None could believe it. The demons gathered together just as the angels had done, holding hands and wishing beautiful wishes, sharing smiles and whispers.
For when the child came and pounded on the gates with her fists and tears, and shouted so many beautiful words, they too couldn’t help but soften and let her pass.
And now it was all done: every gate opened, everything revealed, cleansed and lit up, in the heavens and in the darkness alike. All because of a child who only knew what she knew, which was not how difficult or impossible things were, only how she saw them, and she saw no boundaries or rules.
Something extraordinary would surely happen because of it all, not that it hadn’t already.
All were curious of course, wanting to know what the child’s fierce purpose was. But they realized nobody knew where she had gone. So, because they were all friends now, the angels and demons all went looking for her.
They found her on the steps of a big house and they quickly changed into fireflies, gold and silver, so as not to frighten her when they approached. She looked up briefly but said nothing.
An angel decided to assume his usual shape and speak.
“What happened little one?” he asked gently.
She showed him the half wilted flowers, roots and all, in her hand.
The angel blanched and started to tremble. Those were sacred flowers not even the gods dared to touch. “This is what you..” he stumbled, “…came to do?”
She stood and walked over, wrapping her little arms around him. “No, I came to take a few and plant them there” she told him and pointed into the distance.
The angel turned to look. There was a small, empty patch surrounded by a wooden fence. Confused, he turned to the child. “So why didn’t you plant them?” he asked.
“There I could not enter” she answered and sat back down on the steps.
The angel backed away and made a quick gesture. All the gold and silver fireflies gathered around him.
“We have to do something” he told them. They agreed.
And so, all the light and darkness gathered and pushed against the fence in the distance with a force that would have shattered mountains.
But the fence didn’t as much as sway. They tried again, and again. Nothing.
Exhausted, the angel walked back to the little girl. “I don’t understand” he confessed.
“It’s only because tenderness does not break through in the end” she said, “that is all”.
All the fireflies flickered in anger. The angel’s face darkened.
“But that is not how things are anymore!” he half shouted.
The little girl stood up.
“It must be” she shrugged, tossing the flowers on the ground.
And then she left.
PS. Eventually the angels and demons all went back to their places of light and of darkness, forever changed. As for the fence that nothing could remove? It remains to this day, carefully wrapped around a small empty patch where no flowers ever grow.