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Fictional Power

Fictional Power: here is something different to delight the imagination today.

This story was written by my talented and gorgeous sister, who wants you to know that she wrote it over a year ago for an assignment and ‘it really isn’t that good’. I happen to disagree and believe you will enjoy it as much as I did. So please leave your comments and feedback for us.

Coming up: I have a few ideas for the next few posts, including finally sitting down and actually writing a full-blown post like I have in the past. In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this story.

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They put me in Isolation for my actions. A living hell where  only a basic survival  is granted: food, water, sleep. I can watch TV, exercise or read if I choose; all solitary activities. I survive. With no-one to talk to and only an oppressive silence threatening to stifle me. Muffled noises reverberate through the walls. Nothing discernable, however. I am overwhelmed by a sense of restlessness and purposelessness, a conflict between conviction in my actions and yearning to go back in time and undo them absolutely. The harshness of this punishment forces me to remember better times. One particular memory lingers like a pleasant taste in my mouth. Closing my eyes I am alive again.

A cool, gentle breeze flows through the greenery, gaining momentum, buffeting branches and finally speeds away from the trees and collides with our faces, joining the sound of our laughter.

A rusty bucket hangs off one side of the porch, a box full of assorted tools, a piece of cloth hanging from the ceiling and other objects marking our presence here. They scream out Home! to us, creating a sense of security folding around like a warm blanket, protecting us from the wind and excluding all others.

We come out here every evening when the day’s work is done, and the sun’s warmth is just beginning to fade. I couldn’t imagine a day without this unquestionably necessary gathering of ours. 

These memories are always to be recalled with fondness, for I was one of them. I had no choice. Until old enough to question, to challenge and realise the enormity of the sacrifice I had unconsciously started to make. Something that had the potential to engulf my entire future, snatch away my half-formed dreams and aspirations and throw them out into the seething wind to be blown away forever.

Teenage rebellion, they called it. A phase that would soon pass. Petty. It took a letter to make them understand, enclosed in an envelope thick and laden with potential. A letter bringing tears of happiness to my face, but which saw me assaulted by looks of anger, disappointment and contempt. A letter of acceptance.

They put me in Isolation for my actions. For refusing to carry on the family business. For rejecting to do what generations before had done simply because that’s the way a Family works. Four white walls surround me in this Isolation. No calls from them, no mail, and no contact. Nothing penetrates these barriers of disappointment. I wanted to ‘distance the determination of my true identity from our family’s history and the expectations that come with it’. They replied contemptuously that sending me to school was a bad idea. Yes, I told them I was doing this for me. To find out who I really was. But these white walls, they contain no reflective surfaces. In Isolation I cannot see myself.

Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of others inside Isolation. When passing a busker on the street, a ragged-looking man whom people avoid making eye-contact, I recognise a fellow inmate. He is singing, calling out, but the silence stifles his sound. For these white walls work two ways. Nothing, no noise, can get in or out.

Today in Isolation someone kept me company. I was at a popular café frequented by swarms of attractive, office-attired coffee-junkies, and there she was, a rather obese woman hiding in the corner. A group of young women and men sitting nearby had obviously honed in on her as an ideal target. I could not hear what they were saying, but it was evident from her hurt expression that she could. One of the group, a thin girl plastered with make-up and indistinguishable from the others, snickered something to the group. The instant the words escaped her mouth I knew from the woman’s reflexive shrink that their mark had been hit. Sensing triumph, the predators hungrily examined her downturned face and something snapped. A transformation as fierce and startling as the roar of a lion had taken place. Her face took on an almost vicious determination. With body language oozing composure, she smoothly got up from her table, confidently striding to the door and walking out, the wind from outside rushing in and catching her up inside a whirlwind, revealing a beautiful, formidable being. As the stunned group watched their prey escape, the door shut, and among the whistling of the wind I heard the clang of metal doors being opened.

Unknown to her was the fact that this whole episode -happening in a matter of seconds- was being observed by me.

Suddenly I was ashamed of my self-pity, of the walls I had myself constructed with bricks of self-doubt and uncertainty, cemented together by the pain and self-blame of the estrangement from my family. Unknown to her was the key she had given me, blown straight from her smiling eyes and serene face to me, by the blustering wind, the free wind.

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This article appeared in Mx last week (the free metropolitan newspaper) – before you berate me for reading that ‘newspaper’ let me say, I know I know, you wouldn’t categorise this publication as hard-hitting journalism. In fact, it can be quite trashy and ridiculous at times. But it’s free, and stupid. I need a dose of stupid sometimes.

Onto the article itself! What do you think?

The thing that struck me most was this line: “It’s no wonder girls keep playing games – we’re not supposed to call, we’re not supposed to chase, we’re not supposed to come on too strong.”

There will be some with stories of how they met their man by being straightforward and forthright, but I would have to say my thoughts are attuned with that line. Or at least, that’s how it feels. Not only do many girls spend time analysing text messages, conversations etc., but they also analyse how ‘eager’ they come across, if it’s too much. Maybe it should be toned down. What if he thinks I don’t like him then? If he liked me wouldn’t he try anyway? Maybe I’m reading it all wrong. I just want to know!!!

Have you ever played any tricks to get the attention of someone?

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