A Wish


Alana Pasion, Staff Reporter

Cold. A bitter, biting cold. The pure, white snow of winter silently falls from the bleak clouds to the ground. All is quiet, with a few breezes of cold wind here and there. Anyone who stumbled upon the large wooden estate would believe that it was abandoned. Not a single creak from a living thing can be heard from within nor do the lanterns hold a spark of light. Unlived, bleak, cold, empty. A figure stands amidst the snowy field of the courtyard. Facing upwards towards the bright moon, she sighs and closes her eyes. The bright light from the moon illuminates her slim figure making her look all the more ethereal. Surrounding her is a dense bamboo forest, hiding unknown secrets. The dense bamboo forest is dark, seemingly untouched by the brightness of the moon and the bitterness of the snow falling. Slowly the figure opens her eyes, her bright green eyes shining with the moonlight. Behind those eyes lies a deep sadness. Turning gracefully, the crunch of the snow beneath her feet is the only sound heard this cold, bitter night, she walks towards the unlived house. The light creaks and the soft pads of feet against weathered wood adds to the silent night. She looks towards the dense bamboo forest, gazing endlessly at the darkness enclosed by the tall stalks and leaves. Exhaling a frozen breath she continues gazing mindlessly. Her vivid, black hair blows gently in the frigid breeze. 

The light crunch of fresh snow below feet resounds throughout the empty courtyard. Turning slightly to the side, the girl takes notice of two white foxes. The foxes’ white fur blends in with the snow beneath their paws; however, they have bright red markings on their heads, deeply contrasting the stark white of their fur. They timidly walk up towards the girl, the weathered wood not making a sound beneath them. A fox places itself on either side of her, as if guarding her from unknown threats. All is silent again, the three look on mindlessly. By the time the three go into the unlived house the moon is already high in the sky, looking down on them in silence. 

The paneled doors of the unlived house slide and thud, breaking the peaceful silence of this cold, winter night. Below them the floor creaks and the soft pads of feet against the weathered wood resounds. Red lanterns light up the cold, dark room. Sound and light make the unlived house warm and alive again, although it’s only temporary. Aimlessly, the girl walks throughout the long, winding corridors of her home. Weathered wooden stairs groan beneath her feet as she silently walks up to the second floor. Before her lies a balcony, peaceful yet cold. Just like the rest of this house, it looks unlived, unused, unloved. Moonlight seeps in from the opening, illuminating the dust covered floor. The weathered wooden walls are covered in scratches and holes, almost as if something attacked it before. Mindlessly, the girl runs her hand over the beaten wooden panels of the walls. Her slim fingers dipping into the deeper marks. Slowly she turns to face the open balcony, red gauze curtains float in the gentle breeze. Dust picks up as she walks towards the balcony, only to settle again. She kneels in front of the red pillar railing, bringing along with her a stringed instrument. The stringed instrument looks used, contrasting deeply with the rest of the house the instrument looks aged as if it were used religiously every day. Closing her eyes, the girl strums the instrument lightly, testing the sound. Without her knowing the two albino foxes had followed her up the stairs and were watching her silently. 

Ever so timidly the girl starts playing a slow tune, slowly picking up the pace. It was as if the girl knew this song by heart, not needing her eyes to play the light song but rather needing her heart to guide her through it. With every strum came a flash before her closed eyes. 

Strum. Soft yet rushed footsteps on weathered wood.

Strum. Laughter.

Strum. The warm rays of the sun above.

Strum. Silence. 

Pain flashes before her bright green eyes, that pool of sadness growing deeper and deeper as the song continues to play. Through the sadness and the pain of the song she continues to play, as if she needs to play it to the end. The eyes of the foxes behind her grow worried, and long to go towards her, to comfort her yet they remain a fair distance away. Knowing their place, they stay on the first step of the weathered stairs, looking on. Soon the strumming slows but suddenly it rushes its pace and becomes louder. Emotion pours out from the girl as she plays the song from the heart. The song breaks the quiet silence of the winter night. Soon the night becomes livelier, the sounds of the bamboo leaves rustling can be heard, the soft breeze of the night wind can be heard, the sound of water slowly dripping can be heard. The night itself looks livelier, the colorful leaves of cherry blossoms blow in the soft breeze, the green of the dense bamboo forest seems deeper, and the red of the unlived house becomes brighter. The song finally comes to its end, the strumming slowing down. Opening her eyes, the girl looks on towards the bright moon, closing her eyes once more she remembers. She remembers the soft padding of footsteps on weathered wood, she remembers the loud laughter that filled this unlived house, she remembers the the warm rays of the sun when everything was colorful, she remembers when she too felt the warmth of this unlived house and the sun above her. A smile graces her lips as she reminiscences.

Rushed yet soft padding of feet on the weathered wooden floors of the unlived house, yet the house right now is open, warm, alive. The lanterns sway gently in the cool, summer breeze. Sunlight seeps in through the open paneled doors, giving the open room a warm feeling. The cool, summer breeze, brings in the soft smells of grass and flowers. Cherry blossoms float down from their branches and into the pond below, creating soft ripples in the clear water. The dense bamboo forest is livelier, greener, less foreboding. 

Laughter fills the open room, giving the air a livelier atmosphere. Boisterous voices fill the room as well adding more to the warm atmosphere. Slowly the girl turns from her sitting position to face the source of the boisterous laughter and voices. Except her bright green eyes are warm with happiness. Turning fully, she faces the source and laughs along with them. Tearing up from the laughter, the girl goes to wipe the stray tears away with a slender finger. She goes towards the source to join them fully, making the unlived house the liveliest it will ever be. A sudden strong breeze sweeps through the open room, bringing with it pink cherry blossoms. The petals scatter and cover the weathered wooden floors. The room soon smells of the sweet, light scent of the blossom. 

The weathered wooden floors creak underneath the soft padding of footsteps. Those footsteps fade into the distance, soon the rustling of grass beneath feet replaces the creak of wood floors. Laughter fills the lively courtyard. Soon the light strumming of the instrument starts, growing louder and louder as time draws on. The song carries the emotion of the player, yet it’s a happy, content emotion instead of the cold, bleak emotion of before. It’s the same song that was played before yet it seems almost unrecognizable. The girl plays and plays to her heart’s content, smiling and laughing as she looks on towards the source of the loud, boisterous laughter. The strumming fills the air and soon clapping joins in as well, followed by an inharmonious string of singing. The girl shakes her head and continues to play, smiling widely as the singing grows louder and louder. Suddenly she’s pulled up from her seat on the raised wooden floor. A warm hand takes her slender hand and pulls her onto the soft, green grass of the courtyard. 

Before she can regain her balance after suddenly being pulled off of the raised floor the warm hand disappears. Soon the air around her turns cold and bitter. The color and liveliness quickly fades away as if the breeze had swept it away. The breeze is cold as well, bringing frigid air instead of the warm, blossom scented air. All is quiet, there is no longer the boisterous laughter or voices resounding throughout the residence, there is no longer the sound of rushed footsteps on weathered wooden floors, there is no longer the sound of the soft rustling leaves of the dense bamboo forest, there is no longer the soft ripples of cherry blossoms floating into the pond. Everything is bleak. Everything is cold. Everything is lifeless. The color of the courtyard has faded; the green of the dense bamboo forest is dull, the red gauze curtains have lost its liveliness, the pink of the cherry blossoms has become cold. 

Bright green eyes open suddenly. The girl’s breath seemed to have been stolen, she tries to regain it back. Inhaling and exhaling frozen breaths, she looks back up towards the moon. Looking around she realizes that she’s no longer in the happy, lively times of her past. She no longer can hear the laughter, the voices, the inharmonious singing, the light rustling and leaves and flowers, the rushed footsteps running on the weathered wooden floor and grass. She wishes that she can go back to those times. To those times when the sun was warm, to those times when she could laugh happily instead of bitterly, to those times when she could truly smile, to those times when life was simpler. Looking back up at the moon, she closes her bright green eyes wishing, knowing that her wish can’t ever come true. The wish to hold that warm hand again, the wish to hear that laughter again, it won’t come back ever again.