I found this
I found this
I found this on my computer earlier and thought, Hey, this looks interesting. I wrote it awhile ago for a school assignment and just now decided that it has potential to be my Next Big Project. Critisism of the harder variety would be helpful. And please--don't be afraid of hurting my feelings. My current only interest is making this better, and if that requires harsh comments and drastic revisions, then so be it.
Katherine Stevens is thirteen
years old. She has brown eyes, red hair, and schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a disorder
that messes with the brain, so Kat sees things that aren’t there and hears
voices that she’s convinced exist but don’t. She gets so caught up in her own
little world that she sometimes can’t see or hear the real one. She is also
paranoid that basically everyone—everyone “flat”, or real—is trying to kill
her. This is a peek into Kat’s head.
They tell me it isn’t real. They
tell me it’s not there. Are they blind?
I can touch it. I can feel it purring when I stroke its back. I don’t know what
it is, but I’m sure that it likes me. It has green skin and purple fur and it
came through the wall to visit me. Mally told me it would come. Mally said—
Oh, no, it’s gone. They always
leave. I don’t know why they don’t stay longer. I like them. Sometimes they’re
purple or blue or green, or some color that I don’t know the name of. Sometimes
they don’t like me. Sometimes they bite me, but I never bleed.
Some of the people say that my
friends are not real. They tell me that I’m hallucinating. I think that they’re
just jealous of my others friends because I like them better. The ones that
tell me the others aren’t real are the ones who only tell me not to do things.
They are the only ones who name themselves instead of letting me make up names
for them. One of them, the one who calls herself Mum, she is the worst. She
always tells me not to do the things that Meg and Mally tell me to do. Her and
her kind are not shiny like the others. They are flat, dull and boring, and
they don’t talk the same language. The language that they speak is flatter,
harsher. I don’t understand why they don’t speak like the others.
The others are my friends. I like
them because they never look at me funny when I talk to the flat people. The
flat people yell at me and whisper about me when I talk to my friends. Mostly I
just ignore them, but they can be very persistent. Mum is most of all. She
makes me put things in my mouth, even though the shiny people feed me. She’s
always there, but sometimes I can’t see her. She can walk through the shiny
people and I don’t think she sees them. Maybe she’s blind. I don’t know what
that means, but she says it a lot, so I guess that means she is. Mally says
that blind means mindless. I don’t know what that means either. Maybe it means
that she can walk through things and people.
Sometimes I am jealous of my
friends. They can do things that I can’t do. Mally can fly, and Meg can walk
through walls. I don’t know if I can walk through walls, because every time I
try Mum comes in and makes me stop. She says I shake the whole house, but I
don’t hear anything.
Who was that? It didn’t sound like
Meg, and Mally has never used that voice before. It wasn’t high enough to be
No! I don’t want to! Don’t make
No…good for you…eat it…strawberry!
Something red, hovering in front
of my eyes. I know that it wasn’t there a moment ago. It didn’t come out of the
wall, so it doesn’t belong to my friends. What is it?
It smells good. It smells like
something that I’ve smelled before…before my friends came…Poison! It must be.
Mally says so.
I don’t want it! Don’t give it to
me! Take it away!
You have to eat something,
honey, you’re wasting away.
No! Poison! Help! Something is
pressing on me, pressing me against the walls that I can’t get through. They
are holding me down. I always knew the flat people were enemies! They are
making me eat it.
Mally! Help! They’re killing me!
Do something! But Mally just flies around on the ceiling.
Rachel, she’s hallucinating
again. She won’t stop!
Not again! She won’t…kicking me…
There are flat voices, two of
them, arguing. They fade in and out. They are angry and it’s my fault, it’s all
my fault. Why? What have I done wrong? I want to ask Mally, but he’s gone.
Kat…stop…you have to…
KATHERINE, STOP THIS NONSENSE.
WE ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU. OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND EAT YOUR FOOD. I AM NOT GOING TO
The voice, the flat voice, echoes
around the room. It bounces off the walls and becomes a cloud of blue.
The cloud morphs into a creature—a
DOG—and flies out the wall. I wish it would stay. It was pretty.
Someone places something in my
EAT IT. The loud voice demands. I do.
My chair goes soft. I was sitting
on a chair? When did that happen? I don’t remember. Now it goes soft and
sprouts blankets. The room has gotten dim, dark. From far away I can hear flat
voices. One of them is Mum, the other is the one who calls himself Dad. I don’t
see him very often.
I try to ignore the voices. Flat
voices are so hard to listen to; they grate on my ears.
Listen to them, Mally whispers. Listen to them.
I listen to them, because Mally
We have to take her to someone, says the first voice. We have to take her
in before it’s too late.
No, says the second voice—Mum. I’m not paying some shrink to prod
at our daughter and tell us there’s nothing we can do except wait for it to go
Marni, how much longer can you
go on like this? You’re running yourself ragged trying to look after her. How
long will it take you to admit that Kat is not normal?
Daniel, she’s fine. She’s her
own kind of normal.
Dad makes a queer sound. Honey,
I don’t know of any other children who behave like she does. She’s thirteen
years old and she throws tantrums like a toddler over a strawberry. Haven’t you
heard here talking to the air? She calls it Mally, and she has conversations
with it like it’s her best friend. That is definitely not normal.
Mum makes a strangled sort of
noise. All right. I’ll call and see if they have a time to see her.
Mally? What is “normal”?
It means flat. Like them.
I don’t want to be flat! Once, a
long time ago (maybe yesterday?), I didn’t have my friends. Mally wasn’t there,
and neither was Meg. Nothing came through the wall. Then Mally came, and showed
me the wall, and Meg, and my other friends. He showed me how things came
through the wall, and how to say hello and speak to them. He said that I didn’t
have to listen to Mum. If I listen to him, everything will be fine. Mally said
The ceiling is floating above me,
away into the pink. It goes, it goes, far away from me, sliding into the
blackness. There are lights up there, purple and blue and green. And a big
teddy bear, which gives me a hug and pulls my arms off. He is whirling and
turning dark red, red, red…
Get in the car.
In the car. Over there. We’re
going to see a doctor.
Oh, hey, a car. Look at the car,
Mally, isn’t it pretty? It’s kind of…floating. Is it supposed to do that?
Don’t be silly, Kat. What
nonsense about a car floating? The voice—it
must be Mum—is annoyed with me. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Uh-oh.
Is Mally coming?
Mally doesn’t exist, Kat.
Of course I am coming!
What does she mean, Mally doesn’t
exist? He’s right there. Meg’s there too, right next to him. Even Scholarship
came outside, and it never does that. It usually hides under my desk because it
wants money. Clever Scholarship!
The world! It’s moving! The trees
outside are rushing past my window, probably late for Ammeeding. That’s why Dad
isn’t in the car, because he was late for Ammeeding. Ammeeding must be very
important, because he forgot his tie.
Another flat person names himself
Doctor Millman. I don’t like the flat people because they always name
themselves. They never let me name them.
Doctor Millman puts me on a table
and pokes me. He asks me questions that I don’t want to answer.
How long have you been seeing
these imaginary people?
They’re not imaginary! Mally’s
standing right there and you can’t see him?
When was the first time you saw
When he came through the wall for
the first time. How could I have seen him before that?
Can you read?
Mally, what does “read” mean?
It’s those letters on the page.
See? This word says “patient” and this word says “symptoms” and that one says
something I don’t know, and that one says “diagnosis”. It’s easy.
I can read! Of course I can read.
Doctor Millman—you can’t read.
You couldn’t a minute ago.
Mally just taught me! See? “Patient”;
“Symptoms”; “Something I don’t know”; “Diagnosis”. It’s easy!
Worried whispers. Doctor turned
into a bird and flew through the wall. Now I can hear him outside the room,
quite clearly, and he’s talking to Mum.
The word won’t go away. It follows
me, whispering in my ears. It sounds like poison. Doctor Millman is gone, and
the world is moving again. I can’t see Mum, but I can hear her voice from right
next to me, whispering and tapping on the windows. Maybe she can’t get out.
Where is Mally?
Silly! He didn’t come in the car.
He hates it when the world moves. He’ll be waiting for me when the world stops
What does he look like?
Like Mally. I can’t think of a
different way to describe him, except that he doesn’t look like the flat
people. He is rounder, fuller, more there.
And he doesn’t change colors every day like the flat people do. The flat people
aren’t as real as Mally is. Mally says so.
(August 6, 2012 - 9:09 pm)