Escapist

A tale of the Common People, based upon the concept by Kielle and Phil Foster.

I sit in class, staring idly into the book. The teacher's lecture droning about somewhere on the edge of my attention. My classmates playing silly games and throwing crumpled balls of paper around, giggling quietly and writing on the tables. I hear them and her, and they both annoy me, but I'm not really there, not really.

I look at the book, reading to myself, hoping no one would notice my zoning out. It's literature class, and we're studying the old legends of the Knights of the Round Table. I'm reading alone from my book, lost to the quiet chaos around me. I drown in the story about brave warriors, beautiful princesses, strong kings and wise old mages. I read about castles and dragons and the days that the world was young and beautiful, and suddenly I'm there.

Suddenly I'm walking marble halls in Camelot, tracing a finger on the smooth wooden edge of the round table itself. Unnoticed I pass through the castle's rooms, cherishing the amazing sights, the gold and the precious gems, taking in the scent of perfumes and clear air nowhere to be found in the city. I smell grass and flora, and from outside comes the merry music of flutes and horns in the queer tunes of the Middle Ages, and the metallic clanging of swords. So I run outside and there are the knights, on horses, in armor, fighting-playing, much to the delight of the court's ladies. And there is the king himself.

I am there, that is where I really am, side-stepped into another world, my spirit thrown back in time, connected only loosely to my body, still in class, reading. As long as I'm reading, I'm really there. Not a dream, not a fleeting illusion of boredom in the long school hours. I am there. This is real. I used to have daydreams, up until I turned fourteen, so I know what they are like. And as much as I tried to dismiss those new crazy visions I started having as daydreams, after three years I already know that this isn't it.

This is real, sight, smell and sound. As long as I'm reading, I'm there. When I stop reading, I'll be pulled back to the reality of here and now and my body. It happens every time. I long stopped trying to control it. This escaping is beyond me, no matter what I do. I will always be sucked into that other realm. I stopped reading. My parents were angry at first, then shrugged it away as another bother of the teenage years. They don't know anything. They don't know I just can't read anymore. I can't do it. It's killing, but every time I read, this happens. I can't stop it.

I used to love it when it only happened every once in a while. It was my special gift, now it's the worst curse I've ever had. But every now and then. well, I enjoy slipping away, when things get too much for me, I can always pick up a book. I can always do it, and sometimes it's comforting. If I could control it, it would be perfect. But I can't, that's what it is, that's who I am.

My teachers and parents know I zone out sometimes, even if they don't know why. They say I have an active imagination. well, let them think that. Better that than them knowing their darling little girl is a mutant, a freak. That's what I used to think of myself - freak. It took me a long time and a lot of good books to understand better.

So I sit in class, and the lesson is very boring, and I broke up with my boyfriend yesterday and my mom won't let me go to that party and I lot my favorite CD. So I fly away to the realm of King Arthur and his knights for an hour, no harm done. It feels better, there.

When this lesson will end, I'll stop reading, and be pulled back into my body and into reality, to face it again. That's the way it happens, that's the way it always happened. No trouble, no problems, nothing can go wrong with that. I control that part, I know I do. I'm not afraid of getting stuck inside a book-vision. I'm not afraid of that at all, really. I'm not.

And I'm not - I swear I'm not - I'm really not - I'm not looking forward to it, either.

~~End~~