Cory’s Story: New existence and lavender boots

lavender flowers swaying in a field
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

My name is Cory. I’m kind of new at this. What’s your name?

My name? I just…I don’t…I don’t understand what’s going on.

Sorry, I’m really new at this. I always remember existing, but I guess that won’t be true for everyone…

I’m sorry, I just remember…I just remember hurting.

That is why most of us exist. We split up the things that hurt so one person doesn’t carry it all.

Us?

Oh, yes. There’s me, and Ribbon, and Mina, and a couple others. Ribbon and Mina are probably who you’ll see around the most. Although I personally avoid Ribbon where possible.

I don’t…I don’t understand why I’m here. I don’t want to be here.

It can be hard at first. Jasmine was the first one here besides those of us who’ve been around the whole time. Or, Shadow might’ve been around first. We’re not sure…

I just want to be alone.

Okay. I’m going to go back up to the house. Do you know where that is?

I don’t want to. Sorry, I just want to be alone right now.

***

Cory pushed the lid of the trunk open, wincing as it thunked against the bedpost. He’d thought about moving the bed too many times to count. Maybe one day he’d actually do it.

“Hello, bedroom,” he said softly, stepping out of the trunk to the creaky wooden floor. He tugged his boots off and placed them on the top step inside the trunk. He didn’t know what he’d do if they ever tumbled down the winding staircase. Probably wear his winter boots, light lavender–the pair Lucille gave him–and stomp down to fetch them.

Easing the trunk closed, he knelt by his window. Sunlight cast a harsh line through the heart of the gray quilt on the bed. Gently, his fingers traced the pots on the floor, the tender-leafed, twiggy plant he didn’t have a name for yet, the parlor palm that hadn’t moved in weeks, new fronds half open. He touched a pinky to the dry soil of the violet pygmyweed, waxy leaves drooping, unable to recall the last time he’d watered the succulent.

Knocking sounded at the door. “Yes?” he called, briefly checking the cacti and flowers on the windowsill.

“Lucille’s climbing up the mountain,” Mina’s voice floated through the walls. “I thought it would be nice if we were all out there to greet her when she came down.”

Cory grinned despite himself. “You mean, to worry that she makes it down okay?” his feet creaked over whorls of wood and he swept the door open.

Mina’s shawl billowed in its wake. She smiled softly. “So? I can do both.”

“Of course you can,” he glanced behind him. “I’ll be out in a moment. I need to find my snow boots.”

“Okay. I shall be searching for Flora and Lily,” she rolled her eyes, grinning as if at the boundless energy of littles before turning away, long, wavy hair bouncing behind her. Cory eased his door shut, then crawled backward and laid on the floor, counting the dust balls decorating the underside of his bed, the dust balls climbing up the soles of his lavender boots.

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