Monday, July 18, 2011

The gist of the story

I remember years ago a teacher, perhaps my third grade teacher read us a short story that stayed with me for years and years. The essence of the story still resonates within me, even though third grade was in 1976 and I honestly don't remember much about it, it still jabs at me a little. I never did remember the title or author's name so I can't go back and attempt to find it but the part that stuck with me was how horrible the main character's life was. This mask reminded me of the story, so I tried to recreate what I could remember, what specifically still resonnates. Here it is and I hope you like it even though you might read it and think it is terrible, there is a lesson here and it is the lesson that I want to drive home. For me the lesson is the importance of being yourself and being grateful for what you are given.

Magpie Tales


Waking up stretching, she dressed without giving any thought about the rote motions of dressing. It was habitual as was the clothes that covered her body. Black oxfords, grey tights, black jumper and black mask. The only variation of her dress was the grey tights. Color was strictly forbidden. Taking off your mask in public was strictly forbidden. Taking off your mask anywhere was strictly forbidden. Everything required equality. Everything was giving in the same proportions. Nothing was allowed to stray from the normal. Anything or anyone who strayed from the normal was removed permanently. No one question what that truly meant. Everyone followed the same cyclical code. It is simple; all things must be fair and equal, leave the emotion out of it. Purge the emotion; it just gets in the way of equality. After all fair is fair and life here is fair.         

15 comments:

Donna B said...

Remind me NOT to go there...I can imagine how this story would have STUCK with you, being such a creative person, this must have been your version of hell.

jen revved said...

powerful commentary on how we have that inner voice telling us to conform no matter what...xxxj

Lyn said...

Totalitarianism to the Nth degree!!Very well done..

Kathe W. said...

watch out! It could happen here- pretty scary post-good take on the image.

Jo Bryant said...

Conformity is such a scary, and for some bewitching idea. :)

Sioux said...

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a short story about Harrison Bergeron. (I think the character's name was also the title of the story.) Everyone in the world had to be "equal" and if a dancer was graceful, she had huge heavy weights attached to her, and if a man or woman was attractive, they had to wear a hideous mask...Yikes!

Ann Grenier said...

You captured the scariness of this mask perfectly.Shivers!

Lena said...

oooooh! Not a regime I'd like to live under! Mind you, I'm an identical twin so I can feel it a teensy bit!

Suz said...

oh a good one
and all will be equally poor

Tumblewords: said...

Intriguing. Well written!

Jinksy said...

Conformity smacks of torture! lol

Myrna R. said...

This is a great story. A good lesson for us all.

Tess Kincaid said...

I can really relate to this one. Excellent, Kristen.

Doctor FTSE said...

A good storyline. Thank you.

Bee's Blog said...

Powerfully frightening stuff