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March 1, 2009
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It’s strange that most people don’t care if things break. You’d think it would be the opposite, but if it’s really small and fragile, most people won’t even think that it’s gone. Things like pencils and chalk. Pencils are harder, because they’re louder. You can’t do it with pens at all. They bleed when they break. There’s ink on your hands and the desk and everyone can see it.

I’m not the type who just goes around breaking windows. I usually break chalk. I take a nice long piece and snap it in half. Then I snap those halves in half. And so on. And then when the pieces are small enough, you can crush them with your hands and they’ll be nothing but dust. And nobody notices dust at all. Just take in a nice, long breath, and it’ll scatter all over the place and no one will see it again. And if you do it right, it’s quiet as anything. I’ve broken chalk right in the middle of the classroom, and nobody even bothers to turn around.

But not windows.  Windows are fragile, but they’re not meant to be broken. If they break, everyone knows someone did it. And I broke it with my hands of all things! So there I was, alone in a room, with my hand all cut up and filled with glass, as everyone just suddenly filed into the room. I admit it was rude of me to break a window, but I don’t think it was that big a deal. The instant they came in, I insisted I’d pay for a new window, which I did. It astounds me how much people overreact to these sorts of things.

What a pain. People look at me all the time now. I figured I deserved it, but it’s still really embarrassing to get all this attention. People thing I’m crazy for some reason. It’s not like I hurt anybody. It was just an accident. We all do things without thinking once in awhile, correct? I miss when all I ever saw of them was the back of their heads. It's burdensome to look into someone's eyes. Especially more than one set. But if the feel the need to look at me for no good reason, I suppose it’s their business.

What really bothers me it the counselor. She never says it out loud, but she wants to know why I broke the window. I have a feeling that a lot of people want to ask me that too. They just hover around with wide eyes, waiting for me to ask them, “Do you want to know why they broke the window?” The counselor does that too. I suppose they think they’re being polite, but I honestly find them rather rude. It’s like walking up to people with a sad look on your face, waiting for them to ask you to be a member of their group. It’s sad and weak. I’m sure that one day, the counselor is going to ask me why I broke the window. I’ll wait until they ask, and then I’ll tell them. It really isn’t that special though.

You see, whenever I break things, I tell myself a story. Somewhere far away, there’s a town where people disappear. It’s not the same as dying, because when you die, you leave a body, and doctors can find out exactly how and when you died. But nobody knows what happens when you disappear. You can just walk out a room just to stretch your legs and disappear. You can just go rest your eyes for a moment and you’ll disappear. Nobody knows why or where people go. There isn’t some place where all the bodies go. There’s no warning. They just go away.

But there’s a way to stop people disappearing. If you’re in a group of people, people will let you eat their arms. People have arms like those dolls that have arms that pop out if you twist them hard enough. So people will just tear out an arm and feed it to a friend. And that friend will tear out an arm and feed it to another friend. And so on. And if you eat an arm off of someone every day, you won’t disappear. The next day, your arm would grow back, and it would start all over again. But when it grows back, it’s a little smaller and weaker than before, so there’s less for people to eat. Most people die or disappear before they’re thirty in that place.

There’s this little boy that wanders around, and he’s in front of this group of people eating each others’ arms. He’d walk up to them and say, “I don’t want to disappear. May I please eat someone’s arm too?” They’d just look at him and say “Sorry, but there’s just no room for you here.” Then they’d continue to eat the arms. The boy would watch them for awhile, not sure what to do. Then he would bend over and just start eating his knees. Then his calves would fall off, and he’d eat them, all the way to his feet. He wouldn’t stop. He ate his thighs, all the way to his pelvis. Then he’s just keep eating up his spine, to his ribs, and then slowly devour both his arms. Then there wouldn’t be anything left but his shoulders, neck, and head, and he’d watch the rest of the people eating their arms.

The story went a little differently that day. Instead, when he said, “I don’t want to disappear. May I please eat someone’s arm too?” someone in the group said, “Of course you can,” and offered him their arm. He didn’t eat it all at once like the others, who eagerly devoured away. He nibbled a little bit at the finger tips, and then he looked up. “Thank you,” he said to the person, “but I really don’t like the taste of arms. It’s much bitterer than I thought it would be.” Then he turned and walked away. Nobody knew whether or not he disappeared. He never returned to ask to eat the arms ever again.

This didn’t make me angry. I didn’t fly into a rage. I don’t know how to describe it. For some reason I turned around, and the window was gone. I know I smashed my hand through it, but it wasn’t something I really consciously remember, like the last time I blinked. I felt so embarrassed when everyone came in. There was a little bit of bone sticking out of my hand. I hope nobody noticed it. They probably did though, because I stared at it, fascinated. You know all your life that you have a skeleton inside you, yet it shocks you when you actually see it. I just marveled at it, told everyone that I’d pay for a new window, and wonder what happened to the boy.

I was actually worried that someone would ask me why I broke the window before I knew what happened to the boy. It bothered me for the first week a lot, as people hovered around with their wide eyes. Then one day, I figured it out. The boy just went home, walked all the way to his room at the end of the hall, and went straight to bed. All he really did was fall asleep. Granted, this sleep was so deep that he might as well have been dead, and he didn’t move and at times looked like he didn’t even breathe. But he wasn’t dead, and he didn’t disappear, and he didn’t need to go find someone somewhere else. After awhile, people came to see what happened to him, but after awhile, they left him alone. It was a wonderful ending.

I feel much better now. Now that I know the full story, I’m sure I won’t do anything silly like break glass. Very soon, I can just go back to breaking chalk and no one will notice again. People will stop looking at me. Everything will be the same again very soon. I’m also happy that if anyone asks, I’ll be able to tell them the full story. Thank goodness I figured it out. Nobody likes a story that doesn’t have an ending.
I actually wrote this awhile ago, and have been letting it sit just because I'm not sure if the writing style matched the theme. After a few touch-ups, I decided it wasn't that bad. I was inspired by The Catcher in the Rye to do some sort of spin of a 'mind of the madman' piece, but I thought it would be cool to make the actual storytelling creepily dispasionate and sane.

It was inevitable that I'd write something and put a pretentious literary allusion for a title. The line is from the poem The Lady of Shalot by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It's an excellent poem-worth a look if you're bored.
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:iconmuertomushroom:
MuertoMushroom Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2009   Writer
this held me from the first sentence and didn't let go. It made me think a little bit of "the ones who walk away from omelas" by Ursula K. Leguin. Which is a good story but I don't know exactly what the connection is. This made my stomach drop and my hands clench. I absolutely love the whole description about breaking chalk and the arm eating thing caught me completely off-guard. At first I was like "that's ridiculous" and then as the narrator explained I was like "actually, that's just sick." You are amazingly creative!
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:iconp0w4h-l4d33:
P0W4H-L4D33 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2009
Wow, that's really nice of you! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it-I was sort of going for a very subtle sort of insanity (another story you might like is "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning if that kind of thing intrigues you). I'm so grateful for your praise! Thank you very much Brookie!
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:iconomgdragonfly:
omgdragonfly Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2009
That was really, really freaky. I think you accomplished what you set out to do!

I had to reread the middle paragraph because the cannibalism just didn't set in. My mind brushed it off as some kind of metaphor!
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:iconp0w4h-l4d33:
P0W4H-L4D33 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2009
I'm really happy you think it worked, and I set out to be freaky, but for some reason, I get so embarrased with "serious" stuff like this. You said that you get that sort of feeling with some of your own pieces, right?

What's sad is that said bit was originally a story idea all on it's own. I needed to nick it down because even I thought it was too damn creepy.
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:iconoutoftheorange:
OutOfTheOrange Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, very nice. The window-breaking thing was definitely reminiscent of that one memory of Holden's, when he broke all the glass because Allie had died.

There are some typo's here and there, but overall the mechanics and flow of this qere impressive!
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:iconp0w4h-l4d33:
P0W4H-L4D33 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2009
I almost feel it's a bit rip-off-ish in retrospect XD. Aw man. If I ever go into a writing field, I'm going to have a seriously over-paid editor. Thank you so much for everything Namz-I really appreciate it.
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:iconhappyleech:
HappyLeech Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Powerful.
I like it.
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:iconp0w4h-l4d33:
P0W4H-L4D33 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2009
Thank you very much! :)
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