Forged 4

I held onto the candle for dear life. I drew the candle to me for warmth, with my eyes fixed upon the flame. Then it all came back. All those times on social media when I’d been right – I’d had to be right. I’d given hours of my days and nights to people I would never meet, proving them with science and mathematics why I was right and they were wrong.

All those years I’d given, taking my job so seriously. I’d become a manager. I’d been successful. But what had I managed? People who had no interest in me, who got through staff meetings without bothering to look up and meet my eyes. Paper pushing and statistics and reports on the paper pushing.

Fucking queer. Freak. You’re so gay. They’re trying to make everyone gay. We need a cull. It’s just a bit of banter.

But I’d been successful! I had the house and the car to prove it. I was a success, even though they all said I’d be a failure – my parents, other kids at school, people in the street, people at work and people on social media. I’d proved them all wrong!

I saw their faces in the candlelight. All those people who had taken a small piece of me, bit by bit, carving me up, year after year, day after day, until all that was left was a shredded carcass. I was already dead. It was time for my cremation, so I held the candle to my clothes and let the fire take hold.

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Red, orange, yellow, white – the flames consumed me. Yet I was not screaming. I was not in pain. I looked down at my hands. They were still my hands, holding onto the candle for dear life, but they were not hands of flesh and bone. They were hands of molten metal – gold. Kicking out my foot and seeing my leg, I saw the same process there. My whole body had metamorphosed into gold. Gold that was not yet solid, but was being refined in the fire.

Something new was being forged.

 

This is part of a piece I performed as part of a Mothers Ruin evening. A fantastically high standard of music, comedy and theatre.

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About catherinehume

Catherine Hume: Writer, social care worker and a liver of a life less ordinary.
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