She was a bud. A secret beauty.
Her hands flitted through her pockets, not pausing in their search unless it was to free an object from its confinement… a length of string, a child’s wooden spintop, a scarf that floated to the ground and wrapped around her ankles. A seemingly mundane assortment, but that was only for now. Give it time, her thoughts whispered to the people walking past, and I will amaze you. A handful of them, albeit few, had paused in their journey past, curiosity piqued. This was not her first performance in the town, after all. She was not one to be forgotten easily.
“Another show of trickery, young lass?” A man asked, approaching her stage – a blanket of cloth lain on the street’s side – so that he might watch the show unhindered. She nodded, the shadow of a smile touching her features. By the time, she thought to reply – “Yes!” – the moment was gone. All she could do was perform.
Her legs tensed and bent, ready, prepared. Seconds past. Then, like an arrow from a bow, the energy was released, propelling her into the air. Knees, tuck and spin. Her body flipped backwards, her clothes rippling in the air. As her feet touched the ground again, there was a crash that sounded through the street, a noise far larger than what her body could produce on its own.
Magic, her thoughts murmured gleefully.
All buds must bloom in the sun’s caress.
She had their attention; now, she must maintain it. Eager eyes, waiting, thirsting for amusement. They flayed her into action with their stares. Like a puppet to their whims, she danced.
In her mind flashed images and hues… a water droplet clinging to a spider’s web, a breeze that echoes through a cave, the scent of the first snowfall. The sheer feel of them sprung her body into movement, her senses recalling a past only described by the flow of her limbs and the swish of the air as she soared. She wordlessly gave them her most beautiful moments, but that was only the start of the show.
The whisper of a breeze played with her hair and she allowed it the fancy of an artist, each brush of its icy fingers to paint streaks of black and red upon her natural gold. With every blink, the dulled grey of her iris was transformed; blue, green, brown – each twist of her head caused a variegation of hues. Her outfit became a plethora of fabrics; a seamless amalgamation that caused the youth to squeal as it shifted appearance at random. How her spells could twist their perception and how they were so eager to believe its deceit. It brought her joy to whisk them from the limitations of reality. Of course, she still looked the same beneath the illusions of her silent incantations, but… Wasn’t it nice to just believe without questioning?
I am what your imagination wishes to be. I am your fantasy.
She wanted to sing, but her mouth would not open. Instead, the melody channelled through the sway of her dance.
…and how they do flourish beneath the rays of light.
The objects on the floor were suddenly at hand, flipping into the air but always caught before they could touch the ground. With each thrust towards the sky, they took an image of magnificence. The string became fire, blurring the air with blue-touched flames and spraying heat upon the crowd. The child’s toy became a mouse that flailed to find the ground until the scarf – a serpent to the naked eye – engulfed it whole without remorse. The audience recoiled but were locked into the show. As the items reached her hand, they returned to their true selves - at least, until she threw them up again. All the while her body danced, and her thoughts were muted, silent.
Fleeting beauty, just waiting to be snatched away by greedy hands.