts Gathering at my church. At A Church of the Holy Family, ECC, I am honored to be their Artist-In-Residence this year. I am grateful to have not only the space to create and write, but the people who love doing it alongside me.
The format is open to all, not just for writers. All forms of creators are welcome. I offer a prompt from which we can write, draw, or meditate. Or not. Artists may work on any project of their choice. We do this for a half hour without talking. Then we share, also optional.
For my story, Siggie, I used words from the quote by Sigmund Freud.