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Saturday, 31 March 2012


After some input from A, this is the short story I handed in (and am quite happy with):

Inanimate objects are hardly inanimate at all. Whomever won’t admit to talking to a picture, asking a favour from an icon or wishing any of the objects around would suddenly react to thoughts and inner monologues should at least admit to have a friend of a friend who does such things.

Several stories prove it: there's the story of a young prince who was appointed as the pupil of a rock so he would learn not to ask questions; there’s the story of a philosopher who begged money from statues to get used to rejection. There's also the story of a hallow who made friends with the statue of a prince. The exchange between the two revealed that the statue could actually feel for the hallow and for the people around him.

When I was little I used to believe that all statues were like that of the prince: living beings trapped in a stone shell. I wondered if they got lonely and whether they could one day break out of their shells and be free. As all children are taught to do, I learned that such ideas are complete nonsense. Nevertheless, I sometimes comfort myself pretending they can hear my thoughts and confide in them, imagining their responses as I go along. I try to imagine what their personalities are like and frequent the ones I get along with the best.

There's this statue in particular... one that seemed to understand me better than the others. Rather than stay still, indifferent, it seemed to listen intently. I could see a faint smile trying to break through its stone lips when I came near. I saw the expression of its face change, if only ever so slightly, reacting to what I thought out loud. Had it been a person rather than a statue, you could have said it enjoyed my company and liked talking to me. I could fill in pages with conversations between us.

Over time, I grew attached to the statue.

Once, we sat and talked for hours. More than ever before. Dreams were shared and secrets confessed. This time there wasn't just a gleam in its eyes: more than faintly implied gestures, there were coherent thoughts expressed in a language more meaningful than the words used to shape it. While we talked the statue had a life of its own made up of more complex stories than I could ever imagine. It seemed to me that I could see who the statue really was and that, after all we'd talked, it knew me too. We felt close. When we stopped talking the silence was filled with a kiss and I left.

A few days later I made my way back to the statue, eager to talk again. However, when I arrived at the spot where it used to stand all I found was a small pile of rubble, accounting for only a fraction of what would have once made the whole statue.

Days went by.

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