When An knew that she absolutely must go, she stepped into the grass, the same way she had so many years ago. The mist was drifting in and soon she wouldn’t be able to see a thing, not the grass, not Furrley or the nymbit, not even the beautiful ivea-violets she was holding. The nymbit squeaked.

“Now listen here, you. I told you I was gonna have to leave one day, so don’t you go making this sad on me,” she said to her friends. The wind blew her short hair into her eyes.

“You’re right, Vivian,” Furrley said. “Please, just be careful.”

“Careful? Oh Furrley, there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m going home. There’s no goblins or King Snickers or… or… or whispering fogs where I’m from!”

The nymbit squeaked.

“I beg your pardon?” An asked.

Furrley answered, “He means to say, as do I, thank you for defeating King Snickers. We are truly grateful.”

“Well, you’re welcome, no different than you would’ve done for me.”

The little girl smiled. The mist was really closing in now. She could almost hear the whispers telling her which way to go until she was so perfectly lost all over again. No, as An had learned, it could be a long time before there was another chance to leave. She reached down for the little patch of grass around her feet and began to pull at it.

The nymbit squeaked, rubbed his head against Furrley, then squeaked again.

An stopped.

“He says – ”

“No,” she said, nodding slowly. “I know that one.”

Without looking back at them, An reached down and pulled at the grass, pulling it higher and higher, all around her, until it was completely dark and swallowed her into the ground.

Soon she would pull the grass away and be back home, with her mother and father and especially Pepito, after being away for so long. She missed them very much, but for the time being, she stayed in the dark, waiting until the last of her tears was completely dried up.

(Based on the painting Flowers for Pepito by Kristian Adam, showing from Sep 18 to Oct 18 at the Ayden Gallery as part of the exhibition A Configuration of Posture, Pose and Purpose.)