Continued from Part 1.
The weekend hours spun past, filled with gossip and laughter and fresh-squeezed fruit juice in the heat. She did not think of the boy until she descended from the rickety bus and saw him sitting, wrapped over the plant.
"You would have a skill for it, you know," he said as she approached. He had not looked up, and she jumped at being addressed. "I can hear the jaguar in your blood."
"Are you crazy? Maybe you escaped from the hospital, eh?"
"Some people would say that. But I've escaped from nowhere. This is the prison." He looked up and around, grimacing. "Listen," he continued. "We have spun the song. Come here."
Stopped, she furrowed her brow in doubt.
"I will not hurt you. Look, I'll step away. Just come near."
He rose, revealing the plant for the first time. It had shed its yellow paint, and sprouted vivid purple flowers.
She hesitated, looked around, and then shuffled closer.
The flowers became transparent, wavering things constructed more of air than matter. A hum crept into her head, undulating in rhythm with the ephemeral flowers. Shocked, she stepped backwards.
"You see it then," the boy said flatly.
"Yes," she whispered.
"They did not teach you that in your school, did they."
"No. But I don't know what it is."
"What it is? It is too big to have a name, not properly. Some have tried to call it magic, but that is false. I prefer life, but I guess that could be vague."
She shook her head.
"Come with me," he said. "I can teach you much more."
"No, I ... school ..." she whispered, and hurried off.
She regretted it the rest of the day. All day, wedged into her hard desk at school, she thought of the boy and his wonders. I always wanted something to happen, something different, like the movies. I have to do this.
Rather than walking to the right outside her school to catch the bus home, she ran down the street to the left. As she hoped, the boy sat on the curb. The bright purple flower was nearly as large as his hand, and it breathed ribbons of blue smoke.
"Are you ready to leave now?" the boy asked.
"Absolutely. I don't care where we're going."
"That's good. Because if you had asked me, I could not explain."
He raised his hand to indicate for her to wait, and then he stood above the plant. He hummed, a deep crescendo, and the blue smoke grew with his voice. It snaked up from the blossom, out into the air, forming an arc. When it circled upon itself, it hardened, and the air inside shimmered.
"Let's go." He reached out his hand, and drew her into the circle.
Continue reading Part 3.