by Rose Jermusyk.
A girl lay on the forest floor with her eyes closed, and her hands over her heart. She was not under any sort of enchantment, but she was very much of the opinion that waiting so would draw her true love to her.
She had taken other such precautions: the spot where she lay was just under where the trees opened a bit to the sky, and all around this was the usual charming affect of sun-dappled woodland; her lips were held in a modest pout to provoke her hero’s tender kiss; and, she wore the daintiest pair of glass slippers you ever saw.
These quite saved her from boredom, to say the least. Boredom being quite tiresome, she passed the time tapping the tips of her toes together just to hear them tink.
Tink. She looked to the West on a Wednesday, but there was no sign of true love.
Tinkity. She looked to the East on a Sunday, but there was no sign of true love.
Tink-tink. She looked to the North on a Monday, but there was no sign of true love.
Tink. She looked to the South on a Friday, still there was no sign of true love.
It was on a Tuesday, with her eyes shut tight, that everything changed.
Tink went her toes and tap went something else. She opened her eyes just to peek to the West, but there was no one.
Tinkity went her toes and tappity went something else. She opened her eyes just to peek to the East, but there was no one.
Tink-tink went her toes and tap-tap went something else. She opened her eyes and took a good long to the North, and a good long look to the South. Still, no one.
Tink went her toes and tap went something else. She opened her eyes and looked straight up. There, just above the treetops, was a bright little goldfinch.
Tink went her toes and tap went the goldfinch. She looked straight up, trying to see what the gold finch was tapping just above the treetops.
Tinkity went her toes and tappity went the goldfinch. She wondered if there was a pane of glass just above the treetops.
Tink-tink went her toes and tap-tap went the goldfinch. She wondered if a pane of glass just above the treetops meant her forest were really an immense greenhouse.
She leapt to her feet now furious at the thought of having been trapped for so long, waiting for someone to save her when she did not even realize she had needed saving. She was waiting for someone who might never come, might not think to venture into a greenhouse while out in the world seeking his fortune.
She tore her glass slippers from her feet, reared back, and launched them toward the goldfinch. She threw her shoes high and hard.
When glass touched glass, the pane shattered. She ducked beneath the closest tree and watched as the shards blanketed the ground.
They fell like so many dazzling, cutting snowflakes.
When all was calm and still, she opened her eyes to the skies just above the treetops. She had never seen such a blue.
She spread her wings and flew away, gold.