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  • The Prattler

The House on the Cliff of What Could Be



She lives in a little yellow house on the border between the field of What Is and the fog of What Could Be. Her little yellow house is situated adjacent to the forest of What Almost Is and its backdoor opens to a garden with a stone path that leads to the ocean of What Once Was. When she ventures outside, her rose-tinted glasses are cracked but her eyes still drift towards What Could Be. She sits right on the edge of the cliff and lets her legs swing in the wind while the rest of her body stays rooted in the What Is. 


Sometimes she’s joined by figures from What Almost Is: a velveteen dragon and a bronze cheetah. They sit next to her as she pulls out her typewriter and manages to pull words from the What Could Be into the What Is. The velveteen dragon watches over her shoulder as the words appear on paper. The bronze cheetah lies next to her, a stalwart protector.


How she manages to see so much through the dense fog with her cracked glasses is a mystery. On the days when the possibilities in the fog overwhelm her, she retreats to her little yellow house and looks at the sky. She turns her face towards the sun and basks in its warmth. She tangles her toes in the clovers that surround her home until tea time.


Then, she sits at the window, surrounded by soft pillows, and looks into a telescope to check on the others who live on the edges of the What Is. Some of them look like her friends from What Almost Is. Made of porcelain, metal, and fabric: they still have a life force of their own, created through love.


In a treehouse, an old stuffed donkey has done its job well for many years, for its eyes are scratched, dull, and sightless. Its patchy fur is no longer soft, but it still sits on a nightstand nonetheless. Its nose, which has long since fallen off, is rubbed every morning for good luck and tapped every night before bed. She looks upon it with kindness as it protects a young boy who is no longer young. 


Swiveling the telescope, she then looks to an old woman’s porcelain piglet that sits behind the glass door of a beautiful cabinet. Its snout is cracked but still cherished dearly. Soon, the woman will be taken to a nursing home because of her age, but the piglet will go with her. 


Then finally, she turns her gaze to a brand new bear that appeared not long ago in What Is. It’s tucked into the side of an infant, whose chubby fingers clasp its curling fur. The pair has so much life ahead of them.


Satisfied that everything is as it should be, she puts away the telescope and finally picks up her tea. She lives in a little yellow house on the border between the field of What Is and the cliff of What Could Be and adjacent to the forest of What Almost Is. This is how things are and how things will always be.


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Art by Ashley Yu

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