It wasn’t that Luna was exceptionally large or exceptionally small or oddly-shaped in any way, but while others snapped together easily, slowly revealing the life for which they had been created, no matter where she found herself, she simply did not fit.
Ballet classes meant to teach her grace found her toppling to the floor at every turn. Called upon by teachers, the answers that were just front and center in her brain, would vanish leaving her mouth agape and silent like that of a fish. Soon her raised hand withered from lack of use and she made herself small, getting easily lost when others left to seek their places in the larger world.
She watched as other people’s children played in parks and wondered what it might be like to have a child of her own. Sitting on benches near picnicking families, she imagined herself a part of that picture, maybe a favorite aunt or cousin. Once she imagined it so vividly, that she was certain they had called out to her to join them. But, alas, it was another that was the recipient of their invitation.
Still, she tried. Braving herself to join coworkers gathered around the lunch table, laughing at jokes she didn’t understand, and attempting small talk, but their polite indifference stung.
Exhausted from trying to fit into a world that would not have her, she finally shattered like a broken vase, pieces spinning into the dark crevices of her mind where they stubbornly lodged.
Suddenly, in what was surely a cosmic joke, people would not leave her alone. Not a day passed that someone in a white coat and carrying a clipboard didn’t seek out her company, coax her to converse, and attempt to find and restore all the pieces.
Intoxicated on all this new attention, she allowed them glimpses — a piece of her here, a piece there — so as not to discourage, and was amused by the delight with which they would jot down each new finding and call to others to come share in the revelation. It seemed that Luna had finally found her place and so there she stayed, careful to always keep hidden the one piece that was her heart.
Jayne Martin lives in Santa Barbara, California. She is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions nominee, and a recipient of Vestal Review’s VERA award. Her collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” from Vine Leaves Press, is available now. Visit www.jaynemartin-writer.com