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THE GIRL WOULDN'T GO AWAY. No matter which way she turned, the blurred figure appeared in front of her. She told the girl to go away, leave her alone, but the stranger refused to leave her paradise.

She didn't know where she was, exactly. It was unlike anything she'd ever seen. The sky constantly swirled with color, warm hues changing as oil-painting clouds drifted past. Choruses of birds sang in harmony with the wind. The grass tickled her feet, softer than any pillow. Flowers bloomed everywhere. They were all yellow, for some reason, but she didn't mind. She liked them.

What she did not like was the hazy girl.

The intruder seemed determined to gain Kendria's attention. White form flickering in and out of existence, the girl crossed her arms and tapped her foot noiselessly.

Kendria ignored her, swaying lazily on the swing-set instead. Where the swings came from, she didn't know. It reminded her of the old children's park near her elementary school. She would play there almost every day, imagining herself as a bird whenever she leaned back. Smiling, she dug her feet into the dewy grass, then pushed off. A giggle rose in her throat as she soared backwards, blonde hair whipping in her face. She'd always wanted to fly.

White flashed in front of her, and suddenly the strange girl was beside her, swinging back and forth. They flew together, a bird and her shadow. She grinned. This was what freedom felt like. Swinging in paradise.

"It's perfect, isn't it?" The girl's voice surprised her. Like milk and honey and all things beautiful. "Do you like it?" Like hot cocoa and sunshine, purring kittens and dandelions. "Kendria?"

She hummed, smiling gently at the clouds above her. "It's beautiful," she whispered. Her throat stung, just a little. She brushed if off. Why worry about that when there was so much to be admired around her?

"You can't stay." She blinked, finally turning to the other girl. Sad eyes, familiar eyes, stared back at her. The girl offered an apologetic smile, wispy hair falling around her face as she ducked her head. "There's so much more for you to do. You have a future out there." The swings slowed, coming to a halt. "You have friends, family, counting on you."

She frowned. She didn't want to leave. And yet, she felt a sort of nagging in her chest at the mention of family. "Don't you live here? Why can you stay, but not me?"

"I don't live here," laughed the girl. "But you will. Someday."

A dull ache began to form at her temples. "I don't ..." Kendria rubbed her neck. "Who are you?" The world around her began to fade. The clouds and the sky blended together into a stark white. A strange weight fell upon her, a pressure that made her skin crawl.

The girl leaned forward until their noses barely touched. "Haven't you guessed yet?" Blurry white features suddenly sharpened into a recognizable face. Hooded eyes that carried heavy bags. Downturned lips that rarely pulled into a smile. And, most notably, a large scar peeking out from beneath the girl's floating hair.

"I'm the flow."

Her ghostly reflection was the last thing she saw before it all turned black.


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