The Green Transformer Box
When I was a child I liked to jump, convinced – somehow – that if I leapt from a high enough ledge that I could fly. Hot, wet, bright green grass scratching beneath bare feet on the run, the sun shining down over long, beautiful blonde hair, the air whistling through the trees. It is not easy to forget a summer just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, where the world is quiet, and new and free. Children laugh and run between cars parked in driveways and tumble down hills into the community pool, sparkling blue and shifting like memories and feelings do within the mind. Laughter rising, hands shoving, falling unexpectedly into the water that was always chill. One child emerges with red shorts and pink t-shirt dripping, breathless and grinning with the mischievous notions of the young and naïve. With a guttural growl the favor is returned and another child rises, swishing water from beneath his blue eyes and proceeding to splash in revenge.
Handholding and chasing: breathless summer afternoons. Rushing back and forth on the swing, feet flying high, faces beaming in the crimson shades of one’s first love. Branches were studied, leaves gathered, music shouted at the top of one’s lungs with no care for rhythm or harmony. Long walks and secret missions, candy-sticky-fingers and together-fun. Hideouts, home base, maps and puzzles drawn. The FBI agents of summer, studying the sidewalk stains, daily patterns and whispered secrets of the many that roamed around us, the few. We were small and hidden and silent.
The sky turned from blue to brown, orange and red as the leaves swirled down and the whole world waited, but for what? Behind the apartment building was a mysterious box, mint green with stains of copper and perfectly square on the level grass. On one side of this green box was the stark brawns of the apartment buildings many back doors and on the other side was the immediate downturn of the hill that lead to the pool. Down cast eyes, pink t-shirt, red shorts and scraped knee with feet hanging over the edge of the green transformer box. Wind curled between the young girl’s calves and open toes and swooshed against the grass that covered the slope. It raced down, playing its fingers in the grass and with a gasp it rushed the branches of the thick maple tree at the bottom. The wind, at least, was flying and though it kissed the ground it always turned upwards once again and soared higher and higher in order to play with the clouds. Dirt stained toes raising and then resting on the height of the green transformer box, toes peeking over the edge at the long, far off, green, green grass. Youth making little, tiny half turns and exploring the direction, force and small whispering voice that was the breeze until centered in on it and facing the hill, with the air rushing past frail, slumping shoulders. Half raised hands as if in subliminal worship, only to let them fall and then allow the wind to carry them back up. The wind had so long teased and now in an attempt to tease it back, daring to jump and backing off again and then suddenly, as if on que the wind died and all was quiet and then toes peeked over the edge again as if examining the dirt beneath them, but only for a moment, as if, in some way, daring them to pull her down to earth like gravity constantly demands. Choppy, short blonde hair reflecting in the light of the sun and arms flailing through the whistling of the air past ears that had never heard such beautiful a sound.
For a moment there was the illusion of flight, the final brave belief that being broken doesn’t mean that you can’t be free, but then there was the sharp green grass again, and dirt in a freshly scraped knee and children tumble down the hill to the community pool as they always will once the crimson heats of summer force the water to release the winter’s freeze.
About the author: Deanna Leah self-published her first novella, The Home of Our Hearts, at the age of sixteen and has since then been published multiple times with fiction and poetry in Mavguard Magazine, appearing in the first and second editions. Now at the age of 20 she is attending the University of New Mexico for a counseling degree in order to work with victims of human trafficking and other forms of sexual violence.