by Camryn Lehr

I don’t remember the city where I was born. I was taken to this world of green before I could talk. At bedtime, I used to snuggle into my soft lime-printed blanket, and ask Grandfather to tell me of the city. He always sat in my blue desk chair, which made him look unusually large, and read from a worn, stained piece of paper. I’ve always wanted to read it, but the cursive, sloped handwriting was too fuzzy for my brain, so I allowed Grandfather’s deep, raspy voice to illuminate the past. 

“Once upon a time before the world cracked in half and mistrust started to grow on trees, there were buildings as tall as four giraffes combined, constant entertainment, and fast-walking people. This world was controlled by green scraps of paper . . .”

When he ended his story, I always used to ask about my parents and he always replied with the same words.

“They’re in the blue sky, living happily.”

I never used to understand what he meant, but his face would sag so low that I never asked for further explanation. I understand what he meant now thanks to the guidance of Gorg. I discovered Gorg in the library. I spend most nights there, slunk low in a beanbag, escaping to the foreign lands described in paper and ink. Our library consists of two wooden planks nailed into the wall and forty-three messily stacked books—Grandfather was only able to grab so many. Last night, I discovered a book at the bottom of the pile, hidden from me. It was called Adventures of the Happy Alien Gorg. I had never seen this book before. It was a picture book, which was odd—Grandfather hated picture books. “Go look outside if you wanna see something,” he always said. The first page had an illustration of a red and white painted shuttle with a circular window displaying Gorg. Gorg had three eyes and was the color the leaves outside my house get after a rainfall: a dark, dewey, earth color. Gorg’s spaceship flew in the pastel blue sky of Earth. Gorg whizzed through the blue air happily and I knew this is what Grandfather meant. My parents were Gorg. 

I woke up today sunkissed and smiley, ready to see blue instead of green. Grandfather and I live deep within a forest. We only have one rule and it’s mainly directly towards me: I always have to be within view of the cottage. Since that gives me about forty feet of ground to explore, I’ve become familiar with this particular part of the woods. I know the exact place every pine needle settles down to go to sleep. I see the same spiders and ticks struggle to crawl up the rough patterns of bark. But today isn’t about the forest, it’s about the sky. Looking above, I wait to see Gorg or my parents fly by on their fun-loving spaceship, but all I see is a fly buzzing near my eyelids. I just need to find the right angle. I start to walk with my head in the clouds. Suddenly, my foot catches on something hard and solid and I fall. My head finds a pillow in the dirt. 

You can read the rest of this story by purchasing our print issue or our online flipbook (coming soon)!

Author Bio

Camryn Lehr is a Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College. She has been published in Concrete Literary Magazine in the past, and enjoys reading, taking
walks around Boston, and hanging out with friends.