it was one of those autumn days found in dreams but often never had: the aroma of brown sugar swirling with adrift leaves, torsos jacketless, legs shielded lightly by pantyhose; it’s too warm for tights. she welcomed the day with an overly confident smile, hair bouncing, skirt floating, a twirl came on, & as her downward gaze began to travel up, a gasp. the opaque fabric clinging to her thighs revealed a speck. with a flick of her middle finger she aimed, determined to defeat. but the “speck” was not a speck at all, not fuzz, nor a smidge of dirt, rather a beauty mark—not a freckle; freckles are for faces. & she thought how silly she was for wanting to flick away her beauty. & as that thought began to dissipate with a shake of her head, something landed lightly upon her bare arm. instead of giving a sudden jerk—as she most certainly would have done at any other given time—she warded off the protective urge & slowly cranked her head right, then down. there atop her dewy skin, a ladybug sat. beginning to crawl she knew she ought to wish for something soon…but instead of waiting for the moment to pass, she enjoyed the seconds she had in it. besides, she already felt lucky knowing that not only could her beauty not be flicked off, it also could not grow wings and fly away.