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(HSSC2) Inner Beauty

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posted on Sep, 27 2008 @ 01:21 AM
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She had a huge fan-base for her poetry, and was highly regarded in those circles that cared about such things. Her writings were always about love. Her poems were sweet and gentle. An astounding number of people would check her website each and every day for something new.

She often received e-mail requests for dates. Twice, she had received proposals for marriage, from people who knew her only by the poems she crafted. People loved her work, and through extension, they adored her.

Nobody knew her profound secret.

She had been hideously burned as a young child, so disfigured that she was unable to go outside without a full burka, and a mask. She did not look human. When she wrote her poems, she could only peck out her thoughts one keystroke at a time, using the stick-like instrument of her single arm. It was virtually all that the fire had spared of her upper torso. Those that loved her poetry had no idea.

#

She was seven when it happened. She was playing with the boy next door. He was her classmate, her boyfriend, and they were in love that summer, filled with a pure type of love that only children can ever know.

There had been a large container of gasoline in the garage. Her young boyfriend, naive to the horrors lurking in a world so strictly governed by cause and effect, had discovered a cigarette lighter in an old tin can on the garage shelf. Did it work?

Her doctors –- her parents –- had debated. In this special case –- might it actually be better to let this child die rather than burden her (and the world) with something so monstrous?

Her childhood boyfriend had been totally consumed in the flames. He had died immediately. It was a blessing of sorts. Although he had left her, to face this horror without any help, at least he was free, whereas she was forever entombed in a prison of hideous scar tissue, all the remaining years of her life.

#

She grew up in a hospital burn ward –- alone in the world. Even the nurses could barely stand to look at her. And she was kept separate from the other children. Her disfigurement was just too distressing for anyone to witness. She eventually moved to the abandoned home of her long passed grandparents, far from the city, where she lived her life in total isolation.

But there was one more secret to her ghastly life, and to this story.

Truly, by every apparent measure, her life had been cursed. The fire had turned her into a physical monster, and had killed her childhood friend.

Yet each night, her love –- her first and only love -- still came to her, in her dreams. He always had. Her gentle and sweet lover, in some mysterious act of penitence for the fate he had participated in, would visit her, as she slept.

And all during the night –- every night -- they would travel to exotic places, share their thoughts, share love with an unbounded purity and intensity that can only exist in the dream world.

You see –- ghosts often visit those who have had an extraordinary life. They have left our physical world. They know inner beauty, and can only see what you are, and not what you look like.

"You are so very beautiful," he would tell her. And she was.

Each night was bliss.

And each morning, she would awaken, and write a new love poem for the world.

[edit on 27-9-2008 by Buck Division]




posted on Sep, 27 2008 @ 01:23 AM
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This story is so disturbing to me that I really am not sure I should post it.

But, what the heck, it's for Halloween!

Enjoy it, if that is possible.



posted on Sep, 27 2008 @ 04:48 AM
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i love your story
it made me really cry

it is very intensive
very well done and thanks that you posted it,
although i wouldn.t have known it i would have missed it



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 07:19 AM
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I still remember your last story with which you won the last contest.

And I´ll remember this one.

You really are a writer.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 10:42 PM
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Oh, that was marvelous. A good reminder of the strenght in love which is unconditional. You are a star, so this one is for you...




posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 10:53 PM
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This story was amazing and made me cry.

On some levels it really hits home because of an unconditional love that I share with someone so special to me. This part is what really hit me:



Yet each night, her love –- her first and only love -- still came to her, in her dreams. He always had. Her gentle and sweet lover, in some mysterious act of penitence for the fate he had participated in, would visit her, as she slept.

And all during the night –- every night -- they would travel to exotic places, share their thoughts, share love with an unbounded purity and intensity that can only exist in the dream world.

You see –- ghosts often visit those who have had an extraordinary life. They have left our physical world. They know inner beauty, and can only see what you are, and not what you look like.




posted on Oct, 8 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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Thanks for the kind words. I admit that I cried also as I wrote the ending.

What makes this story particularly poignant to me is that there are, in fact, badly disfigured people who are complete shut ins. Ordinary people don't get the chance to see this, or know about it. But extreme disfigurement, of the type I've described in my story, actually exists. It is more severe than most people can imagine. It is more intense than Hollywood knows how to create in movies, with make up and CGI. It is more acute than modern plastic surgery knows how to fix.

I have only met one person in my life who fell deep into that category. He was a burn victim. And he was one of the most witty and philosophical people I have ever known. I won't elaborate.

#

Anyway – I was very choked up when I wrote this.

Sometimes I've written stories that make me laugh. Next time I write such a story, I will post it here first!



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 10:11 PM
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A star for your story.

It is so very masterfully done. Totally impressive and very moving. Yet the voice of the narration is so objective and unemotional.

However much as I am impressed, I missed there not being any dialog. I know, that in short pieces, even those as outstanding as this one ...there doesn't need to be any dialog.

Very beautiful and masterful work. A bit too cognitive for me upon dissection ... because I think it might have been a stronger piece if it was longer (which is like criticizing my own work in this contest).

Is it autobiographical?

But ... do you ever write in dialog?

I've been thinking about crafting a story for this contest, one that requires plotting in addition to spontaneity, that would reflect the rules of drama and story writing if-and-when needed.

But, as you know, that requires work. Whereas in the piece I did for this contest, called, 'Suffocation' -- it was fun.

Why? Because I (perhaps as you) figured I could get away with it and still be true to myself.

However ... perhaps both you and I could do one long story up to the max of (what is it, 7,000 or 8,000 words? ... let me check the rules, I'll be right back ... ... ... it's 7,000 words.

I lack your nostalgia for sentimentality. Not intentionally, am just ruled by more harsh ...let me rephrase that. The cutting edge with which I lean into the realities have often cut my own flesh ... and I'm simply not sentimental watching my blood drip onto the floor. Perhaps if I was dying, I would be ... but of course we are, aren't we. But still ... I'm more concerned with the dying than the dead.

p.s. If it is autobiographical, please accept my apologies. My friend's wife was a burn victim and her face was burnt off yet she wore no mask. I was so shocked when I met her but I didn't betray my feelings and counted on my sincere love of her courage and character ... she worked as a nurse.

The other day, one of my friends, Diana (unfortunately not as intimate a friend as I'd like) who has a corner concession inside an antique store, one of her customers did wear such a mask ... the first day she entered. And Diana was very upset. However, the next day when Diana was not there according to someone who was, the burn victim did come back, without her mask ... and totally, well, the people working in the store were totally shocked and upset.

Diana wondered, why would the woman have taken off her mask? I explained to her, "Diana, she needs you to see her for who she is, without her mask, so she can respect herself ... and share with you what it is like for her."

Your story was very brave.

Perhaps like the woman who was reaching out for friendship through truth, your friend who is a burn victim, also struggles for truth in friendship ... here I am, sounding like a salesman or a banker.

When I write, I reach out for friendship ... but I reach out to myself. Perhaps that's where you and I -- rather, our styles -- differ. You reach out to people, and I no longer try to.

Oddly, this makes you the one more concerned with living, and I the one more concerned with the dead.


[edit on 21-10-2008 by counterterrorist]



posted on Oct, 23 2008 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by counterterrorist
Is it autobiographical?

Nope. That would be a really big deal, if it was.



But ... do you ever write in dialog?

I do. However, for a mini-story like this, I didn't have time to develop my characters well enough to put any believable dialog in the story.



I've been thinking about crafting a story for this contest, one that requires plotting in addition to spontaneity, that would reflect the rules of drama and story writing if-and-when needed.

Absolutely do that! I would like to see that story. It doesn't have to be for any contest!



But, as you know, that requires work. Whereas in the piece I did for this contest, called, 'Suffocation' -- it was fun.


Suffocation -- a brilliant story. Here is the link for someone coming onto this thread. (Starred!)

www.abovetopsecret.com...



The other day, one of my friends, Diana (unfortunately not as intimate a friend as I'd like) who has a corner concession inside an antique store, one of her customers did wear such a mask ... the first day she entered. And Diana was very upset. However, the next day when Diana was not there according to someone who was, the burn victim did come back, without her mask ... and totally, well, the people working in the store were totally shocked and upset.

Diana wondered, why would the woman have taken off her mask? I explained to her, "Diana, she needs you to see her for who she is, without her mask, so she can respect herself ... and share with you what it is like for her."

An amazing anecdote. I can't add further comment. You have said it all.



posted on Oct, 23 2008 @ 01:32 AM
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counterterrorist: I've been thinking about crafting a story for this contest, one that requires plotting in addition to spontaneity, that would reflect the rules of drama and story writing if-and-when needed.

Buck Division: Absolutely do that! I would like to see that story.

counterterrorist: Well, you're very encouraging.

Buck Division: It doesn't have to be for any contest!

counterterrorist: Well, it kinda does help me if there's competition, especially with short fiction. I've only written 2-3 short stories in about 40 years. I had written a few before then, a few years before, and won national recognition w/them. And thought I'd live a writers life and did ... broke and overworked and underpaid and really only found fulfillment in my writing. Guess I had a family curse or something.

Problem is, I might have to write two stories, because I'll have to choose to follow the contest rules for the subject for one of them; and then I'll have to follow my own rules for the other. BUT, there's not enough time for people to read them if i did two more, BUT the judges could. And ... hmmm. Maybe I'll think about it a few days.

Or even worse, maybe I'll turn the first short story into a book by writing two more chapters that are short stories -- but that's so much thinking for the stories as chapters to actually work towards a climax in the novel. But I am interested in the theme of being alive for 1,200 years as a novel.

Then, I could change the book title to, 'Family Curse', and use 'Suffocation' as the title of the first chapter.

And make the book a story of reversal of character from living in the past and the future to living in the present, or something like that, and reverse from living in loneliness and emptiness to living in love, that's sufficiently corny and true to life. But, then I carumba, the 2nd chapter for the contest I could call 'family curse' and meet the contest rules. Then, in the 3rd chapter I could get on with the novel and since none of my work ever sells anyway and no one reads it, anyway, then it won't matter if I mess w/the dramatic novel structure for the first two chapters, at all ... cause no one will ever see it, anyway ...except you.

A plan is forming for 'Family Curse'. I'm actually almost going to try to get rid on one ... but i don't think its really a family curse, I think it's a curse on humanity, of which I happen to feel representative as an artist.

Well thanks for the inspiration, and being a co-muse.

I'm going to check that link out for newcomers, and tomorrow start to think, or start not thinking about, 'Family Curse'.

So many books to write, and so little time.

thanks again for the inspiration.

p.s. maybe I'll do a book of short stories, instead, since the novel won't sell anyway why not do a book of short stories that doesn't sell ... but at least can be marketed individually ... well, not marketed sold, but perhaps submitted to magazines ....ugh.

Maybe I'll just write them, a book full of short stories all for this contest, even though I'll just keep writing all year long up to the next contest. Still, though, I'd write a new one for the contest next year, then.

See what art does to you? Just runs you around and around and around for no reason but love.

[edit on 23-10-2008 by counterterrorist]



posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 05:44 PM
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The best stories, are those that can choke up even the author as they write them.



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