Monday, June 18, 2018

Pixies in a Garden in Kyoto

I suffered a pretty severe writer’s block for the past several months (I think I’m still a bit blocked), and one suggestion was to write short fiction, which I hadn’t done in a long time. Someone on the r/writing subreddit mentioned that if you write a short story a week, it’s impossible to write 52 stories that are ALL bad, at least some of them will be decent. So I decided to give it a shot. I might post some mediocre stories, but hopefully this will help get my creativity juices flowing.

My favorite writing prompts are pictures, so I went onto Reddit and found some really great ones on the r/learnjapanese subreddit.

This one picture spoke to me:
Sogenchi Garden, Tenryu-ji Temple, Arashiyama, Kyoto - October 2017

[OC] Sogenchi Garden, Tenryu-ji Temple, Arashiyama, Kyoto - October 2017 [1265x949]


As soon as I saw this photo, I immediately had the idea to write this short fluffy piece. Feel inspired? Write something yourself and post a link in the comments!

Pixies in a Garden in Kyoto

There were pixies in the garden. Since she was in Kyoto, she was certain they were not called pixies, but she didn't know what they would be called in Japanese, and they certainly looked like what she imagined pixies would look like.

They were small, and had wings, and their bodies were faintly humanoid. They were different colors, muted colors and pastels, so that they blended into the greenery in the garden with ease. But there was a faint pearlescent sheen to their skin, not quite a glow or a sparkle, but something that made them look like colored starlight flitting through the trees, dipping their toes in the running stream, hopping from stone to stone. They had dragonfly wings, and the pearlescence of their wings was a little brighter than the pearlescence of their skin.

Their limbs were extra long, and extra thin, with their hands and feet being a little bigger than normal. Their faces were different shapes, with some being around, some pointed, some long and thin while others were wide. Their hair was long, and yet it floated about their body like they were in zero gravity, defying the fact that they were in the garden here on earth. The hair strands were not fine, but rather like thin, uneven strands of seaweed, with kinks and bends, and slightly flattened shape and texture. Their hair color was also muted colors, like their skin, but their hair did not always match their skin color. Sometimes the colors were complementary, like forest green hair and a light moss green skin color. Other times the colors clashed, like yellow and dark purple with orange streaks through their hair.

But despite their unusual color and shape, it was their eyes that captivated her. Their eyes were large, kind of like the eyes of the aliens that she had seen in pictures, almond-shaped and dark. There was a depth to their gaze that pierced her like a spear through the heart. Their eyes were full of emotion, with different emotions in different pixies, and sometimes one pixie would cycle through a range of emotions. But each emotion was sharp and bright and dark and diffuse. Each emotion evoked something in her heart, every time she met the eyes of a pixie.

And taken as a whole, as she watched the pixies in the garden, there was a desperate, deep ache in her chest, like a heavy weight pressing on her. But it wasn't weight, it was a longing, an intangible reaching toward the garden, toward something that she was not, toward something outside of herself. The garden held her transfixed, and yet it also was pulling at her, pulling at her experiences, her memories, her pain and sorrow, at her joy and peace. It was pulling at her, and pulling all these things out of her, so that she felt like the garden was trying to pull her astral projection from her body.

It was a desire for her life to have more meaning, for her motivations to have more purpose. It was an ache for something more in her life, for something beautiful. Like colored starlight.

No one else saw the pixies. They saw the beautiful trees, the mix of blues and greens and moss, gray and white and brown of stone, the black and colorlessness of water. They saw the garden, cool and damp, infused with the peace of skillful landscaping, and the calming effect of running water and stone and trees. But all that was simply a backdrop to her of the fleeting life that darted around and through like graceful streamers in various colors.

She sat on the porch, sheltered by the roof, and breathed in the damp air. She imagined she could smell something fruity and flowery, despite the fact there were no fruit or flowers in the garden. She smelled a solid, metallic tang from the stone, and the earthy, musty smell of moss and mold. She could almost imagine that she could hear the trees whispering words in the midst of the sound of their leaves stirring in the breeze. She could almost imagine hearing words and the occasional groaning of the wood as the trunks swayed. The pixies made no sound, but their mouth moved as if they were speaking and laughing and shouting to each other.

She didn't know why they were there, or what they were doing. She didn't know why they congregated here, in this particular garden. All she knew was that she felt incredibly blessed to have seen them here, and she was fairly certain she would not see them again.

But she hoped that perhaps one day, in another garden, she might see streaks of colored starlight again.

***

You can check out my other short stories here.

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