The One’s We Can’t Save

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Fictional story synopsis. Meet Fable, the character who is about to unravel the roots of her feelings of not belonging… and an entire world of the others who don’t belong either. Who is fable? Why is she here?

I thought about taking my cape off today and surrender to those who I wasn’t able to save. The children I didn’t see suffer, the signs I missed being too busy, occupied by my own mind.

There is so much we miss from not being present. The future holds our attention captive and the moment transforms into past tense in an instant and what was unseen is lost forever. Gone!

Or perhaps it’s stored somewhere deep in our subconscious. Maybe tonight it will reoccur symbolically in a dream and the chance to see what we missed will present itself as an opportunity again.

But most of us don’t pay attention to our dreams, so what’s the use? We wake up and forget about the knowledge bestowed in our dreams because as soon as the alarm goes off, we awake into zombie mode.

We are plugged back into the matrix, operating on a program that isn’t our own. And what was our own, was our dreams and all those stolen moments when we forgot to be present. Living our lives as drones. As soon as we awake we go back to sleep again.

Sleep walking to rush to get dressed and go to work. Sleep walking running errands, making love, partying, pretending to appear happy to others. Aren’t we all living to appear happy, and not really be happy?

I know I am. The last time Miss Michelle saw real tears streaming down my face, she told me, “Girl, you don’t get to show no emotions round here, you just be grateful you have a roof over your head and smile.”

My tears were warm, like hot drops of water streaming down my cold cheeks. My pain was absurd to her. Her disdain for me deepened my sense of not belonging. Feeling unloved must be an inescapable prison. But recently I’ve found a way out. Now I would never let Miss Michelle know about my escape. I learned if I don’t tell her everything, she can’t take everything.

I had a secret friend. Okay, not so secret to some of my peers. But Michelle was unaware I even had friends at all. I wanted to keep it that way. Janie lived 3 trailers down from me, on the side of the dirt road with all the trees. When Miss Michelle was busy hanging up washed clothes on the laundry line in the backyard our watching her daily programs on TV, I’d sneak out the back door to meet Janie.

Janie’s mom was never home. We were free. Had the whole trailer to ourselves. Janie and I played dolls often. Not with regular store bought dolls. We didn’t have any. We cut out the people in her mom’s JC Penny’s and Sears catalogs. I’d always choose the girl I wanted to be. The girl who smiled and wore cool, fashionable clothes. The girl in the catalog who really looked happy.

I’d choose parents for her that were also smiling. Parents who looked like her. Similar skin colors and hair texture. I wanted everyone to look alike so no one felt like the odd ball.  My family was like the story, “Duck, Duck, Grey Duck.”

I was the grey duck. I made sure my paper dolls didn’t have a grey duck. I imagined them all very happy together as a family. But sometimes Janie would interject and mess up my fairy tale. She would leave her paper doll kids at home and the kid would run to my paper doll families house screaming while they were trying to get a good nights sleep.

“Help me! Help me!,” Her paper doll would scream frantically. It was always the child of the paper doll family crying and scared from being alone. My paper doll mother would welcome her in our home and console her until she went to sleep.

It was through our dolls, we tried to exercise the demons that hunt us in real life. The hidden horrors of life in Saint Wards Trailer Park.

By Janell Hihi copyright@2017

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The Guardsmen & The Bridge People: A Short Story.

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I created worlds to escape into, when the gunshots rattled and the arguments simmered then boiled over like the pot of boxed mac N cheese on the stove mom forgot about because she was dragged into a yelling match with dad, I shrunk into myself, became a vehicle, turned the engine on and headed towards a light that I hoped would help navigate me to a distant dimension.

Upon arrival to this place, this place I had no yet named. This place I refer to as going away… I was excited but also filled with anxiety… will I create a good enough world? Will things be safe, unlike my neighborhood that adults refer to as a ghetto?  Will there be no such things as drugs or disease? No funerals burying friends? No sorrows?

I had a lot to discuss with myself as I constructed the landscape of my new world.

I approached the gold shimmering gates that were so blinged out it hurt my eyes looking at them, it was as if I were looking at the sun. The gates appeared to be so high I could not see which galaxy the top of the gate extended into. I know it was far off and beyond what I could ever imagine. Maybe it goes into the infinite, the never ending.

Things always end where I am from. Friendships, love, life. Things stop and they don’t go on forever like the glittery gates at this place. In the material world, we even make up places endings go to when they stop being, when they stop living. Things like heaven and hell. Which I always thought was a bit contradicting because if we believe in endings, how is it that they are allowed to go somewhere else? To end is to cease to exist right? If uncle Bobby’s life ended and he went to heaven, it didn’t really end, it just went somewhere else.

I wanted to go somewhere else, especially when the claws of the material world pounced at me and threatened to pierce my young and tender skin.

Nightmares were a relief to reality sometimes, even monsters chasing me in my sleep were less terrifying than police, gang bangers and the god-awful rattling of guns and the lingering smoke left from drugs being devoured by those who want nothing more than immediate relief from reality. Addicts just wanted to get out of this place… who could blame them?

My trembling hands reached out to touch the knobs of the golden gates.

golden gate

But I was rudely interrupted by the guardsmen at the door who took their jobs a little too seriously.

“Wait just one-minute little lady! Don’t move!”

I replied confused

“What is it, I’ve arrived, I am ready to create my corridors”

The guards looked at me laughing… then begin speaking to me in a shrieking high-pitched voice…

“You bridge people are hilarious, show me your papers doll!”

I rolled my eyes and shook my head with confusion. “I don’t have any papers, what papers?”

The guardsmen appeared irritated with my ignorance and retorted…

“Your story!”

“My story I made up?”  I replied confusingly.

The guard impatiently answered, “Yes! Or you can return back to the other side and deal with the degenerates you call family.” They both laughed like witches tilting their heads back while their overly pronounced long noses shot up into the air forcing me to see things I’d rather not.

I could see the curly hair in their nostrils smothered in boogers and I couldn’t take any more observation of their self-important demeanor. Like everyone else, they thought they were better than me. I reached into my jeans and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper and reluctantly handed it to the guards. I didn’t want them, or anyone else for that matter to know about my stories and the things I make up.

The guardsmen finally stopped laughing and put my story into their pockets and stuffed it far down into their camouflage pants as if I would never get it back again.

“Okay now, can I get through please” I quietly demanded, tapping my pink, pinky the princess sneakers against the slick silver pavement.

The guardsmen replied angrily,

“No! first, you need to drop your luggage, nothing from that awful place in which you live shall ever, ever, never be brought past these gates!”

I replied shaking my head in refusal, “But, But” I stuttered…

“These are my things, the things I will transform from the other side into something good on this side. I am Goddess of Transmutation. Princess Alchemy, I need my things, I need to fix them, I need to change them here, past those gates, they will be rebuilt into something fantastic!”

The guards looked touched by my plea but refused to allow the sympathy they felt for me to override their prestigious position as guardsmen. “Come here little bridge girl person, come on, let me see your ear. We cannot go against policy; you can’t bring your stuff here it will contaminate our environment. Perhaps if you are who you say you are, little bridge girl, use your alchemy in front of our very eyes now! Show us transmutation! Transform your baggage to make it allowable in the Imagine X Kingdom now!”

I was taken back by their demands.

The truth is I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know if I could spontaneously pull it off. On the other side of the bridge, I had to be running from something to access the powers they are now asking me to show them in this very moment. I had to transform from a girl into an escapist, turn on my imagination and walk into a story I construct.

In that moment, from that very thought, I believe I may have put it all together, the pieces of the puzzling puzzle! So, I think! The story was the doorway to the other side but how could I continue the journey if I am creating characters that challenge me? The gatekeepers only exist because I put them there.

What self-imposed test am I demanding myself to take? Why won’t I allow myself on the other side of the gate?

 

To be continued…

 

By Janell Hihi

Copyright@ 2017