TITLE: The Moth Girl
GENRE: YA - Fabulist
It was only a month between the first symptoms and the day they found my unconscious body floating three feet above the ground. I was fifteen. Those early symptoms were nothing to me, minor aches and a vague feeling of lightness that I brushed away like dust. How was I to recognize the storm of disease bearing down upon me?
One of my track teammates later told me I reminded her of a magician’s assistant floating above a table. But there was no magician, no trick, only the rebellion of my own cells. I try to picture it: my hovering teenage body, my limbs and hair hanging down like the roots of a pulled-up flower. It seems more likely, knowing what I now know, that my arms and legs lifted up toward the sky, but still I envision them dangling toward the earth as if to will me closer to it.
In the summer leading up to that fall, I spent my afternoons running and hanging around with my best friend, Smilla. There was a long finger of forest that stretched from behind my backyard all the way into the center of town, a secret passageway through the heart of suburbia, and I ran the length of it nearly every day. I knew each detail of that trail, each crumbling section of old stone wall, every initial carved inside every heart on the tall white pines.