Her bubble burst and she fell. Friends fading into the distance as they floated up into piles of amber, autumn leaves.
“Why me?” Flick mumbled to herself.
Sitting on the garden floor, covered in soapy suds, getting up felt impossible. She had failed once and would again. There was no way of getting to the Autumn Tree. Sitting there, defeated, she longed for her mother’s hot acorn tea and stuffed walnuts. The thought of home a small comfort to her as she sat alone. Flick imagined the familiar scent of their kitchen, the ease of things she knew. It was enough to push her forward.
Up she went, one foot and then another. Almost above the tip of the grass when-
Down she went. Foamy bubbles lay at her feet, like the spume of waves she had seen in her books. It was hopeless, her feet were slippery, the ground wet. She could not float away, home was far beyond her reach. She began to cry.
Her tears fell to the ground, washing away the layers of soap bubbles beneath her. A storm of tears forming a thunderous river against the impossible. Waves rising like the far away tales she knew, carrying her towards the comforts of home. She lay back and let the water take her, glancing upwards at the hundreds of bubbles in the sky, sparkling and temporary. She wondered why she’d never noticed their beauty. Always concerned with catching one, a means to an end. It was then she felt a shift, a longing for home but something else too.