Several years ago lived a person well into hir golden years; ze had a body that was unable to do much of what it had before, but ze was not concerned because ze knew that what ze passed ze would be reborn as had happened countless times before. Ze had been born into many bodies and many lives; some lives cut short by tragedy and some were as long as this life had been. Most were average lives; ze learned a little, made some mistakes and did a little good, but some were fantastic lives and during those ze truly changed the world.
This person soon fell asleep, and ze slept for quite a while, when ze awoke ze was in a new place. Hir skin felt tight and the light was too bright for hir eyes, as they were used to such darkness, ze tried to use the words that ze had used thousands of times before but all that came out was a screeching wail. Into hir sight walked a giant of a man dressed in pale green whose voice was so loud all ze could do was scream again when he spoke “How lucky you are little one, we thought we’d lost you.” The man picked the baby up, and ze was in fact a baby, and handed hir to another giant clothed in a scratchy blue fabric “Here’s your little girl, isn’t she a perfect angel?” he said as Mother took the baby, handling her with perfect gentleness “She’s perfect.”
And for many years to come she was a perfect little girl, a little strange perhaps but a perfectly normal little girl none the less. She was strange for many reasons; how quickly her mind grew, how slowly her body grew and how much she seemed to “just know.” As she reached age five the adults in her life saw just how strange she was and worried, the children in her life saw how strange she was and shunned her. But the girl didn’t mind because, unlike any of her other lives, she remembered her past lives. She knew that this life must be special, she must be destined to do great things or she would have forgotten her past when she was born as she had done before.
As the girl reached her teen years the isolation her strangeness caused had turned from pure isolation on the part of most adults and all the children to isolation from adults and cruelty from her “peers.” The jackal-children taunted her, spread rumors and made her life, at school and at home, a place of anger and sadness. The adults told themselves, and each other, that what they saw was not happening when inside they truly sympathized with the Jackal-children and understood the need to torment the “strange one.” The few times the girls went to one of those adults for help she was told to “try and make friends,” “try to tough it out, they’ll respect you for it” or “it’s just a phase, they’ll get over it.” But the girl knew that these were lies, the witch hunt of the Jackal-children would never stop, just change and morph as they matured.
Despite the wisdom from all her other lives despite the “reassurances” of her teachers and parents she knew she could not live like this forever, she hungered for that deep sleep that would bring her new, better, life. The next day dawned bright and warm, a perfect summer’s day; the girl ate her breakfast and conversed with her family until one by one her family left for the activities of the day. The girl undressed and went outside to their pool; she dived in and fell asleep.
When she awoke she was in a new place. Her skin felt tight and the light was too bright for her eyes, as they were used to such darkness, she tried to use the words that she had used thousands of times before but all that came out was a screeching wail. Into her sight walked a giant of a woman dressed in pale green whose voice was so loud all shee could do was scream again when he spoke “What a handsome baby boy you have here.” The man picked the baby up, and she was in fact a baby, and handed her to another giant clothed in a scratchy blue fabric “Here’s your little boy, isn’t he a perfect angel?” he said as Mother took the baby, handling her with perfect gentleness “He’s perfect.”
As the boy grew he remembered all of his past lives, as he had in his previous life, and he knew that this life was a better life. He grew into his wisdom well, his body fit well around his mind and his mind worked well with his body. He began writing at an early age and shared his stories with adults and children alike. At first his stories were sweet and happy, but they grew darker, stories of hatred and it’s results were most prevalent until one day he wrote a story of a girl who drowned. It was hauntingly beautiful and so mirrored the story of a suicide earlier that year that it stuck a chord with all who read it.
That story made a real difference in the world for it opened people’s eyes to the torment of “strange ones” all around them. Teachers and parents began to step up and support those children who were slowly being torn apart by Jackal-children, and parents began to heal the anger within the Jackal-children.
Many generations fell asleep, and new ones were born, and soon there was a world where Jackal-children did not exist and “strange ones” were accepted and loved by adults and children alike. Children were children, and that is the end of that.
This is the second installment of an element themed collection of short stories, I intend to cover the elements of fire, water, air, earth and spirit.
This story was in fact inspired by water, the idea of a seamless flow from place to place, from form to form and how much water can change the world around it.
Yours in Queerness,