Will o’ the wisp …

Strange light in the forest by the-lost-cloud:  (Picture found on Pinterest) 

I keep having dreams about wisps … I’m not sure if there is a reason behind it … but they inspired me to write this piece of fiction 🙂 

Tara Pinto hated old people. Mostly because they often described her as an ’11 year old wisp of a girl’, and remarked that she was neither here nor there. She was not terribly large, or tall, but neither was she small and skinny. Tara was in the middle, but that’s just how she grew up.

Through her youth she disregarded many of the comments that flew her way; after all, it was not proper to talk back to your elders. As the years moved on she acted more rebelliously and spoke back. She was clever with her words, so they did not come off to backhandedly, but she realized that if she was being smart about the way she versed her sentences she would hardly ever get into trouble. She found that a lot of the old people she came into conversation with were dimwitted

When she was a little older, Tara researched the word wisp, and came to realize that it could mean a many number of things: like a small bunch of hair, relatively tiny children, or even mythical floating lights. Now seeing as she was not ‘relatively small’ in her youth she wondered if perhaps there was any part of her that was perhaps … mythical. It seemed absurd at the time, to think of her self as a mythical creature, that was not human; but then, there was supporting evidence to back her statements. The first of which was she hated pizza. Now, she was often criticized for stating this first opinion, but according to Elena Kerry, one of her classmates, everyone liked pizza. Her mother would often try and force her to take a bite, but she found herself gagging as soon as a slice would touch her lips. As she thought more about it, Tara begrudgingly realized that Elena was right. She had, to the day, not met another person who did not enjoy the taste of pizza.
The second reason being she would often fall asleep and wake up in different parts of the house, not remembering how she got there. It was the strangest thing, but for Tara this was life.

“Mum …” Tara had begun to ask one Sunday afternoon s they sat down for tea. “Am I human?” To this her mother had responded with an out bust of raucous laughter.
“What a silly question, Tara.” Her mother said as she placed 2 paratha (Indian flat breads) onto her plate. Tara stared moodily at her food, thinking that it wasn’t a silly question at all; she really wasn’t sure if she was human.
Her father, who had been sitting next to her quietly, his nose in the afternoon paper, rustled the pages shut and squeezed one of her cheeks.
“Well.” He said in a booming voice.  “You certainly are too sweet to be human. Most humans are horrible creatures … you must be some kind of angel.” He bent down and kissed her cheeks. Tara giggled and wiped away the wayward spit. Her fathers kisses were always scratchy form his bristly beard.
“An Angel!” Her brother Adam, piped up from the other side of the table. “Come of it!” He glared at his younger sister with squinted eyes. “She’s definitely an alien of some sort, but no way is she an Angel!”
Tara looked horror struck as he said, which caused his mother to slap Adam at the back of his head. “Stop being rude to your sister.” Her glare was more ferocious than Adam’s.
“Sweetheart…” She looked sympathetically at her daughter. “I don’t know why you think you are not human, but that’s what we are. We were all created uniquely by God.” She smiled, and held onto the ruby rosary that hung from her neck.
Her father suddenly looked down at her seriously. A concerned expression sprinkled on his face.
“Has anyone said anything to you, Tara?”
“What do you mean?” Tara asked.
“Have the kids been saying mean things, like you aren’t human?”
“No nothing like that…” She said absentmindedly. She thought back to her school hours, no one ever said she was an alien except Adam. They thought she was strange, and weird, especially as she didn’t like pizza, but they never called her names.
“Then where are all of these ideas coming from?”
Tara wished she’d said nothing. The way that they looked at her, it made her feel uncomfortable.
“It’s nothing, mum.” She said chewing on the flat bread. She ate silently for the rest of the time, and only very occasionally answered in the conversation. He father had began discussing cricket with Adam, and Tara decided to stay quiet at that point as she had no interest in cricket.

Once the dishes were cleared away and Tara was back in her bedroom, she thought perhaps she would write a quick note in her diary. The purple diary had been given to her by her Uncle Dinesh. She had stashed it in her cupboard under the socks, just so Adam couldn’t find it. He had, of course, tried many times, though unsuccessfully. Checking the coast was clear, she pried open the cupboard door and retrieved the diary from its spot.
She opened it up to the date and scrawled in a note to herself:

Mum and Dad have said I’m a human, but I don’t feel human. Adam still thinks I’m an alien … maybe he is right. Sometimes I wish God would give me a sign … or talk to me and tell me what’s wrong with me … 

She sucked on the tip of the pen once she had finished writing, staring at the page. She had not realized by tears were welling in her eyes, and splashed lightly onto the diary pages. She felt so helpless.
As she placed her head down on her forearm and wept tony motes of bright light appeared above her head. They circled around her, and grew brighter in form. Tara’s crying ceased as a flood of happiness washed over her. Then slowly, she raised her head, and a smile appeared on the face of the young girl.







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