Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/07/09

Luciana closed her eyes, as she lay on the walkway. “No one knows why I come here. No one understands.” It stirred her soul to know how alone she was, how misunderstood. “They think I’m nuts, I know.”

As she closed her eyes, the sound of the water pouring into the overflow pipe washed away everything. Drowned out everything. All the noise. The words. The sounds. The tapping of the teacher’s pen on paper during the test, as if impatiently waiting for everyone to fail. The sound of those she knew, at lunch, and their gossip. “Gabriella kissed him yesterday! I saw it!” What did it matter who Gabriella kissed? Or even if she’d slept with him?

The sound of the water overwhelmed it all. Crushed it all into dust, memories, the past. Showed her it wasn’t real. Showed her it was gone.

The noise of the boys on the football field, kicking the ball to each other. How they tried to show off, each in their turn, put on a show, tried to do a trick. Then kicked the ball to the next boy. They knew the girls were watching, from the bleachers. Maria who always sat on the first row, and always stood when Angel kicked the ball. It was no secret, everyone knew, Maria first got naked for Angel. And she got naked for him any time he asked her.

Luciana asked her once, “Why? Why do you do that?”

“I’m going to marry him. He will take care of me. We will have a family. You’ll see.”

“But, don’t you know? Everyone knows. They say he is using you. Getting his jollies.”

“They know nothing. Nothing at all.”

Maria always watched Angel on the field. The other girls always watched Maria. And Luciana? She watched them all, and wondered why they were the way they were. And why they could not see the meaningless way they behaved.

But on the walkway, above the drain, after a hard rain, it all went away. And she could remember. Who she was, what she loved, everything that mattered to here.

At home, it was her family, mother, father, brothers, who never let her find herself. Always demanded something. Always.

“Luciana! There will be time for your homework after you have helped make dinner!” Mother always took her books, handed her an apron, and a bowl of something. “We must do our work, and take care of our men.”

She heard the words of her parents at night, after all were asleep. “That girl will never learn. She will never understand her place in this world.”

And her mother, “It takes time. She knows. She does. But she must first learn what it is a woman does. Who a woman is to be. And when she does, she will take care of her family. And they will take care of her.”

Her brothers, always, her brothers. They came first at everything. First in school. “Your brother has problems with his homework. You must help him.” “Your brother has a report due tomorrow. You must help him.” Always, it was her brothers before her.

But here. Above the drain, after the storms, it all washed away. And Luciana dreamed, once more. Of the stories in her heart. The words in her soul. Of which no one knew. And she wondered if she should ever share them with a world that was so wrong. A world where women stayed at home. And behaved. And took care of their men.

And never dreamed.

She felt the power of the water, and let the sound wash everything away. It would not last, she knew. But for a few moments. A brief time.

She was free.

621 Words

Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 18th week. You can read about the challenge here. This week, I tried something different again Hope it’s worth the effort. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up. They are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.


How Can I Explain?

I sit here, on this Sunday night, barely noticing the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics, my mind filled with endless questions, endless ideas, and a single, staggering truth.

I’ve wanted to jump for joy, laugh, run around like a little boy, and tell everyone what I’ve figured out. But I haven’t. And I won’t. For I have learned other truths. One of which prevents me from telling what I’ve learned. “No matter how many times I explain it. No matter how many words I use. No matter how many pictures I draw. No one that does not already know will ever understand.”

People believe what they decide to believe. It’s a harsh truth. Not a universal truth. I’m not sure any longer there is such a thing as a universal truth. Except perhaps for one. All things end. But I digress. People do, in fact, decide what they believe.

I find it disturbing how many people have decided, and believe, that the things of the world they do not like, do not understand, or fear, are the things that are wrong. Are the things that are sins. Are the things that are evil. It disturbs me to have learned this. It disturbs me to know I struggle with this truth in my life, my existence.

Perhaps it is natural to fear, distrust, and perhaps even hate, that which is unknown. Perhaps it is the unknown that reminds of us things in the corners of a room, in the dark, waiting to pounce on us. Perhaps these are the monsters under the bed. The demons in the closet. The devils in the dark.

I sit here tonight, wishing there were words I could say, words I could write, to capture the truth I’ve come to grasp today. I struggle with this, knowing I will never find a way. And even if I could, it would not matter. For the people I would share this with. The people most in need of hearing it. Of learning it. Would never understand.

They would, instead, relegate me to the ranks of the evil ones. The demons. The nightmares. The eradicated. The forgotten. The ignored. From that day forward, I would be the sad memory of the one that fell from grace.

I know this. For there are people I knew just a few short years ago, who view me this way. The sad story of the successful person, with the great career, that crashed and burned, and destroyed it all. It was such a sad thing for them to see.

The gulf between how I see things, how I believe, how I feel, and them, has grown with each day that has passed, until now, it exceeds the vastness of the space between the stars, and galaxies. I could no more talk with them than they could talk with me. Our words, worlds, and ways have fallen into parallel universes. Right next to each other. Unable to detect the others presence at all.

It saddens me to think of this. I would say to them, “It is only pain. It is only fear. It is only change. What are you afraid of? Why do you hide? Why do you run?” If there were some way I could.

There is not.

I write. You’ve doubtless noticed I write. It’s one of those things I’ve learned I must do. It’s part of me. Part of who I am. As a body breathes. As blood flows. As hearts beat. As children are born, grow old, and pass beyond the veil. I write. I can’t be any other way. The stories are endless. In my thoughts. My dreams. More than I can ever put on paper.

The stories never end.

I sit here tonight. Knowing I can never find a way to share the truth I’ve learned today. Knowing it would be pointless to even try. Knowing instead, all I can do is write. Stories. And perhaps. Maybe. Someone. Somewhere. Will be drawn by those words, by those tales, into a world they never knew was there.

And start their own journey to find the truths I seek. Knowing they could never explain them to anyone. For a very few would understand already. And the rest exist in a parallel universe. Right there. You can see them. They are real. But they rest an entire universe away.

How can I ever explain what can’t be explained? How can anyone?