You're zoning out on your walk home when these four kids pass by, filling the air with a raucous cacophony (as kids are wont to do) when one of them suddenly stops and runs back to you. To be honest you don't really notice and sort of, uh, walk(more) right past him, until he just starts urgently tugging at your sleeve. You finally get the idea that yeah, he wants your attention right now, and after stuttering out some awkward apologies you ask him what he needs. In response, he kind of... pets the air with his right hand? Over his left? Once it's clear you've got no idea what he's doing, he starts pointing at his throat. But he looks happy, so you're pretty sure he didn't swallow glass or anything? Still, he looks really excited and he's obviously trying to tell you something, and you spend the next few seconds being confused and apologetic until one of his friends notice your plight.
"You're the singing girl," she proclaims with all the weight and conviction of an eight-year-old. The other two kids nod enthusiastically, properly awed by this profound statement.
Of course, all you can come back with is "Sorry?"
"No, you can't sorry!" shouts one of the other ones (and you have no idea what the gender of this child is. Male? Female? Both? Neither? In the second you give yourself to puzzle this out you decide this child's gender is child). "You gotta sing for us!"
"Jerry's always bragging about how he gets to hear the singing girl all the time on his way home," grouses the last kid. "We wanna hear your voice too!"
And that's how you found yourself clumsily singing 'Paper Moon' while followed by a flock of kids like the friggin' Pied Piper.(less)
A cold had swept through the household, taking all seven children and both of my parents. There wasn't enough cough syrup to go around, barely any tissues, and eventually we all got sent back to school.
I was only six at the time, the seventh born into the(more) family, and the eldest was my sister Rosie, who was sixteen. Rosie was everything, the star of the show, the main character, the drama queen that kept my mother running. She believed she was important, and eventually we did too.
Isaac was fourteen, and he had whined incessantly at the fact that he wouldn't be able to concentrate if he went back to school. My mother had had enough, and sent everyone back but me.
I vaguely remember fevered dreams and my mother's rare, soothing touch. Sophie had come home not very happy, unwell again and begging for mother to help. Wendy was quiet as always. Harry did his schoolwork. Caleb watched television.
And I waited for it to end, the sick that kept me home, shut up in the house my parents for days. As a six year old I was impatient, and longing to get outside and sprawl in our tiny, uncut lawn.
It's not the way you stand, the way you move your hands or what you say, it's your voice that gives you away. Every time. You told them that they were needed, that they were doing something great, that they were valuable. Then you threw them t(more)o the wolves and even tried to soften the blow by offering help; help they need because of your greed and lack of empathy. You think they want your help?
Your voice is a honest thing and if you are not honest then you cannot hide behind it. It will give you away at every breath; just like today. Dozens are now out there afraid for their lives. What will they do, where will they go? It is this kind of disloyalty and disregard that will cripple society as we know it and the people who will eventually break free to fix it will not allow your hammer to nail any of the pieces back together. You will be an outcast, remembered as a breaker, a destroyer, always hiding in your fortress.
The majority of people at some point in their lives will fall, or be pushed, to the point where they lose hope and start to believe what is the point. Fuck it, right? No it's not right, but you wouldn't know this because you sit in the comfort zone above the rest of them. You have never experienced the fear that they are about to experience. You have never even had to think about it. Someday you will, and that day is coming. Slowly but surely it is creeping up on you and when it comes it will be the product of the fear that you created in them that will stop the blood in your veins. I wish you the best.(less)
"Martin?" Arthur paused in the kitchen doorway, looking at the slumped, humming figure at the coffee table. "You're still here?"
"Um..." Martin looked down at his coffee cup. "Yeah?"
"Oh, well I can leave if it /offends/ you that greatly-"
"No no no no no." Arthur ran forward(more) and stopped Martin from moving out of his seat. "I'm not offended, I'm just confused, can we please not make this into another near break-up?"
"Near break-up?" Martin looked up at him. "So we didn't actually...?"
"Of course not!" Arthur exhaled deeply. "Jesus, Martin... I'm really sorry that I blew up like that before, and I'm really sorry I kind of forced you to keep my brother alive while I freaked out, but I'm not going to break-up with you!"
Martin bit his lip and grabbed Arthur's hand, lacing their fingers together.
"And I'm sorry my automatic reaction has been to get mad."
"You do have some trouble with anger management."
"Don't push it."
Arthur chuckled and pulled Martin into a hug, burying his face in Martin's hair.(less)