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Warcraft Short Story – Sanity is an Illusion

 

 

Gnomeregan

The former capital city and true evidence of Gnome ingenuity. Though the Gnomes, to this very day, are still trying to retake their home slowly from the hands of Sicco Thermaplugg, one cannot deny that this race is one of the most intelligent of all Azeroth. Their kindness also knows no bounds, given that they are able to maintain a smile and still aid their allies, despise the events that have placed plenty of their own kind in danger and without a home. It will take a few more years to retake Gnomeregan, to clean it from the radiation, the troggs and from Thermaplugg himself!

However, this story takes place long before the events that have lead to the invasion of the Troggs.

 

 

Midrixie, a female Gnome that was still trying to reach adulthood, was the only child that lived with her loving parents. She was also familiar with a few other members of her family, enjoying a rather cozy social environment with those of the same blood. Together, they focused on forging metals and crafting. To create cogs, bolts and other basic necessities that a tinker needs. It was their business, though some of the family members also possessed other hobbies on their own. Midrixie was no different, being an outgoing Gnome that took interest in the most philosophical questions of the time.

While it’s true that the Gnomish historical records are very scarce, Midrixie would still question the purpose of life and how Gnomes came to be. In a forward thinking meritocratic society that values the inventions and technological breakthroughs and contributions from every individual, there has always been room for Gnomes who enjoyed studying particular fields. Her family and peers saw that aspect of her as only temporary. She was a teenager, still trying to reach adulthood and finding her own path, perhaps even a subtle hint of rebellion. Her questions could very well had meant that her future was one of a devoted in the arts of the arcane.

 

Given her family’s suspicions and predictions, they tried to encourage her thirst for answers to the most existential questions in life by asking one of their own family friends to come and visit their daughter. To answer her questions, to use her curiosity in something productive. Perhaps, even one day, becoming a Mage or, even more peculiar, a Techno Mage. This middle aged female Gnome’s name was Indus; clearly given by ambitious progenitors who wanted her daughter to be just as great as Indus, “the inventor” of Dalaran and member of the Council of Tirisfal more than two millenniums ago.

Indus, when proposed to explore the potential within Midrixie to unravel the wonders of the arcane, felt flattered and pleased with the idea of having an aspiring apprentice. Midrixie, on the other hand, remained suspicious of Indus’ kindness. Indus was, after all, aspiring to become a member of the Kirin Tor. Her support felt dishonest, but Midrixie accepted her aid nonetheless. Indus was quite demanding and she expected much of Midrixie. Growing frustrated and impatient with her student’s failures, Indus was quick to give up on Midrixie and to inform her parents that she was useless as a caster. That this teenager was too emotional and hard to rationalize with, despise her interest in philosophy.

This obviously wasn’t an experience that Midrixie would forget easily, growing some resentment for the society around her. She expressed her dissatisfaction over her family’s business, refusing to work. The signs of rebellion were evident and her parents began to feel and express their disapproval, believing the words that came from Indus on the day she returned to them with their daughter in tears.

 

Time continued to flow, Midrixie was growing older and was near adulthood. Once an extrovert, she was now avoiding contact with the people around her. She could not trust her family members, that continued to label her as a troubled teenager and someone that lacked direction in her life. She still had to invent something, to create a name in Gnomish society. A discovery, anything of importance to her own kind. Was her life destined to be a mere cog in a machine? Was that the life of a Gnome? How did it all came to be and why was no one interested in those questions?

 

Deciding to visit the surface, Midrixie traveled to Ironforge with one of her cousins. It was not the first time, though she never traveled beyond Dun Morogh. But she had seen plenty of Dwarves in her life and, thus, was somewhat familiar with their culture. It was always a refreshing view to be surrounded by Dwarves, given that they were more diverse than her own kind, or so she would always think to herself with a smile in her face. She didn’t felt the pressure to be an inventor, or a wizard. She enjoyed every moment that she was away from the influence of Gnomish society!

That day, she opened to her cousin. She explained her emotions, that she was not happy living in Gnomeregan. That, perhaps, the answer to her questions did not rest within their own capital.. but outside in the world. Touched by her words, her cousin told her that they could stay in Ironforge for a week, instead of a mere night that they had planned in order to trade their goods for a few pieces of silver coins.

During this week, Midrixie had the chance to visit the Hall of Explorers and the Library within. This fascinated her but it did not answer the questions that she had. Even she, herself, didn’t knew why these questions were of so much importance to her. Where was her curiosity leading to and why? Her obsession was a mystery to herself, not allowing her to enjoy the life that her parents had planned for her. But part of life is to grow and to become an individual, able to think for themselves. With this experience, she learned that her questions were only a manifestation of what she was feeling. Trapped, conditioned by the environment she had grown that already had a future planned for her.

She felt ready to come home and tell her parents about this discovery, that her destiny was for her to carve, to answer herself and not to ask others what was her fate as a Gnome. What is a Gnome? What is the purpose in life, for a Gnome?

 

Life isn’t easy. Once she returned home with her cousin, her parents shown concern as to why they came home nearly a week later than anticipated. Midrixie explained, feeling confident that her parents would understand, much like her cousin. To her surprise, they did not and her cowardly cousin wasn’t there to help when she needed! They expected much of her, as the only child. They could never let her go, they only wished for her daughter to remain with them and, if she so desired, expand the family lineage. Again, they concluded that it was yet another manifestation of her rebellion.

From that point forward, Midrixie was forced to work for her family. The family business, within Gnomeregan. Again, this lack of acceptance for their daughter’s free will and emotions caused her to retract from any meaningful conversation with anyone! Apathy was her companion, her heart grown cold to any form of flattery to her performance in the tasks given to her. She started to question herself, to question Gnomish society in her mind. She didn’t felt safe and loved enough to express her doubts and dark emotions.

She stopped to read, she stopped to wander in the streets of Gnomeregan. She also stopped spending time with her family outside of working hours.

 

Her thoughts were only hers to listen. And that’s when she started to talk to herself out loud, privately. Away from those that could hear her nagging, her complains, her questions, her tears, her hatred and rebellion.

But.. there’s always someone that can hear, even the darkest of secrets. Gnomeregan is an underground capital city. Within the ground, a large shadow is cast in every corner. It’s cold, logical. Much like the machinery that is build within it. And there are Gnomes that can fall into despair. Is any Gnome truly sane? There are stories that warn about the corruption of those with the most brilliant of minds when they are rejected by their peers. Midrixie, as trivial and not as tragic as her example can be compared to so many, is one of them. Born from a mere rebellion, never solved in adulthood. Her life was an illusion, created by her family and friends, much like the idea of being sane.

 

 

This darkness, this shadow.. it spoke. And it told her that “Sanity is an Illusion”.

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Short Story: The flaws of the Flawless Twins

short-story-theflaws-01

 

Eh, lazy pictures aside, this is a small story.

 

Inside the cleanest and purest of rooms painted in white, with a floor just as indistinguishable, no door and window can be seen within. Such a mysterious wide, intimidating and spacious cliche on which ears and eyes cannot listen or wonder the uncomfortable truth. The Flawless Twins live within, rarely dwelling with what’s outside of a room that, though specifically white, changes colors, much like a chameleon.

Lilibeth, the girl that kept a mirror close to her heart, wielding a hair brush ever so carefully. Like a doll, pale with a clear determination to cover it with a blush so exaggerated that has made people turn their heads in wonder how detached from reality have fashion magnates gotten. Her choice of garments only underlined such notion; with a white victorian dress, that was embroided with light pink details, and stockings. Her eyeliner was extremely thick, fake long eyelashes, glossy dark red lipstick.

Clarabeth, the sophisticated that held a tablet at all times. Her eyes were those of a judge. It was rare to see a smile on those lips and, if she did, it only meant she was about to join a debate on which she already knew exactly that the outcome was in her favor. A fine adviser and supporter of those who are broken. A nightmare when voicing her actual opinions, which were many and kept within.

 

Lily and Clara were twins, sisters. Flawless with plenty of flaws. Inseparable, yet they often disagreed with one another.

“Lily, hurry up. We have to go. People are waiting for us.”

“Yes, I know! Stop yelling, I’m still brushing my hair..”

“I’m not yelling! Except, you know, now!”

“.. I should wear something different today.”

“You’re hopeless. We both know you’ll regret whatever you wear anyway. Isn’t that why you keep a mirror close?”

“I keep it close to check on my makeup and hair, not because of my dress!”

“People have said plenty of times that you look beautiful anyway. You’re stressing the both of us.”

“I.. I know but..”

“You don’t believe them, I know.”

“You don’t either.”

“I mean, I think a lot of people are misguided but, considering everything, you are beau–“

“Don’t patronize me. I didn’t slept well last night, worried sick about tonight!”

“There’s a difference between getting yourself ready and decent for a social gathering.. then there’s you wasting more time getting ready than the actual event itself.”

“You know what? We’re not going. I’ve changed my mind.”

“Oh. Cmon now, Lily. You’ll be fine, stop being selfish and self-centered for once!”

“People gaze at me oddly anyway, no matter what I do!”

“That’s because you wear those dresses all the time, as if you were going to a cosplay. Of course people will look.”

“I thought people looked at me because, as they say, I’m beautiful. See? This is why I don’t believe when people call me that.”

“Beauty is more than just appearance, darling. If you invest yourself in just your own appearance, you’re nothing more than just a pretty yet disappointing face.”

“I’m not doing this for others, I’m doing this for myself too..”

“How insecure of you.”

Both sisters were perfectionists, to a fault. Incomplete, flawed yet never enjoying such truth and striving to change those same inconveniences. But beyond being harsh on themselves, they were able to be judgmental towards others in silence. Keeping a list of their own mistakes and others, they believed that everyone should always try their best to cover those same flaws and to become better people in the process. Either if those are superficial or deep rooted in one’s core personality and intellect. They could never understand others who didn’t worked as hard in life to make themselves better just the same way as the sisters.

“Clara, you have been quiet this whole day. What’s wrong?”

“.. Weren’t you paying attention? You know, except for your mirror.”

“You make it seem that I’m some sort of narcissist… Either way, what do you mean?”

“The way they talked, the things they have said. They are wrong and.. cruel.”

“Oh. That. Well, if you knew they were being ignorant, why didn’t you said anything?”

“… B-because I know they would be offended.”

“That doesn’t make sense. Are they not our friends? How can you expect people to understand you if you keep quiet about everything?”

“I don’t keep myself quiet about everything! You know me, you know I enjoy a good exchange of ideas in a respectful manner.”

“Yeah, I know. You keep judging me all the time.”

“Because you deserve it.”

“And they don’t? Why?”

“.. I.. Because.. W-well, I care for their feelings.”

“And you don’t care about mine? Thanks a lot, Clara!”

“Of course I do!”

“Then what’s the difference?”

“The difference is that I know you won’t reject and judge me if I talk. You will never leave me, sister. They, however, they don’t really care about me.. about us.”

“They certainly do care. They have expressed their worries and admiration towards you in the past. They think you are kind.”

“I know but..”

“You don’t believe them, I know.”

“How can someone like me if they don’t really get the opportunity to know me?”

“Isn’t that your own fault for not expressing yourself anyway?”

“I guess but..”

“They do care about you. They have putted up with the fact that you keep that tablet close. It just gives the impression that you don’t want to be there, you know?”

“I do want to be there. I just..”

“Just what? We already had this talk before. I know you see yourself has an outcast with ideals that can be seen as controversial at times. With peculiar tastes, alien and bizarre to the mainstream.”

“No one likes to feel rejected. Though I do envy them.”

“Envy..?”

“I mean, their ideals and what they find amusing is, by all means, widely accepted so it’s easy for them to befriend each others.”

“Ugh.. that’s such an awful way to look at things.”

“How so?”

“Because it makes yourself distance from others. It also makes you look uninterested and judgmental.”

“I care for what other people think, that’s why I spare their feelings.”

“There will always be people that won’t like you. Isn’t it better to just express yourself and allow the people that don’t like you to just move on? While keeping those that genuinely like you?”

“If I did that, I would be alone”

“Don’t be dramatic. It’s better to be genuine than living an illusion.”

“Look who’s talking..”

“Quiet!”

“You know what? I don’t think we’re going anywhere next week.”

“Fine, be that way.”

“What way?”

“Insecure.”

In a white room, days passed without seeing a familiar and friendly face except their own. Once in a while, having the opportunity to walk out of those four walls to bright up their own souls and skin. The difference between a girl and a woman, they were obviously still too young and incomplete to be considered mature. Lacking confidence, like a toddler who needs the company of her own parents to comfort her and build the confidence she needs to become independent. Insecure. Flawed.

 

Flaws make perfectionists uncomfortable. Who wants to be judged for their own flaws that they simply cannot help themselves? A double edged sword, certainly! Wouldn’t life be easier if those flaws weren’t there to begin with? Certainly. But is there anyone that is perfect in every way?

Nobody is perfect, everything is flawed. Those that strive for perfection are like a pet on a treadmill aiming to get the carrot that they will never achieve. The treadmill always spinning around, much like the excuses, arguments and vicious cycle of aiming for a new appearance or change in one’s personality to better achieve the image one has built upon themselves to reach that high pedestal of what is the new and improved “me”. And once achieved, again you notice the flaws that you have gained with this change. And you try to change again, and you find new flaws. And you try again.. and again.. and again. Running on the treadmill, make those paws work. And you look around, see others move on with their lives, without using a treadmill or caring to better themselves that much.. and all you’re left is with envy of those who have embraced their flaws and have, ironically, became better than you. Became mature.

You know you can walk away from the treadmill. It’s not that hard to walk away from that treadmill. But that carrot, it’s there. You were lead to believe one way or another that the carrot was able to be reached and that you could only find true happiness if you nibble it. And you look at those that you envy, telling yourself that life isn’t fair.

Congratulations, you have become neurotic. Flawed by pretending that you can achieve a state on which you will become mostly flawless or contempt with one self, while wishing for no one to find out how flawed you really are.

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