Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

S H O R T   S T O R Y
b y   j a n   c.   s n o w   ~   l a k e w o o d ,   o h i o

She woke to waves of azure lapping through the open window of her bedroom. When the wind settled to the floor, she swept it into a corner so as not to trip on it and did not think of it again until the next afternoon, when she came home to find a pale coral zephyr coating the living room like a fine dust, infusing her small settee, her ottoman, her miniature china dogs, with a barely rosey glow.

In less than a week she ascertained the correlation of color to velocity, noting the way each step of the Beaufort scale blended beautifully into the next, from ivory calm to purple gale. It was as dependable, she found, as a digital anemometer, and on afternoons that the breeze freshened from clear citron to apple green, she left her desk and went to the beach to fly kites.

As it continued, she observed that the prevailing westerlies, regardless of their intensity, carried a barely discernible metallic sheen. She wondered how it was that she'd never before noticed this.

Winds from the south had a pearlescent quality, while north winds, even the lightest, were nearly opaque. Easterlies exhibited a sheer luminescence, although, rare as such winds were, it was mid-month before she had a chance to see the east wind glowing on the night like a phosphorescent algae bloom.

For thirty days the phenomonon persisted, abating the usual press of loneliness. She floated above her solitary sleep, light with dreams, and took to each day as a ship plying wonders.

Along the street, swirls of orchid and plum pulled at umbrellas and lifted the heavy coats of pedestrians. Outside the post office, solid gusts of lapis sported with flags. In the trees, wisps of amber wove through branches fat with spring buds. Stretching from her kitchen window one morning, she snared a handful, and stitched her days with the untangled strands.

When the moon rose full again, the atmosphere resumed its usual colorless anonymity, no longer more than intimating its presence around her. But because she had seen it, she held close the belief that a broad stroke of shimmering sapphire could, at any moment, split the clouds above her head. And open a whole new sky.

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Rev'd 2006/03/17