This is something I wrote today based off of the daily word on OneWord.com, which was edition.
The newest copy of the newspaper hadn’t gotten her anywhere. She looked down at the paper, down at the words, so uniform, almost stodgy in their appearance, like houses cramped all on one side of the road. Her words didn’t look beautiful on paper. In fact, they looked just as their meaning did: nonsensical, perhaps, and a little jaded.
She wanted to feel like she felt when she was a little kid: hopeful and chivalrous, knowing that her role to the world would be a beneficiary one. Golly, she’d take it by the horns! Watch out below; Katie McSanders was getting ready to jump, and when she made a splash below, the world would be forever changed.
But that had never really happened. Katie MsSanders had taken her leap, and she had made no splash, left no remnant of herself anywhere. Nobody had known a girl had tried to stand out, that she had had plans, a written outline that described how she would conquer America and the My Little Pony enterprise besides, her favorite toy when she was younger. But she hadn’t even conquered herself.
The paper felt alien to the touch, some grainy amalgam of recycled paper and wood pulp that was recapitulated into a cheap, dispensable material that got soggy and smelling like mold at the first touch of water. She hated it suddenly, hated the feel of it, the words printed on it, the sound when it crinkled and bunched and got thrown onto the floor, and stamped on – there! Wasn’t that better? She should feel happier, more at ease. She picked up the balled newspaper, smoothed it out, and inserted it cleanly into the paper shredder. The shredder made predatory noises as it engulfed the bits of paper – trash, really, she thought admonishingly. It really wasn’t good to create something so cheap and expect to sell it if it was of such terrible quality, both the material and the information on it –
Her eyes suddenly filled with tears. It was bad enough that no one had noticed her when she was child, or when she entered primary school, or secondary school; it was bad enough she was delicately, yet firmly, pushed out of any circle: be it of classmates, parents, or her siblings… But to be quietly knocked down to number two without her having known it and her competition, parents, and the whole school probably knowing it before she had… That was too much. She had done nothing but strive to be known in at least this aspect, the basest one of the school: to be academically superior to anyone else in her class, and she had failed. More than failed. It was as if some invisible hand had roughly dragged her back into existence, onto center stage among the callous, probing eyes of the educational world…and had announced, in a deft and nonchalant voice, that she would never be good enough, never be quite the best, never be noticed for the right things.
Hopefully the character doesn’t resemble myself in the future, though I can definitely see people making the comparison/connection. I do think Katie is a part of me, just not the whole part. Writing even so little takes so much out of you…