Ladygirl of a British persuasion; sometimes I actually write stories that aren't depressing (but not very often)
I write for the http://jupiter-palladium.com, which is a webcomic about superheroes. Interesting ones. Cute ones, too. Which is nice. (It's cheerier than most things I write. That's where the happy goes, guys.)
It was weird, the way the rest of the world could see something that you yourself couldn't.
Like, I look in the mirror and there's - yeah, there's a girl there. And...yes, those eyes are dark, and that hair is...kinda curly, if it's behaving, and that skin is pale, freckled -
And I'm seeing the things I need to do to get to beautiful. Pluck that, moisturise that, define that, conceal that (some mornings, conceal all of it, please)
The amount of times I look at myself and I think that I need to be fixed. That I need to...
"Travel light, but take everything with you."
It took her a moment to try and work out whether it was meant as a philosphical proposition or actually practical advice. Not that it felt paticularly practical.
Still. One easy solution. "What are you on about now?"
Effective, too. "Everything you need. I don't want to have to use a phrase book to work out how to ask for...what do you always forget?"
"Nothing. Clearly. Or you'd remember. You may well have learnt the lingo for it, if there was just one thing..."
"Sunglasses. You always lose them."
"Ah, well, that's different."...
"You'll never say it, will you?"
"What do you think?" She is exasperated, hands on her hips, eyes looking...sore, maybe.
I can never tell.
I should be able to, by now.
"That? Those words?"
She makes a face, and it's like a bridge collapsing. "Those words. You make it sound like they're...they're... like they're something bad."
I can't even think them, let alone say them. I mean, I do, of course I do, but... No.
"They aren't." I attempt. "And...you already know..."
"Do I?" She's staring now. "I did. I did know, but now...I'm not so certain. I...I just...
I thought she was made of china, the first time I met her. Girls that perfect didn't exist, only dolls. Frozen icons of perfection, unattainable.
She made me feel clumsy - she was slight, small, pale, hiding behind perfect ringlets. On paper we sound the same - the same could be said of me (apart from the ringlets; my hair is straight, limp) but she wore it with pride, I treated my height as a disability, my weight as an inconvienience, my skintone a health hazard. I looked sickly, she looked ethereal.
Somehow it wasn't a surprise when she spoke...
She knew more than she was letting on - then again, that was her weapon. That was the way she lived her life, mostly on her wits.
He'd been watching her for longer than he should, longer than he'd been contracted to. He'd taken the case on (and that sounded ridiculous, he wasn't a detective, he was just a man) and had found himself captivated.
It wasn't lust. Wasn't love either. Neither of those things interested him, especially not with her (she may have been beautiful, once, a long time ago, or maybe she would become it when she grew...
"I'm falling in love with her."
"Oh, that's nice, that really is." She watched him sit up, get up, finding his clothes. "I'm glad."
"That means that this stops."
She frowned. "What? Why?"
He turned to stare at her. "Why? Because this is cheating as it is, let alone -"
"This is just physical. Let her have the emotional and let me have the physical." She got out of bed, sauntering towards him, smirking when he turned away. "There's no reason to stop."
"I really feel something for her. I don't want to hurt her."
"You aren't hurting her. She'll...
In hindsight, the solution was obvious. It always was, that was the glory of hindsight. And it wasn't so bad when you didn't have someone crowing at you, not quite saying "I told you so" but thinking it very loudly indeed.
She wasn't sure why she put up with him. Twenty-something years they'd been friends. You got less for murder (she'd thought about it - not for long, but it had still crossed her mind). He was cocky and insufferable, and the best friend she'd ever had.
Very irritating, the way these things seemed to dovetail together so neatly.
There is a place, near where I used to live, that looked like this - you see it, right there? It's a bowling green. Not the bowling you and I would do, the bowling that belongs to another age. Mostly the elderly.
There were, in fact, two near me - high amusement, I can tell you, since we came to the conclusion that one had decided it was a rival for the other. And that said other had no idea that it existed. That this perceived rivalry would fuel them entirely, even though the other lived in blissful ignorance of...
It was the same old lie it always was.
"The day after tomorrow, this will all be over."
Of course it would. And tomorrow morning, someone would say it again. And the day after that. And the day after that.
Tomorrow may never come, but the day after tomorrow? Not a chance. Not a glimmer of hope.
The days all ran together anyway, here - there was nothing that set any one day apart from another. The air would be thick with tension, the trench would be cold, somebody would get injured, another would die. It was the same every...
The Moon would never be the same again. She'd never be able to look at it in the same way, never be able to go back.
Nothing would, actually. Nothing would go back to being the way it was. It had all changed, in ways she didn't fully understand - she never would understand, didn't expect to.
She'd presumed that some things in life were constant. That you could rely on them - tides, stars, earth, and her elder brother.
The tides were changing, sea levels rising. The stars had shifted without her noticing. The earth was meant to be...