One prompt given in our 500 word challenge was to write from the perspective of another. I found that very difficult because of the need to judge where another person in coming from in order to do so. A writing book I found years ago addressed that concern by giving ideas to shake up this feeling of judging. One was to write the opposite of what you saw in someone you know so that you can free the character you create from past perceptions.
It got me thinking. Who would I be willing to write for? As is often true for me, the answer came while driving in my car. Shahara, a character in a story that has followed me for years and ended the night that – but that is for later in the story.
You brought me to life in a story that began with an ending I fought with the one last magic of finding Her to write for me the life that had been mine. You found me, there on that island you had discovered in dreams you created for others. You believe you placed me there, alone, remembering those who had come before and no longer walked on my shores. You gave me the beauty of forests and grottos, bubbling springs, lush greenness and soft sandy beaches washed by the ocean’s waves. You gave me rocky cliffs and ledges, deep caves with depths yet unexplored. You created a home of magic, a seers hideaway.
You also gave me storms with forces strong enough to tear at my rocky shore changing its face as falling stone scarred the surface and slashed pathways that once gave access to hidden secrets on the island. Slowly you closed my world in by locking the permeability of stone into an opaque prison, snarling paths with mournful vines. You taught me to fear for my very survival. Could I stay alive as the walls grew less fluid in their separation of Her and me?
Do you realize you never let us speak in all the years you gave us your story to carry? You looked at us from a distance, making us the guardians of all you did not want to hold. We were simply characters, the repositories of all you did not know how to hold, or to loose. But we weren’t as predictable as you would have liked us to be. We didn’t follow your script in moments you turned to us for the responses you had created us for. We kept you on edge, but often what we gave was more than what you would have chosen to give yourself. You didn’t know the secret you kept us from speaking. The secret you were not ready to hear.
But I was the lucky one. At least you let me feel. You gave me substance and movement. Keaton’s life was tied to the desk, to telling my story. You never got around to giving her a story of her own even though the world of living was right outside Her door. She was the shadow as you tucked your life inside, hidden on my island – the island you had doomed by its very existence.
* I should have known that Shahara wouldn’t be held to 500 words since I had left her for years in silence. If you read this, please let me know if there is enough here for me to continue posting her story. *