All week she had been following these trails that had been made out of sidewalk chalk. They were cute, basic things with arrows and sunshines and smiles pointing the way to special but unimportant things like abandoned treehouses or rabbit holes or acorn trees. Yeah, acorn trees, even though we were stationed on the beach. It had the same feel as the Oregon coast but a bit wilder, and I knew we had to be somewhere else because the two kids I was with didn't speak English.
I couldn't really explain how I got there. Was I a nanny? An exchange student? But that's how dreams are. I think in my head I thought it was France, just because every foreign film seems to be French.
Part of me was convinced she was leaving the trails for herself and then going back the next day to follow them and be surprised. The half used bucket of chalk in the shed seemed to indicate so.
It was the most elaborate thing I had ever seen. The moisture in the air had made the chalk colors deep and vibrant. It went over rocks and other obstacles but still formed a complete picture. A collage of geometric shapes and words that were phrases poorly translated into English like Chinese or Korean stationary and t-shirts. The handwriting was perfect, like those girls in middle school who spend all their time writing notes to their friends and write exactly like the Tahoma font. It was the most playful graffiti to grace the earth's surface.
So of course I immediately had a bad feeling about it. "Don't follow that..." I warned as she crawled over rocks and ferns. Yes, I think there were ferns.
I know how foreign films end. In tragedy. This had to be a trap made by a ghost or a butcher waiting to hack her to bit, or a man ready to sell her into slavery or maybe that thing from Pan's Labrynth. Mostly the ghost came to mind, The Orphanage flashed through my thoughts. It's going to take her straight into the ocean. But she did not listen, whether it was the language barrier or the stubbornness of a four-year-old. She wouldn't listen and I had no choice but to follow and worry about all the possible outcomes (just like watching a movie).
We slid down the bank and came to a shore. It was about twenty feet of sand between too cliffs and a football field away from the shore where waves crashed violently. Sneaker waves! This is going to be the end of us! I didn't even bother to speak the words out loud. But they didn't sneak, just crashed brilliantly and beautifully a safe distance away from us.
We grabbed each others hands in a Winnie the Pooh and Piglet-esqe way and stood there soaking up the beauty of nature.
Must've been directed by an American.