These ties that bind
Are wound too tight.
These ties that bind
Are wound too tight.
It is a strange thing indeed, running in pitch black. Constantly thinking you’ll double back somehow and bump into the thing you’re running from. Of course, who runs without something to run from?
It is even worse still to have someone switch on a light only to find that you haven’t moved at all. Your shirt got stuck on a loose nail which, unbeknownst to you, had been holding you in place all this time. All that effort you exerted for nothing, all that fear you felt still lingering, all that joy from leaving fear’s source gone.
You look around blearily, blindly. Why hasn’t the scenery changed? You wonder, though you subconsciously know why. You just don’t want to admit it. You stop the motions of running and cautiously look behind you. And there it is – still there. Still right behind you. Monstrous. It fills you with fear because it still gains a particular response in your brain – a motherly instinct, a need to protect – which incapacitates you. You cannot resist picking it up and cradling it in your arms even though you know it is wrong, unearthly, sordid. Dirty. You hold it at arm’s length, but still it manages to pull closer. It looks you dead in the eyes, smiles, then bites your nose. You try to drop it – half to tend to your nose and half to simply get it away from you – but it’s too late. It’s attached itself to you. Nipping and knawing on your flesh until you’re a pile of bones; until you have nothing left. And really, a part of you still wants to help the poor creature licking its lips as it perches on your skull. For if not you, then who? And if not it, who for you? You’ve never met another soul in this strange world.
But then you realise someone else must be here. Someone else turned the light on as you tried to make a run for it. There’s still life out there yet.
You just have to meet it.
It is difficult writing this and even knowing what to write. I’m sorting things out, stuck in a limbo at the moment, so I apologise if there’s been radio silence from me recently. For those who are actually in my life too, I’m sorry if I’ve been distant or silent. Just been trying to work things out for myself. Trying to repair the mistakes I’ve made, trying to get my feelings in order. Grieving. I feel like an ugly person right now, full of anger and hurt. 인간쓰레기처럼. Like human trash.
I promise I’ll be in touch soon. Just got to find that light switch… and the exit. 🙂
I was born in Little Emming the same year Christopher Tin taught the world how to steal other people’s magical abilities. That was a crazy year, though I slept, ate and shat my way through most of it. As you can imagine, it was a traumatic time for my parents; I should have been flying objects around my cot by then or turning my milk from plain to banana flavoured. They spent all year certain that someone had stolen my own powers, though what someone would want with a baby’s feeble magic is anyone’s guess.
The years passed and they slowly came to terms with the fact that I was Different. Even when they wrapped my spellsphere with their own powers, I couldn’t get it to work. So eventually they gave up.
I’ve heard in Asin that they treat people with green eyes differently depending on proximity. Everyone wants to be friends with a green eyed person, sure, but they don’t want to be related to one. Well it was the same with me. I had more friends than my personality warranted, but my parents distanced themselves from me or begged me to see a demon whisperer who would rid me of my evil.
And I did what they said, but to no avail. Still, not everyone can say they’ve talked in tongues to the Lord Cleric Overseer himself. I pride myself on that, at least.
So while all my peers were racing board wipers around with their mind, I had to hold mine and run with it (the wiper, not my mind… though I did do that too). Suffice to say I never won a race, though I excelled in morning exercises.
And when careers advice came around, all three advisers I saw were rendered speechless. They all gave me the same look over their glasses – startled and a little afraid, I think. In the end, I was given a written document which said there was no job I could fill in Emming and that I should try Asin with the other non-magical folk. Suffice to say I was pissed, so I decided to do my own research. I decided I would read all the Little Emming books I could to try and find my place in the world.
But I got through half a tome and fell asleep, my drool dampening the pages so much that they wrinkled and Mrs Kripp kicked me out of the research library. All I had access to was the fiction section – all Asin imports of course; no one in Little Emming has time for a novel when they could put on a play with magic in ten seconds flat.
So I read them instead – the only Emminger in a sea of magical Asinians (my opposites, I guess) looking for a piece of home in the weird and wonderful place they lived. It took me a while to learn Asic, but I met some good non-magical folk along the way and eventually managed to read even the hardest of novels – Battle and Calm.
Don’t think, just do. High five the company’s number one sales person even though you haven’t sold anything in over a month. Give him that confident, killer smile you used to use on clients. Feel it fade as you walk towards the lift, wondering which of your stuff to sell next. Because that’s all it is: stuff, though you secretly cherish it. After all, it makes you you. You decide it’s your second car’s turn to get the boot (the boot? It barely had one anyway, it being a Jaguar F-type). Your wife will complain derisively (“how are we going to travel to Prairie House? By train?”), but at the end of the day she’ll realise a) it’s your decision, and b) it’ll be her money to spend, no doubt on a new pair of shoes or a dress (£60,000 can only stretch so far).
The street is yours as you walk down it; the crowd parts for you. You notice this, though you do not make any indication that you notice. And it is just as well they part for you for just then, a baseball bat comes flying through the air, spinning from God knows where, and you have no chance to stop it. You who have controlled everything – even your birth, in which you arrived three months’ late, refusing to budge from your mother’s warm womb. You are the only casualty, and you are an unlucky one at that: the bat hits you full on, not just one of its ends, and you find yourself on the pavement without quite recalling how you got there. You can hear a feral scream coming from somewhere close by and you realise just before you pass out that it is you and that something has changed deep inside you.
Next thing you know, you’re coming to and you can still hear screams, as though no time has passed and you’re still lying on the pavement, gum sticking to your tailored jacket. Except it’s Marcy, your wife – ever the theatrical – head bowed and sobbing away, not even realising you are awake. You shush her and she starts. You look closely at her as she raises her head and you realise she isn’t crying at all. You see she just looks shocked you’re awake. Before she can open her mouth, you speak – the first words you’ve said to her (besides “yes”, “no”, “honey” and “I’m busy”) in years. You say “I want a divorce,” or at least you try to say it but your throat is raspy and instead you just croak. So Marcy, oblivious, flutters around you, bringing you a glass of water with a straw in it, making little sympathetic noises. You take a drink and you can feel the water sooth your throat, giving you strength.
“I want a divorce” you say again and this time she hears you and her concerned eyes narrow. She throws the glass of water in your face. The straw hits your eyelid, which scars you far more than the bat did. Without a word, she leaves you – walks outside, leaving the water to drip down your neck and into your shirt. And in the weeks to come, you will find out she told everyone she left you, not that you left her. But you don’t mind, because at least you are free – Jaguar F-type and all.
The married couple was inspired by The Bonfire and the Vanities, which I read a few months back.
I had a dream that I was shielding you from these massive, dread-inducing waves. It was funny because
you were always the one protecting me.