The Dreamer of a Thousand Names for Starlight (cloudtrader) wrote,
The Dreamer of a Thousand Names for Starlight

A story that goes nowhere, part 36.

Left alone on the doorstep of her new school, Pearl breathed in the cloying scent of decaying jasmin and thought. She thought hard and she thought long, the heat of the afternoon rolling in waves over her, the fine cotton of her shirt clinging to her as the heavy moisture in the air joined the sweat on her body. She stared at the gate, wrought iron grey with blunt twists and no pretense of beauty, and she thought.

Most people, if they think about it, can pinpoint certain turning points in their lives. These moments in time are momentous crossroads in their memories, where they choose one road above another, one path through the labrinyth of their life instead of another. And when people think of these moments, they think of them as more important, somehow, than other moments. They believe that only at that particular moment could they have made the choice that changed their life.

Pearl knew differently. EVERY moment was a crossroads, a choice. Life wasn't a maze to be navigated through in straight lines and choices between one way and another because life had no walls. She knew that life was a vast plain of tall grass -- you couldn't see where you were going, but you could go any way and there was always a trail behind you to show you where you'd been, although if you turned and twisted enough, as most people did, you couldn't really see how you'd gotten where you were.

Every moment was a choice.

Pearl set down her suitcase, full of school ties and socks in only the approved shades of grey and starched white shirts and pleated plaid skirts. She set down her bookbag, filled with books and crisp sheets of white paper and an expensive set of pens that her father had given her for her birthday. She set down her life and she walked away. The drone of the cicadas in the still, moist air didn't even pause.

One week later, in high heels, black fishnet, a black leather dress, and a tophat, Pearl was doing magic on the borders between life and death to a sold out house.

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