Thursday, 8 September 2016

Short Story: Free?

by Sienna Bentley


I ran until I thought my legs were going to give way underneath me. Until I was convinced they couldn’t carry me any further; until I couldn’t even remember what it was I was running from. Except I couldn’t really forget, could I?

The moon was my only ally, curving my way through the empty streets haunted by forgotten loves and broken streetlamps. I wanted to pause a moment and soak up the cracks in the architecture and the way the stone shone white reflecting her, but I could never stop. I was being chased, and like dogs to a bone, I knew they wouldn’t quit until they could hold me with their teeth – alive and wriggling but not quite aware enough to be free. 

But what is freedom, really? We think we are free. But our freedom is not determined by us - it is determined by them. And even if we are truly free, are our minds truly free also? Are we pure?

Our minds are filled with thoughts that are not our own. We are free but we are not quite good enough to strive for something just out of our reach.

We are taught to follow rules and not ask questions.

We are taught to have a voice but not use it. Because when we do use it, our views are wrong, controversial, unaccepted. So instead we accept the views of the ones who are allowed to speak. Are we pure?

I ran until my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest and leap up and out through my throat. Until my head was dizzy and the fog in my brain had almost consumed me; until I couldn’t even remember what it was I was running from. Until I couldn’t remember myself.

As I stand, doubled over with my hands on my knees I feel a bucket of cold water wash over me. I cannot run from myself, I realise.

I look up to take comfort in the cracks in the grey architecture I had become so fond of, only to find that they are no longer there. All I see are four walls, a room all too familiar to me in a street I have always known. The cracks are me, I realise. I am not perfect; I am not pure. Are we all broken? Or are we all pretenders? Are we too afraid to use the voice we have been given because we live in fear of those who are loud?

We are taught to follow rules and not ask questions. Are we free?


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