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Short Story: The flaws of the Flawless Twins

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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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The Art of Storytelling

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Anyway, bad images aside..

Good Afternoon!

 

Storytelling is perhaps one of the forms of art that I appreciate the most. The ability to weave a story, to expose a message or feelings that you wouldn’t be able to even explain if not by the use of abstract ideas and concepts. To teach someone how to love, to see the world with other lenses. Perspectives, to expose thought and ideals. What is there not to shiver with the exposition of a plot or character that, in many ways, you may end up identifying with?

There are many forms to weave a story and there are many ways to expose your own story. A storyteller cannot be a mere dreamer. A storyteller has to be able to express those dreams in a way that will entertain the minds of those that are ready to broaden their horizons. So it is quite normal for storytellers to also learn other forms of art that will allow them to better expose their own stories. Either those skills be in writing, drawing, video, audio, word to mouth and so on.

There are also many types of storytellers. Those that work with vague abstract concepts. The ones that are rooted in reality and everyone’s daily life or knowledge of the common people. The visionaries that aim for a specific niche or demographic. The courageous that challenge the status quo. Storytellers that want to reach your heart and strip your emotions in order to bring your own innocence forward, to shape it. Curious people that want to bring forward a question or moral gray area. The dreamers that want you to dream, to inspire.

Whatever type of Storyteller you may find yourself to be and in whatever form you wish to expose your own story, always remember that Storytelling is an art that can take many shapes and form. But, most of all, it allows people to express themselves. It comes from the goodwill and heart of the artist to expose their own story. Every form of expression is an exercise of one’s free speech and ability to have their own thoughts exposed for the world to notice and entertain. A novel is not better than a movie. A song is no better than a movie. Fiction is not childish and a Broadway hit isn’t for the intellectuals only to understand completely.

It’s normal for some of the artistic sensible people to always consider their own methods to be the right way for a true artist to follow and appreciate. Much like a child, they scream that their own view is the correct interpretation and model to mimic. They are wrong.

 

Art comes in many shapes and form. Much like there are art styles for those that draw and none is better than the other, Storytelling has many ways to expose a story and the path to success is to refine your own story to the point that will resonate with the audience, no matter the path you have chosen to expose your story.

Many stories work better if they are written, invoking the readers’ own imagination to fill the gaps and self insert their own selves and thoughts to make the experience always unique.. even if the story is the same to everyone. There are other stories that require for the audience to experience it themselves, to insert themselves literally into the story. Then there are those other stories that require for the audience to focus on what’s already carved in stone right in front of their eyes and ears, allowing them to inspire.

Storytellers should know that one must not focus on a single form of expression for every story they may come up with. There are things that work better on a big screen while there are others that are better experienced written.

 

Personally, it’s already obvious that I, as a storyteller, prefer the use of cartoons and comics. Always exploring the world of fiction. I’m open to new possibilities, even though it is true that what I described earlier ends up being my main specialty when deciding how to express that story or idea.

I enjoy cartoons and comics, it draws the innocence from all of us, toying with an adults’ nostalgia and drawing them close enough to the point that they become open to anything that is thrown at them. The idea of making an adult surprised and emotional when the plot starts to thicken and the rabbit hole that is the idea, concept or character.. make the adult wonder if this is only a story for children. Just the thought of making such adults, holding their own heart that has been carved with thorns for decades to maintain their facade of adulthood.. strip them down from their mighty straw houses with the tease of an innocent cake made of skittles.. only for them to eat it whole and watch them widen their eyes as they noticed that the cake was filled with laxatives. Looking at them run towards the bathroom and appreciate that I’ve cured them from their constipation that had begun since the time they were forced to become adults, never truly understanding what an adult really is: a myth created by people who are entering puberty and want to pretend they are grown ups.

 

Anyway, that was my thought for today and, hopefully, this will allow some people who stumble here to have an idea of how I interpret the art of storytelling and how I personally see myself in that art form.

Have a pleasant 1st of November. It’s holiday here in Portugal. A religious holiday for “all saints”, catholic stuff.

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