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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Hello?  Navi?

Laundry break

The new house is officially wired. Still a gigantic mess, but achieving some sort of order at a glacial rate.

I didn't officially enter NaNoWriMo, because A) I am highly critical of my own level of commitment, and B) I feel a little bit guilty about using scraps I had lying around to springboard from. Nevertheless, 5.2K words into some sort of effort, and if you catch me online NOT writing this month, make sure my ass gets back to it, okay? Meanwhile, here is something or other.

Transpose, Kim

In the time that it took young Kim to decide to finally pick up the cross of language, the earth had already done three laps around the sun, and was halfway through a victory lap. Doctors looked again and again for maladies, deafness, cerebral injury. Psychologists studied, pondered, tried to determine if the mix of Korean and English spoken in her household was discouraging or confusing in some way, probed for autism, neurosis, Asperger's. Her parents read to her, encouraged her, spoke in hushed voices, worried glances, sometimes tears. None of which fazed the ghostly, dark-eyed little girl. Her gaze was sharp, but frequently abstracted. She would go where she was lead by the hand, and stay where she was left, with the occasional alarmingly silent departure to climb into windows and ladders and other difficult places without warning. She never reacted to being scolded. She never really found occasion to react to anything at all. There didn't seem to be much need. What, really, was there to say?

Until the day she discovered her first game.

Riding in their rusty, olive green Dodge sedan always put Kim in a sleepy, somnolent, content mood. The world was full of hungry air, of people jabbering and grunting and barking and clucking. Big fat people stopping in the middle of the sidewalk so that she had to try and edge by one side of them or the other, inevitably running into them as they listlessly drifted in one direction or another. The teacher and other children staring and staring, repeating the same sentences over and over, as though she hadn't heard them perfectly well the first time around. Doctors in their icy white fortresses, bearing metal tools and speaking about her as though she weren't there. The Dodge was safety from all of this. She could close her eyes and enfold herself in the benign hum of the struggling engine, in the vertiginous sensation of motion, in the alternation of bright reds and greenish darks, the light behind closed eyes. Under her fingers, a spot of vinyl was tearing jaggedly away from the fibrous surface of the seat beneath. Opening her eyes, and everything was blue-toned. Exhale, and she could almost see the cloud of breath, though the air was perfectly warm.

And she was running beside the car.

At first she observed mostly from behind the window, as her mirrorself sprinted next to the car in a blur of motion, matching speeds effortlessly. She slipped outwards towards the sidewalk, and leaped three trashcans together, and did a handspring over the mailbox beyond them. With each trick like that, she grew more solid, more clear, more real. She grew a shadow, a flat black plane that rippled oddly as it chased her.

“Rules” began to occur, and she knew she was following them because her mirrorself faded slightly when she broke one. She tried to run along a long hedge, but it seemed impossible that they should be able to support another self, even one so fleet. So they became “against the rules.” She could leap from solid obstacles, like mailboxes and posts, and could cover the long distance between city blocks easily. So the game became to keep pace with the car, without touching the ground. She could fly for a limited time before having to touch the ground, but flying too far was against the rules. Kim had to keep track of all the solid obstacles within optimal “leaping” distance within the range of about a block, moving at 30 – 60 miles per hour on average.

The scenery changed from an urban scape to a stand of trees, and suddenly she leapt from observation to presences. She was there, accelerating to launch herself at the lowest available limb, hopping spiderlike from branch to available branch, flipping and spinning to switch her angles of approach, to ascend or descend. Everything shrank into a tunnel of green, and in the rushing torrent of wind and leaves, everything began to form a pattern, a perfect satori of velocity and motion.

When the car pulled between the faded yellow boundaries of the parking space, she turned to her mother in the driver's seat and said crisply and clearly, “I'm the fastest girl in the world.”

A single vein in her mother's forehead twitched. She put her hand to the cheek of her only daughter, whose smile was beautiful, and beatific, and somehow purely feral. She knew then that it was true, that sometimes the Other People visit our cribs in the dead of night, and spirit part of us away, and leave little Other People in our places. And we keep them in our nests anyway, these sharp little strangers, because we are bound to them. For better or for worse, we need each other.

KB 11.03.06

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No worries about NaNoWriMo, in light of everything happening here I completely spaced it. (BIG surprise, eh?)

Meanwhile, since it is so close to my heart and because misinformation is so easily spread: Asperger's Syndrome IS autism. Think of autism in terms of a spectrum...Apserger's syndrome (which Liam has) is on the one end while the typical "padded room child" would tend to be on the far opposite end. Asperger's is not the only "named" portion of the specturm, and this mistake is common for those who are , pardon the term, "outside" the autism community.

Still, your piece touched me, because I could see this character like I see my son. It's not that he's deaf or dumb or whatever...he's just Liam. And sometimes he just seems like he's from another place.

*sniff* Yeah, good stuff, man. Keep writing.

Thank you very much for the kudos, Cap'n. Really I'm not entered in NanoWriMo so much as I am using it as a general guideline, yardstick of progress, and lever to get my ass over to the keyboard and get some work done. I don't so much care whether or not I hit the stated goal, but I would like to have most of the major elements of a complete story blocked out and roughly finished by month's end, or early December at the latest.

Thank you for the firsthand info on AS. There is a lot of information out there, and a lot of it directly conflicts with each other. Some sources report that AS is exactly the same as high functioning autism, others label Asperger's Disorder and Autistic Disorder as separate areas within the spectrum of autistic disorders, and still others refer to it as simply a non-verbal learning disability. I didn't have any firsthand source material for that line, so I appreciate the input; I'll clean it up on the rewrite.

Caught your IM after you'd checked out; I hear the rains are coming for us within the next couple of weeks, too, but at least I have time to break out a liferaft.

There is alot of conflicting information out there. Someday someone may figure it all out. ;)

Meanwhile...we're still alive and semi-dry here, hope the same can be said for you.

Tch. I miss writing. Not that I do less per se, but more along the lines of I miss what I use to write. Unfinished tales always tend to make me feel this way when I run across them time and again. Ah well, keep up the writing.

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