Monday, December 5, 2011


Well, it wasn't always this way. I used to be able to stare at nothing and somehow find truth in what I saw. But now that's not possible. The many truths of this world are set in stone. So when the supervisor of our section asked me if I knew why I was punished, all I could say was, "Because I lied. Lysel is always right."

That morning, I woke, as usual, at four o'clock, so that I could get to the cotton farm on time. It's horrible work, cotton farming, but I was told that "someone's gotta do it", so I don't question my place. I thought it unfair that the curly black-haired Linbies did not need to work each day; they were the ones who told us where to go and what to do when we got there. But, once again, there was a reason for that, too. It turned out that those with jet black curly hair had more brains to hide with such hair than those of us with green and chestnut locks upon our heads. I myself happened to have straight, deep green strands hanging from my head, and that classified me as one of the dumber Linbies, one of those who were best working on a cotton farm.

So here I am, working until the blisters on my hands from the previous day grow raw and red, in Section 3 of the cotton farm owned by the beautiful black, curly-haired Pamwi. She was the daughter of none other than our even more handsome, more tyrannical leader, Lysel. We all hated him. He was the one who came up with what I thought was the most ridiculous segregation between different kinds of people, the one between people with different hair. I knew that I wasn't really dim-witted, or I wouldn't be able to think such things. Heck, I wouldn't be able to write this without making an enormously amount of grammatical errors. Oh. Well, this can't be erased, so let us ignore that, please.

"Don't be forgettin' that we best be meeting our quota of a two hunderd pounds o' cotton by midnight tonight, understand, Section 3?" I was woken from my thoughts by the cruel reminder of our required quantity of work given to us by our section leader, Mecila, whose head was blanketed by black but straight strands of what looked like silk. Re-inspired by my inner anger, as well as a new discontentment that came from the utterly bad grammar used by, supposedly, our superior. And she's said to have more brains; no way that's true.

"My, my, two hunderd pounds, ya say? My, that Lysel be piling tha work on thick now, don'tcha think?" I said in my best impersonation of her accent, "That man don't know what he be doin', naw he don't. If he wants ta keep that there position he's got, then he best be easier on his devoted workers, now don't he?" The look on Mecila's face knocked everyone watching into next month. Redder than ever, and her lips twisted in a way that shouldn't be possible for a normal Linbie, she glared at me in contempt and rage.

Forcefully, she grabbed me by the wrist, half-dragged me behind the nearest tree, took out a cowhide whip, and pinned me, back to her, against the tree. I knew it was coming, and I wished I hadn't spoken. She had folded the whip in half, and began lashing at my back, my shirt pulled up to my shoulders. I winced with every stroke of her cruel brush, hoping each time that it would be the last one. But it never seemed to end. It seemed I had made her genuinely upset, and now I was going to pay for the way I had humiliated her. Not that she had had a positive reputation among the cotton farmers, anyway.

It wasn't until she finally stopped and turned me around again that an angry tear fell down my cheek. "Now, Section 3, Number 67, do you understand why you were punished?" The only thing I could say to keep myself from being whipped again was, as you know, "Because I lied. Lysel is always right."

So that was that day, and it continued and ended the way my days always ended: work until ten, and supper at home by ten thirty. I still knew that my world wasn't the way it should be, and I wanted to fix it, but my creative mind had left me back when Lysel had taken my perfect-for-society parents as his personal guards, and left me by myself. Back when the rules were established, and I could no longer think outside the box. And so, there was no way for me to formulate a plan to fix things, and there wasn't anyone who could who wasn't happy with their current standings on the social ladder.

For yet another year, my life remained the same. However, when I was walking one day on our only day off of work, Lysel's birthday, of course, I came across a pair of travelers. "Hello," said the woman, "Could you tell us if we are anywhere near Maziron?" Maziron, as I had gathered from my secret studies, was a long ways away from Lyslia. "Maziron is quite far from here. Are you lost?" "Yes," replied the man, "My wife and I are on our way to her parents' home to have her baby." "Congratulations," I said, "Well, it's very late. Would you like to stay the night in my home before continuing your journey?" "Yes, please," he replied with a smile after a sideways glance at the woman, "Thank you for your hospitality." "Of course," I smiled back at them. They looked so happy, like my parents and I had been. My mother had been pregnant, too. "I'm Vedy, and my husband is called Ralbu," said the woman. "Oh, sorry. I'm Belinadae," I replied, "Nice to meet you both." A smile stretching from ear to ear, I led the couple back to my home.

The following morning, I awoke to leave for the cotton farm, when Vedy turned to me from her mat on the floor. "Where are you going so early in the morning?" she asked. "Work," I replied. "Work?" she asked with a puzzled look on her face, "But you're so young." "I am? Some of the people who work at the cotton farm with me are seven or eight years old." "Really? That sounds horrific. Why would anyone make children work on a cotton farm?" This thought puzzled me. For the majority of my life, it had been this way. I'd been working for Mecila ever since I had turned six. My first working day was my birthday. And I remembered how it had been the most horrible experience of my young life.

When I had woken up that day, I walked into the kitchen to see my parents sitting at the table with somber faces. When they had told me that I had to go to work that day, I didn't even know what that meant. Until Lysel entered our glorious little world, no one under twenty needed to work. And so I was appalled at the idea. Nonetheless, I walked out the door with my head held high. I soon found out I had been much too confident for my own good.

Later in the day, after many tears over the hard labor on my fragile body, my mind began to wander. I began staring at nothing in particular, pondering the many various thoughts bouncing around in my curious little brain. I started to focus on what the reason might have been for my having to work today. And who had decided this; surely my parents hadn't wanted this to happen. And then the whip fell. The first whip on my back I had ever felt. It was full of anger at whoever had been wielding it, and my back stung well into the next hour. "Back ta work, missy. We don't be needin' sleepers on this here farm." I turned around to see a gorgeous woman, but her beauty had no matter to me, as all I could look at were her cruel, snobby expression. I could tell that she was not from here. She couldn't be; everyone in what had been Dahlini (before Lysel arrived, of course) was like family, not like this. Every Linbie was equal. Right?

"Because some believe that others are theirs to control," I replied sadly, "And I'm afraid their minds won't change." I turned and strolled out the door, staring at the ground. I guess I had lost my confidence over the years.

I followed my usual path along the edge of Pamwi's brother's apple orchard, trying not to be seen by the men who kept watch from the roof of their master's house. I began to remember what it felt like to be beaten, and I noticed that now that I had gotten used to such cruelties, they did not seem so bad as they truly were; it was all commonplace. If only everything could go back. But I knew that one could not turn back time, that everything was as it was, and it couldn't be forgotten.

As I worked myself harder and full of anger throughout the day, I felt that perhaps I could change things. Perhaps I could make my world a better place to live in. And so, after hours of painful labor, I began to head home, a faint smile dancing on my lips.

When I walked through the doorway, I found that Vedy and Ralbu had already left. I went to the table and began to set out some things for my supper, when I noticed a small slip of parchment with scraggly writing on it. It read:

Belinadae, thank you very much for allowing us to rest in your home for the night. I am sorry we were not able to give you a proper goodbye, but we couldn't stay any longer. We hope that your situation will soon improve, and we believe you are capable of great things. Also, after much thought, we have finally decided on a name for our baby: your name. It is a very beautiful name, and it is the name of someone who knows how to dream. Again, thank you so much. Best wishes, Vedy and Ralbu.

Learning of the baby's name touched my heart, and I felt that I hadn't done enough for such an honor. However, hearing that they "hope my situation will soon improve" inspired my anger at our society even further. I knew what I had to do. I walked back out the door and down the road toward Lysel's home. It was easy to find; it was the only house big enough to be seen above the treetops. I walked up the path to the front door, being sure to keep my head high. With no hesitation, I pounded on the door with a fist full of contempt. Soon after, the doors swung slowly open.

I strode into the front courtyard that appeared in front of me, fuming. As I reached the next set of doors, however, I was stopped by a pair of guards armed with spears. "You may not pass," explained one of them. "And why not, may I ask?" I questioned. "Our lord Lysel does not welcome uninvited guests, especially ordinary citizens, into his main hall," replied the other. With no real thought I grabbed hold of their heads and pushed them into each other. With a loud bonk, they feel to the ground.

I pushed open the doors to a large, carpeted room. At the far end was Lysel, sitting upon a golden throne. "And whom do I have here, invading my home?" He said with a sideways grin, "Ah, yes, the daughter of my two most loyal advisers." He clapped twice, and I watched, full of sadness, as my mother and father walked into the room, wearing clothes almost as glamorous as Lysel's.

"Gemzolin, Frisnala, greet your daughter." "Hello, Belinadae," came the cracked voice of my father. "Hello, father," I replied, a tear falling down my bruised cheek. I couldn't bear to look at them. They seemed to be pampered, but on the inside, they hadn't yet been able to get over the dismay of our separation, not even after ten years. But I understood where they were coming from. I still couldn't let go of them either.

"So, why are you here? Have you come to revolt? Surely you aren't planning on ending my rule with an army of one." He laughed, and it was an evil laugh. I brought my head back up, and replied, in a voice as strong as I could muster, "Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am not. But I must bring to your attention the cruelties you have brought to our peaceful land, to Dahlini." "Dumb girl, do you think I do not realize this? Do you think that if you tell me this, that I shall quietly leave? No! Who, in their right mind, would give up such a wonderful position as mine, for such an insignificant population?"

"You are wrong! We of Dahlini are not insignificant! We are truly superior to you and all of your pawns, as we have realized, early on, the true meaning of life: equality and love among all Linbies. That is why we named our land as such! It is, as you must have known, the original Linbie word for "harmony". We will join together, as one being, to defeat you and end your tyrannical rule!"

"Guards!" I turned to see a group of about six men running toward me. I was able to take one last regretful glance at my mother and father before the hilt of a sword knocked out my lights.

I awoke many hours later, in a stone cell. Turning, to my left, I came face-to-face with a rotting corpse. After an initial cry of shock, I looked closer, finding that it was a young girl who had once helped me collect berries for the harvest festival. I couldn't gaze at her skeleton; there was too much destruction to be seen there. I tried to rise to my feet, but I soon found that my hands were chained to the wall.

So this was where my anger had led me: to a cell that would become my grave. I didn't want to think about death, or my hatred of the life I was forced to lead, or anything. I wanted to run away and never return. But, obviously, that wasn't possible. So what would I think about, with the rest of my life to do nothing but think. It was almost humorous; I was to begin and end my life with the ability to think deeply, and think what I wanted to.

During the weeks I spent there, chained to the wall, I thought many things. I thought first of the most recent events, and later of things that had happened in my past. I then thought of what may have happened if things had gone differently, such as where I would be now if Lysel had never come. How wonderful life would be now! I wouldn't be dying. But I later realized that everything is for a reason, and things will one day be okay again.

After about three weeks of thinking much and eating little, I was told that I was to be hanged. I asked what that was. "We tie a rope around your neck, and pull you up by it so that your neck snaps and you die." It sounded horrific. I wasn't sure if I would be able to live up until then. I continued to shiver as the man unlocked the restraints on my arms, and as he pulled me up the stairs and out of the dungeons.

To be continued..


Just found out I can make the blog formatted to fit mobile devices. Sweet! Love it when I don't have to zoom in and scroll in every direction. :) Betcha wanna see now. I know I did. :)