The cloud girl weighed almost nothing. Her dress was made of mist stitched together with light, and seemed somehow to be a part of her. Her face was round and sweet, her skin pale and tinted the same creamsickle-orange as her light-staff (which simply appeared in her hand whenever she wanted it). Her hair was white gold with streaks of sunrise in it. “Your eyes—they’re skyfull,” Zack thought aloud. “I mean, it’s like they’re actually made out of sky.”
“Of course they are,” the girl chortled. “And you—you can talk!”
“Well of course I—”
“Your voice is all warm like dirt, just the way I thought it would be! Only it’s a little squeaky. Why is that?”
“Well, um, it’s changing, you know, because of puber—”
“What’s it like to walk on the ground? It must be amazing to stick to the earth and to see the sky over your head and be able to touch flowers and rocks!”
“Well, not exact—”
“I’m Liulah!” And then, as if Zack were a stray puppy, she added, “I’m going to keep you!”
“What? But I can’t stay with you. I have to find Gina!”
Liulah snorted, and then launched into her version of what Zack had just said: “Puber-puber-blah-de-goo-be-doo-bee!” Then she rolled off of him and began flailing her arms and laughing uncontrollably. Zack knew he should be offended, but there was something so adorable about her little string-of-bells laugh that he simply could not work up a proper sense of indignation. Still, the fact that she perceived everything as a joke or a game was problematic. He had to find Gina. Right?
Why did finding Gina suddenly seem less urgent than before?
“This is serious…” he began.
“No, it’s cumulus,” Liulah corrected. “That’s cirrus.” She pointed out hole at a wispy cloud strand nearby.
Zack continued to protest, insisting that he had to find his sister Gina before something terrible happened, but conversation was difficult because Liulah never stopped moving. Zack tried to jump out of the cloud a dozen times, but each time Liulah hooked him with her light-staff and jerked him back inside.
She simply could not imagine that he would want to leave. And to be truthful, he really didn’t, because as loudly as he protested, he was terrified of facing the near-certain death that waited below.
Liulah interpreted his reluctance as teasing, and played along, jerking him back each time, while Zack self-loathingly…
Resisted less and less.
Thoughts: Have you ever been so drawn into someone else’s will that it seemed to become your own?
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