Cities are busy. Cars rattle past on the bitumen, spraying tiny pieces of gravel on the workers fixing the holes in the road. Businessmen march down the sidewalk to their buildings in their crisp suits and gleaming sunglasses, while a phone is at their ear. Buses and trams fly past to their next destinations. Everyone in the city is busy. Too busy to notice the young girl standing on the edge of the curb.
She is so close to the edge that one nudge from one of the strutting businessmen could knock her straight onto the bitumen. She is so different from her environment it is almost unsettling. Her dress is plain white without a scratch or a tear, an extreme rarity in their modern society. Her hair is a dazzling white-blonde, which blows windswept, but doesn’t tangle. Slowly, she reaches a pale hand to the sky, and extends her pointer finger towards the clouds. A bright white lightning bolt shoots up towards the sky, illuminating the city in a bright white light. She tilts her head at the sky and closes her eyes. Slowly, she drops her hand, and the lightning bolt retreats back inside her skin.
The rare few who see her, see this moment, lift up their phones to take a picture, capturing the image in time. But all of them are disappointed to realise that the girl and her extraordinary power are gone, as if they were never there.
Some say she is a god, some a superhero. Nobody knows if she really exists, or if she is just a figure of people’s tormented imagination. Only few have seen her, witnessed this oddity, others will just laugh and brush it off as just a dream.
Then one day, the busy city is hit by a storm. A supercell. Windows slam shut, curtains flying closed behind them as if the tenants in those houses wish to block out the storm altogether. People sit crouched in their houses, headphones on to block out the horrific noise. Children cry and perch in their mothers’ arms.
Except for one.
Livvy, a young black haired girl with purple glasses leans out her window, extends her hand to catch the raindrops.
She looks up at the sky to see a face materialise. It is the girl. The one people think of as a god. Her white blonde hair floats out from her face, windswept in both directions. She looks chaotic, evil. Her mouth never opens but Livvy can hear a voice talk.
This storm has been brought on because your people have no respect.
They do not care about the real world.
If they continue to kill the environment like this, I will kill them all.
Livvy shrieks. As she looks into the devilish red eyes of this girl, the mythical girl everyone talks about, she thinks how horrible she looks. How manic. Livvy’s favourite dream had always been about her, this legendary girl who could make lightning from the tips of her fingers where she floated in an imaginary world, not causing trauma.
The human race will be finished. I will restore the world to its proper form.
The girl is replaced with an image of humans collapsing in the streets, supposedly dead bodies surrounding them. The girl appears again, a fierce glare again pointed at the earth and the city the humans had built.
“Who are you?” Livvy whispers shakily.
My name is Autumn.
“Are you a God?” Livvy asks.
“What are you then?” Livvy asks.
You ask too many questions, Olive.
The image of the humans appears again, this time Livvy one of the survivors, standing petrified as a collection of corpses surrounds her. The girl reappears.
“What can I do?”
You must restore nature to the Earth.
“How?” Livvy asks, but the voice did not reply.
“Livvy!” Her younger sister, Gardenia, bounces in. “Can I borrow your teddy bear?”
Livvy tosses it at her without replying.
Gardenia plucks it off the floor and tucked it under her arm. “Are you ok?”
Livvy gives her a vague nod, not turning away from the window or letting her thoughts stray from Autumn, and the task she had given her.
Gardenia cranes her neck to see what her sister was doing. “You’re weird,” She concludes, and backs away to her own room.
Livvy turns her attention to the flowerbox below her, hanging from their fifth storey window. She plucks a bright purple violet and drops it towards the ground. Livvy does not expect it to work, but the flower inserted itself into a crack in the ground. Seeds spring up, and more bloom until the entire curb is brimming with a rainbow of flowers.
The girl reappears, this time smiling. She moves forward, descending upon Livvy, growing smaller and smaller until she is Livvy’s own size. She floats over to the window and smiles at Livvy. This time when Livvy hears the voice, it is smaller, kinder, and coming from the girl’s mouth.
“Thank you,” the girl says. “If you continue to spread this message, the world will be good again. When darkness spreads throughout the world, it takes only one person to bring out the light.”
She floats away, disappearing until Livvy had only the memory remaining of her. The storm subsides, leaving behind bright blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and a vivid rainbow, Livvy’s only reminder of the girl and the goodness she had brought. The rain dries up, windows flew open and faces appear behind, in wonder. Livvy turns around, knowing nobody will know it was indeed her who had sent the storm to a close, and knowing nobody would probably ever know. She was left behind one and only one mission- to bring back nature into the Earth.
When darkness spreads throughout the world, it takes only one person to bring out the light.