She is bruised on the outside.
Broken on the inside.
And her feet stretch up over her head into the air as the swing reaches the height of its arc. Bare toes blot the daylight rustling through the canopy, and the sun winks through a hole in a tree. A kaleidoscope of light sparkles across her eyes, a vision of angels, a flash and gone.
The swing descends, legs bend, and she leans in, sailing backward.
Long ago, her father had shimmied along the high branch to knot the ropes. When he’d loved her. As a father. As a child.
The ancient maple creaks beneath her weight as she flies forward. Its branch bends and lifts. A rhythm, steady as a heartbeat, slinging her so high that for a moment she is weightless, suspended in green, stretched long, head back, the world upside down, crazy and dangerous.
Then the inevitable fall. The curl inward and backward into another opening, a weightless inhale.
These trees once gathered her dreams. When she was whole among them, a wisp and wish of the world in girl form. She belonged. They are unchanged, sheltering, safeguarding, inviting her to swing. Only she is different. The swing rushes down, catches her, and propels her forward and up. The sun flares through the tree’s round eye.
She lets go of the ropes and flies into the light, a flash and gone.
This is a piece of fiction is in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday #Writephoto prompt