Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sorrow Tale

This is a stream of consciousness story I wrote one night all at once, with no editing and almost no backspacing. That explains some of the out-of-place bits. There are some things I like about it and some things I don't, but wanted to share it with strangers.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who lived with her wicked father and
three sisters. One sister loved cats and always had the kindest cats in the
neighborhood follow her. Another sister liked teddy bears and had an enormous
storage building filled with plus toys. The third sister liked unicorns, and
even though everyone knew unicorns weren't real, she still had a unicorn that she
secretly kept at a farm in a place far away.

The girl's name was Kinselle, but she changed it all the time so no one really
knew if that was her name or not. Another day she was Mariah and another day she
was Dominique and another day she was Rosaline. This girl could not speak. A
spell had been cast upon her so that when she spoke, other people could not
really understand what she was saying. So Kinselle (that's what she called
herself for that day) spoke less and less, so that after a while she hardly spoke
at all. Kinselle learned to listen instead, and didn't like to hear most of the
things she heard.

She heard one sister say that she was going to fly away and never come back. She
heard another sister say she was afraid of flying. The third sister told her in
secret that she was going to get on her unicorn one day and gallop away, over the
sea, over the land and into the place where unicorns were real.

"Unicorn, unicorn, take me away!" said Kinselle, "teach me to fly like my other
sister!" This was not a unicorn that flew, though sometimes Kinselle looked
quickly in the bright sunlight and swore that it had wings. The unicorn did not
answer her. It only spoke to the third sister and shared secrets of its homeland
beyond the sea.

Another day Josephine (for that's what she called herself that day) burned her
finger on a frying pan. "Kitten, kitten, take it away!" she called to a black
cat that had followed her sister home. The cat looked at her, blinked, and
licked its paw. The cats only spoke to the sister they followed, sharing their
secrets of stretching and softness.

Gallantine (as she called herself another day) liked to touch the teddy bears
that her sister kept locked away. The teddy bears were soft and their eyes wide,
but she saw nothing in their big black marble eyes except her reflection.

Whatever comfort they shared, they only shared with the sister that kept them.
Sometimes Contessa thought she had fairies following her--but if it was true,
they never spoke to her and shared their secrets. Sometimes Elizabeth thought
she heard flowers calling her--but she could never understand them. Sometimes
Carolina thought the sidewalk was moving for her--but when she followed it, she
only got lost.

Isabelle (she sometimes called herself) did not like having people touch her, not
even her sisters. sometimes in her sleep she felt the fingers tracing on her,
waking up to find no one there. When she tried to tell her sisters, they did not
understand. "It was a dream, Helena," they would say with the name she asked
them to use that day. "There was no one there, of course it was a dream." And
Abigail knew it wasn't a dream. It was more than a dream, less than real,
something like a memory that never happened. But when she tried to tell them
this, they only heard a terrible screeching noise like a thousand rusty hinges
opening a thousand doors at once, and they could not understand what she was
trying to say.

So Montania was alone, with no magic friends to tell her their secrets and no
memory of what her real name was. It was like being a boat on the sea, and
seeing dozens of other boats and trying to paddle towards them, but they each
moved away whenever she got closer.

Marguerite liked to dance, but people never thought she could and never watched
when she was dancing. Delilah liked to sing too, but her singing was the song of
the bullfrogs in the pond and no one listened. Leonora played many instruments,
but was shut up into her house to stay quiet rather than share this with anyone

One day a cat came to Pauline and asked for her sister. What a joy! But when
Pauline tried to respond, the cat ran away. It only heard a thousand rusty

Each night Sadora prayed for a gift to show itself to her. She had looked
everywhere for one and couldn't find it. She only found curses and fingers
touching her in her sleep.

Dolphine decided to make her own gift and ran away. She jumped on a train and
rode for a day. Then she jumped on a boat and rode for three days. Then she
jumped on a coach and rode for so long she didn't know how long it was, until she
arrived at a circus. The circus master put her in a shiny pink dress and taught
her how to dance on top of an elephant. Finally, someone would see her dance!
Dolphine danced and danced with all the heart inside of her. Then she realized
that people weren't coming to see her dance, they were coming to see the
elephants. Dolphine forgot how to dance on top of an elephant. She forgot how
to dance at all.

Mirelle left the circus by jumping off the circus train. She ran all through the
forest until she found a giant bird. She jumped on its back and flew over the
ocean. Finally the bird dropped her into a pond filled with bullfrogs. The
bullfrogs sang so beautifully that people came to see them. But the bullfrogs
didn't want Mirelle coming to sing with them. They only sang bullfrog songs and
did not think Mirelle could sing their songs. Mirelle opened her mouth to show
how she sang bullfrog songs, but all she could sing were the songs of the hissing
wind. Then, Mirelle could not sing any songs anymore--not bullfrogs, not hissing
wind, not ocean tumbling or sawing wood.

Lilian left the bullfrogs by grabbing the tail of a fish that swam away from the
pond. As she swam, the fingers kept touching her but she could not see them and
could not try to catch them because she was holding on to the fish. Three days
later the fish was caught on a hook and brought to the kitchen of the palace.
Lilian found in the kitchen, she could make music on the pots and pans and
entertain the cook. The cook laughed and Lilian was happy. The king did not
like the noise and made Lilian leave the kitchen. No more could Lilian make
music, not with pots or a piano or a guitar or a guilder.

Anna Lisa decided to go home. "I flew," she told the sister who wanted to fly,
"and found nothing but pain." "Really?" the sister answered. "I flew too and
found my joy." "I couldn't stay home," she told the sister who was afraid to
fly. "Really?" the sister responded. "I stayed home and found my peace." "I
went to a place where bullfrogs sing, where pots make music and I danced on
elephants, and I found nothing but sorrow." "Really?" the sister replied. "I
rode across the sea to the place of unicorns, and found my dreams."

Kinselle was tired. She slept, and while she slept she wondered if she would
ever wake up. She had tried to find the things that brought her joy. She tried
to find her gift. She never found anything but the loss of the things she loved.
And through it all, she still had the curse, the curse of a thousand hinges on a
thousand doors whenever she tried to speak.