Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Art of Failing Gloriously

I looked out over the crowd that was mercifully shrouded by the darkness, while I felt stark naked and vulnerable in the harsh brightness of the stage lights. My voice had left me and I stood still with my mouth open, my audience waiting for the words that I was desperate to express. But they had disappeared from sight, and I was left helpless to the scrutiny of the eyes of my peers. I could feel the words forming behind my eyes, but my lips made no attempt to process them. I was stuck in a trance and sinking into a sick place that I had no desire to visit. That same sickness was building up within my throat, threatening to beat my words to my mouth.

"I bet I could change your life." I could see the ghost of my mind travelling before me, clear cut and perfect, saying and doing exactly what I should be doing. And all I could do is watch.
"I bet one word could change you life. You might not even notice it when it happens, but trust me, it'll happen one day."
I had to push myself, force the words out of me, but I couldn't. And as I watched myself move with such grace and speak with such determination, all my audience could see was my failure.
"When I think about Annabelle, I don't think of all the things she did, like her stellar grades or her good sense of fashion or even all the friends she had on facebook. All I can think about is how she changed my life, and now because of the people in this audience she'll never know."
I was a failure. This whole time all I wanted to do was to glorify Annabelle for who she really was in life, not for what people thought about her or what they saw on the surface, because all that was a lie, and only I knew the truth. If only she was here now, maybe I could do it.

"Get off the stage retard!" yelled someone from the crowds. I realised that they were speaking to me, and they broke me out of my fixation with this ghost of myself.
"I-I-" I looked around the stage, at the people, at the darkness in front of me. I couldn't do it and before I knew it I was back stage, away from the uncomfortable stares of the audience, on the floor sobbing. My heart had finally caught up with me and was thrashing against my chest. I was gasping for air and desperately trying to find my inhaler. I ripped off my jacket, searching though all the pockets, but I couldn't find it. My breaths were short and rapid, and I gave up my frantic search to focus on my breath. Maybe I could settle myself it I just could concentrate. But all I could think about were the people down there, confused and judgemental. Annabelle would be disappointed.

Black spots were forming in front of my eyes and I didn't even have the energy to cry out for help this time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The gifted one

Every night I see bone, my bone, flesh coloured. They say I'm gifted, I'm special, that I'm their saviour. But I don't want that. I'd rather starve like the rest of them that live the life I'm forced to live.

These days food is scarce, and the nights when we can't find a scrap of food my people turn to me. Their pleading eyes, how am I supposed to refuse them. They're kind to me, to say the least. They don't force me to give in, unlike the stories I've heard about the people like me.

Every night I die a more gruesome death than the night before, and every morning I wake up with the bruises, deep and black, haunting marks of my so called "gift".

I am a feast, a meal to some. The flesh is stripped from my body by a man with hungry eyes and drooling lips, eager to satisfy the roar in his belly. I usually black out about the time my limbs are completely bare of anything but bone. I've gained strength...stamina since the beginning, when they discovered my "gift". I used to black out at the first sight of blood - my own blood - spilling to the ground by the litre.

Every night I cry and scream in pain, but not for the doers to stop, but for them to go too far, for them to be that little bit too greedy. I want them to do it, hoping that I don't wake up in the morning. Praying that my eyes stay forever shut, and that my body is finally laid to rest, deep down in the earth where I can finally decay for good.

They're skilled though. They know exactly when to stop, exactly how far I can go. They've had generations to practice, on my mother, on my grandmother, all of them were exactly like me. It's a family thing, something in my genes. They say it comes from the before time, when food was still plentiful. The people of the before time could see that their food was thinning, plants were dying, animals were disappearing. So they made me - well they made a distant relative, decades ago, to feed the people that could no longer feed themselves. I am their saviour, or so they say so. I don't know if I believe them. Every day, in the hours that I live, I pray for a real saviour, the real gifted one that is supposed to save my people. And every night, as my torture comes to suffocate me in a cycle, to repeat itself over and over, I pray for my death - my final death.