Lily, the Brave - By Katherine Hodges


Lily slapped at the alarm one last time before nearly falling out of the four poster bed. She never seemed to have this much trouble getting out of bed before. It wasn’t so much that she didn’t want to wake up; she just didn’t want to stop dreaming. It had been so real, like she had stepped into a fantasy movie, and she was the star. She had been flying through shimmering misty clouds. Flying felt so good. Released from the ties that had a hold on her body, she had felt so free. Lily was on her way to somewhere she knew she would be wanted. Not just wanted even, but needed. More importantly, somewhere she was loved. She had been flying for what seemed like days, and then without knowing why, she floated gently to the ground. This dream world she had arrived in was more beautiful than anything she had ever seen in her seventeen years on earth. The grass was the softest, greenest, coolest carpet of grass that had ever been grown. The misty clouds had cleared and the sky was a clear sharp blue. She had landed in a grove surrounded by glorious blooming trees. Soft white, pink, and purple blossom heavy branches swayed gently, as if to welcome her to their home. She found herself by a small flowing stream so clear you could see the smooth stones at the bottom. Looking closer she could see tiny yellow fish swimming merrily along in search of breakfast. Looking around her once more, she realized she wasn’t alone. A man was standing a short distance away. His face was warm and friendly, almost loving, but in his eyes Lily could see a hint of worry. Maybe it was sadness, but it was hard to tell. She knew he looked familiar, but couldn’t remember where she had seen him before. Then out of the corner of her eye she saw a woman. This woman was not nearly as beautiful as their surroundings, but she radiated a love so strong that to Lily, she seemed more beautiful than a thousand roses. Lily knew she had seen these people before, but where? She glanced back at the man. He was smiling at her, and then somehow he was suddenly standing next to her. He took hold of her left hand and then someone grabbed her right. Was it the woman? She didn’t have time to find out because the man was talking to her.

“It won’t be long now, sweetheart. I’ve waited so long, but it won’t be long now!” He seemed very happy, but still had a glimmer of sadness in his eyes.

“Don’t worry her Avery! She doesn’t know yet. Let’s just enjoy having her here while we can.” Lily turned to her right. It was the woman who had her hand. Her voice was so familiar; it almost made her head hurt trying to think of who she was. It was as if Lily was a bride with a veil over her face blocking all her memories. She wished a groom would lift the veil to kiss her and bring all her memories back.

“We don’t have much time, but we just want you to know that we love you and we need you to be strong for just a little while longer.” The woman’s request seemed unnecessary to her, but she nodded her head.

“Alright, we have to go now, but just remember what your mother said and keep your head up kid.” My mother? Mother! Lily glanced at the smiling woman and joy surged through her. She thought she might cry if it were possible in such a lovely place. Then she looked closer at the man. Yes! This was the father she had seen in so many pictures. How could she not have instantly known? Then all at once everything was being pulled away from her. The trees, stream and grass were being sucked away as if someone were swiping a vacuum across them. Lily was grasping the hands attached to hers, but they were being pulled with great force away from her. She could tell that her parents were trying to stay, but it looked like they would be swept away at any moment. The woman was trying to say something, but Lily couldn’t hear over the roaring wind. And then they were gone. When she opened her eyes, she had tears running down her splotchy cheeks. She tried to go back to sleep. Over and