The Girl and the Red Dress

Alone, she waited for her father to arrive
His poem is what always made her feel alive.
Moments of cherish centered around the time
When he returned, to read her favorite rhyme.

The winds grew louder, howling through the trees
To which, her cower moved her under sheets.
The storm crescendo’d turning rather violent
But still, she sat, leaving her just silent.

Not a moment too soon, a knocking at her door
The fear, once had, won’t bother anymore.
“Sweet Emilia,” he spoke, “I fear I took too long.”
“Of course not, father. I just waited for your song.”

Like an anniversary or a form of jubilee
Her eyes lit while smiling full of glee.
It was their custom for him to address
Her favorite story of The Girl and The Red Dress.

The winds went silent, and the trees grew still
Like they too awaited their fill
He took a seat, next to her bed
Caressed her hair, and that’s when he said,

“Long ago, was a bright young girl,
With a heart so pure, as beautiful as a pearl.
For all she touched radiated with benevolence,
While the world surround, toxic, like pestilence.

“As much as she loved to be a beacon of hope
Many nights, she grew flustered and sulked.
For she was the only hope for this land,
Her pain was solely one could understand.

“‘Mother,’ she asked, ‘why was I given this curse?
Must I carry these burdens alone, even the worst?
The weight of the world falls purely on me,
From this, at times, not all, I wish to be free.’

“Her mother knew her plight, for once it was her own,
A mantle known to be worn alone.
This hope can only be given to one.
Until a new is conceived, or till she’s undone.”

This was Emilia’s least favorite part,
As it ached and pulled against her heart.
The girl loved to help and bring smiles
But normalcy was wanted once and a while.
“The girl’s mother said as she knelt by her side,
‘Dear Aria, what you have that resides
Is not a curse, but a blessing to all
This is something that you must recall.

“‘All that they know is pain and contempt,
But, through you, my child, all that is exempt.
The torment of days fades with your touch
Without it, the agony would be too much.’

“‘Mother,’ Aria said, ‘my plea is no different,
There is no balance in this event.
To only know good is to never find peace,
Must I struggle with so much unease.’

“‘I beg and I call for moments of solitude,
Won’t you please bestow this with gratitude?’
Her mother thought long and in this she pondered
The best way to give what Aria had wondered.

“A smile grew as she listened to her daughter
Knowing that she too, once hit this falter.  
‘It’s not a life that is yours, for that I apologize,
So I’ll give you something you might recognize.’

“With this her mother went. In moments she returned,
With a dress in hand, almost auburn.
The dress that she wore when her mother younger,
‘With this, you too can feel the world’s hunger.

“‘I must warn you, for this dress is rich with magic
What you will see will be the world that is tragic.
Do not wear it for long, but do find a balance,
That way you’re not overcome with malice.’

“With that her mother retired from Aria’s room,
Leaving Aria’s mind to flourish and bloom.
‘The possibilities of this dress;
Will it be able to ease my unrest?’

“She looked at the dress, detailed to scrutinize,
To which she found, was the perfect size.
Thoughts circled and swirled on what to do first,
She was so eager that her patience had burst.

“The magic transformed with each different wearer,
Enchantments like this, none could be rarer.
The spell that was cast is meant to employ
The burdens of the world, its darkness and void.

“Without hesitation, she put on the dress,
A manifestation, like an ingrown abscess.
Overcome with pain, guilt and depression,
She lost all desire for form of ascension.

“Despite the pain, and desire to perish,
Aria knew there was something to cherish
She now learned how bad it could truly be,
Without the support of the Angel of Harmony.

“Though try as she might, the dress had taken control
Pitting her deeper inside a black hole.
Her mother came, breaking its bind,
Restoring once more a purified mind.

“‘Mother,’ she said, sobbing in tears,
‘a moment longer, I’d be consumed by my fears.’
‘The same happened my first time with the gown,
Worry not,’ she spoke, ‘no need for your frown.

“‘Your power is weak, but with lessons you’ll grow,
To control that light in which you bestow.
No dress, nor darkness will ever take command,
Through balance, you’ll always be able to withstand.’

“Aria beamed though it pained her so,
To see the life that all others know.
To this she promised that she would proceed
In balancing the brightened and darkened seed.

“As seasons passed, Aria grew wiser
With each lesson from her advisors.
A day would come when fear would diminish
Left to naught more than a past image.

“Now Aria, grown strong and free from concern,
A woman, courageous, and fit to govern.
She donned the red dress, time and time again,
Withstanding its poisons to all of its ends.

“There soon came a point where she wore the dress daily
Without any anguish, she was proud and quite gayly.
Through its dark magic she shined ever bright
Enough to illuminate the darkest of night.

“Worn with confidence, standing with resilience,
As each person came with their heavy decadence.
Eventually, Aria’s true strength became clear,
And her people had soon abandoned all fear.

“A power like none that came from before,
She mastered the magic from the dress that she wore.
The spell was broken, for now she could see,
That all could be the Angel of Harmony.

“Her people grew strong, finding balance within,
All through the streets, faces covered with grins.
This from a girl that wanted to mourn
Just to feel, as how others were born.

“Her mother, now old, aware of her age,
Knew, that now, was her last page.
Awake, she lay resting in bed
No moments delay, to Aria she said,

“‘You’ve accomplished more than any could ask,
What became of this world was purity in vast.
My time grows short,’ she said to her daughter,
‘I ask that you please grant me one offer.

“‘Hold me tight, and never let go,
And share with me please, all that you know.’
Aria agreed, still in her red dress,
No magic could emit this emotional distress.

“‘Inside of this dress, I did come to discern
The wrath and agony that always did burn
Inside of the hearts of the innocent and kind
I understood what came to poison their mind.

“‘Together as one, we bled and we laughed,
We shared all, no matter how daft.
Yet it was you, who taught me compassion,
To find a balance in every which fashion.

“‘If not for you, I would have lost hope,
And would have been with nothing to cope.
With you and all others, we shimmered and pearled.
Unity alone made this beautiful world.’

“A smile grew across her wrinkled old face,
Knowing that Aria had crafted this place.
No longer a land tattered by shadow,
But one that would flourish in years that will follow.

“‘You’ve done what no other could do,
You mastered your heart, for more than just you.
The sky shines bright with your blessing alone.
Flourish this seed that you have now sewn.’

“Her mother was fading; while holding her tight,
She whispered to Aria, one final plight.
‘Be strong for them all, and never do falter,
I love you forever, my beautiful daughter.’

“The tears ran warm down Aria’s face,
As she spoke her love, her thanks, and her grace.
‘I don’t want you to leave, but I know you must go,
I love you dear mother, for this you do know.

“‘I’ll always be strong, for truth I confide
That I know you’ll be by my side.’
Dissolved into aether, her body did perish,
Her memory’s forever, and that she will cherish.

“Thank you, dear father,” Emilia said soft,
 As she grew weaker, from each pressing cough.
Her time was cut short, for illness did rise,
The world will take her father’s blessed prize.

The d├ęcor of this room, a similar tone,
To all that she had when she lived at her home.
An assortment of bears, and large stacks of books,
That sat on the sill and even the nooks.

Her father had always ensured to try,
In giving no reason to break down and cry.
Even like Aria, she too had her one,
A red dress that she wore, though purely for fun.

She wore it each night he’d tell her the rhyme,
This night was no different, just like all time.
An exchanging of words of love that they shared,
This final moment where nothing compared.

The tears ran warm down her father’s face,
As he spoke his love, his thanks, and his grace.
“I don’t want you to leave, but I know you must go,
I love you dear daughter, for this you do know.”

“You must always be strong, for truth you confide,
That you know I will be by your side.
Be strong for us all, and you’ll never falter,
I love you forever, my wonderful father.”

Emilia was held, when the flatline did wail,
A smile on her face, and her father as well.
A final goodbye his tears did express,
The last time he’ll speak The Girl and the Red Dress.


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