bluebeard

6MS: Herself

Originally published at PeterCHayward.com/blog. You can comment here or there.

For reasons beyond my feeble understanding, I’ve been exhausted for a few days. But now I’m back, and full of pep and vigour! Here, have a six-minute story. I quite like this one.

Until now, she’d never thought of herself as pretty.

Truth be told, until a year ago, she’d never thought of herself as all. The concept of self was one that she’d been struggling with for the past twelve months, and she was finally starting to get a grip on it.

The first step had been coming up with a name for herself. Her entire life, she’d been referred to as “that lot”, or, at best, “the taller group”. She’d been part of a team…a slightly taller team than the other teams, true, but a minor difference in height does not self-identity make.

When the Crob had come and shut down the entire operation, they’d been let free.

Most of the girls hadn’t coped well.

But her, she was resolute. It was a quality she didn’t know that she had, but now she was starting to recognise that it had been within her all along. She was going to make it through, and if that meant coming to terms with her own identity, then that was what it was going to take.

“We’ll make it through,” she’d told herself for the first six months, before finally breaking the habit. The rest of the group, the other very-slightly-taller girls, they weren’t with her any more. It was no longer “we”, it was “I”, and that was the hardest thing to cope with.

The advantages had been hard to notice, for a long time, but eventually she had begun to take delight in her talent. She had skill…she did, individually, personally. It wasn’t her team that were responsible for the fact that she could do things well, it was just her.

And so she’d come up with a name. “Talent”. It was perhaps a bit egotistical (another concept that she struggled to wrap her head around) but she’d been assured by the counsellors that if anyone could err on the side of arrogance, it was her. Her and the rest of the girls.

And today, for the first time, Talent had realised that she was pretty. Not gorgeous, not stunning…but definitely pretty. She’d been aware that some of the men her team served were more appealing than others, that subjective appraisal of attractiveness existed, and she even knew that the taller group were occasionally chosen for exactly that reason…but the idea of her, Talent, being pretty?

Until now, she’d never thought of it. But once the idea come into her head, it wasn’t leavin