A butterfly flapped its wings in Brazil, and a hurricane began its journey towards Louisiana. Somewhere along the line the hurricane earned its name, Edith in this case. She was the fifth named hurricane of the year, a tremendous monster. This monster blew the boat named, “Her Other Car” off course. The two people inside, certain that they were going to die in the storm, vowed to die in each other’s arms.
Instead, nine months later, Edith was born. Her mamma said Edith could cause or calm a storm just by walking into a room.
When Edith got older, she learned to keep her observations to herself. It started when the cat got loose; she’d told Mrs. Brightly that her dog shouldn’t be let out of its yard.Mrs. Brightly didn’t listen. It turned out that Muffin wasn’t aware of the weak board in the fence, but Tuggers was. He forced his way free of the confines of his yard. The big lab chased Muffin around the house and across to the Dalbert’s yard. Mr. Dalbert wasn’t home yet, but that was okay. Mrs. Dalbert was entertaining Mr. Brightly at the time. When Muffin ran through the slightly opened window of the bedroom where Mrs. Dalbert was entertaining,Tuggers had enough momentum from chasing the cat to become a canine projectile. The window had no chance against a full bore doggy intrusion. Tuggers poured light on the dark shadows of a neighborhood affair.
Mrs. Brightly demanded a divorce and moved to Shreveport, taking Tuggers with her. Mr. Dalbert sold the house to move to Florida and be closer to his mother. Edith’s mom never told her what happened to Mrs. Dalbert or Mr. Brightly. She suspected that Edith knew more than she let on.
What Edith’s mother didn’t suspect, however, is how much Edith knew. She knew the color of the wings of the butterfly who flapped her into existence. She knew when the last bee would die. She knew about the affair that Mrs. D and Mr. B were having. She’d been the one to let the cat out of the bag, that day.
Edith knew that there were big things in her future. A child of a storm did not simply slide out of the world’s eye. That’s why she wasn’t scared the day the men in black suits came to talk to her mamma. She knew they were coming, and hid away her backpack full of food and water and a change of clothes. She felt a twinge as she whispered a goodbye to her mamma, and struck out on her own. Truth was, Edith might have even gone with the men, but she knew what would come of it if she did go. There was only one future she could choose out of the ones she had seen. The others ended in pain and death and sadness. The future she chose held those things, as well, but it also held something the others didn’t.