By Mokutima Ekong
In a dream, the main character explores the areas of his life that make him feel free, and he must reconcile the fragility of freedom.
Father crooned to a ladybug and cradled a Parlor guitar. Pulsating chords melded with haunting melodies, permeating the garden. Wispy clouds had formed above the marigolds. He leaped from cloud to cloud, strumming and humming. Miss Ladybug, his garden companion, rested on his chest. The garden glittered with dew. Rain had darkened his overalls, but sunlight followed the downpour. Father hopped in place as if he were bouncing on a spring. His puffy platform elevated him higher with each bounce. Clouds parted, and his daily ascent concluded. He serenaded the sky.
“You’re too good for this world,” he sang and lifted his chin. “I’ve been trying to find my way. I’ve been trying to find my way to you.” He repeated the refrain, his voice reverberating.
The fuchsia expanse brightened. Light outlined his body and his guitar.
“We made it! Isn’t that right, Miss Ladybug?” Father dipped his chin. “I can sing forever.” An empty chest greeted him. “Lady? Lady? Lady? Where are you, Miss Ladybug?”
The sky rumbled and splintered, stripping him of his light and shattering his guitar.
Father closed his eyes and pleaded. “No. No. No. Please. You’re too good for this world,” he sang, his voice strained. “I-I’ve been t-trying to find m—” He awoke in the garden. The downpour returned.
I attended a Girls Write Now Salon called Speak Your Truth: Finding Honesty Through Writing Poetry with Jasmin Kaur. During the workshop, attendees worked on a prompt, which stated: “I am free when…” I wrote about how music and friendship make me feel free, and I decided to write a dream based on my response.
Mokutima Ekong is a Writing Works mentee, writer and arts advocate. She is currently a student studying business and creative writing at New York University.