by Emily Sparkles

Leaving another seemingly pointless day at the office. 4:55pm. Winding through the office parking lot; turning right onto SE Convenience Blvd; inevitably pulling up to a red stoplight at the Orlabor intersection.

My windshield is dirty. Speckled with thrown-up slush from the roadways. A general dusty sheen inhibiting my view. My left hand automatically presses in on the turn signal wand, sending a smattering of blue fluid across the windshield. Some stubborn ice is blocking the left-side fluid spout. Press the wand in again to try and do a better job cleaning.

The light is still red.

One streak, directly in my line of sight, is eternally missed by the wiper. As usual, it is the one part of my windshield that is still wet.

One streak that my mind has long-since adjusted to seeing past.
One streak that wouldn't be ignored this afternoon.

My eyes are focused straight ahead; will the light forever be red?

What's this?

Before my very eyes, in the very center of the streak, the liquid fluid forms an icy flower. A perfect poinsettia, the size of a quarter.
In less than a breath, from either side of the bloom, shoot out arms of leaves; perfect intertwined feathery vines appear and grow where before was only wiper fluid.

I watch them grow; spellbound. The best CG in a modern movie often tries to capture the wonder of something beautiful being created; coming alive!
But here was I witnessing it. Like a rainbow, this organic, frosty artwork spreads across my windshield.
The green arrow appears, I accelerate, but still cannot look beyond the masterpiece in my line of vision.

By the time I reach the next stoplight, the late-afternoon sun briefly illuminates the wondrous creation and then it fades away.