'The Lost World' by Zoe Gilbert


She worked every night until she had built a planet. She added snowy, glittering peaks of joy and lethargic seas of sorrow. She cut rivers leaping with silver fish of hope and lined them with soft ferns of forgetting. Somewhere near the equator, on a green and misty landmass, she glued a house, but before she pressed it into the bosom of its own valley, she drew her heart on the bottom, secret in the foundations.
As she walked to the park, slowly, for she had not exercised in the weeks of building and her legs felt weak, she let the planet bob behind her on a long ribbon tied around its waist. She found him on the bench where they had sat so often.
 “I have brought you a gift,” she said.
“What is it?” He looked down at her pockets and into her eyes, searching.
“Can’t you see?” she replied. He glanced at the ground, then, spattered with wet leaves.
“I’ve nothing for you,” he said. “I tried, but I couldn’t get it right.”
She felt the wind tugging at the planet and drew it closer to her, until it hovered over her lap. She put her arms around it and hugged it. “I made this for you,” she said, and let her cheek rest against the grass of the rolling landmass, just beside the house that hid her heart.
His smile then was nervous. She let go of the planet and put the end of the ribbon in his hand, and as he stared down into his palm the ribbon slid across it like a river and the planet juddered and then sailed upwards, over the trees, until it was no larger in her eye than a lost balloon, and then it was gone.

Comments

  1. This is beautifully written and so desperately sad. Excellent story.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! Lovely to get feedback, thanks for taking the time. Zoe.

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