Grad Night

by Yukiko Yoshinaga

And then there was Tori and Leah in the forest, everything dry yet vaguely aquatic, the lights of the town muted by the fog. And when we stood in a circle with the lighter and the box of incense, the flame would catch the tip of the stick and then burn and then glow; it felt like something holy. I untangled the koinobori from our tree and Tori and Leah danced around the two of us, radiating benevolence like a pair of fairy godmothers. That night we drew trails of fragrant smoke in the air, white spiderwebs in the black starless sky. The next morning I kissed Leah goodbye. In the crowded terminal her eyes shone dull and shy as ever, but I smelled smoke in her hair.


Yukiko Yoshinaga is a tad over fourteen years old. She doesn't have a blog, but she keeps her journal in her pillowcase and too often writes about people she knows.