I remember hearing stories of the tall beasts. They would cover their bodies with different fabrics, were about fifty times our size, and would show up at dawn with the grim reaper as a friend. I've always wondered if the stories were true. If the place called Earth was real, and if the tall beasts were really that horrible. My nana used to say that they had ginormous machinery, with teeth and claws that would destroy a whole forest in a matter of hours. The birds were the firsts ones to leave. They would start singing a sad ballad—one of those with a string orchestra, deep notes, and sense a melancholy filling the air. Then, you could hear the first cry of the trees. Their cry would resonate through every creature's body. It would echo for days after the trees had fallen. It was the sound of loss. Little by little, a whole forest would start to fall, and suddenly you could smell decay. You would see a grey cloud cover the sky, and dark snow would begin to fall. The snow would stain everything on its past, and by nightfall, everything was silent.
Nana says that we came from Earth hundreds of years ago. The tall beasts are our descendants. We all used to live in a giant forest, all creatures, even goblins, and trolls. But now, only a few of us get to go back home. Only a few of us get selected to go fight a battle that is already lost. The ones that stay behind just fly around, spreading joy and happiness to all.
The stories say you get selected by a light. They never specify the color or if it radiates heat or cold. I've always pictured it as warm orange light. A sunset orange that gives you a sense of reassurance that you will only be gone for a few hours. A sunset orange that smells like lemonade being freshly made in the summer or sipping hot cocoa on a cold winter night. A sunset orange that brings comfort to your soul. Nana says I think too much like them, like the giants. I've always been intrigued by them. What happened to them? Why must they destroy their own home? Our home is much like theirs, or at least like the forests the stories talk about. Our home is green, and blue and yellow and purple, black and white, and all the colors in between. Our home is magic. When we fly, we sprinkle magic everywhere we go. We bring joy; the giants even have stories about us. They say that every time a child laughs, one of us is born. Nana says the giants come up with weird stories to understand us. I say we all create our own little stories, our own definitions to understand each other.
As I lay down on a leaf to take a nap, I can't help but smell fresh lemonade as I doze off.