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She's Playin' Youe

She is not fat.
She knows it, you know it. It is not really necessary to say it. But you are weak.

She spotted you for it long ago, re-rigged the look of misery in her eyes and marched off to play with your mind. You lost. You said exactly what she wanted, though your eyebrows shot up and your fingers curled and uncurled around an imaginary throat. Every time, you said it.

“I'm fat,” said she.
“Of course not. You're just curvy.”
“I'm so fat.”
“No, no, you're fine.”
“Oh gawd, I'm so fat.”
“Dude. You're thin.”

There, see that smile? Now you've had it. She's found a victim and she'll squeeze every last compliment out of you. When you are dry and falling dead, she'll get another one.

She's subtle, of course. The self-deprecation hides its ulterior motives so deviously that you don't even notice you're oiling her ego until she begins to leave trails of slimy conceit on the floor. You have some excuse, of course, for she has much practice, and the pathway of her mind so twists and turns that greater men have failed to navigate it. It is possible that she has issues of self-esteem that require immediate attention, but it's unlikely. She likes hearing nice things, just like everybody else. She is just better at hearing them.

The thing is, everything sounds so innocent.
“My hair's getting so thin.” She lets it fall with a thump to her back. What can you say? You're incredulous, but you don't know that she knows that you don't know, and so will speak the words. Your hair is thick. You have thick hair. Hair thick yours.

Eventually she will have trained you so well that you will spout the bull at the very sight of her. She will smirk to herself, turned a little away. You are well and truly captured. At one point you will no longer be saying what you think, only what she wants to hear. Your definition of truth will depend on how it paints her reflection. She asks me to convey her apologies.

I would suggest rebellion. I would recommend that you break free of her wretched snares and cause her manoeuvring to manoeuvre back on itself. I would dare you to call her fat.

But I strongly believe that you lack a spine. You will continue to fall for her tricks until she tires of you and seeks another source of flattery. And then you will see what a fool you were. Possibly.

Also, I know the kind of person she is. She manipulates from behind a perfect smile, and no one understands. She is, at present, writing an article about her cunning methods, but still doubts that anyone will catch her out. She will manipulate, and you will be manipulated. She ain't no grasshopper at this game.

By Grasshopper

Last week we had gave you the topic “Still Life”. A lot of entries turned up but the piece below was wonderfully executed and captured the mood of the topic. For next week our topic will be: birds. There is a lot of room to manoeuvre on this topic. Surprise us. The deadline is Sunday noon and entries are to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com. Word limit is the usual 500 words.

Still Life

The sound of the clicking camera was nowhere near enough to blot out the cacophony of drawn out cries. He wished for a mental reprieve as the misery unfolded all around him. It was as if this was some cosmic joke by God and he was the butt of it. Oblivious to his presence, the tragedy dragged on.

And here I am taking pictures, he reflected, marvelling at the irony. As far as he could see, people were doing their best to forget about this disaster, and he was there to make sure the images were seared into their minds forever.

The colossal damage left in the wake of the earthquakes striking Haiti was beyond any description. Morgan wondered how anyone could ever recover from this. For a brief moment of time he felt exposed to the pain around him. He quickly recovered from this momentary lapse with a shake of his head. The clicking continued.

He could see the judging eyes of the rescue workers around him; he was a nuisance to them, something that got in their way. Not the first time that I have been subjected to that, he thought wryly. The camera clicked away as people searched through the debris.

Morgan had started out as a still life photographer, but had soon switched to journalism. His interest was mainly piqued due to the substantially larger pay-checks, but now he felt that this was where he belonged. Moments like these made him feel oddly untarnished, vestal. He felt like a spectator in the grand scheme of things, a keen observer of the world.

He snapped out of his reverie as a shout emanated from the front. He quickly rushed to the spot. The rescue workers had apparently dug out the remains of a dead woman. She was shielding her son from the wreckage. What was more astonishing was that the boy was still breathing! 'That is… God,' someone stammered. Morgan looked around curiously, wondering how their faith remained intact after all this. He quietly took some snaps of the woman locked in her poignant pose. Her life had come to a shuddering halt. There would be no requiem for her heroic deed. Only a few prickling tears would be shed by readers during their breakfast. He silently thought that she deserved as honourable a send off as any other hero. Instead her body was dumped unceremoniously with the others.

Back in his lab Morgan began developing the pictures. He stopped for a moment to look at the mother and her son. A feeling of pensive calm settled over him and for the first time in his life he was able to relate to God. He had an epiphany; this was God's still life and it showed above all the nexus of human existence. His eyes glazed over and he was shocked by this sudden revelation. He quietly tore the picture. She didn't need anyone's sympathy; what she needed was peace.

By Ahmad Ibrahim



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