Society's Marionette

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young differently abled woman seeks to break the stereotype of being society's marionette by becoming a grand puppeteer.

Submitted: September 04, 2012

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Submitted: September 04, 2012

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Society's Marionette

As dawn was breaking over the skyline of Seattle;. in a secluded alleyway an uprising of another kind was .about to be executed. Anne Radcliffe was a rebel with extreme grit but there was a small complication.. Anne Radcliffe was a self imposed mute with cerebral palsy. She was the kind of woman who loathed restraint. Anne had an itching to emacipate herself To the cavalier onlooker though, Anne was just one more handicapped individual sitting in a corner with a trickle of drool running like a stream from the corner of her lips. However, deep within the portals of her soul, Anne vowed to show her corner of the globe that she was in fact a champion who was unique solely by utilizing her differently ability as a vessel to rise above prejudicial views. Anne was residing in a group home in Seward Park; but she was often purposely forgotten about by callous staff members. She had only one friend in the facility, a kindred spirit in the guise of a male nurse by the name of Jules Lafarge. Jules followed his instinct where Anne was concerned. He was helping her escape this evening. Earlier that morning, Jules had borne witness to the unspeakable. Jules had e-mailed Anne saying," Baby girl, you are so much better than this place. The escape goes down at midnight. You are going to take back your life tonight." Anne responded by saying," Jules, you are risking everything for me. But you are my only friend in this prison. I have been abused for over a year. But you have come to my rescue so many times. When my chair hit the ground, I decided that enough was enough. I will take back my existence tonight and forever. My legs are bruised and covered in dents. I have not had a shower in three weeks. I want to have a set of clean clothes and to make a life for myself. All I want is my dignity, I may be down and out but that will not be for long. See you at midnight. I love you always Jules." Jules shot back a reply, " Love you more baby girl."

Jules found Anne on her bed, legs covered in bruises and dents. The expression on his face was pure rage. A new staff member had knocked over Anne's wheelchair with her still strapped inside. Jules took one look at Anne and yelled, " Those bastards." But Anne was also livid. She unbuckled the seat belt, crawled to the bed, used all of her strength, and pulled herself up. Anne was soiled and perspiring profusely. Now it was late in the evening long after the regular personnel had gone home. It was after midnight. Jules came into Anne's room with a duffel bag, backpack, and a violet framed power wheelchair that he had purchased secondhand. Jules knew that he was risking not only risking his job but also his reputation. He had spent several pay checks to make sure that Anne had what she needed to take back her life. But Jules loved and respected Anne enough that he was willing to risk it all. Jules gingerly woke Anne with a kiss on top of her forehead. A smile as wide as the view from the Space Needle came across Anne's lips.

Jules looked at Anne with a serene but strong glance and said, " All right baby girl let's get you cleaned up and out of this hellhole for good." Anne nodded and wrote on her I-Pad; " Let's do this." Jules helped Anne out of the soiled hospital gown and tossed it in the laundry. Anne showered and dressed in a University of Washington Huskies sweatshirt and sweatpants. The backpack contained microwave meals; a two month supply. The duffel bag contained sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, Joe Boxer pajama pants, underpants, a suit for job interviews, toiletries, t-shirts, muscle tees, socks, leather jacket, scarf, five fedoras, a wristwatch with mother of pearl dial, and a pair of slip on sneakers. The was also a charger for the power chair. Jules also brought Anne a netbook programmed with his e-mail for emergencies. Jules also gave Anne the address of an abandoned factory with a small apartment off the back. Anne was going to stay there for a few months. Only Jules knew Anne's true artistry. She was a skilled artist and poet; but to the rest of the city another statistic that did not matter. Anne climbed into her new ride, hugged Jules as hard as she could, and told him she would be in touch by the following evening. Anne sped out through a side door and never looked back. Jules knew that his friend was on her way. Jules received an e-mail later from Anne saying that she was all right and was settling into her new pad. Anne also told Jules that she loved him and she had his back.

Anne arrived at the address Jules had given her. 679 University Street; a derelict toy factory. Anne knew what kind of mistress of the arts she wished to be developed into, a manipulator or grand puppeteer. The crafting of marionettes was a globally renowned art form. It was truly a genre where the heart of the puppeteer was emoted through a seemingly inanimate object. Whether it was reenacting literary epics such as the Iliad or the Odyssey, Italian morality plays, or a Burmese lord making an offering to the gods; it was all a single thread woven into the diverse tapestry known as humanity. Anne Radcliffe was weaving her thread as the night faded into day.

The next morning Anne set to work. She had some money saved up. Her parents had died and she was shipped off to the group home against her will because she had no family. After ten years of being made to feel like a caged tigress with scars both literal and physical from being isolated Anne went into an obligatory period of not speaking. But that time was over. At twenty five, Anne was poised to create her bequest in a capsule from the past. Anne bought a bed, lamp, microwave, refrigerator and steamer trunk all for one hundred dollars. She would use the steamer trunk as a dresser. Anne also bought a poster of a dancing clown. She hung it over her bed. The factory was now her home.

Anne had gotten a job as an English tutor at U of W. But she made an impact on her tutees; despite conversing by the vehicle of an I-Pad touch screen. And her tutees and colleagues at the writing center were dying to know what was behind the mask of Anne's blue grey eyes. What was behind her mask was a gifted woman with much to say about her perspective on the world.

In her spare time Anne was crafting a puppet and a show that Seattle would be talking about but in a poignant way for some time to come. On those lonely nights, Anne threw herself into her first creation, a marionette in her own likeness; a three dimensional self portrait: short brown hair, blue grey eyes and a wheelchair. She had ordered her supplies directly from an online warehouse.

Anne spent six months constructing her mini Anne from paper Ache, rags, and kitchen twine. She even used her own hair. Mini Anne was finished. The plot of Anne's inaugural production was simple but the magnitude of the implication was going to be made evident later that night. Anne was going to perform that night at the Neptune Theater. Anne showered and dressed in a black sweatshirt and sweatpants. She put on racing gloves to maneuver mini Anne's T control more easily.

Anne arrived at the Neptune Theater and headed upstairs to the balcony above the stage. The set was a simple parking lot that was empty. The spotlight focused on a handicapped parking spot. Mini Anne was lowered into her wheelchair, mask on. With a few choreographed movements of the strings, mini Anne's head began to twist and jerk furiously. The mask flew off and busted into a thousand shards. Mini Anne put on her glasses and rolled about. Mini Anne's chair stopped and there was a message on the space. " I am a person too." By the end of the performance, the sound of a fifteen minute standing ovation coursed through Anne's consciousness. As Anne was packing up mini Anne and her set, the manager of the Neptune Theater gave her a full scholarship to U of W. Anne tearfully accepted the gift and chose to be a dual major in art and puppetry. Anne excelled and graduated with honors. Her valedictory speech was succinct . Anne said with humility and grace, " I am no longer society's marionette. I am simply human."


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