GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) is romantic drama adapted from the novel set in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
12/07/09 | Film

Gone with the Wind

by David Peak

I am back in my hometown for the first time in years. Nothing has changed. It is night and the sky is purple.

The trees dangle blue leaves over the sidewalks. The streets are clean, empty. White houses spill glowing orange lights from their windows. The houses here sigh like lungs. The squirrels chatter and dart across the blue lawns. I am reminded of the shadows of fish, flashing beneath the rippled surface of a pond.

A feeling of tightness closes around my waist, as if I were wearing my belt two notches too small.

I look up to the sky. A line of gray clouds slides over the surface of the marble moon. White light.

A green cord encircles me like a hula-hoop, shrinks to my waist, tight. It glows like toxic waist — vibrant, filled with light, disappears into the concrete. The cord is tied to the core of the earth.

I take a step forward. The cord moves with me, remains taut. I take a step back. The same.

Wind moves across my face. I open my mouth and take the wind into my lungs. The trees above me rustle their leaves. My lungs inflate with the warm air. I take in more air. My lungs push out against my ribs. My sternum snaps, the sound of a tree cracking, falling, a watermelon splatting. My lungs are the size of watermelons. They are larger than watermelons.

My feet slide off the ground. I am floating. My toes scuff the sidewalk. The wind is still blowing. I am still taking in air. I can feel my skin growing tight over my muscles. My chest pushes out. My shirt tears open, exposing my bare stomach and chest. I am pregnant.

The cord pulls firm and holds me in place — levitating an inch off the ground — and illuminates the leaves above me. I can see the veins of the leaves. The ground glows green. The squirrels are in hiding. They are inside the trees. They are scared of the light.

I grab hold of the cord. It is cold in my hand, the size of a garden hose.

The wind cuts and I shut my mouth. I hold the air in my lungs. I can hold this air forever.

I pull on the cord. I pull even harder the next time. I am stronger than I know. The core of the earth gives a few inches. I can hear the grinding of rocks deep in the center of the earth, like a sleeping giant, grinding his teeth, curled up sleeping in the roots of a tree. I rise in the air. I pull again. The core shifts once more. The grinding noise is louder. The earth is shaking. The cord is flexing in my hand, like a muscle, like a heartbeat. My arm grows large, pulsating blood.

I give one last pull and the earth cries. The cord snaps. Gold-colored liquid pours out from the cord, splashes against the ground. Like watering a lawn.

The squirrels are everywhere. They dart back and forth from one yard to the next, one lawn to another. They are swept away by the gold liquid, covered. They appear as shadows. They are like fish now, flashing.

The last of the liquid drips from my hose and I fall upward into the sky. The purple warm sky rushes toward me. Wind pushes against my face, holds my arms out at my sides. As I fall, I release my breath. I’m sent twirling.

I worry about the family I am leaving behind. I have not lived at home for many years. I have not seen my family in years. Their faces hang before my eyes like the moon. Their faces are like marble, chiseled and stuck in place.

The purple sky envelopes me and I sink into it like a waterbed, sending out ripples that will continue on to the end of space. The sky is warm and the air is heavy. I look down and can make out the roofs of the houses in my hometown, like little gray shoeboxes.

I look for my parent’s house but I cannot find it. It is nowhere to be found. I wonder if they can see me up here, among the stars. I wonder if they ever look up, into the sky, and hope to see my face.

All atoms are dismantled. There is nothing.