MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “characters”

Roots and wings

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/a8/52/99a85230057e9941cb6b01a6ba3711e3--black-tree-art-prints.jpgThere is a saying, “if you don’t like where you are, move; you are not a tree”. People were meant to move around, to explore, to evolve. Instead, with the passing of time, we have become so afraid of change that we fear the slightest disturbance of our known environment. We become rooted in one place, often because we don’t have the courage to risk and see what more is out there.

And as such, we close our minds to everything around us. We refuse to accept anything different to our own perceptions, or consider something further from our beliefs.

We become so accustomed to routine, that any turbulence to it is considered lethal; when in fact, it is the other way around.

We encage ourselves in a life that shrinks us and diminishes us instead of helping us grow and develop. We aren’t making ourselves better, rather, we persevere in a mediocrity and preserve a life unchanged, with the same mentality and the same lens on life.

But what we fail to see, is that as we grow, our surroundings change, our needs become different, and so do our characters. We have a different perspective on life when we are young, springing into the world, compared to when we are mature, looking back at it.

After all, we are supposed to receive and pass on two gifts: roots to remind you where you are from, and wings to show what you can become. It is only when you use the latter that you discover where you can go.

This is not a Cinderella story

flower-fly-twoGrizelda, who also went by Grizzie, was one of those girls that gave “bitches” their name. She was tall and sturdy, almost manly in some light. But she was also a femme fatale when circumstances called for it. She was determined to get what she wanted no matter the cost, and rarely cared about what other people think. She had one weapon in her purse and never failed to use it: her rich father’s gold credit card.

Cindy on the other hand was exactly the opposite. She did care what other people thought and felt, often too much. She put the good of others before her own and that led to many a heartbreak. But she lived to love life and not money. She wanted to succeed on her own and refused to live beyond her means. She worked hard and strived to accomplish her ambitions in life. Her weapon was her dreams and the strength she mustered in her soul to fulfill them one day.

Cindy was the type of person many would see as a “push-over”. But in reality she wasn’t. She fought for what she wanted and stood up to others no matter their rank or status. Even to Grizzie.

You could never tell these two were sisters. Let alone twins.

They were nothing alike.

Cindy learnt life the hard way. She would take the bus and metro and train to work. She would work an unending shift, go home, cook, clean and engage in an attempt for a social life, while she tried to balance rent, necessities and fun on a meagre budget. She would count her savings at the end of the month and plan ahead if she had the luxury to go on a short trip somewhere nearby. Yet life taught her to be organized, to take into account the fact that other people are busy too, to set priorities, to comprehend when something is urgent, to foresee circumstances and to always be prepared.

But Grizzie was not like that. She seemed to be living in her own little world that was not even close to reality. She drove to work in a car that was cleaned and fueled by someone else. She worked at the family business, hence had her own office, title and paycheck without truly even knowing what the company was about. She ran around with her friends, was constantly wired up on all her e-gadgets, and could not care less that some people had to work for a living. She was the type of person that left everything until the last minute, or until it best suited herself, not caring about what that may cost the other. In fact “the other” simply did not exist. Life was for her to live and enjoy; not to worry about everything else. She couldn’t fix things anyway, so why bother?

Cindy learned a lot from observing Grizzie. She learned that she never wanted to be like her. And she felt sorry that there are so many people who are so similar to her in this world. People who spend their lives drifting, but never truly absorbing anything. People who look around but don’t really see anything. People who exist, but don’t ever live.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing” – Oscar Wilde

Silence in the Metro

303366_underground_-subway_-metro_-station_2048x1536_(www.GdeFon.ru)The sun had already slit under the horizon as Lisa entered the metro station. This was one of the recently renovated stations and its marble walls were still shining white. People were rushing to arrive at the platforms, perhaps even catch the metro that would swing by at that very moment, instead of having to wait that extra 3-4 minutes.

There was plenty of noise, both from the trains arriving and departing and from the people, young and old, speaking to each other, to their phones, to anyone in general.

Lisa got off five stops further down. It was a trip that lasted less than ten minutes. And it didn’t seem any longer.

But there was something strange in that very moment she set her foot off the metro wagon. As if there was an eerie atmosphere, sending chills down her spine and causing her to shiver. It felt as if the whole world around her was moving in slow motion. There were so many people on that platform, queuing at the escalator that would lead them up to the exit above and to the square outside. No-one would take the adjacent stairs. “Typical of how comfortable our lives have become,” thought Lisa, as she observed the people surrounding her. Students, teens, middle-aged, elderly, there were people of all ages, forms, sizes and styles. But there was one weird thing everyone had in common.

No-one was talking.

There was absolute silence in that underground metro station.

The only thing heard was the faint footsteps from women’s heels, if there were any. But there was no noise. Nothing like what she had left five stations earlier. It was as if everyone was expecting something to happen. Not something good. As if at any moment now you would expect a rifle to sound. Running. Voices. Screams. Something. Something that would indicate there was still life down there.

Lisa felt as if she was being watched. She could even see herself from the back, as though she was part of a film noir. And she was the one in the red dress. The one sticking out from the crowd. The one targeted.

The escalator ride to the top seemed to take longer than the metro ride to that station. But at last she arrived.

Noise returned to her ears. The corridors leading to the square outside were bustling with life, instantly crumpling all conspiracy theories that had formed in her head.

“There you are!” shouted Francine as she grabbed Lisa’s arm and gave her a hug. “Wanna go to those cafés on the hill for a drink?”

“Yes. Please. Let’s!” breathed Lisa as her heartbeat returned to its normal rhythms.

 

Also part of  Daily Prompt: Twilight Zone

Also part of Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion

Also part of Daily Prompt: Safety First

Also part of Daily Prompt: Close Call

Also part of NaBloPoMo (November 2013)

Jason…without the Argonauts

Jason_golden fleeceHis name was Jason. He bore the name of the leader of the Argonauts and he wore it with pride. He always had a passion with Greek mythology, ever since I can remember. He was fascinated by the battles between the gods, the quarrels with mankind and the tricks played on humans to get their way with them. Even as a young man, Jason was enthralled by the mythological depictions in movies and novels. Maybe it was due to the name he carried.

His quest, however, had no golden fleece. Jason saw the world more like an oyster, rather than a fleece. There was no limit to what you could do, where you could go, or what you could become. You would find him doing all sorts of strange things, from rock climbing to archery, to swimming with sea-lions and ‘canoe-shing’ – a sport he invented by fishing while canoeing! Jason was predictable in being unpredictable – you could always expect that he would be up to something incredible. One time, a Monday I remember, we had arranged to go for coffee the next day. By the afternoon, I received a call from Mozambique. Jason had been inspired by a feature in National Geographic and had fallen in love with the images depicted to such an extent that he wanted to see it first-hand. That is how he was. Unpredictable. But he didn’t always act on a whim. He carefully chose his words, like a diplomatic officer, when it came to business and personal relations. What he actually did for a living, I still don’t know. It was a bit of everything. And if you ever asked him, he would always reply “I’m a drifter. In both space and time”.

Despite his wide build and robust appearance – he was 6ft tall and over 200pounds – Jason was a child at heart. He cared deeply about the tiniest of creatures and the most helpless ones. He loved animals like they were his children and he would do anything for those closest to him. When I was suffering from a terrible virus one summer, it was to him that I called in the middle of the night for help. And before I set the phone down, he was already at my door. He had helped me through the illness, staying by my side all week, until I was strong enough to continue my routine. He would engulf you in his arms and block out every trouble in the world, as if you were protected by an all-mighty shield.

He dressed as an artist and a gentleman. It depended on the occasion and the mood. Jason believed that you shouldn’t care what people mumble behind your back. What you should care about is how you feel in front of them. His philosophy was stand tall and never crouch. And it was applied to every aspect of life.

Growing up we shared the same dream – to travel the world. I manage to do so with my writing and he with his backpack. Although not accompanied by Argonauts, he has the thoughts of all his loved ones accompanying him. And every now and then I receive a postcard with a breathtaking view from his current location. And I am certain that now, in the land ‘down under’ some kangaroo or koala is very grateful to call him ‘friend’.

NB. The post is a response to this week’s writing challenge about characters.

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