“Born on the wrong side of the tracks, she was a tough…”
”Conquerors and Commoners Alike”
Born on the wrong side of the tracks, she was a tough teenage zombie, turquoise-blue-green hair and purple-red lips. She was a quiet girl who wore a pair of headphones that weren’t attached to anything, preferring to eavesdrop on the world around her. Everyone assumed she was empty-headed because she never had much to say, but she preferred to choose her words carefully. It seemed safer that way in an uncaring world who had little use for girls from south of the tracks.
She was not as empty-headed as everyone thought.
The chain link fence ran along the edge of the train alley, topped with razor wire that snatched newspapers and scraps of cloth from the wind.
Ha, the razor wire would always laugh, I have stolen this from you, wind. Pieces of your soul.
The wind was always silent.
Where the fence ended and the road crossed the tracks, Aurora could hear the wind’s quiet tones as it smiled to itself and rushed on its way.
You may have a piece of me, but you’ll never see my soul.
And every time, she would glance up at the sky – be it blue or grey or darkening purple – and watch the wind lift ungraceful paper and red-hued leaves ever skyward to flit and play with the birds; watch the gulls fly inland before the oncoming storm. A few times, she wished to be those soaring debris, floating high above the world, without a care. More times than not, she wanted to be the bird, testing the limits of her wings on the thermals. More in control of her destiny than any crinkled scrap of paper. She longed to fly rather than remain land-bound. A lumbering, two-legged creature, shambling along these tracks, back and forth to school, to work, to school again. Locked into a life of mindless routine and repetition.
Only once did she wish to be the wind. Another walk to school with the end result of walking into a door that was her stepfather’s fist. No one listened, assumed she was clumsy. She wanted to hit him back, to scream, to take hold of the fraying strings of her life and pull with all her might. But no one listens to a zombie.
I hear you, my child, the wind whispered, wrapping its cool embrace around her body, her bruised face, her balled-up fists. She relaxed into its touch and made her request.
There was no bright light, no sparkles, no chiming noise. Just a sudden feeling of weightlessness, a carefree, vagabond mentality. She turned north.
No one can hold you now, the wind whispered. We are your kin and you are free.
nt - 2/26/10
Notes: Title taken from a quote by Harlan Ellison, who also said “I have no mouth, and I must scream.”
*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer