Noppera-Bo | Teen Ink


November 17, 2022
By EveLOverlord SILVER, San Antonio, Texas
EveLOverlord SILVER, San Antonio, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only way that anyone can truly learn is through pain, through emotional scars that remind you everyday why you won't make the same mistake again.

They had been trapped in gray, blank, identical rooms with gray, blank, identical people. Faceless, unchanging clocks endlessly tell the time to faceless, unchanging people. Though the people trapped in this penitentiary are people, they are as featureless and empty as ghosts. Spirits that roam blindly among the blind; Noppera-Bo. Though all is the same, the walls in the building are strangely less gray, and there, within the faceless group of ghosts, is a smile. 

It was like a small candle shining in a dark, empty room filled with monsters. The Noppera-Bo, usually blind from darkness, could see the glow that came from this smiling girl, and they destroyed it.

Rumors and lies spread like a dark fog and engulfed the girl, yet the light did not go out. Though the faceless spirits tried to break her down, this girl had found companionship. The camaraderie made her even more blissful than before, and no amount of false rumors or lies could take that from her. But as I stated before, the occupants of the penitentiary were all faceless as well as empty; and the friend of this girl was no exception. 

Her companion sought to fill the hollowness within themself and thought the girl could do so. In the end, all the visitant did was drain her joy and light until all that was left of the girl's small flame was a dim ember. The girl's smile faded like the light that was taken from her until there was no expression whatsoever, and all that was left in her once bright eyes was sorrow. 

The girl left the Noppera-Bo she had called her friend, and once again was alone while the rumors clouded around her and made her weak. 

For so long the girl tried to remain unnoticed by the featureless ghosts, but unlike them, she still had her features. Her eyes, though filled with tears, were still there and her lips, though twisted into a frown, trembled as she spoke. The monsters had won, and thanks to them she was gone. The girl who had been kind and colorful was now blank and gray. She was alone in the darkness and surrounded by demons. 

The girl, eyes fogged with tears, wandered among the blind for so long that she forgot who she was.

After many weeks the girl met someone who smiled at her with such kindness that the ember within her began to glow. Slowly her smile began to return and her sorrowful eyes became sweet.

The girl and her new friend would laugh and talk with each other, and no amount of whispers and lies from the Noppera-Bo could so much as reach the two of them. Though the girl's friend did help her find happiness, she still was not herself. The girl would still hide within the crowd of faceless spirits, and she trembled when she spoke to anyone except for her friend. Anxiety would overtake the girl whenever she was alone, for she had learned not to let herself show any emotion around the Noppera-Bo lest it be taken advantage of. 

The girl was only as happy as she allowed herself to be, but at the same time, she didn’t realize that she was in control. She seemed to be trapped, but not in the same way that the Noppera-Bo were trapped in the penitentiary. She was trapped in a cage that she had been convinced was real because demons were saying it was. 

That cage was no more real than the lies that put her in it. So the clocks remained as unchanging and faceless as the ghosts they told the time to; and though she had a friend, the girl's pain did not cease. The rumors, which before could not affect her, now controlled her everyday life. 

Though the girl avoided the Noppera-Bo whenever possible, the faceless ghosts were trying to find new ways to weaken her whenever possible. 

“She is ridiculous…” Whispered the spirits. 

“Oh yes, and that friend of hers as well…” Another ghost breathed. When the girl heard the mention of her companion her face became red and her eyes filled with fire. She turned to the Noppera-Bo and her small ember blazed into a roaring fire as she scolded the spirits. The girl was not afraid when she was speaking up to them, she was angrier than ever. The Noppera-Bo had not expected her to be so bold and at first, they tried to bite back, but the girl did not back down. In shock, the faceless ghosts surrendered. The girl was fuming with anger and the fire within her was blazing brighter than before. The girl was back but her friend was gone. Her companion had vanished without warning, and once again she was alone, but she did not become weak from this. The girl refused to let her fire go out again, and rather than try to hide in the crowd she made sure that she would be noticed. The girl still did not smile, but her features were undeniably noticeable. Her voice did not tremble when she spoke anymore, it was strong and clear. The whispers that had tormented her for so long were once again just whispers. One more Noppera-Bo tried to wedge its way into her life, but the girl was cautious this time. She did not let this spirit put out her flame; though the ghost did try, the girl made it very clear that the Noppera-Bo’s behavior was not going to be accepted. As a result, the faceless spirit became irritant, but this did not affect the girl in the slightest. Rather than try and consult with the ghost that called itself her friend, the girl would simply say, “If you do not like me as I am, or if you wish to change me, then you are more than welcome to leave.” 

Out of frustration, the spirit did as told and it left. The girl had decided that she would rather be who she was than try and change herself to fit the expectations of others who, in the end, would never be satisfied anyway. When the girl left the penitentiary she finally felt free, but the Noppera-Bo were still trapped in their endless darkness. So they stumble on, the blind leading the blind, but all are lost nonetheless. 

I suppose in the end that’s the fate of the children that had attended that grey, blank, and unchanging school.

The author's comments:

I want people who have felt cast out to know that they aren't the only ones.  We all have ghosts that haunt us, but it's up to you whether you let them see how afraid you are. Facing our ghosts isn't about not being afraid, it's about nit letting that fear stop you from facing the monsters.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 15 2022 at 11:12 am
EveLOverlord SILVER, San Antonio, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only way that anyone can truly learn is through pain, through emotional scars that remind you everyday why you won't make the same mistake again.

This story is actually not fiction, but because it is all symbolism I submitted it to fiction. It's a representation of my experience in middle school. I hope that people will be able to relate to this story. I would love to hear any criticism good or bad I love feedback. I hope you enjoy!