A Thin Barrier (Flash Fiction)

He kneels down over a still pond and sees. Below, the water stares back. A blue sky hangs above worried and tired eyes. A wisp of white cloud drifts by. With heavy heart, he sighs. The veil hangs heavy over his mind, and the weight buries him.

Through the thin barrier of water, a small fish drifts by. Its golden scales reflect the light from the sky and shine. The eyes of the fish search in earnest, young and sharp and bright.

As he kneels, seeing the fish, he sighs. “Oh, if only my eyes could be so young and my skin so vibrant, all the of the world would see me for who I am and who I ought to be.”

The fish, hearing the man’s strange words, flutters its tail to stall its motion and observes the man’s sadness. It looks up and the man looks down and for a moment, the veil is lifted. The barrier fades away.

You are the light, says the veil, and you are the youth in your skin. The sky above you hangs forever in waiting for all of the possibilities within you bound, and the wispy cloud drifts by with the idleness of time in your waiting.

The man, startled, slips and slides his hand into the water in recovery. The fish darts, and a ripple spreads across the stillness of reality. The man sees the waves, sees his impact on the world around him, and sighs heavily with a heart unsettled.

The vibrant fish vanishes, the water settles, and the clouds of wispy-white above continue their movement by.

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