Box & Girl in the middle of a storm

By Katie Sarna

box:
you can put nearly anything into a box
tie it up with tags and ribbons and paper
but some things are harder to wrestle into the box.
some of the objects have to cling to the edges of the box,
clawing desperately at it with no idea, no taste of what’s inside.
It doesn’t help much that you only have one box.
Some things escape entirely
and some things only start out with a plain brown bag
or the newspaper sports page wrapped over their little heads.
and a small portion of these things.
they were never in the box to begin with.
maybe they don’t careーor can’t fitーor maybe they’re just dust
and maybe they don’t see the box and it doesn’t see them.

The Girl I Saw in the Middle of a Storm

I saw a girl in the middle of a storm just yesterday ーon my morning walk by the beach.
I didn’t hear a storm warning on the radio. It seemed unexpected.
Strange. Like something the weather could never predict.
I didn’t know quite what to think as I mounted the small grassy knoll that lead down to the sand.
I gasped soundlessly as I saw the sand churning in the raging hurricane before me.
It didn’t seem to move. Storm clouds gathered about thirty feet away
never reaching where I stood. I froze in the sunlight, afraid to step down the hill
into the dark, rainy sphere.

A figure stood in the center of the downpour. I saw long strands of hair lashing around her face
in the howling wind, hands at her sides, a ragged dress fluttering around her legs.
The mysterious person looked like she was in the right place. She
didn’t seem to fear anything. Like she could hear a million lies whispered
and sort out the truth.

She looked so extraordinarily calm, like troubled water that has just settled.
And yet
a silent fury echoed across her face
Tarnishing her features like silver that has rusted beyond recognition
or a star that has turned into an inferno, burning itself out into nothing
against the velvety expanse of space.

She started to walk toward me, slowly at first but picking up speed.
I could see her dark hair whipping across her face. Her smoldering eyes, her clenched handsー
as she came closer to me at a rapid pace.
I felt an indescribable fear wrap around my chest. I couldn’t move. She came closer still.
Soon we stood about six feet apart from each other.

Her eyes fixed on my face, narrowed against the harsh rains.
Shocks of lightning danced through the sky. Thunder roared. I could hear
the blood rushing in my ears. I couldn’t scream. The wind tore the breath from my lungs and
cast it into the sea.
Her face was strikingly beautiful. A little scary.
She stepped closer.
One might have said her beauty was wasted by the look on her face.
Stern. Unmoving. Calmly hateful.

Soon we were mere inches apart. I felt cold, frosty breath from her beating against my face.
I blinked the rain out of my eyes, letting out a shuddering sigh.
And she spoke.

“Why are you afraid?”
I was taken aback. I stammered out an answer as the rain seemed to become heavier.
“I–I don’t know.”
The hiss of the rain on the sand was the loudest thing in the world. The girl tilted her head.
“Who am I?”
Her second question seemed unanswerable. Completely random.
I told her I couldn’t answer that. And, for the first time一
she smiled.
A clap of thunder rumbled in the distance, lightning gracing the sky
and illuminating a wild gleam in the girl’s eyes.
She was less terrifying when she didn’t smile.
And for the first time, I was able to take a single step backward. My breathing became hindered.

The girl’s smile fell away from her face. The rain became less indignant一
running down her face like tears.
And she turned
And started to walk away.
She soon was swallowed up into the rain, the storm clouds, the lightning and the thunder.

And she was gone一
a girl so beautifully broken.

I saw a girl in the middle of a storm just yesterday–on my morning walk by the beach. I didn’t hear a storm warning on the radio. It seemed unexpected. Strange. Like something the weather could never predict. I didn’t know quite what to think as I mounted the small grassy knoll that lead down to the sand. I gasped soundlessly as I saw the sand churning in the raging hurricane before me. It didn’t seem to move. Storm clouds gathered about thirty feet away never reaching where I stood. I froze in the sunlight, afraid to step down the hill into the dark, rainy sphere.

A figure stood in the center of the downpour. I saw long strands of hair lashing around her face in the howling wind, hands at her sides, a ragged dress fluttering around her legs. The mysterious person looked like she was in the right place. She didn’t seem to fear anything. Like she could hear a million lies whispered and sort out the truth.

She looked so extraordinarily calm, like troubled water that has just settled. And yet a silent fury echoed across her face tarnishing her features like silver that has rusted beyond recognition or a star that has turned into an inferno, burning itself out into nothing against the velvety expanse of space.

She started to walk toward me, slowly at first but picking up speed. I could see her dark hair whipping across her face. Her smoldering eyes, her clenched handsーas she came closer to me at a rapid pace. I felt an indescribable fear wrap around my chest. I couldn’t move. She came closer still. Soon we stood about six feet apart from each other.

Her eyes fixed on my face, narrowed against the harsh rains. Shocks of lightning danced through the sky. Thunder roared. I could hear the blood rushing in my ears. I couldn’t scream. The wind tore the breath from my lungs and cast it into the sea. Her face was strikingly beautiful. A little scary. She stepped closer. One might have said her beauty was wasted by the look on her face. Stern. Unmoving. Calmly hateful.

Soon we were mere inches apart. I felt cold, frosty breath from her beating against my face. I blinked the rain out of my eyes, letting out a shuddering sigh.And she spoke.

“Why are you afraid?” I was taken aback. I stammered out an answer as the rain seemed to become heavier.
“I–I don’t know.” The hiss of the rain on the sand was the loudest thing in the world. The girl tilted her head.
“Who am I?”Her second question seemed unanswerable. Completely random.
I told her I couldn’t answer that. And, for the first time一she smiled.
A clap of thunder rumbled in the distance, lightning gracing the sky and illuminating a wild gleam in the girl’s eyes. She was less terrifying when she didn’t smile. And for the first time, I was able to take a single step backward. My breathing became hindered.

The girl’s smile fell away from her face. The rain became less indignant—running down her face like tears. And she turned. And started to walk away. She soon was swallowed up into the rain, the storm clouds, the lightning, and the thunder.

And she was gone一a girl so beautifully broken.

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