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     If you only had a week to live, what would you do before you died?
     For most people, that question is theoretical.
     Not for me.
     One morning I woke up and realized, "I have seven days to live. Starting now."
     So I started living.
     I threw on my ripped black skinny jeans that I'd never dared to wear before, and my worn-out boots and my favorite t-shirt, the one with the wings on the back. Then I packed my suitcase and hopped on a plane to God knows where.
     I had my lips, ears, nose, and eyebrows pierced. I had words of ink preserved under my skin, gritting my teeth through every single plunge of the needle.
     It was worth it.
     I kissed a stranger on the stroke of midnight, signaling the first day melting away into the next. I danced in the rain and I fell in love with an angel. I went cliff-diving. I gambled a night away in a seedy little casino, then donated my winnings to charity. I started a fire in my heart and burned every last memory away.
     I stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower, looking out over the city lights. I skied down the slopes of Switzerland and I climbed up to see Big Ben. I hiked through the Appalachian Mountains and spent a night up a tree with an owl. Then I jumped off the Empire State Building, only to be carried away on an eagle's back, to a place where dragons held up the skies and the wind whispered words like precious secrets. Where dreams became reality, and reality became imagination.

     On the seventh night I took part in a Faerie Dance. Their queen bestowed upon my flushed cheeks a kiss like the brush of petals, as I sipped from a glass of nectar wine. She said she liked the rings in my lips. I made friends with the other dancers, as well as one little changeling I met in the depths of the woods.
     "A falling star," he pointed out in a whisper to me, his glowing green eyes reflecting the fireflies in the everlasting sky. "Quick, shut your eyes and make a wish."
     "I wish for forever,"  I told him quietly, yet unhesitantly.
      He brushed long fingers softly over my closed eyelids, capturing a crystalline tear hanging from the ends of my lashes. "Then you will have it," he promised.

     In my dreams that night, I saved a princess from her impending death by dragon. She seemed very surprised at seeing me instead of her handsome prince. After dropping her off at her one true love's castle, I flew the dragon, who I'd decided to name Azure, back to the human world, where tall structures of steel, though impressive, blocked the glow of the lonely lights strung across the not-so-eternal skies.

     Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
     "I'm sorry ma'am, sir. But it really is for the best. There hasn't been any sign of brain activity for more than three months."

     When I woke, it was to the familiar, yet sickening sound of the heart monitor beeping, and my parents' soft sobbing. I longed to open my eyes and tell them not to cry, for they were doing me a favor. Lying here like this, where I was alive but not living, was agony. I would never properly wake up anyways; it truly was, as the doctors had said, for the best.  
     "Would you like to say goodbye one last time, before we turn off the machines?" I heard a  distant voice ask.
     A blur of sound, then my mother's lilting voice, choked with tears. "Goodbye, my sweet. I love you."
     "As do I," my father said in his low, usually calming, but now unsteady voice. "Rest well, my child. You will never be forgotten."
     The same distant voice from before murmured something else, as fingertips, callused and large and so unlike those of the changeling, touched my cheek, and the steady beeping was suddenly cut off, before all of my sensations gradually melted into nothingness-
     And then the roughness of humanity slowly, quietly, faded away.

     My eyes opened to the reassuring sight of cotton candy clouds and clear blue heavens that went on forever. I smiled when I saw Azure, my beloved dragon, waiting for me beside the changeling with the brilliant emerald eyes. He wore a secret little smile as he helped me mount Azure and told me, as he did so, "I promised, didn't I?"
     I grinned back. "You did," I agreed. "Thank you."
     He nodded, still smiling, and with a wave and a bow, vanished in to the crisp, cool air that tasted of freedom.
     "Come Azure," I said after a long moment, stroking her smooth scales. "Let us fly away."
     And we did.
Add a Comment:
teardownthefence Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
What a lovely piece, I teared up.
Ink-Stained-Kisses Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, thank you so much!
teardownthefence Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
you're welcome :)
Sigma-Echo-Seven Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Student Writer
Poignant, but also contains strong sympathetic elements of not-giving-a-fuck. I love it!
Ink-Stained-Kisses Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! :D
Though, I have to ask, which parts had the 'not-giving a fuck' feeling?
Sigma-Echo-Seven Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Student Writer
The reckless abandon with which the protagonist lives out her final days. So basically the first two paragraphs. Not saying the rest wasn't just as good, but that's the part that held the most impact for me!
Ink-Stained-Kisses Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, okay, thank you so much for the feedback!
Shinitora12 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my goodness so sad...
calling363 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, this totally didn't go where I thought it would. But it was amazing
Ink-Stained-Kisses Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Haha, yeah, this one actually wrote itself backwards, truth be told :XD:
Acompletedpuzzle Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
wow, i realy don't know whether to be smiling or crying right now. this is amazing
Ink-Stained-Kisses Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, thank you so much!
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