A Mouse's Heart
Opens a Portal
into the Desire
How Long Can One
Believe the Lie?
By Jenne Franecke
DATELINE: Saturday, December 21, 2002
Conway, Arkansas, USA
By some intense blunder of the fates, I was once a goddess. Not in the literal sense, but nonetheless lifted up, raised as though on some golden platform, untouchable to the mortal beings that surround on bended knee. In this small southern town, the people lived for a miracle, so blind was their faith that they felt a need to overlook average appreciation in search of the supreme miracle to set this little town apart from the world. So isolated was the town in reality that any passerby assumed that it was abandoned, no less judging by a well groomed though slightly dilapidated sign bearing the inscription, "Welcome to New Hope."
It was in this rut called New Hope that I existed for a time. Some would even say it was my birthplace, though I know this not to be true. Instead the rumor was that I just showed up one day. A somewhat tall child of around twelve, head topped with copper and gold curls, long fingers, large feet, and two peculiar bumps - one on each of my shoulder blades. The town elders, superstitious beings to the core, started talking as they sat on their porches in wicker rocking chairs. "Angel wings is what they were, could be devil though," some said about the bumps, while others swore that I was "... a wayward soul, lost between realms." Though now I know they were just looking for an explanation they could believe.
While sitting with the elders one day, discussing catechism and the rights of man, I watched a young child by the name of Seth come running to us. In his grubby hand lay a tiny field mouse. So small it was and apparently in shock from fear of the recent capture. Seth held out the field mouse with a promissory glance at me as if to say I should and could fix it while he went off to play. One elder snuffed, "It's dead, them mice never last up to them young'ans." And with that optimistic exclamation they turned back to their conversation. I guess it was then that the magic started, or whatever you prefer to call it. As I sat holding an apparently dead mouse and feeling rather disgusted with the whole situation, it started to move, much to my chagrin and the delight of the elders, who had focused their attention back on the mouse. Slowly their gazes wandered up to me, then back down to the mouse in a hushed awe.
As quickly as word of the supposed miracle could spread, New Hope was transformed into a wild frenzy. The people's prayers had apparently been answered. Elders began to buzz with the exciting news. By the time everyone else had heard it, it was as though I, by some divine power, had performed the resurrection. Although I myself was nearly as confused by the situation as they. The only difference was that I knew, even at that tender young age, that the mouse had not been dead, for I had felt its heart beating so fast it seemed to be one continuous palpitation.
After the "first miracle", as they called it, I became the healer, the instrument of the miracle of New Hope. People from all around heard about the miracle, which seemed to grow in importance with each retelling. The mouse became a kitten, then a puppy, and finally a human baby. The sheer magnitude of this inflating story began to frighten me, for it had the ability to swallow the entire community of New Hope up in its deceptive ecclesiastical value. Yet even this did not stop any one of them from bringing their problems to me, "the healer." Eventually, and several more supposed miracles later, it was as though I had my established place as a member in a society that continued to baffle me. A rival to the good Doc Brown, my practice was seen by most as more in accordance and parallel with those of the church, which seemed to appeal to their greater sense of faith. Strangely I performed my duty in a concentrated silence, never uttering a word about the mouse for fear that it would shatter the entire illusion into a million shards of a wonderful dream.
I guess that is why, after a term I deemed too long to be performing imaginary miracles, I decided that I would have to leave the dream called New Hope. My excuse was simple enough. I had begun to believe the lie. This would not have been harmful, except that I not only believed it, I also started to see truth in it. To actually believe the falsity in entirety with my whole being, that is what instilled terror in me. I had to leave the illusion.
The people believed they had fallen out of God's favor. Why else would their miracle be taken away? Thereafter, I heard through various channels that the town of New Hope had ceased to be.
A Personal Note
Escapism is a virtue, I've found that to be true in being bi-coastal. For myself, childhood in California gave me the platform to lend a strong voice to my writing. The influence of travel and living in different places has also had a profound affect, and I would hope that it has given me a greater sense of creativity.
Through each story I write, I try to achieve the creation of the characters. They are to be as real as possible, no matter how implausible their circumstance. For sometimes life is as incomprehensible as it is in movies or stories.
Reaching people through stories is probably the greatest reward that I can obtain through writing.
NOTE: Jenne's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
*This is the next step toward THE One World Language.
Step Five: Your adjectives in the Ganges.