I don't usually write original fiction, but in fandom, I don't usually get to write what I know, because there's all this stuff inside me that isn't applicable to Rodney or House or Martha or Lois. I can't use their voices to say these things.
But I can SHAMELESSLY incorporate the weather. I can always do that really, but for this story, most of all.
When summer ends, she starts school again, and the mornings smell like cool rain instead of thick heat.
At school, she studies her multiplication tables (seven times five is thirty-five; three times eight is twenty-four) and learns the phases of the moon (waxing crescent; third quarter). She reads books where all the funny little squiggles make sense. She likes the ones about stories best. Stories about the great king of England who pulled a sword from the stone, who had come once and would come again; stories about the Greek pantheon, their petty spats and squabbles; stories of Odin, the one-eyed, and Thor, with his hammer.
At her other school (the one that only meets on Sundays and where all the other kids look like her), they try to teach her to read other funny squiggles, and they make her sound them out with her mouth -- bo, po, mo, fo -- until they sound like words that are different from the other words she knows. One special Sunday, though, class ends early. The adults say that they're celebrating 中秋節, and they tell stories, about the 月餅 they eat, about the yellow full moon they celebrate. She listens to them, because she likes stories. She sits on the floor and folds her legs up against her chest, wrapping her arms around them.
They tell her stories she has never read in any of the books she's read in the school where all the funny little squiggles make sense. Stories about the great archer who shot down nine suns from the sky and left the tenth up to warm the Earth, about the woman who stole the gift the gods had given him. When the woman ate that gift, they tell her, she floated up to the moon, and she still lives there today because the gift was an elixer of immortality. They tell her about the rabbit on the moon as well, who makes medicine, who keeps the woman company, because living forever on the moon sounds very lonely. They tell her about the man who lives there, too, doomed to chop a tree that will never fall.
She rests her arms on her knees and her chin on her arms, and she listens and listens and listens.
Stories live. As long as there is someone who can tell them, they live. At school, she never reads books about the woman, the rabbit, the man, even though she does read more books about Zeus, about Arthur, about Thor. But she doesn't forget. When school starts and the mornings begin to smell of cool rain, she will look up at night to see the yellow moon overhead and think of the woman who must still live there, of the rabbit mixing its medicine, of the man chopping his tree.
(Because the stories don't live in books, in funny little squiggles. They live inside her.)