The nowhere girl

For Amber

(to see her prompt, click here)


The nowhere girl dances in the moonlight. From my bedroom window I watch her, taste the languid freedom of her unshackled movements as she taunts me and my sisters: the other girls of our village.


I hate the harvest. The fucking harvest. There. I said it.


The harvest, brought in by our fathers and brothers, requires our attention. We toil in hard-pressed clothing that digs into our flesh, shaping us into square-limbed tools. My sisters talk of harvesting husbands, and buoy themselves against the strain of our days by the promise of a man to walk them down the aisle.


Not me. I spend my days dreaming of the nowhere girl.


She was a story, told to us by our mothers when we were children, a cautionary tale for girls telling us to listen to our parents and stay away from the forest and unwed men. My friends and I laughed about her, teased each other when the adults weren’t looking:


There goes Astrid (or Milly, or Bianca), she’s gunna dance with the nowhere girl.


She isn’t a story any more. Not to me. At night I throw off my clothes and run past the sleeping houses, over the hill and into the forest, where she waits for me. We rampage through the night, dancing, fighting, gnashing teeth at each other and laughing.


It is not a sex thing. I know what you are thinking. It is not that.


The nowhere girl was just lonely, that’s what I found out. She’s just like me. Couldn’t live in a town, couldn’t carry expectation. She could bear anything, but she didn’t understand how to bear that. She ran because she had to, but she was so lonely.


I tell her not to be sad, I’m here now, and I understand. She was right to run away.


Will you run away? The nowhere girl is smiling.


So one night I do, even though I hadn’t planned to. I ran out of the village, only to run back to my house and leave a note on my pillow. Gone dancing with the nowhere girl.


But when I got over the hill and into the forest she was gone.


I am lonely.



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