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Footsteps of the Mind

 

By FoxStar

 

[This was written on a very bad day - due to the well at our country-located house being temperamental, there wasnít much water, and I hadnít washed my hair in three days, which I had to manage somehow, since I was working twice the next day, in dish-room and a banquet.Which meant I finally used the pump out in the lane to fill a couple gallon milk jugs with freezing cold water, and had mum pour them over my head while I washed my hair in the sink.Cold.Really cold, as in, you grit your teeth and whimper, cold.In early New England March weather, no less.And the plumbing was messed up in the upstairs, so we had to wait for the plumber.Which meant we had to stay home.And that meant we couldnít go into the city to go fabric shopping for the stuff I needed for a dress.Which I am supposed to have made ten days from now, for a Celtic Ball that some friends of mine are having.Plus I desperately needed to get out of the house.

To top it all, it looks as though the in/out cord for MP3 encoding is in a pouch that I think I left at a place two and a half hours away.And I have someone that wants a copy of six episodes of the ducks, five of which arenít converted yet.And my best friend just got out of the hospital from a severe asthma attack.

One of those days.So, if the story suffers, my apologies.]

 

Iíve had it up to here.I really have.

For starters, no one around here seems to give a fig about me, except Duke.And Iím still not sure what to do about him.

How did my life get so strange?An alien on a planet that isnít her home, without a mother, without a father.Abandoned because they simply didnít care.Taken in by strangers, turned over to the police, then stolen by the Doctor.All before I turned four.

All I can remember is that there was a blonde, sad woman, who would sing to me, and tell me stories.And a man, who took care of us both.Who later changed, and couldnít love us anymore.

We were a strange family.

I didnít realize until later.That they werenít my parents, I mean.The blond lady I remembered was called Twilight, and the other one was Mortalis.At least thatís what theyíre called now.I know their real names, but I couldnít tell anyone what they are.Some things are left better buried, and buried deep.

I guess I was eight when I finally figured it out.Or at least, someone shoved it in my face.One of the other prisoners laughed when I called Twilight my mother.

Are you blind?You look nothing like her!

I checked the reflection in the barred window to my familyís cell that night, and I remember how the tears burned my cheeks.

They were right.I had known it, should have known it, but I was too desperate to belong to someone, anyone, to question it.

My Ďmotherí was a human.So was my Ďfatherí.They had no duck-bill, just noses.And skin, not feathers.Neither of them looked anything like me.Not hair, or eyes, or face, or anything.

My pretend mother heard me crying, and gathered me into her arms.

You were given to us by fate.Iíve been the one to rock you to sleep these past five years.I love you as much as anything in the world, chereÖ

Dad had only stared into space, unconcerned about my tears.It wasnít his fault though.I knew that.

My father had been broken for two years now.Mama said back then that Dr. Bryant had broken him, made him so he couldnít feel.She said he couldnít laugh or cry the way I could.

I had crawled into his lap and patted his chest, baby of six years that I was.And Mortalis had sat there and awkwardly put up with it, looking a bit confused, unable to understand what had triggered my sympathies, or the emotion itself.

Two years later, when I realized the truth about the little, broken family that was mine, I fell asleep in tears, with my earth mother still holding me.I knew the truth, and it hurt.But I still belonged.

Or did I?That question is one that has plagued me since that night.

Everywhere I go, anything I doÖ I still wonder if I belong here.My birth parents didnít want me.I wasnít worth the trouble.

Am I worth the trouble now?Even staying here at the PondÖ Iím cringing at the idea that Iím putting the others through unnecessary stress.Most of them donít seem to like me.Iím stepping into a situation where everybody knows each other, and here I amÖ I donít know anyone.Iím trying to be nice, and avoid stepping on toes, and be my normal self towards everybodyÖ except that most of the time, I wonder later just how I wind up sounding.Like a hanger-on?Like a jerk?Like a goody two-shoes?Like Iím treating some of them differently?Iím trying not to.

Iím just being who I really am.Nice.Occasionally far too easy to get riled.Helpful.

Maybe thatís whatís annoying people.Or just annoying me.

My earth mother says I worry too much about what people think of me.And to some degree, I try not to.Iím all too used to losing people.I lost my parents.Some of my friends.Iíve never seen my real brothers and sisters, if I have any.I didnít have a normal childhood.Not even a happy one, sometimes.And Iíve just gotten used to it.

The leaving, I mean.Everybody leaves eventually.

I have no planet.No family.No people, no friendsÖ at least, I donít think I do.Do people really love the pathetic wretch that hides from everyone?Or do they only see what I want them to?

I remember when my hair turned white from the experiment.Not brown anymore.Pure white.I hated it at first.But itís almost pretty now.

And the eye marking.Nobody here knows about that marking over my eye except Duke. Iím afraid of what might happen if the others see it.If the cosmetics run, and show the world who I am.

Iím alone enough.

I remember the first time someone spit at me.It landed on my cheek.Didnít sting, or hurt me physically, but it hurt so bad to think anyone could hate me, just because I was who I am.

It was the first time, but not the last.The next time, I still felt just as defiled.

I was such a naÔve child.I always believed that everyone just wanted to be friends, no matter what.Maybe thatís why it hurt so much, every time I was wrong.I really believed they were my friends.

I canít go back to the only family Iíve ever had.My former friend shot at me, nearly killed me.But I donít belong here.Iím not a fighter.Not even a hero.Iím just a girl without a name, or a past.

Maybe my parents are still alive.Maybe they really didnít want to let me go.Maybe, somewhere, my whole family is waiting.Mom, Dad, a brother or two.A sister.A name I donít remember.Faces I canít recall.A planet that I never really had a claim to.Maybe they still wonder where I am, and my getting left behind was an accident.I could find them, somehow, actually belong somewhere for the first time in my life.Maybe they miss me.

Maybe the moon will fall out of the sky.

ÖI hate being stuck here.I feel guilty for using a room here.I have nothing to offer in return.Nothing to give them.Iím hiding, but nobody knows that, and I canít tell them why.Iím the odd one out again.The latecomer, who doesnít know anyone, and canít seem to make any friends, no matter how hard she tries.

I wonder what itís like not to feel guilty for everything.As though the mistakes of the world are your fault?

I wonder if anyone misses me at the Labyrinth.

What do you do about pain so real that it grabs you and hollows out your insides?Makes you double up in pain from the emptiness?

I have to get out of here.Even if itís just walking to the park.If I can just get out of here for a bit, away from the stares, Iíll be okay.

ÖWildwing seems to be waiting for something Ė either good or bad.He doesnít hate me, but Iím not sure he likes me either.And he certainly doesnít seem to trust me.And his brotherÖ heís nice, even sweet occasionallyÖ but I must seem like some kind of freak to him.Thereís a million things Iíve never done, never could have, because I was a prisoner for seventeen years of my life.And I canít explain that, so I have to act like a recluseÖ

Tanya isnít sure about me.Grin will accept me until things prove otherwise.

Mallory hates me.Or, at the very least, wishes Iíd drop off the face of the planet.We seem to rub each other the wrong way, and I donít know what to do to fix things.

Phil is convinced having white hair is going to be a new trendÖ whatever that means.

Duke.

Iím not sure about him.He kept me from dying, certainly, but I donít know what he thinks of me.

I donít know what to think.I keep wishing for times in the past, where I was happy, or at least surrounded by people I love.The trouble with living in the past is that it leaves you no future.

Ace.I really miss him.He was always there to talk toÖ and now Iím at a loss.You never really appreciate the people in your life until youíre cut off from them.I didnít mean to disobey.But I needed to see what waited for me.

I thought I would be near my people here.

Now Iím not so sureÖ

 

Fox Argent is copyright me, and the ducks and Phil belong to Disney.

Ace and Twilight are Cindyís property.

I canít exactly say any resemblance, living or dead, is a coincidence, and all that, Ďcause a lot is based on my own experience.

Hereís hoping tomorrowís a better day.