Artwork and Story by Erin Harvey, Junior Editor for jaBlog!
Our fiction prompt of the month for March was “a pot of gold.”
It was overcast on the afternoon of my neighbourhood’s annual picnic, which, by fate or the stars or whatever one would call it, was also the day my hazel eyes first noticed perfection in its purest form.
Her hair was white, white like the metal dove dangling from the chain around her neck, white like the freshness of a blank page and the skin of my clammy palms. She sat away from the crowd. Her back was pressed to a narrow pine tree. Between her legs balanced a tarnished metal pot holding a golden knot of pasta noodles. She ignored the pasta, however, in favor of a thin black notebook resting on her leg, just beneath the hem of her red shorts.
Weaving between the familiar, sweating faces of my neighbors, I ducked beneath one of the low-hanging branches of the tree and stopped just outside her line of sight. I was close enough to see the red stars piercing her tiny ears. They dangled to the edge of her sharp jaw, wrapping around strands of her white curls. As I took a single step closer, a twig snapped beneath my foot.
The girl turned. She raised her eyebrows. There was a small pink scar in the crease between the two. “Can I help you?”
I stiffened. I hadn’t expected this girl, this being perfectly crafted from the sighs of angels, to speak. “The, uh, food’s over there.” I ushered to a wooden table on the outskirts of the park, its surface littered with plastic bowls and translucent containers. “Maybe you should bring your pasta over.”
“No one will want it.” She looked down at the gold noodles and blinked. Her eyelashes were black, a stark contrast to the pallor of her skin. Her lips parted as she smiled, revealing a gap between her two front teeth. “I spit in it.”
Her smile caused my own to stir, blossoming on the surface of my lips. “They’d hardly be able to tell the difference,” I said, sinking to my knees beside her.
Her expression sobered. “No. The pasta’s too bland.” Her green-speckled eyes darted up to the crowded picnic blankets, the children swinging from the rusty playground, the red-faced adults with the tired bodies and fake smiles. She looked back at the notebook and the pen in her hand. “It’s all too bland. But that’s why we have to make own escape, isn’t it? Like this pasta.” She touched the rim of the bowl. “It doesn’t have to be a bunch of noodles. Outside of this realm of reality, it could be a pot of gold.”
I studied the girl with the white hair. Despite its color deficiency, she was a rainbow, her pot of gold clenched between her knees. She was a stranger to me and the picnic and reality. She lived in herself, and that was the best way to be.
Erin Harvey is a fifteen-year-old writer from Florida. She is the junior editor for jaBlog! You can read some of her work online at http://figment.com/users/302164-Erin-Harvey.