Clay_

January 3, 2018
Sometimes on weekends, Clay would go to the octogonal playground to be with the other morphlings of Cubix Ville at his mother’s request. But he’d just be with them. He wouldn’t talk much or really ever play with the others, who were ten, which was three years younger than Clay. I guess you could say, well, Clay was just special.
One day, when the clouds finally cleared up, Clay had his turn to be placed. His Spherical Teacher had recommended that Clay be “placed in a position that would ensure that your [his] future shape is maximally useful”. Out of respect for teachers, formation officials, or high-stature-shapes of the like, Clay’s Cuboid parents stringently taught him to take great caution of his shape when things like this were said to him. “Just keep your clay smooth”, they’d permeate into Clay. Clay felt these words as if his father was scraping him down with calipers.
At 2:02 in the afternoon, when his placement test was scheduled, Clay trudged into the blindingly-lit room. He was reluctant to enter this room, for he had never been one to do well on tests. He certainly was not the sharpest potter's tool in the shed. His sides were all lumped, and his bottom was pushed flat from being sat on in a puddle earlier at the playground. As soon as he made it halfway through the room, a large statuesque figure turned its attention to the scooching blob and his muddy trail. She’d been a grand and acute Pyramid, and the sight of her put Clay in awe. The official had gestured a swoop towards a bench along the sleek wall across from the entrance of the room. There was a table that resembled a large food platter sitting to the right of the rolling cart of equipment, and after about 30 seconds, Clay had understood what she wanted him to do. He had proceeded to lay down on the platter for examination, where he was suddenly stabbed with two potter’s needles in the upper-most portion of his body, pushed so far that they kissed inside of him. This, he learned after falling unconscious, was the placement test.
“This is quite unusual”, the official had said to Clay’s parents, “Your son seems to be off track--- the data I collected from his water content reveals a gap in his DNA sequence. If not dealt with, he will remain an amorphic for the duration of his life. I would suggest strongly that you send him off to molding as soon as possible, unless of course you both would be alright with the boy joining the amorphic union and finding work elsewhere...”, she trailed off.
After digesting this devastatingly horrible information themselves, the Cuboid parents had formulated the smoothest approach to take when revealing this “news” to Clay. His father had progressed to say, “Son, I’m sure you may have realized by now, but you’re not quite like the other morphlings at the playground. You’re… um... special. We have recently been informed that, due to a little mishap in your composition, you do not currently have a place in the shape force. Your mother and I have decided to send you someplace where they can fix you up during the holidays. There, you will be shaped up--- remodeled, if you would”. Clay had erupted from a burning panic. “What are you saying?! That I won’t be home for the holidays?! That you are going to send me off to some--- some strangers to help me get better?! But I feel fine!”, Clay had now spewed with tears. “I’m sorry Son, but this is our only option”, his father asserted, but Clay had the strangest intuition that it was not. “We are trying to help you. We are giving you a gift, even if you don’t understand it. Life will be better for you this way. You won’t be pushed into puddles anymore”, Clay’s mother had accessorized. “We will be dropping you off tomorrow morning at noon. Be ready for transportation by dawn. Good night son, and sleep well”, had been the last words Clay’s mother and father said to their very “special” son.
That new morning, just before dawn, just when the alarm clock his father set sounded, Clay had rolled out of bed and creeped across the floor and out the door. He’d go outside and hobble off to somewhere far, and there he would build himself a new home. It wouldn’t be one of those big hollow shapes that most lived in though. No, no... it would be a clay hut. A house made out of an amorphous blob of clay. He would live there all by himself, with just two neighbors near by so that if he’d ever feel like talking, he could. And he would build himself a mailbox. Only it wouldn’t be a box. It would be once again another hollow blob, of course. A beautiful, hollow, blob. Just the way Clay liked it. And then he would write a note or two to his mother saying hi, just in case she actually did worry about him, and ask one of his two new neighbors to help him address it because he still didn’t know how to do it for himself.
That night, with all of his new aspirations set ahead of him and his new life, looking out over the vast spheroid sunset beyond, Clay had realized something profound. And not just for someone with challenges like him. He’d lived his whole life in a world in which he was protected from fettling knives and needles and metal ribs and scrapers and anything else out there that could hurt him, but really, the only thing that can damage Clay is losing faith in himself. Every piece of clay is art; it's unique. Clay is special. But Clay just wants to be Clay.






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