Chasing a Dream

Sometimes, I think that hopeless wishes can ruin a person if you think too much about them. It’s something I’ve come to realise over the past few weeks: I love to dream but if I focus on them too much, I might lose my sense of what’s real.

There’s a certain form of escapism to wishing for something so painfully, with all the love and willpower you have. It eclipses everything, to become a golden roar inside your head; it sparkles yet embraces your mind with a sinuous haze. There’s a beauty and a fragility to it because it could be broken with the slightest wind and you never know if something that you’ve been concentrating on for so long will ever happen: will it be snatched away? Will the tower of your hopes be knocked down by some overactive child? Still, it lets you forget the outside harshness for a bit – it’s not a perfect solution but occasionally, it can be comforting and can let you experience a whole new imagination which won’t have the consequences of real life. God, I wish I could have that.

It all sounds lovely, doesn’t it? I certainly think so. However, if the world recedes to be replaced by the visions behind your eyelids, you can forget the very foundations that make you up as a person and that comprise the very solid world that you live in. You can become so attached to those in your dreams, the echoes that are somehow more vibrant than those in real life, that you start to equate them with each other. This is a high generalisation but think on it: if you spend time building a hero inside your head who is only a shadow of that outside your mind, discovering that can break your heart.

Some dreams are glorious yet attainable, others wonderful in their irrationality. I may run away with them; I may linger in the fog of happiness for one more second and emerge to the steel-grey of my rational mind to find that all the feelings of bliss have been forced down into a box of wishes. Your rational conscience could tell you that what you’re looking for may not happen but there will always be that insistent inferno of hopes, burning brightly with possibility. It’s not easy to separate them: I think that to mix rationale with visceral want can be the healthiest solution but how can that be done when the lines between them blur so elegantly?

You can’t be blamed for having an imagination. When you dream, you open a whole new way of thinking which can be so lovely and healthy to do. It’s when the lines of beautiful wishes and what’s really happening don’t cross that you have to take a step back and think: what’s real inside my head? Always follow your dreams, as long as they can cross into the realms of reality and as long as following them will still connect you to the world outside your mind.

I feel like a child. Desperately hoping, when those hopes will never come to fruition, I exist in a whirling reverie. After a feverish disappointment when things don’t come to pass, I – or maybe anyone – am crushed. Is that dangerous?

Really, it’s very hard to balance cold reality with the thrill of running after an elusive fantasy. I’m not sure how well I can do it.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Blank Slate

She had shining, chestnut hair and the girl with duller locks watched her from afar, as if she was some kind of painting. When she laughed, her whole face lit up; her eyes blazed, mouth stretching into the widest smile you’d see.

Her walk was precise, feet tapping the floor of the corridors: she carried herself with ease, interacting with the people around her with a certain finnesse that the other girl could never replicate. Her laugh was never forced, always ringing out above the rest – her long limbs and delicacy dominated every room she entered.

Her marks in tests were sparkling, perfect – she seemed to have everything under control. It was because of that that the other girl watched her with a certain admiration, only increasing with time. She was everything that the other wasn’t, or so it looked.

On a sunny day in mid April, the other girl noticed the change. It was a gradual process at first: her walk became slower; her laugh became a little less vibrant. Going from gold to bronze, she kept up the facade of happiness, strolling down the same corridors and greeting the same people. When green eyes met brown across the lawn, only by chance, the latter was utterly devoid of emotion. They weren’t filled with the usual laughter and the other girl frowned, a fleeting look of worry crossing her face. The brown-eyed girl turned away, almost seeming to be disgusted.

Breathing deeply, she walked after the girl whose face she could never figure out. She was only a formless blur in the hallways to her but perhaps one voice would be enough to do something, anything. Before she could ask herself why she cared, she shouted – “Hey!” running to catch up with her, tapping her gently on the arm.

The girl whirled around, flinching violently, eyes widening in astonishment and panic. A breathy laugh escaped before her mouth flattened, visibly, as a struggle took place. Her features smoothed into the polite, distant mask which you see on strangers – so different from the alive expression she once wore; so alien from the agitated gleam which the girl with green eyes had seen.

“Um, yes? Is everything okay? Indifference laced her tone, tinged with a small slice of impatience.

“I, ahh…” Stumbling over her words, the girl glanced from left to right – barely able to focus on the face of the girl in front of her. “Look, I know you don’t know me and it’s probably rude of me to ask this, but – are you okay? I couldn’t help noticing you’ve looked really, um, not yourself the last couple of days…”

The girl stared at her, starting in surprise. “Me? Yes, I’m fine. Why do you ask? You don’t know who I am. You don’t know how I usually act!” Her tone acquired a hint of sudden defensiveness as she stepped forward slightly, intently gazing at the other girl.

“I know but I just wanted to check… I haven’t told anyone; I just saw you and you weren’t smiling and you looked so sad and-”

“You’re telling me I always have to smile? I always have to look happy? I’m not allowed to feel like shit – is that it?”

“No, no!” She was flustered, face flushing; blinking a few times, she focused back on her face. “All I was asking is if you’re alright. You might need someone to talk to… It can help.”

Upon the girl straightening up to her full height, it was evident that she’d been slouching for such a long time that it had become her normal posture. She stepped forward still, air rushing into her lungs with an audible swish. “Someone to listen to me! You know what – I do need someone to listen to me but it isn’t you. What-” Her lips twisted in slight scorn – “I don’t know you, at all, and the only time you noticed is when I showed it. Funny how the people who are supposed to know when you’re feeling awful don’t see shit and those that don’t know you at all are the only ones that notice!”

Taken aback, the other girl shuddered a little. “I only want to help,” she mumbled, glancing fleetingly into the eyes of the taller girl. “Do you want help?”

“Yes, I-” She broke off, blinking. “I’ve needed help for so long but everyone thinks everything is fine. They think that my head’s all put together but I don’t know what to think; I want to scream and inside my mind I’m shouting!” At this, her hands came together in a sharp clap, making the girl in front of her jump. “I’m so fucking twisted and sick with myself that I don’t know how to feel alright anymore and nobody bothers to ask why because they think I have everything under control.

“People don’t like to see me cry because if I cry – if the so-called perfect, high-achieving girl cries – then they think the world’s over. I don’t want people to take this too seriously – I’m fine most of the time – but I can’t stop this now.”

Nodding, the other girl bit her lip softly. “I’m sorry – people have expectations of you. They – I don’t know – they want you to be someone you’re not.”

For a split second the girl of flawed perfection appeared terrified, the soft angles of her face morphing into hard and unforgiving lines. Her mouth opened, white teeth blinking in the light, as if in a gasp that only she could hear. She swayed, breathing in, out, in, until her breaths mingled with that of the wind and the other girl’s. Her shaking subsided, giving way to a terrible stillness.

“I don’t know who I am,” she whispered, her murmur seeming somehow flat. “I don’t know where I’m going because there’s no one here to help me. I’m trapped and alone and nobody sees except you but to you, I’m just someone you saw randomly and decided to help for God knows what reason. I’m scared – I’m so scared-”

Green stared into her eyes and shivered at the look within them. The raw emotions, the fear and wildness, withdrew behind shutters that she could almost see close. Even the air around her seemed to be stagnant as it waited, every emotion bleeding from her, only leaving the surface behind.

“It’s the only thing I can do,” her eyes seemed to say. “Who am I?” The mask dropped into place and the board was wiped clean: she was blank again. What could the other girl do to bring her back, really?

After she had walked abruptly away, the shorter girl stayed there – standing – for a few minutes. Replaying the encounter in her mind, she realised that the girl was utterly shattered, the only thing she do being to smash down her feelings. Would anyone notice, when the exterior was so whole? Did anybody care enough to look?

* * *

Sometimes, the people who seem the most put together are the most broken. Sometimes, people aren’t what they seem and you never really know a person until you see them at their most vulnerable.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Had a Wild Imagination – Writings of a Younger Elm, Number 3

Read parts 1 and 2 here.

When I was about 8, I fancied myself quite the creative person. I was in year 3 or 4 – I bloody hope I was that young or I may cry from embarrassment – and we were set a task to write a fairy-tale type story. I don’t remember what the task actually entailed but it was to explain something and we had to use our imaginations.

I came up with this excuse for writing. The real thing is upstairs in a booklet of braille paper, with print transcriptions on the back of the pages so that my teachers could read it. On the front of it is what I assume is supposed to be a Moon – a circle of paper coloured in with dots of… Some gel pen I believe. Because I adore making a fool out of myself, I’ve read it to a few people to give them an idea of how bad I was. I copied it out into a document around a year ago and just for you – because I like showing my embarrassment to the wider world – I’ve put it here for you to laugh at.

Sarcastic or horrified commentary is in bold.

Moon Man That title cracks me up because it’s so clichΓ©

Before the moon was in the sky it was a man I don’t think I knew anything about science because that’s both impossible and just hilarious to imagine – the moon’s a lump of rock, child. Moon had two wives and two sons When is this set?? Also, was there jealousy between the two wives; what were their names and backstories? Character development – come on!. One day the two sons asked moon “Father can we go and catch some fish from the lake?” Perfectly in unison? That’s so cool! Wy are they asking Moon (inventive name) anyway? moon who is obviously too cool to have his name capitalised agreed and the two boys went off That was the shortest conversation ever and so totally gives an idea of what the characters are like!. The sons caucht That was either a severe error in my Braille or I just decided that “to cauch” was a great new verb some fish but instead of bringing the fish home they had a great feast and all that was left was bones. You selfish little bastards – children these days!

That evening the boys came home with no food. wOOOOH BEEF – I’m crying that was the worst pun “Where is the food!” cried moon man. Yeah – where is it, hmm? You gonna tell him you greedy- The two boys tried making up excuses but moon I’ve just realised how there can be no moon?? There would be no tides and also the Earth would be different – THIS IS ILLOGICAL soon knew what they had done. Moon had given the two boys a second chance. Bloody hell that was quick – show some backbone!

A few minutes later the sons were fishing peacefuly What’s NOT making me peaceful is my terrible spelling by the river. They caught more fish but again they had a briliant BRILLIANT spelling there feast of fish and bones were only left. Are you KIDDING ME? AGAIN? These little shits never learn I’m telling you; Moon gave you a second chance and what do you do? THROW IT AWAY!

I really think I need to calm down… This “story” is making me question my own plotting skills or lack thereof.

When moon man heard this he was brisling with anger Now children – Word Creation lessons with Elm! Take a word, modify it slightly and there you have it – a brand new word! Isn’t that simple?. Suddenly moon had a plan Like a typical 8-year-old, I doubt I knew what that plan was and I just chose to seem mysterious by not explaining it – it builds up suspense, okay?. The boys had gone out somewhere Soooo specific – I really am getting an idea of where they went!. Moon crept silently out of the house to find the boys. The suspense is growing… I can’t take it any more.

He found them by the river staring into space Are they robot-boys? Is everyone a robot – that’s why there’s no moon!. They were unaware of what was just about to happen. No actual shit

As quick as a flash Moon man jumped out from the shadows WOAH WOAH WOAH calm down!, like whirlwind Is that a friend of his?, grabbed the boys and crushed them into tiny bones. What the fuck. What the actual FUCK???? THEY ARE YOUR CHILDREN and they do something wrong – no, you’re not going to talk to them! You’re just going to kill them! WHAT
“Their just bones!” he growled. Wrong use of their you illiterate arse – also has he turned into a lion? But soon Moon’s two wives came out looking for their sons I wonder why “Where’s our sons?” they asked moon. Well, they’re dead. I overreacted and crushed them just because they didn’t bring back fish for me. Sorry.

When they got back to the house moon told them what he had done which was a mistake. Oh reeaaaallyyyy When moon went to bed the wives set the house on fire That’s understandable but still, a bit extreme? Did I like violence or something?. They burnt moon and were just about to run off when they heard moon’s voice saying But he’s dead? He got set on fire!: “You think I’m dead but I’m not! Wow. Just… Wow I will come back every month!” Erm why? Why every month? And so that’s how the moon is in the sky today. Because THAT makes perfect sense. Congratulations – you’ve won the award for most disjointed story!

That, kids, is the first evidence I had that I liked writing. Pity that this writing was, umm, terrible. I think at that point I genuinely wanted to be an astronaut…

From Elm πŸ™‚

If You Weren’t You

If you were a song, you’d be the one played with violins which echoes around a hall, simply because you don’t believe yourself to be and it would annoy you. You underestimate the power of your own melody: you’d be a bowstring, taught like an archer’s weapon but capable of making the sweetest music, if you would let yourself. You’d be played at the parties of those you hated just to prove a point and I’d laugh, then wonder why I was still listening.

If you were a dance, I’d learn the steps even if I couldn’t dance them: it would be difficult but I’d be willing to try. You’d be the steps to a wedding – the last song they play – because you’d find that strangely ironic. I’d still dance it, the last one standing – or maybe there would be a queue of people in front of me. They could all dance it better but I would still learn as much as I could.

If you were a painting, I wouldn’t be able to see you but I’d have those that could understand describe it to me. Not being able to see you would always set me at a disadvantage because again, it would be another mystery to me, more than you are now. It’s an idea out of reach, a few brushstrokes beyond my comprehension.

If you were a story, I’d be at the point where the plot thickens, never knowing what will happen. Your beginning, middle and end would be filled with plot twists and amazing revelations so that I could never keep up. I’d still read your story or try, no matter if I was discouraged. Complexity never stopped me before but I don’t – I won’t – understand you unless the words, the ideas, become clear to me.

If you were a thought, I wouldn’t feel guilty for thinking about you; I’d embrace it. You’d be that stolen smile at the end of the day, where I wouldn’t feel bad for hoping despite the hopelessness.

Pity that you aren’t.

You’re none of these; you’re just you. You’re neither poetic nor something to be admired: you’re almost like me. I don’t know how to feel about that.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I am the Spider

I am nothing now
But tattered silk, ripped in
Guilt, lies and sorrow,
Dreading the undeserved and angered tomorrow-
Because of me?

I was the paragon and angel of
Justice, honesty, clear of thought;
Yet I twisted and pulled the strings so taught
As to snap, choking you,
Manipulating colours and threads until
I did not know which way was right.

What brought me to this?
I ask, bracing myself for the blow of your fist,
Your hissing words, all of which mean:
You hurt me – so I did – you do not understand.
Do I not?

Pain is not new
When it comes to you, yet now
I am the giver, you the battered soul;
Tragic yet poetic, it fills me with the cold
Of knowing: I caused this fire.

You expect me to act,
To be a perfect heart to fall
In love with the idea of love-
Do you know me at all?
Do you know I am scared of flying, letting go,
So scared that I would run, hide-
You think I do not know what I have done,
But with every word you apply to me, I know.

Let me be free, I said, then
Came back, filling my dead eyes
With happiness, thinking it would
Save me – but I, as broken as ever,
Gave you hope that shattered you.
Let me burn for it
In ashes I scattered-

You will never believe me,
When I say that I am sorry,
Say it twice, thrice, yell it-
It makes no difference and so
I run after a dream.

Leave me to my silent screams,
Hidden tears and bloodied hands-
For the web you think so cruel
Has a heart within its strands.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I’d be a Terrible Character in a Novel

I read a LOT of (mostly young-adult) books, of numerous genres, and so I’m familiar with the stereotypical characters you get in each. The feisty, doesn’t take shit from anyone heroine; the poised, beautiful but deadly girl who’s witty, charming but who is insecure about her abilities; the tough one who realises it’s okay to express emotions, that you don’t have to have your guard up all the time. I’m guessing you’d know a fair few people who could fit into the ‘typical’ mould of a protagonist. You could even fit yourself into that picture.

Then, there’s me.

With my, errm, unique personality traits, disposition and tendency to be paranoid, not believe anything people say to me, unflinching curiosity and the ability to get annoyed easily, I would simply be a disaster waiting to happen in a novel.

I will show you. This mainly consists of dialogue – enjoy!

Dystopian

The first meeting of the Dissenters was held in the abandoned Arena. Almost crumbled to ruin, outside the jewelled City walls yet unravaged by the Pillagers that frequented this side of the Divide, it was a perfect place to meet as not a soul would suspect this little group of going out of the Gates, or of daring to step foot in such a decrepit building. Standing, awkwardly in the centre of the room was Elm, clothed in the traditional wear of the Aschians.

“Erm, she muttered, shuffling her feet. “So, we’re all here today and I’m glad we could all make it…”

“Yeah yeah,” one of the people standing in front of her called. “Do you actually have a plan?”

“Of course I BLOODY WELL have a plan!” Elm suddenly screamed, hands clenching into fists in front of her. “You think I’d actually risk my entire life coming out here, when we might die – have you considered that? Have you thought that we’re going to fucking die one day and there’s nothing we can do about it – our Termination Date is set; you can’t escape that, and even if you could, you’d just die anyway! So NOW you ask me if I have a plan? Of course I do!”

“Elm?” murmurred another person. Please, calm down… You’re getting stressed, and that’s not good for the morale of the people-”

“Ha, you take me for some sort of leader? Yeah NO; I can’t even lead a herd of sheep and that’s why they put me on Conformity duty!” She breathed heavily, eyes narrowing.

“Sooo… You have a plan, then?”

“If I didn’t, we’d be screwed – and yes I will tell you what it is; I’m thinking; be patient! Bloody hell I wasn’t even stressed earlier – I was fine – oh Upholder, this is going to fail!”

“Just calm down! Please!”

Science Fiction

If the spaceship had been any more decadent, it would have been visible from Earth, with its apparent turrets and inner light, from a mysterious source which eminated from the heart of the monstrosity. Corridors echoed with the clamour of unfamiliar machinery, sounds of the ‘life forms’ trapped in ponds on the ceiling, and panicked exclamations from those who had vocal chords. It was a pity, then, that Elm couldn’t really see the bustle around her: only a few flashing lights, the blinding white of the floors made of an indefinable material and the what seemed to be red, fluctuating energy which spread out from a square object in front of her.
She extended her hands, cautiously, flinching back as a strange sensation caught her fingers. “What the fuck is that?” she yelped, staggering back a step.

“That would be the Preson Generator – is that what they call it?” The voice to her left startled her, so much so that she whirled, hands coming up and forward to jab at her supposed assailant. “Woah! Woah, it’s only me; you’re safe!”

“Safe?” Elm snapped. “Right, so you expect me to believe it’s you? Yeah, I can’t see you and you know I don’t care about that but it’s the PRINCIPLE of the matter! I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what these sounds are so I’m sorry if I get pissed off at you because I don’t know what’s what any more!” Breaking off, she took in a lungful of recycled air, choking a little.

“You alright?” The figure stepped forward, gripping her arm. She stiffened.

“Yeah I’m fine, just tired, you know?”

“You always say that! Either that, or you’re tired for no reason; if you say that it’s irritating I’ll kill you!”

Elm sighed. “Right anyway – what does this thing do?” She gestured vaguely behind her, coming into contact with the substence again and shrieking in pain.

“Stop! We’re in the middle of a crisis and you’re not panicking for once – that’s an achievement! But just get away from the thing; I don’t know what it is – don’t touch it!”

“Oooh it’s so cool! Look I don’t know where to go, so I’ll just stay here…”

“Elm… Oh hell, I give up.”

Contemporary Romance

The girl stood in front of Elm, wringing her hands nervously. Elm seemed just as perturbed, her hands twisting in complicated knots, her face slightly pale.

“Look, the girl whispered. “I needed to tell you… I love you, Elm.”

The only response she got was silence, followed by a slightly crazed laugh. It grew, crescendoing into a guffaw so loud that it bounced off the walls, tears of mirth sliding down her cheeks. “You… What?!”

“I-I love you. I needed to tell you before we left.” She only began to notice the vaguely unhinged look in Elm’s eyes when they were – by chance – pointed directly at her.

“You love me? Why – why would you?” Her voice was incredulous.

“Because… Because of your personality. And you’re pretty, and-”

“What specific part of my personality though? What makes you like me? It’s not like I’m anything special, and also, I’m short, and my voice sounds like a horse!”

“Your laugh is cool, and you’re helpful to others!”

“I have feelings for you too but I’m pretending I didn’t say that – and also, bullshit – I’m sorry, how can you though? It makes no sense!”

“Yeah, it does – why won’t you just relax?”

“Because I can’t – EXCUSE ME! But are you sure you like me? Love me?”

“Yes of course!” The girl was looking slightly annoyed, lips pursed, glaring at the other in front of her.

“But how do you know? What if I do something stupid? What if-”

“Aaarghh!!!”

So, there you have it. Me in a novel would be… Interesting.

How do you think you’d have reacted if you were in that situation?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Conflicted

What is right and wrong
When it comes to you?
Gone without you for so long,
The lines begin to blur
Into one.

I should hate you,
With all my heart,
After all this time, tears falling through
The shards of glass you left, and yet
Something draws me to you,
Inexplicable.

It is wrong to forget the ways,
The words and broken promises with which
You hurt me: when you speak,
With a silken tongue and caring whisper,
Is it right for me to remember?

I am told to close myself to you,
To be careful, to always
Hold you away from me,
Resist, persist in desisting your love
Expected to not want to be
What I was, because that is
Wrong. Wrong.

They would despise me for it,
And my head wars with my feelings
Tearing, ripping apart, destroying
The careful foundations rebuilt
After your departure.

You were the flame, the original,
Untainted, flickering, morphing into
Somebody different, but even still,
My hands remember the heat.

If my body gives what my mind is unable,
Is that such a crime?
Detach the flowers, hearts, labels-
Could you ever understand,
I cannot give you what you want.
What do I want?

I am scattered;
You are broken, pieces
Running from the wind of morals shattered
But is it twisted for you, too?

To be hurt, to love, to twist my heart,
All are verbs from the same litter
Of hopeless animals: will you have them
Go hand in hand with me? Will I
Ask you to dance with these dangerous lovers?
No. Yes.

There is no right and wrong
When it comes to you,
Only the melody of past mistakes,
Not corrected, not forgotten
But put aside for one final view
Of paradise.
Now, is that wrong?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Angsty, Insensitive 11-year-old – Writings of a Younger Elm, Number 2

Before reading this, you should read part 1 to get an idea of the origin of this idea, and true scope of my… Well, I refuse to call it story-telling. It’s just attrocious.

I’d found this story a while ago, and this was going to be the first part of this “series”, but I wanted to let you see the less insufferable side of me first. Well, I don’t really know actually; the MORE mature side.

When I was 12, I was irritating, over-dramatic, prone to thinking that I should belong in some novel, and I had a crush on someone and thought I was in love with him. When I was 11, I was worse. Yes, that’s possible: I thought that I was grown up, had just started at a new school, was clueless as to how anything worked and just… I’d recently come out of my very very weird phase, and I’m cringing so hard because my younger self was embarrassing as fuck.

Bear that in mind when you’re reading this abominable “creation”. Luckily, the only person who I sent this to was my mother; nobody else has ever read this. I hope. I believe I continued this, but then deleted it. Here is “Chapter 1”, fit with sarcastic commentary. At one point, I do scream at myself; imagine someone going into a rage and waving their hands about whilst yelling.

Chapter One: Churchhill Chaos

My teacher stares angrily down at me, with blazing eyes like pools of fire Just imagine someone with literal fire in their eyes – also that’s the most overused simile ever. The familiar classroom surrounds me, with its grinning pupils and ghastly teacher Here we go…. “Well?” She demands. “What is the answer?”

My mind tries to clear itself, but the horrible images still remain Basically there WAS a prologue but it was just tedious; long story short, she had a nightmare or something?. “Hell?” I say, clearly. What the hell did I just say? Ooohh such a good pun – OR NOT! The class erupts into rude sniggering laughter, filling me with horror and dread. Twats
“You weren’t listening to the lesson, were you?” No shit, Sherlock snaps Miss Benetis furiously, her face turning red. CALM DOWN
“No Miss! She wasn’t, she was away with the fairies!” PLEASE tell me that wasn’t what started my not-cool fairy obsession of 2012… shrieks Alice Lest Is this another Katie? Oooh!, a short girl with blonde, wispy hair, to all appearances a cute innocent little girl (but in truth she is my mortal enemy Ermmm…, who bullies me non stop). The class chortles away, but I do not pay any attention. Eyyy good! I have more serious problems to deal with. “Bethany, how dare you be so rude and disrespectful!” You were meant to put a new paragraph there – new line new speaker! Miss Benetis practically screams. “You are in YEAR SEVEN ALRIGHT calm down! now, you can not get away with it anymore.” Her voice gets softer, a sure sign she is about to explode. Is she okay? Seriously, they’re in YEAR SEVEN, give them a break! I hold my breath.

“Right!” She shakes the room with her lethal yell, her fiery figure dancing and erupting OHMYGOD it’s a demon holyshit wait why is she erupting? “I will not put up with this at all! You all stay behind, and Bethany, you stay for an extra 5 minutes!” WHAT, just because she didn’t answer a question? Bit extreme. Groans fill the room, stares of pure hatred point in my direction, and Alice nudges me hard and hisses “I’ll get you for this.” Guys she’s gonna get her revenge – I’m sorry I shouldn’t take the piss out of this but I absolutely didn’t know what it was like to be picked on and I can’t take myself seriously No one in my form likes me, except Rebecca. She is one of the nicest people I have encountered at Bale Secondary School, What is it with naming schools so badly? and is the only one who sticks up for me.
“Will you shut up Alice. Where’s the question mark? It wasn’t her fault, was it?” She asks now, looking pitifully at me. LEGEND
“Yes it was!” cries Alice and most of the class. “Of course it was! It always is.” BITCH PLEASE Tears well up in my eyes, trying in vain to come out. I try with all my might to hold them back, but Jennifer Wakefield sees. I’m just crying here because that was a very bad way to introduce a character. Snorting, she chants: “bethany the baby, always gonna cry, bethany the baby, she’s gonna die!” …… WHAT THE – that was awful and it’s like a 6-year-old – SO BAD – rhyming was terrible GET OUT – I can’t any more

Other people in the form titter at this, but I try to pay no heed. “That wasn’t very inventive. YES! I can think of some more!” cries Charlie Becksworth, Oh. Thought that was Bethany. and proceeds to taunt me with ridiculous sayings and insults. The bell rings three times, but Miss Benetis pays no attention. “Thanks to Bethany, you will all stay behind 5 minutes!” SOOOO petty She roars, doing very well at imitating a lion. Ahahahaha no
“Well well well.” cries Alice, “seems as Bethany is such a baby with no morals No – morals – what?, lets be silent in mourning for her birth!” You are so shit at insults
WILL YOU SHUT UP!” yells Rebecca, looking as if she wants to strike Alice down. They’re 11
“Oh, you’re one to talk, aren’t you? Always sticking up for that pipsqueak over there–how old are you again Bethany? Oh yeah, I forgot you’re too dumb to understand what that means!” shrieks Charlie, snorting and giggling. They’re getting worse – also who snorts and giggles at the same time? “Ha! Now she’s gonna cry!”

Miss Benetis pays no attention, staring at us with anger and hatred. THEY ARE 11! Why? Why is it always me? “BABY BALD Bethany!” This last remark bites into me, so sharp my skin prickles and fizzes Is it on fire or something?. Just because I have a hair problem doesn’t mean I’m bald!

RIGHT! This needs an entire paragraph to explain; sorry about the font but I don’t know what it looks like so I’m just gonna use it. When I was 11, my sister told me about a condition where a person has a compulsion to pull out their hair: it’s called Trichotillomania, and you can read more about it here. At the time, I neither knew what it was called nor bothered to search it up (afterwards of course I did) and I tried to include it because… I don’t know. It was badly done and I’m just angry that my younger self didn’t do ANY research.

“Pa!!!!!!!” Too many exclamation marks – these people just need to chill cries Charlie. Oh no, I must have been thinking aloud again. “She’s mad, and weird, and stupid! She shouldn’t even be in this good school at all!” Errrmm WHAT you little shit! That’s it.

I jump up, figuring that the 10 minutes has gone, be it quickly. “Go away Bethany, and don’t come back in here.” says the tyrant teacher calmly, pointing to the door. I hurry out, with shouts and jeers following me. FINALLY she leaves!

Outside I find a strange boy staring at me. Okay? You just walk out of the classroom and he’s staring at you? Logical. “You’re the girl that’s getting bullied, aren’t you?” He asks. WHAT the actual HELL? You don’t just ask that question! What was that? So unsubtle and you can’t just – you insensitive-
“Yes, but why?” I reply, bemused at how he knows. If you’re actually being bullied, it’s very rare that you would so readily admit it to someone you don’t know, even if you need someone to talk to.

“Well I just–` Our conversation is interrupted by Charlie coming out of the classroom. Convenient, huh? Also, I’ve lost track of who’s who; this character development is laughably bad.
“Ha! You don’t have to know. Come on Henry, she’s weird and you don’t need to know her.” Okay – if he’s friends with this Charlie person, then surely Bethany would get suspicious, but I doubt she would – if I continued this, I hope I made that a source of conflict but probably not. He hurries Henry away, leaving me thinking how nice he might be. I hear a sob, and I turn round to see Rebecca hurtling towards me. She flings her arms round me, saying again and again how sorry she is. I comfort her and tell her she need not worry. I like Rebecca. She has substance?

The rest of the day is a hazy blur, with people taunting me endlessly, and I don’t see Henry. Of course I tell Rebecca about him, and she is now trying to find him while I sit on a bench That’s so awkward, people skittering around me like flies. Flies don’t skitter. They fly. Clue’s in the name Someone taps me on the shoulder: I wonder who THAT is! “Uh… I’m Henry, the person who saw you outside your form room.” I’m so so clever; I guessed it! I guessed IT! I turn round, and there he is. Just at that split second, Rebecca comes running up, smiles at Henry and sits down. Convenient
Hi,” I say. “your right Arghhh wrong use of “you’re”, STOP!, people are picking on me. Bullying, in fact.”
“I thought so,” says Henry, coming round to sit down on the bench. That’s actually kind of insulting and even more insensitive… But fine, whatever floats your boat “I no CRYING CRYING that grammar that Charlie, he’s a liar and he’s been saying ghastly and untrue things about you.” Who says “ghastly” in year 7?

Again we are rudely pushed aside by Charlie Bugger off, who goes storming up to us, pushing me and Rebecca and making us shriek. He grabs Henry, hissing at me What a snake – get it?! I’m becoming hysterical “don’t talk to him again. You hear me?” I nod feebly, for there is nothing I can do. Kick him where the sun don’t shine. Do it! And then go and make friends with Henry, who will actually treat your issues with respect, and go through a great transformation and do all that growing up and stuff that happens in “books” AND JUST ACQUIRE A CHARACTER!

Ehem… I think I need to go and calm down, whilst howling in mortification.

If anyone read this, they’d think I was a miserable child, but I wasn’t: I just didn’t understand how to write reasonably about other people’s problems, though I thought I did.

Hope you, um, enjoyed this?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Eventbrite – My Ideal Author Panel!

A few weeks ago, I was inspired by Eventbrite – an organisation where you can find out about events taking place near you, and you can plan your own events as well – to create a post on what my dream author panel would be! Being a bookworm, and someone who gets excited at even the thought of meeting authors, I jumped at this opportunity.

I’ve never been to a book conference, but I very much want to in the next year; it’s one of my (secret but now not-so-secret) goals for the year ahead. Loving so many genres, I think that I’d be interested in many potential panels, which makes creating my perfect one quite challenging. I’ll give it my best shot, though, and remember that if you feel inspired by this post then go on over to Eventbrite and have a look at some of the great conferences you can attend! Or, better yet, you can create a post of your own and share your ideas, or plan an event with their event planning software.

Where would it take place?

Ideally, it would occur in or around London, as I could get there easily. None of the authors I’m thinking of live in the UK I don’t think, but logistics could be sorted out as to availibility. A lovely place would be a library in London, not least because they’re beautiful places and I love the atmosphere of a library.

Who would be involved in the panel?

Even though I want to involve all of my favourite authors, I’d choose Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – who co-author The Illuminae Files (Illuminae, Gemina and the third book which I’m eagerly anticipating), which is a series set in space, and written in emails, chat conversations and ship logs. In addition to that, there would be Rick Yancey, author of The 5th Wave: a science-fiction series about aliens that fascinated me, confused me and destroyed my mind. Lastly, I would have on the panel Josephine Angelini who wrote the Worldwalker Trilogy, a series of books where the main character is taken to another alternate world where her alternate version is an evil dictator: it involves twisted morals, enthralling witchcraft, and a character who goes through some amazing development. Each of their books made me think, made me cry multiple times, and have made it into my favourite series’ of all time. It would be moderated by Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles series.

What would the panel be about?

All four of these authors have one thing in common, asides from being able to write a compelling storyline: they all write science-fiction, or have a series based off of it. That includes new technology, and especially new concepts; that is what the panel would focus on. To put it simply, it would be wonderful if they talked about how to write a successful SciFi series, with an emphasis on the identities of their characters. I say this, because all of these authors have done something very unique with their books, and that would be reflected in the subject of the panel.

What questions would be asked?

β€’ What’s the most important element when writing a Science fiction novel?
β€’ How do you keep readers interested in your series?
β€’ How do you view the idea of identity in terms of your characters?
β€’ Do you feel personally connected to your characters and if so, does that reflect how you write them?
β€’ How does the world and environment you’ve created influence your characters as people?

The thought of this is now making me so excited, though I know it’d never happen. Oh well: I can dream; I adore all of these authors and their respective books, and would love to see them in a room together.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Who are your favourite authors, and what would your favourite bookish panel be about?

From Elm πŸ™‚

The Bloggers’ Fanfiction

This is potentially the worst thing I have ever written and I’m laughing so hard that I can’t breathe because this is so bad. It has no plot, is only 1000 words, and completely takes the piss out of both myself and everyone else.

I present to you…

The Bloggers’ Fanfiction
I don’t know if this has been done before, and I’m nowhere near well known enough to have fanfiction written about me like really famous Youtubers are, so I thought I’d write one myself. Of course, this is a joke and shouldn’t be taken to heart; all these people are my friends and I love them.

People involved in this excuse for writing:

Sav

Abby

Elly

L

Ruth

Selfie

Fibit

Sav hated Christmas.

Of course, everybody who knew him also knew that he hated the overdone and altogether irritating holiday. It wasn’t a secret, but as he stared fixedly at the monstrosity of tinsel and baubles that adorned the shop window, he affirmed very clearly in his mind that he did, in fact, hate it all. It wasn’t as if he even celebrated it, so having to look at all of the decorations made his head pound in a painful rhythm.

Really, Christmas had already passed, and so what was the point in having the decorations up? Sighing explosively, he gave one last glare to the offending window, turned, and hurried down the street. His walking pace was fast, not least because he was already 10 minutes late to the very important – at least to him – meeting he had today. Who could blame him when he was so occupied with thinking about said meeting?

The cold nipped at his cheeks, wind blowing mournfully down the empty road. It had taken him two hours to get to this point, as he had jumped on various trains and busses, his heart beating in anticipation – even more than it had been before. He supposed, though, that it wasn’t as far as some of the other people he would be meeting had had to travel.

Unlike last time, the plan had gone off without a hitch. Having 8 of them, rather than 4, had most likely helped with that: L had planned meticulously for every eventuality, whilst Elm had called him about 4 times just to check that he was still coming; Fibit would probably turn up, because he hadn’t been informed otherwise yet. He grinned then, remembering their last meeting: though it was the summer before, almost 1 and a half years ago, it felt like it was yesterday.

This one would be more special to him, he reflected as he turned left into a slightly busier road. Cars roared their insufferable song far ahead, hidden by buildings and people, but they didn’t interrupt his thoughts. Yes, this had been planned for a long time, involving 3 plane tickets, careful manipulation by everyone to make sure it could go ahead, and too many Skype calls to count.

As he approached the train station where he was meeting Abby, his phone buzzed in his pocket. Ignoring it, he crossed the road, finally coming into the station proper which echoed with the sound of a previous announcement, babies screeching, and footsteps.

She stood there, to the side, a grin breaking over her features as she saw him. Turning, they ran towards each other, hugging for what seemed like forever. He had been waiting for this, for almost a year, and he took in her expression with something close to wonder. He wanted to cry out of happiness, but being surrounded by people made that seem a bad idea. She was just a little shorter than him, making her the perfect height to hug, but eventually he let her go for the sake of time.

“Hi,” they both said, their mouths then curving into identical smiles. Abby had been in England for two days already, her and her family seeing the incredibly boring sights of London and the surrounding area. It was a blessing for them both that she managed to escape, telling her parents that she was going to a concert instead of meeting up with bloggers.

“It’s so great to see you,” Sav smiled happily, taking her hand and not seeming to care that his phone was constantly vibrating in his pocket. They walked out of the station, the freezing cold smashing into them. “English weather’s shit,” Sav grumbled, swinging their conjoined hands. “Shall we go and find the others?”

“Where are they?” Abby asked, turning towards Sav as they stopped in the middle of the pavement. “Did they say where they were going to be, or…”

“Well, they’re-”

His question was answered when they heard exasperated yelling coming from the next street. It was at such a high volume that even passersby stopped to stare. With that, Sav took Abby’s hand again – both of them were dressed in black, and were entirely comfortable around each other. Despite only having met once before, their friendship was stronger than any he had experienced, late night skype calls and inside jokes making him smile.

“Well how the BLOODY hell should I know where they are?” came the shout that grew progressively louder as they walked towards it. “I’m not superhuman, and even if I was, I’d have a shitty superpower like the ability to walk through walls or something!”

“Hey hey, calm down – Elm, stop rubbing your hands together – because we’re all here, and they can’t be far.” If Sav wasn’t mistaken, that was Fibit’s voice, something that was confirmed when Abby’s face lit up beside him. So, he had arrived.

“Sup bitches,” Sav called as he rounded the bend in the road, Abby moving to stand slightly ahead of him. She choked back laughter as they were met with 6 faces of incredulity.

“Where have you been?” He couldn’t take Elm seriously, the annoyance in her tone ruined by the fact that she was smiling, that her small body was shaking with suppressed laughter and because she was shoving L out of the way. She stepped forward uncertainly, almost rushing into Abby before they hugged. “Oh my god Abby!” Elm squeaked, and then moved to embrace Sav.

Fibit, Selfie, Ruth, L and Elly acted similarly, L doing a very good impression of a chicken, laughing when Elly and Elm began screaming as they realised that yes, they were next to each other and that this was actually happening. Abby stayed next to Sav, both of them integrating seamlessly into the group despite their late arrival.

“Okay, now we’re all here!” L shouted, clapping his hands. Elm closed her eyes, elbowing Fibit as they both tried to hold back their guffaws. Elly smiled at L, and though he couldn’t see it, he turned towards her and touched her hand quickly.

“Erm anyway,” Fibit said, taking charge of the conversation. “We never really said what we were going to do…”

“Who cares?” Selfie laughed, letting Elm take her arm. “Let’s just go with it. YOLO, you know?”

It was because of Selfie’s insistence that they just wing it that they all found themselves sitting, precariously, on a park bench. Elm, being the rebel that she was, sat on the ground with Ruth, occasionally mumbling “forever alone,” eventually turning to face the others. Sav glanced at her, confused as to why exactly she was on the ground, but didn’t question it. Looking over to L, he saw him leaning on Elly whilst cackling, and refused to ask either.

They had walked down the streets in what looked like a parade of 8, Sav and Abby leading as Selfie and Elm followed. The rest of them were disorganised, occasionally either getting lost or pushing each other into buildings.

The park echoed with their shouting and general madness, Elm and Ruth ganging up on both L and Fibit in what ended with a war of innuendos. Sav sat bolt upright, glaring.

“Excuse me, but I think I’m the king of innuendos here,” he grumbled as Abby nodded in agreement. “You can’t stop me from releasing it.”

Elm paused, staring in his general direction with something akin to horror. “Ruth, help; he’s coming to get us!”

L dived onto the ground next to Elm, almost knocking Elly off the bench. Apologising, he grabbed Elm’s arm. “I’ll protect you! I mean Elly’s cooler than you but I’ll still save you from Sav.” The only thing that Elm could respond with were howls of laughter as she wiped tears from her eyes.

After a few more minutes of confusing chatter, Sav felt wholly relaxed. Smiling at Abby, he basked in the sound of Selfie and Fibit arguing about Physics, L and Ruth scream-singing and Elm and Elly laughing for no apparent reason. There would only be one thing that would improve it for him.

“Look, can someone please explain to me what soldier means?”

Well, Sav thought. Elm just ruined the mood.

Don’t even ask…. I came up with this idea a while ago, but only started writing it today. I blame it on tiredness and a lack of creativity. If you’d like to see more plot-less and horrific fanfiction from me, let me know!

From a disgusted and embarrassed Elm πŸ™‚