Archive | May 31, 2011

DailyPrompt Drabble: Stepping around.

From [community profile] dailyprompt and Stranded World.

It had the feel of an optical illusion, this party. People moved around in that way that they do, chatting, sliding from grouping to grouping, finger foods to drinks to bathroom to the best jokes. They moved as if everything was normal.

Autumn, in the center of the party through no volition of her own, tried to mimic their movements, tried to ignore the niggling feeling that she didn’t belong here. Of all her siblings, why did it have to be her? Summer was an actress; she could fake this better. Spring, Spring loved being in the middle of the hoity-toity, the rich, the well-bred. And Winter was implacable. But here she was, Autumn, the gypsy artist, the vagabond with the wind-blown hair, trying to pretend she belonged.

She’d been invited, of course, or she probably wouldn’t have made it through the front door. Her younger sisters had consulted on her outfit, and she looked as if her dress, at least belonged. Since the dress looked like it belonged to her, the illusion seemed to pass: this dress passes muster, thus its wearer must as well. And she’d kept the ink to a bare minimum for the occasion.

All of that, and she’d still expected to be awkward, unhappy, and uncomfortable. She hadn’t expected, quite, to be invisible, but that was how she found herself, passed over by dozens of people who, it seemed, all knew each other. It galled a bit, enough that she took a quick five minutes in the bathroom to scrub off the nothing strange to see here she’d drawn over her heart.

That didn’t seem to do it – and, as she circled the room again, Autumn realized there was something else going on, something beyond her own class-conscious insecurities. The guests weren’t just ignoring her. They were milling, walking around the room like everything was normal, but there was something in the center of the room that they were just ignoring. She, she realized, was ignoring it as well; no matter how hard she peered, she couldn’t quite see it. It was like the old saw about addiction being an elephant in the middle of the living room: Everyone moved around it, but nobody mentioned it.

But it didn’t seem like anyone could even see the elephant (or maybe they could, and she was just not a part enough of their crowd).

prompt: “can you not see the elephant?”
Not really done, but a fun intro



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