creative writing, life, personal, prose

You always like to be “Different”.

Shell-shocked, that statement incinerated my world – of skyscrapers, buildings, lights as bright as the sun echoing names of hero, heroines, stars and valiant men, and with streets paved in gold with not a piece of debris in sight. Where once there were yellow perky flowers and crimson rose petals lining the polished marble paths are now shards of blackened glass and singed plastics of a dirty green. In the places where my dreams- like pre-school children- danced on tunes of their own accord is a cold, bitter and merciless wind. The towers that caressed the sky were replaced by mounds of brick and metal weaved together to form a monstrous contortion with jaggered arms.

Within the desolate streets lined with growing dark and dreary nightmares, I searched for answers.

“Was I always trying to be different?”

“Was my entire life – my existence- a façade?”

Turning to my dreams, I found that I was greeted by a cold memory of what once was. My nightmares only mocked and scorned my melancholic state for were only concerned about their own existence. The more I festered and fretted, jerking from one side of the street to the other- walking up and down- the bigger my nightmares seemed to grow.

The seasons, oblivious to the current conundrum, went on with its busy schedule of waking up the sun on time for the day ahead and putting the moon to sleep after a good night’s work.

It was during one of the rants of the nightmares that I realized what I should have uttered in response to that statement.

You see I don’t always like to be Different. I can’t help being different. I was made different and so was everyone else. The striking difference is that everyone else is desperately trying to fit into one person’s mold of “normal”.

Ungluing my face from the ground, I faced the nightmare that was now no more bone protruding through the skin awkwardly but rather a fully fledged healthy beast glowing with unphathamable darkness.

For it took years to nurture, nourish and nurse this beast, it would surely take just as long to reverse to process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Throw or Be Thrown : How To Throw Rubbish into a Bin

Rubbish come in all sizes and shapes as do their former owners. It can be quite daunting for a big high school child to throw paper into the bin, especially given the circumstance that the teacher is in full swing of delivering the message home.  The scenario plays along the lines of “ the teacher gives student material to paste into their book, the student accomplishes the task with fervent energy and then teacher forgets to allow for a class adjournment to throw the waste into the waste paper basket … Most students manage fairly well to hold in the mounting pressure to toss the paper into the bin while the teacher is talking. The pressure mounts to a climax until all the students are on the edge of their chairs, knuckles white from gripping the table in order to restrain themselves and eyes glistening not form the teacher’s powerful message but from the agonizing paces of the clock behind the teacher.

To avoid the torture brought about by the teacher’s mere slip of the mind can be quite simple, especially for a big fellow. Firstly, one needs to identify the victim that needs to be liberated from your desk and into the bin where they belong. Once the paper is identified, the most important, crucial, life-threatening step is initiated. The step that stands between you being thrown out of the class or the paper being successfully thrown into the bin is determining the size of the paper to be thrown away. For big fellows this not something to worry about as large volumes of paper can be smothered in between their thighs, suffocated within their barrel thick hand and occasionally crunched in their mouth without the teacher hearing more than a muffled sound.

For miniscule people however, this step must under no circumstances be taken lightly as these people run the risk of being publicly shamed when the teacher kicks them out of her classroom for “disrupting” the class. Such people must always have a jacket or two at their disposal.  These items of clothing, along with scarves in winter, server the same function as silencers in hand held guns.

For a perfect throw you must make sure that the crunched up paper mirrors a sphere with as many jaggered edges as possible. The razor edges slice though the air allowing the ball of paper to move at light speed towards the bin.

When the grand finale has arrived and the teacher is blaring out the most important statement of the lesson such that she is lost in the trance of her message, the throw can begin.

Arc your back, take in as few breaths as possible and no matter what you do, do not blink as it could rapture the teacher’s hypnotic state.  As the paper is sprung from your hands, simultaneously produce a loud preposterous sneeze or cough so as to draw attention from the prisoner fleeing your hand. The teacher will either glare at you for barbaric-seeming behavior or may offer a sarcastic pleasantry. Either way once the paper is freed from your desk your misery shall not return lest more work needs pasting in your book …

 

 

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Horror on memory lane.

Walking through the vast expanse of dry sand, the wind thought it amusing to blow in a fashion imitating a pacing man. As I tried to get my hair to listen to me and not the wind, I craned my neck forward with hands over my eyes I tried to make out the figure approaching me. It floated gracefully through the wafts of wind.  The dress, unlike mine grazed the ground beneath her as though she was an angel sent from the firmaments.

The wind now blew forward causing her dress to cling to an hourglass figure on bulky legs. She raised a toothpick- like hand and waved. I was frozen dead in my tracks. Did I know her? Upon more squinting and hair battling, I saw a plate-round face mapped with feather like features crowned with a nose whose brother seemed to be the knife.

Familiarity immersed me like a tsunami would immerse an entire town. At that moment I could feel my stomach threatening to reveal my last meal. She was me.

My face must have revealed bibles about my thoughts because, with the strength of a god, she seized my right hand and began trudging me back the way she had come.  She strutted through her part of town as I cowered and reeled backward as mocking grins and disdainful words were thrown at me. I thought I had but forgotten this memory. On man in particular was the crème del la crème of that memory. His head stood above all the rest, his grin caused the married to have second thoughts and his candour held my heart captive when was not directed at me.  In a brutal, unforgiving, cruel argument he preyed on my legs. The entire crowed roared with laughter. Humiliated, shattered and torn, with my head hung low and tears streaming inconspicuously down my face, I wobbled away like a boxer who had been through his last fight.

Collapsing like a sack of potatoes on the dirt trodden path, she picked me up and like a trophy held me above her head –strutting through the street. I felt like Jesus on the cross – rejected and neglected.

Barely making it out of memory lane, trailing on all fours, I resembled a domestic abuse case. My face was battered, beaten and bruised.

The shackles on my feet promised, “You’re not free of us yet”.

My claws dug into the earth caked ground – wishing, wanting- to stay root there like an ancient oak tree, as the memories pulled me back by my hind legs. It started again.

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Alert: Border Grumpie! – Long Walk To FREEDOM

Rainbow colored children bounded elastically up the steps leading to the counter standing in their way to freedom. The damp, dark, dreary prison was already forgotten- school was already forgotten. The queue to freedom snaked its way a mile out of the building. The children in the line fiddled with their release papers, as smiles could be seen pasted in the midst of trillions of conversations. As time grew longer the exalted faces and animated conversations involving wildly gesticulating actions slowly, like the sun sets, transformed themselves into weary smiles and tiresome movements that conveyed nothing but the shear fatigue of waiting. This was the state of those children who made up the snake’s tail.

The children in the snakes head were truly vulnerable to its bite.  She sneered; hissed and spat at them, leaving them in no doubt that the escape from prison would best the stay they had just finished enduring. Her eyes, like that of a hawk, scanned every document, compared it to the tediously long, newly amended requirements and almost always found a fault in a sea of impeccability.

My turn drew near. As the line mimed the agonizing speed of a slug, my mind decide to follow is Usain Bolt’s footsteps as it churned out all the worst possible situations. My head was an overheated machine, producing oceans of perspiration. Two people were ahead of me. My heart stumbled. The clock went “tick-tok, tick-tok, tick-tok” implicitly saying that my time was growing closer with its every movement.

“I was young, I had youthful skin and worst of all I hadn’t even begun to plan my wedding!” screeched my brain.

I was at the counter.

“G-g-g-good morning “, I stuttered.

Her facial muscles cringed and coiled forming deep ridges and valleys reeking of dissatisfaction. I felt like an infamous villain -deserving the most gruesome of deaths- and wanted nothing more than to sprint back to prison and double lock the steel bars behind me.

“One, two, three”, she was counting something.

The number of errors? The possible offences committed by my pen?  I felt like a man, clock watching, waiting for a bloody end that he wasn’t even sure existed. My undertaker, hunched over my flourish Victorian writing put on paper, eliminating her fingers one by one like a pre-schooler doing maths. I held my breath. She was on her second hand. Were her toes next?

“Fifteen, sixteen”, she loudly concluded.

She glare at me as the seconds turned to minutes and finally to hours. My palms bleed of perspiration leaving me feeling like I’d just stepped of a merry-go-round while my feet entertained themselves with the notion of buckling forward.

“When are you turning eighteen?” she barked

Falling backwards, with lips quivering and my chattering teeth sending out earthquake-like vibrations throughout my face, I mumbled through the fact that I was already eighteen.

Defeated, her eyes narrowed. She gave my passport the look a mother gives hers son’s murderer and with all her might stamped my passport authorizing my freedom.

I understood what Mandela must have felt – long walk to freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Scream.

The words left his mouth like words leaving the mouth of a mother cautioning her child but yet I received them as though they came from a stern army veteran. His words tapped into my ears like the rain taps on a window on an inky night. His feet inched forward until they made contact with my heels. I was determined to be a good ruler as I attempted to increase the distance between us. I creased my forehead- zeroing in on every syllable uttered- but my nose was sending distress signals. That was the same musk that clung to my psychopathic step-father. Could that be him?

The mechanical movement of his jaws – up, down, up, down- like a broken record stuck on repeat, finally found a resting position.  If one could see the electrocardiogram of my heart at the moment, on would only see a flat line. An object, I could only imagine belonged in butchery, found its ice-cold tip outlining the general direction of my vertebrae.  Desperate not to miss anything, I clung to his every action. “Don’t scream”, he whispered an immediately I begun the long and tedious battle of maintaining the silence.

NB: The title of this piece is credited to my English teacher.