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Short Stories



Good evening again. Here's another tale for children, who learn to live in the modern world. Parents: don't lie to your children. They will know about it soon enough anyway... and once you tell the truth over a lie, it doesn't matter, since you've already broken their hearts.

- The Laughers -
(written 23st of August, 2009 © Kirsi Salonen)

There once was a boy, not particularily old nor young. Many could call him ageless, but only he knew his true age. The boy had been a loner all his life, though being surrounded by people since birth. He wasn't really good looking, nor ugly, he had quite a plain face.

One thing he called his own thing was to play a hero in disguise during his childhood years. As teenager he knew well to behave like a rockstar, in his mind he climbed as a king of jungle in the woods with animals he liked, he jumped over rooftops high above, he was the criminal with a good heart, the villain who turns out to be good, the merciful and brave king, the knight defending the weak against the tyrants. He was so happy to be a victorious hero and always the just one!
His parents clapped hands and cheered after seeing his heroic plays. Nothing dragged him down because of his constant excitement and trust for his beliefs and devotions. His heroes were always there for him, as indestructible and guiding him to be something greater yet to come.
The boy was allowed to make costumes to himself as various and vibrant as butterly wings, and each time he made them perfect, brilliant and all without any teaching from outside. He knew what looked right before anyone else thought about it. He thought he knew everything there was to know, but he never used his insights against others, he just smiled to himself often without a particular reason.

"This will work better, it has more shine. No.. This is IT!!" he spoke about his masks and costumes. "This will open their eyes in wonder!. Now they must see and understand! They will remember this forever!"

He truly wanted it..to be something memorable. So that the world would notice him for being such a good, pure hearted hero. All he wanted was to live serving love and only love. He really tried this for a long time.

One day he found himself quite weary.. something was wrong. He could almost hear a sense of small cracks once in a while inside his head, as long and dark days went by. He didn't give it much attention, but didn't forget about hearing them.
One day he looked at the mirror and saw how tired he was. After this it became clearer how it wasn't the same around people anymore. At first there was a small pause as he walked into the room, then heads started to turn away.. in annoyance, he senced awkwardness. He thought this was just a bad moment and pushed it out of his mind.
Nothing was wrong, it was just his imagination.
But things got worse soon. Many times as he didn't watch, he could hear laughter and giggle.. the kind what they give to sad and crazy people - to fools. He found out how they laughed as soon as he wasn't around.

How long they had been doing that? How long they had let him make a fool of himself without anyone saying it to his face? Why didn't his parents protect him and tell him the truth?
But they had been laughing too, he realized. They did it even from the start.
It was his wake up call.. that strong spirit he thought he loved more than life itself, now fell to the ground like the last leaf of a dying tree before winter.

Everywhere he went, all the people he met, were soon like erased from his mind after meeting them. Without the mask of a hero nobody cared to know him, there was nothing interesting about him without the mask.

He was to learn fully how quickly people forget about things... others.. themselves, the words, songs, beauty, dreams they've had.. even pain, lies, all the wrongs they've seen, the good, the bad and the uglyness of things. They forget it all so quick and start over like bunch of infants. Why?
Why live life through repeating dementia and such oblivion?
He wanted to change it by breaking that horrible cycle!

Then he placed his fears aside and stepped up to a big stage. He gave a well thought speech about this surrounding negletance. He talked about hatred and forgetfullness and deceat, about secrets people never share with each other, about darkness and fears and death, he talked about all his revelations without shame or hesitation.
The crowd was silent as graveyard, since they had expected him to do otherwise, like make them jump, laugh, dance, scream. but he took this moment very seriously. He hoped to make a difference if he'd just open his heart and tell what's wrong, no matter what happens later.

"Fellow people, family, friends and strangers! You know why I'm here today? It's because my spirit is broken. Broken because it's been destroyed over and over again based on all what I've seen and heard. I've been here for decades and still some of you even can't remember my name. I've shaken hands with you, but you look at me like I'm a stranger now. When I come closer, then you run away. As I put my mask on, only then you remember! Oh yes you do! And what do you do then? You laugh just like yesterday and before that! How could you, I ask!? Does anyone understand how that HURTS?"

"Keep it going old boy! We're with ya!" someone said from the crowd.
"Take out that robe again and show how wicked we are!"
"Grow up man! Tell us a better joke!"
"Quit it already and start with the show!"
"Sing man! Sing your heart out! We want to have a good time and feel your pain!"

"Curse you!!", he shouted back in tears. "Do you ever in million years realize what you are forgetting? Each day, every way..how you enjoy the suffering of others! You just play around, you don't care if I live or die! You only pretend and want more entertainment! It's all just for the show, isn't it? Laugh away the world, just laugh and laugh until the end of time! Oh I make you suffer for those evil blackened hearts of yours, if you ever had any kind! I swear it by my own blood and that this will not end with your damned laughter!"

And the crowd laughed again like a hord of wild boars, and they raised a toast to his enraged speech and continued their dining and celebration.

After that day he was never to be seen on stage again. People were upset and disappointed at him. He never spoke to them again, only looked at cameras in silence as he was spotted at numerous places around the world. It was like his whole presence about to disappear.
One day he wasn't found anywhere anymore. People seemed to have forgotten his face, voice and memory completely.
Only his masks remained, but the hero playing them was gone. This confused people, it made them question if he had been killed or committed suicide. Or if he was just a conman, only fooling them from the start. They never asked why this happened and what made him so angry.

But on that day when his speech was heard, there were several thousand lives on the same room, millions across the world watching him, and amidst them one soul writing the words down.. the one who suddenly cared too much to forget.
And thus he didn't speak out in vain.

© Kirsi Salonen 2009.

(detail from the painting 'Golden panda')





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"The Little Hunter


all texts © Kirsi Salonen 2000-2010