“Hole in the Middle”

Today I read:

Perhaps predictably, the cloud became enamored of a girl who came to visit it occasionally. The cloud adored her. She was both sillier and more serious than the other visitors. Instead of poking, she petted, curving her palm into gentle bowls. Rather than grab the cloud up, she turned her face from side to side, enjoying it against her cheek. The cloud changed itself into shapes to entertain and amuse her. When the weather grew colder and the cloud was stretched out, worn and wispy, it gamely shaped itself into a chicken that laid an egg that broke into a castle with glass walls and locked doors; a hippo that carried on its back an entire town; an oyster that ate a submarine; all her most favorite shapes.

— L. Chapman, “Cumulus,” in Lightning Cake

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