Alia

I am currently decluttering my RedBubble Portfolio, to make way for more recent art that best represents who I am now, as well as to make it easier for customers to navigate the available products for sale. As a result I will be sharing some of my old creative writings here on WordPress, as a way of preserving them. In several cases my mind, opinions, beliefs, values and overall understanding of life have changed since the time I wrote these pieces, but I still feel that they are personally valuable reminders of the various stages of my life journey thus far.

This piece of writing was first posted at my RedBubble Creative Writing Portfolio.

Date of original post: May 2013

Total views, at 2 May 2016: 616

 

Alia

I have spent a long time trapped in here. It’s cold and miserable, and damp air seeps in through the barred window. I sleep in the corner, hugging my legs to my chest, wishing my captors would work harder to keep me warm. My home is a warm place, and I long to return to that land with its familiar and endless hot dry air and red landscapes, where I could see the sun rise and fall each day and coat myself in the dust and run my fingers along the rocky cliff walls.

It gets lonely in this cell. I don’t remember exactly how I got in here. I do remember the strange creatures with their cruel faces dragging me through the door. Sometimes they throw in food, food that looks like them and makes the same sounds as they do. I imagine it’s their language, their strange amalgam of vocal noises and flailing limbs and the way their eyes water. I try to not think too hard about it though. The scattered bones on the dirt floors and the blood caught up in my claws makes me worry that the food is actually a thoughtful animal, a thing that can reason and communicate like me. How terrible it would be to learn that the strange and screaming creatures who sustain my life here are the very ones I sought when I first left my home, seeking those with whom I could reason and speak. Then I think of the ways they have treated me, from the moment they first dragged me from the burning wreckage, to the gaps in my memory and scattered thoughts of torture, to the weeks on end trapped in a cold, damp prison, dying to be home. These can’t be the highest life-form here, for they are far too violent and impossible to understand. I imagine them to be the trained animal servants of masters who, were they to meet me, would see that I have the same capacity for thought and reason as they do.

It seems to me there is something of a gender division in the actions of the creatures. The males are rough and hit me with chains to try to stop me escaping when they open the door. I try to communicate with them, channelling my thoughts and questions to their heads, and at their brains. There is no response. They throw in what I believe are the females. They don’t seem to wear the same outer garments the males wear. They usually have longer hair, too, knotted and tangled, and dark blotches on their skin. I can’t get a good sense of the passing of time here, but I think it must be perhaps one new female thrown into my cell each week. It’s too often. I don’t need that, but it drives away the cold, for just a moment, and then I can sleep again. They make a lot of noise, too, and act in a way that makes me worry, again, that the food is aware enough of its impending demise. Surely it’s far better to eat a creature that is comfortable with dying? These animals scratch and claw at the walls, look at me with terrified expressions. I try to make it quick, channel the calming thoughts at them, but they do not respond.

Perhaps I frighten them – after all,I am probably not a manner of being they have before encountered. I don’t believe any others of my kind have set foot on this world in many years. The heavy, curved claws on my hands, my pale skin and white hair, the fangs that protrude from my upper jaw are so different to these beings, with their blunt fingernails and range of colours and herbivore’s teeth. Yet, their bodies are similar. That’s how I could guess at the females, their bodies are so very much like mine, as if we shared a maker, as if they are the prey version of this predator.

I held one of their bones in my hand. She – it – I should not think of them as beings, lest my conscience requires me to starve – had fought my touch bravely and to the last. It’s easy to pity them, but they are no match for my kind. If I desired, I could easily kill the males that guard my cell, and demand some sort of audience with their master, but it is dreadfully uncivilised. I only kill what I need to survive.

It is unsettling, though, to wonder if I have been eating the only creatures that could relate to me, if only they stopped treating me as a frightening monster. Their deaths always seem unnecessarily violent. I hope that whoever owns them will visit me, and soon. I don’t want to live like this anymore. A reasonable creature would be able to understand.

 

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