Once upon a time a long, long time ago, there was a little girl whose name was Serena.
Serena had dark, short hair and bright eyes and big red lips. Serena never wore dresses—she actually hated them—and loved to play with the boys. Serena even wished she herself could be a boy one day, even trying to pee standing up like the boys.
Whenever she was allowed, Serena would walk, run, or ride her bike to the playground closest to her home. There were swings and slides and monkey bars and a teeter totter. There was even this merry go round type of ride the kids would jump on and hold onto while another one or two kids ran pushing it faster and faster round and round in a circle. But Serena’s favorite piece of playground equipment at this playground was what she liked to call The UFO.
The UFO erected from the ground about halfway in the playground—just past the teeter totter and before the row of swings. There was a thick metal tube ladder Serena would climb and that would bring her right into The UFO, which was this metal round contraption with windows overlooking the entire playground.
If she was the only person inside, she’d hide quietly and watch. Sometimes other kids would join her and that was okay too, but mostly Serena liked to be alone in The UFO.
She liked watching everyone come and go into the playground—especially if they didn’t know she was in The UFO. She liked watching how people interacted—especially when they thought nobody was watching. She liked lying inside The UFO, feeling the cool metal against her legs and arms, trying to read the graffiti scribbled all around her. She liked closing her eyes and listening to the echo from the rest of the world outside The UFO shoot up from the ground below.
Serena felt special when she was in The UFO alone, like she was the one in charge. The UFO was her safe haven.
When she fought with friends or family, she’d run to The UFO for comfort. No matter what was going on, The UFO was there for her always. Right in the middle of the playground, amidst the newer play equipment and screaming, laughing children stood this old, rusting “UFO”. But to Serena it was like a warm, tight hug and she enjoyed visiting anytime she could.
Although Serena has moved more than a dozen times and has entered more than a couple decades since those days, she will never forget about The UFO.
Inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge. This happens to be a story I tell my 3-year-old daughter sometimes when she begs for another story before drifting off to sleep.