The Sky Maiden
Aarohi Deshmukh, Grade 9, St Columba Anglican School
Finalist in the 'The Inside Story 2020' competition
She crept silently into the woods, darting past the gurgling creek and singing birds. She stepped nimbly off the marked path, and into the foliage which she was accustomed to. Her eyes darted around observantly, and her small feet made no noise as she broke into a sprint, deeper into the woods. The sky slowly darkened, and the sequin-silver stars twinkled brightly, like beacons of hope for all the lost souls in the world.
The girl's bright blue eyes surveyed the trees, and she eventually came to a halt. Tucking a strand of her thick, dark locks behind her ear, she stepped out from behind a particularly large oak and knelt by a pond in the centre of the clearing. Her fingers itched to begin, a small smile plastered onto her face. Taking a deep breath, her hand dove into the leather satchel which hung off her shoulder, and pinching an invisible substance in between her fingers, she began to trace shapes onto the surface of the pond.
At first, there was darkness. Not an empty darkness, though, the kind of darkness that exists at dawn, the kind that anticipates wonder and beauty. And the Sky Maiden spread that shade of darkness onto the pond which was her canvas, with her hands, her inks and shades. Then, she added light. A crisp, clear shade of pure radiance, which dissolved into the colours of the sunrise. Pink, orange, yellow. Rose, peach and coral. Honey, butterscotch, and marigold. She swirled them all together, creating the most dazzling of skyscapes, then proceeded to create a blue.
An eye-achingly bright blue. The clearest of clear, the purest of pure. A combination of the colour of the sea at daybreak, and the essence of bluebells in the soft afternoon sunlight. She spread that shade of azure blue across the pond, adding dollops of fluffy white, and so, creating clouds. Fragments of spectacularly flocculent clouds, the sort that radiate a childish euphoria, a reminder of the carefree days spent laying on the beach, those light-hearted summer days spent on the sand as a child.
Then the Sky Maiden manipulated her cloud creations, sending them drifting lazily across the pond, and constructed more white streaks with a flick of her fingers. She pushed them away, gliding across the sapphire sky, and then, taking another pinch of her secret powder, turned the sky darker. The bright blue dulled and dimmed, being replaced by a delightful deep shade of navy, and as her clouds darkened and disappeared, she stood up to sprinkle the stars.
Holding her colour in both hands, she cast her palms out, scattering shining stars onto her masterpiece, dusting the flecks of light across the sky. Finally, taking the last of her silver shade, she wrote, in minuscule letters;
'By the Sky Maiden...'
Then, securing her satchel on her hip, she took one last glance at her pond, which turned silver once more, and then sprinted back out of the woods...