So, in my art appreciation class I recently had an assignment to create a short work that contained and centered around the following phrases:
"What is that?"
"It's a unicorn."
"I've never seen one up close before."
"Get away. Get away."
The following short story is what I decided to create for this assignment. Enjoy!
Two year old Liam sat in his playroom, stacking blocks with his nanny. His mother and father had been away for two days at some far away land called 'the hospital'. While building his latest skyscraper, Liam suddenly heard the front door swing open which was followed by the hushed voices of his parents. Gretchen, his nanny, told him to sit still and continue playing as she hastily left the room. Minutes felt like hours to Liam, so he decided to go investigate what was keeping his beloved Gretchen from assisting him with his latest creation. He picked up one of his wooden swords for protection, and slowly crept out of his playroom.
He slid along the walls of the hallway like a stealthy spy. He came upon the living room door, and spied Gretchen unpacking a suitcase full of his mother’s things and tiny clothes; clothes far too small for him to wear. This perplexed Liam, so he quietly snuck past the living room so Gretchen would not scold him for leaving the playroom. He journeyed further down the hallway, and stopped just outside the door from which his parents’ voices could be heard. He carefully peered into the room, so he would not be seen. Inside, his mother sat in a rocking chair holding a small bundle in one of her arms. In her other hand, she held a small toy. One Liam could not identify. Liam’s mind raced with the different possibilities of what could be in his mother’s arms. His thoughts were halted whenever his father stepped in front of his mother and asked “What is that?” Yeah, what is that? Liam thought to himself. “It’s a unicorn” his mother replied. A unicorn? I’ve never seen one up close before. Thought Liam. He had heard about unicorns in the stories Gretchen read to him, but he never thought one would be in his house, in his mother’s arms. In an attempt to get a closer look at the fantastic creature, Liam ventured slightly into the room.
“Beautiful.”said Liam’s father. What’s so beautiful about it? Thought Liam. He had to get a closer look. Tip-toeing further into the room, Liam was unaware that he was swinging his wooden sword dangerously close to a lamp on the table he had been hiding behind. In one careless move, Liam clipped the lamp, sending it crashing onto the floor with a loud bang. Suddenly the unicorn began crying. “Get away! Get away!” screamed Liam’s father as he tried to get him out of the room. “I’m sorry!” Liam exclaimed repeatedly. Suddenly Gretchen swooped into the room taking Liam into her arms, carrying him away and into the playroom.
When he was tucked away among his familiar toys, Liam began to calm down while still in Gretchen’s arms. “What were you doing in there, Liam? I told you to stay in here and play with your blocks.” All Liam could say over his sniffles was “unicorn.” “Unicorn?” Gretchen asked with a puzzled expression. “What unicorn, Liam?” The young boy pointed down the hallway to the room in which they just left. A confused Gretchen picked Liam up, and slowly ventured back down the hallway. Once outside the room, she put Liam down and told him to wait there. She went inside the room, and told Liam’s parents to take a break and unpack. Soon, both left the room, not even noticing Liam standing outside the door.
Once they left, Gretchen returned and took Liam by the hand, guiding him into the room. “There’s no unicorn in here, Liam. There’s something better” she said. She picked Liam up by the waist, and hoisted him over a strange bed with high sides. Liam peered over the edge. He did in fact see a unicorn, a stuffed one. What was even more fantastical was the small creature lying beside the unicorn. “This is your new baby sister, Liam. That stuffed unicorn is hers, but she’s all yours. You’re going to have to look after her, and be a good big brother now”said Gretchen. “Think you can do that?” Liam stared at this small bundle in bewilderment. Suddenly the baby smiled up at Liam. He instantly felt love for this small creature and loved by it at the same time. A smile formed on his face, he knew that this was going to be greater than any unicorn could ever be.
If there is such a thing as 'organized clutter' my life would be a perfect example of this. I am an extremely unorganized person, and I constantly bounce from one thing to another. I drive my poor sister absolutely mad. She is a very organized, type-A personality. She's determined, tidy, hardworking, and extremely mature for her young age. I'm basically the complete opposite of her. It's quite depressing, but I look up to my younger sister. I aspire to be more like her. Sometimes I feel like she parents me; I am constantly coming to her for advice about my whirlwind of a life. She's the one person that will not judge me for all the screwed up things I do, and say.
I often feel like my life has ADHD or something. I get attatched to people and things quickly, but I lose interest in them just as fast. I'm terrible at making plans, especially long term plans. Even when I make plans, I always leave myself wiggle room, because more likely than not, I'm going to change my mind about something. A lot of my decision making issues stem from my overall fear of commitment. I love having options, but I can never be satisfied with just one choice. It's like with ice cream, why would you order the same flavor every time you go buy ice cream? Sure, chocolate is yummy, but mint-oreo might rock your world. You'll never know until you try. What gets you in trouble is when you try to eat the chocolate ice cream and the mint-oreo in the same sitting. All you're going to get is an upset stomach.
Putting too much ice cream on your plate is dangerous enough for the average person, but with me, it's catastrophic. I'm not good with balancing my time, emotions, or energy. When I attempt to spread myself too thin, I'm not the only person that starts to rip apart. I can tell exactly when I've gone too far with people, it's kind of scary. I've already addressed the clutter aspect of my life, here's the organization: I have a very distinct pattern. Once I've spread myself too thin, I start getting distant. Distant from everyone, and everything. Then I start slacking off in all aspects of my life. Eventually I get hurt and so does someone close to me. It's a terrible pattern, I just don't know how to break the cycle. I feel like a really twisted person, and yet I continue to mangle myself and those attempting to get to close to me.
Maybe there's no resolution for a person like me. Perhaps this cycle is just my life, and it will always be that way. No one and nothing will ever mangage to tether me to them. I feel like a balloon filled with helium that has lost it's string. Like all balloons though, once I get too high and isolate myself from the ground below, I'm going to burst. Fingers crossed that I'm nowhere near that point yet, and that something will manage to keep me in this atmosphere.
I’m kind of worried I’m even crazier than I previously thought. Every time I start opening up to someone, or start getting close, I suddenly shut myself off. I numb my entire body; my heart, my head, my senses, they’re all dead. I know I’m simply afraid of being vulnerable and getting hurt again, but what’s the use? If I won’t even give anyone a chance of making me happy again, I’ll never be happy. I think I got so sick of playing the victim, I decided to become the villain instead. I wanted to be this callous creature with no emotions, a ruthless beast that takes no prisoners. I just can’t be that callous. I know I’ve already hurt several people in my attempt to protect my heart. What good is a secure heart, if you’ve got to break the hearts of those around you? A secure heart isn’t a content one either. It’s lonely. I’m lonely.
I’m just so scared. I’m scared of getting played again, hurt again, getting my name dragged through the mud, getting my hopes up for a future that never comes to fruition. I’m a fragile person to begin with, like a butterfly. The last time I got close to someone, my wings got crumpled and ripped off. I was left in the grass to fend for myself or die. I didn’t die, but I’m grounded. I’m stuck in this static place that I never wanted to end up in. I’m all about evolving, and that’s the one thing I’ve stopped doing. I feel like I’ve smothered the last threads of hope and life within myself. I don’t want to die, but not moving forward is like a slow, painful suicide.
I just don’t know how to get moving again. Is it even possible to grow a second pair of wings? Before I got hurt, I was this vibrant, inspired, free-spirited, innocent creature. Now I am this tarnished shell of the person I was before. I put up a good front most of the time, and occasionally glimpses of the person I was before make their way to the surface. I know we can’t go back in time, I just want to be more like the person I was before. I miss the old me. I was a girl with so much to offer the world, and now I feel like I have nothing. I suppose I succeeded in a sense, in becoming the villain. Isn’t the Hollywood cliché that the villains are the ones hurt much worse than our leading men and women? Their cruel actions are retaliation for a haunted past. I don’t want to make excuses for how I act, but I feel like there are people I’ve hurt that deserve some explanations.
I know that I’m wounded; I just hope there’s a cure for me. I don’t want to die alone.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.