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Inexorable Truth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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It was drizzling. People were walking through the rain. Inside words pattered. My mother spoke in heavy thunderbolts. She had carefully painted her face to cover up the flaws of her humanity. First she powdered the wrinkles of knowledge, then her mouth was a heavy blood red, and ­finally black ink in the crevices of her eyes. She had looked at herself admiringly.

She sat down with a cautious woman who had known her when she hadn’t masked her face so heav­ily. My mother carefully began her expressive miming duties and the woman nodded, as if she knew. They performed a silent play. The black in my mother’s eyes flowed down like a melancholy stream on the window’s side. She frequently would gesture to me as the rain pounded down. She gradually became another shadow in the poorly lit room. The other woman who had thin gray and auburn curls pulled into a scrunchie and thinner wired glasses, ­quietly put on a mask. It was simplistic: a gray ­umbrella that shaded her from the perilous storm and a smile. They continued their silent movies with the shadow often referencing me as the stem of the storm, the stem of all darkness.

I let the words blend until they were just more bolts and hissing whispers of rain. I clamped my teeth and eyes shut. Their words mirrored their faces but had less to say than the choppy thunderbolts, I concluded. The rain hadn’t blamed anyone for the day that others quickly titled horrid. It served to quench the thirst of the dry-throated while others made disparaging shouts about it.

I began to sing softly to the drops and the drips. I went through all the keys on onomatopoeia. I tapped a pencil and pen loudly on the thick rug. I followed the water and the sagging trees that let out long flows of water. I got up from the floor and went out the door.

The masked woman and my mother gave each ­other knowing looks. I’m glad they’re so intelligent. “Sometimes I let her autism speak for itself,” came the last thunderbolt.

I crept onto a bench and let rain fall on my face. We talked about atrocities and the beautiful weather. I told the rain of her beauty and she told me of mine. I told her of the mimes and how they ­believed in our ugliness. She smiled and told me that ugliness loves to point fingers. A yellow bus broke through the scene and the doors splayed opened.

I trudged on and the driver gave a half-pity smile as he closed the doors. “Poor weather, ain’t it?” I peered through him, wishing for more. He remembered I didn’t taste these words the way he did.

I sat down on the bruised leather and took out my pen and pencil. I pounded the tin bus walls while the rain drops kissed passionately on the window. I heard other people humming louder as they saw the climax. A couple warned of a storm. These jeaned kids jumped, pounded on the bus. Others laid their heads on a shoulder and smiled at the early morning performance.

“Another day on the short bus,” the gaunt man rolled his eyes and pulled out onto a long stretch of gray.

In the stairs of the school, I crawled in the hallway. The shadows were hard to see but made up for it with their threatening notes. The masked children had plastic smiles to ensure the shadows didn’t disappear. I bent down and stretched myself across the stairwell. Pressing my ear against the concrete, the stairs told a story of dust, plastered cracks, and heavy shoes covering dirty feet. They all stepped on me all the same. I heard of numbers with cries, malicious words of critics, and some words of intimacy. In history class I heard the stair’s story. I wished the masked, shriveled woman would listen to the secrets that could not be told in words. The experiences of the rain or the ones from conversations with the abused staircase. Maybe then the textbook wouldn’t have so many pages of repetitive stories.

Two powdered girls with matching blue painted eyes came to me as I watched the masked women
in the front of the room. In a hollow voice they said ­hello. The same girls who ran up the stairs and stepped on the stairs and me. They did well in the ­history class.

I bid the stairs farewell. The larger buses strolled away into foggy mist before my miniature yellow bus came. The driver greeted me with the same half smile. I shook my head. Not today. I did not want ­another smiling friend today.

The autistic youth hummed in unison about another day on the stairwell. The rain soon came out in lighthearted breaths of fresh air. I settled in the torn leather seat and took out my pen and pencil. There were already taps and fidgeting that sounded like the pity smile of the driver, the pointing fingers of my mother, and all the makeup the big-bus children covered their conflicts under. This song was not letters, words, paragraphs, or volumes. The melody echoed the truth in all of us, an inexorable truth.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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musicismylife899 said...
Dec. 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm:
i love this!! great writing, and it made me laugh :)
 
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Tigereye790 said...
Nov. 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm:
This is an awesome story. I give it 5 thumbs up. I've read alot of fiction but none was like this before.
 
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the candyman said...
Nov. 20, 2008 at 6:54 pm:
awesome to the core.
 
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rebel2011 said...
Nov. 10, 2008 at 7:05 pm:
This is such a great story, it brings such...i don't even know! all i know is this is great!
 
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