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Purple Park
I have the Purple Park for myself and it's all thanks to Miss Alta.
By Yoga Arif Posted in Short Story on 2022-01-24 0 Comments 9 min read
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I have the Purple Park for myself and it’s all thanks to Miss Alta.

The grass here is purple, hence the name, and it’s as comfy to lie on as a Monday morning bed; like there is an extra incentive for you not to get up, stay for the whole day. The grass doesn’t give me itch or rashes, too. As far as grass goes, this is the best yet.

The falling leaves and blooming flowers are in many shades of purple. Soothing. A classic black lamp post in a clearing stood steadfastly, reminding me of a lone gentleman in a tuxedo of a teledrama who, being a loner all his life, retreated from talking to the guests of his own party.

Like that lone lamp post, I am the only one here in the Purple Park. It’s not a big park but for a lone visitor, it’s quite spacious. No need to worry about people staring at me with pity. No need to worry about rain since it’s always autumn here in Purple Park. It’s quiet, peaceful. I could stay here forever if Miss Alta let me.

Miss Alta lived two doors from me and my mom’s apartment. The whole building knows her as Alta, but Mom calls her Cassie after she started to watch and care for me. However, Miss Alta herself told me that neither of those is her real name.

Before Miss Alta came around to the picture, I had no  Purple Park. The closest park to our apartment was three blocks away. The distance was not the main problem. The hassle of getting there was.

When my dad was alive, he’d picked me up in one arm and my crutches on another. Dad carried me from our apartment on the fourth floor down to the lobby for school or for the park. He still did that almost every day when I switched to a wheelchair.

I couldn’t do that to Mom after Dad’s gone. Not when she has her job to worry about. I started online school and we got a caregiver-slash-sitter for me, but most of them quit within a week after tasting the hassle. They simply couldn’t handle the hassle day in, day out, every day.

For a few months after, I stopped going to the park altogether because we couldn’t get a new caregiver. We had hired every caregiver in this part of town and no one’s willing to do it anymore. Mom needs to work, meaning she needs someone to care for her only teenage son while she’s at work.

Given that my going to the park was obstructing our lives, I quit going. A few caregivers came back to us once the hassle was off their job description and I came back to live my life indoors. In a cramped room. Watching the world from inside.

One afternoon, none of the caregivers were available and Mom had to work until late.

I tried to convince Mom to let me take care of myself. That day was when Miss Alta knocked on our door and asked if we had any tea. I didn’t hear much of the conversation between Mom and Miss Alta, except the end where Miss Alta said would be back in 10 minutes to watch over me.

Miss Alta is cool. Weird, but cool. Her eyes look…docile. Like the eyes alone can convince people that they’re safe with her and that she’s not a threat, even if she’s holding a sword or smirking like a villain. Where most people have active eyebrows, Miss Alta has a pair of very expressive lips. They move, curl, turn, smirk, smile, and more whenever she’s talking or watching something. It’s cute, really.

She’s also smart. Miss Alta knows how to answer every single random thing I asked her. She scoffs a lot at the news which is very funny. She sings really well, too. She has this ponytail hairstyle that really fits her auburn hair. Always tied with a ribbon that matches her outfit.

She looks like a girl from university, summer break in her laughter and spring break in her eyes. Every time she answered random things I asked, it felt like a very good class that made me feel educated. She looks like she’s about to embark on her twenties, the neighbors believed she’s already in the middle of it, but she told me that she lived many lives before that her age is too ridiculous to be said in public.

Yes, she said weird stuff like that from the beginning and now I honestly think they are true.

Her eyes were brown the first time I noticed it, but there are days when it changes to honey, emerald, and one time purple. She told people, including Mom, that she wears contact lenses. I know for a fact that she didn’t. She told me the color change depended on what kind of potion she drank that morning. I find that absolutely cool.

Most importantly, Miss Alta knows how to cheer me up. This Purple Park is the biggest example.

I get anxious if I don’t get outside. Not just outside, but parks. This apartment gets so stuffy and looking outside can only do so much. Miss Alta tried to get me to the roof, but there it was just a bare, square, concrete open space. I appreciate her effort, as I told her, but even she wasn’t satisfied with what he worked on. She said if I want a park, I’ll get a park.

“The closest park is three blocks away. I need to be carried downstairs, it’s too much of a hassle. Seriously, Miss Alta. I’m fine.”

“You’re right. That is a hassle. But you’re not fine.”

“I guess I’m not fine, but it’s fine.”

“Does it have to be a park?” Miss Alta said again after a while.

“Well, I like lying down on the grass. That’s when people stop looking at me with pity, I guess. When I’m laying down, they can’t tell my legs don’t work. Well, that is if they didn’t see the wheelchair.”

Her lips purses, humming and considering things, “What else?”

“I like the wide space. Wide personal space. You know how stuffy it is to stay indoors with furniture getting in your way all the time, right?”

“Well, it depends on how stuffy the room is.”

“It can be quite stuffy since I am riding a chair. I’m basically a piece of moving furniture. I promise you, it’s stuffy. Cramped, even.”

“I think I can help with that, with the park thing. But for now, the roof is better than your room, right?”

“Sure is.”

We went to the roof three times that week. Each trip was quite a struggle since she had to lift me up two flights of stairs. The week after, Miss Alta introduced me to Purple Park.

Life has been amazing ever since and here I am, alone in the Purple Park with the comfy purple grass on my back. I look up, a giant finger appears. It knocks on the glass dome twice. The whole park vibrates.

From down here where I laid back, Miss Alta’s face looks funny. Her voice, while I know she is whispering, is still quite loud.

“Get ready to come out. Dinner’s ready in 3 minutes!”

I held my hand high and gave her a thumbs up. Miss Alta smiled and she went back to the other room. I don’t feel like getting out of this snow globe — more like an autumn park globe — but I guess time passes way too quickly when you’re having fun. Mom will be home shortly and Miss Alta made a strict rule that no one must know who she is. 

I packed my novels, my empty sandwich box, and my empty water bottles into my bag. I slid into the lone lamp post and held on to it, waiting for her to use her spell and pull me out. That’s one of the coolest things about this park, too. No one can get in without her spell.

Then I hear a crashing sound as if the front door is kicked down. A loud whoosh followed with shattered glass. Things are happening so fast behind the walls, but I can’t see from inside the park. Flames burst in the hallway. Then blitz of lightning.

Miss Alta springs into the corridor towards my room. Dodging the fire, ducking and rolling while herself throwing lightning. She came over the purple park globe and probably saw me already holding on to the lamp post. Her face is pale. She’s sweaty, her breath is racing.

Someone’s attacking her! Who?

Miss Alta’s lips are muttering words in a hurry. Violet light shines in her right hand as she reaches for the glass dome. She’s going to get me out. I hold my breath.

Right when that giant hand with violet light hovers over the dome, Miss Alta bursts into a swarm of purple butterflies and vanishes.

I froze. For a few moments, then a few more. I dreaded that whoever attacked her — or killed her — would come in. But no one comes in. Everything went silent. No one comes in…and Miss Alta doesn’t reappear. She’s not dead, right?

The butterflies are gone. She’s gone. Shit. Shit.

What about me?

Fantasy Magic Short Story

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