Sometimes an idea comes that is so bizarre, one must laugh as it takes root, but also be aware that it IS taking root, and you're just going to have to deal with it.
We are beautiful.
We of nine limbs and three pleasant smiles. We, with we one great silver eye and many large breasts. We, one of a kind and special because of it.
We are beautiful.
That's the opening to the story. It came to me, just like that. I had no idea what or who We were, but it struck me as something to explore. As the story took shape, it demanded so much more from me, though. It touched on ideas of how people perceive others who are different (and how the media influences and corrupts perceptions). It touched on how one's perspective shapes one's reality, as well as how the perspectives of others really should not matter. What matters is what's inside each of us, a simple yet obvious statement. It touched me as a writer because it demanded a consistency of tone and construction. The "we" in the first sentence is not a group, it is one person; a person most might consider a freak. When you read the whole story, you'll see exactly what I am getting at with the comment about tone and construction. This is like reading the mind of another life form, yet it's not so foreign as to make understanding impossible.
But that's all a matter of perspective, because where you're coming from is bound by everything that goes into the make-up of you; of each individual. We all see things differently, perceive things in a way inherent to Who We Are--our distinct self--even if we connect, or at least feel connected to others; or perhaps more so if we don't feel that connection... (Yeah, me thinking out loud; I don't map these things out, I'm trying to be regular with the Monday blog and have a tendency to wing it, see where it all leads.) The world shapes those who are different in a negative way. Why? Especially those who have something visually different about their appearance than what we have come to understand as the norm. As if, for example, the person with a birth defect has a choice about this. They're still a person. I shouldn't even write it like that. They are a person. Period.
So, "Beautiful," my exploration of these themes. Perhaps it's as much an exploration of what it really means to be human. I mean, one of the stories written soon after it was a story called, "Becoming Human," which delved even deeper into the theme. Themes run through our lives, our art. I know some that have been with me forever and will be extrapolated to infinite possibilities. This one, though, seems more recent, and I welcome its addition to my repertoire. Something to, yeah, explore. (Exploration is a major part of all I endeavor to do in this thing we call life, in all facets of living.)
Ha, yes, winging it, let's wrap it up. Where was I?
Where can you find, "Beautiful"? In the brand-spanking new anthology released by Daverana entitled, Fossil Lake, An Anthology of the Aberrant. That word, Aberrant, is what caught my eye. I like that word. Though there's a lot going on with "Beautiful"--layers, always layers--it is, if nothing else, quite aberrant; or, actually, it might simply be beautiful... 37 tales, a mix of fiction and poetry and, hey, Ramsey Campbell bookends the whole collection.