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Six: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

Updated on June 25, 2017
Everett Bradley profile image

Everett Bradley, convincingly or not, doesn't do much else other than write and read.


An unfortunate consequence of being a happy person is that no one tries to find a sadness within your heart.

Weaving the luscious hair, Kate, eyes closed, smile wide, hummed a peaceful tune for the ears of her sister sat in front of her. The room around the two contained a Fel, located to the left of the two sisters; a book-enveloped Maddy who’s Gerald was currently cuffed to his surgical duties eight miles away. To the right of the two sisters, rather close, a long and skinny television with faded whisper-like noises regarding celebrities that this family, huddled within their comparatively small living room, couldn’t be bothered with giving attention to. Kate looked up towards the ceiling of the luxurious house as she neared her finishing of her braiding responsibilities she’d put on herself. For all of the decorating her parents had done on the ground floor, what with the expensive furniture, lovely dining essentials, and paintings that Kate found to be overpriced swashing of random flicks from a paintbrush, but nice to look at, nonetheless. After staring at one of these paintings to her left, just past Fel, she noticed her hands had finished the braiding process.

She remained motionless to absorb the oddity that was to be never a surrounding of normalcy for her: Absolute silence. After a few moments she noticed the television by her side was making noises she didn’t care to hear and that no one had noticed her looking about the room. The thought that someone could feel her eyes wandering made her delightfully uncomfortable, resulting in a giggle. Fel snapped away from his original eye position towards Kate and Maria moved her hands to the back of her head to ensure the job was done neatly. Kate looked, first, at Fel who smiled lightly at her, and then towards Maria who spun around with a happy grin on her face which were coupled with a calm and heartfelt “Thanks.” Kate welcomed Maria and glanced at the mother.

She hadn’t taken her eyes off of the book which released information regarding self-help techniques such as how to’s on voicing concerns, feeling empowered, and convincing one’s self’s worthiness of needs and desires. So Kate resumed her assumed soon-to-be conversation with her siblings.

“What are you working on?” Maria’s homework was always, in every case, foreign to Kate who was placed in classes of lesser difficulty. Advanced classes, to be sure, but not 5th in the state advanced.

“We’re currently studying the history of philosophy and the literature that came into existence due to the greats.”

“What makes the class difficult? The people or their books?”

“The writings, definitely. Zarathustra is mind-consuming enough. I really don’t enjoy having to trio that with Candid and Symposium, if I am being honest enough.”

Kate nodded and did very well to not let her lack of understanding of what anything her sister had just meant show any bit of itself. She would, at times, feel a bit overcome by her sister’s performance in school. Even for her, staying positive with thoughts of not being good enough could overcome the mind with just a slight push. But it was this slight push that Kate was an excellent master in blocking away.

“Positive thoughts equals positive person” She thought to herself every day. An unfortunate consequence of being a happy person is that no one tried to find sadness within Kate’s heart. She enjoyed smiling. She enjoyed brightening a room and its containments as well as the feeling of being the go to person for a degree of non-pessimistic comfort but she often found that people assumed a person who could make them happy must ultimately be happy themselves.

Around one sixth of a second with Kate thinking of this while staring at her sister’s lap who was making a leaning effort to silence the television which, interestingly or not, was becoming an increasing nuisance for some reason or another, had passed before her concentration was broken by a sudden poke on her left arm. Fel was staring intently, and with a monotone voice, greeted her.


Kate didn’t mind his voice at all, although some people may have.


The response must have been enough for the brother because he simply moved his head back to where it was originally, allowing his eyes to study the scribbled-on paper in front of him, pulling his right hand back into the palm of his left which sat on his lap. As he resumed his activity, Maria returned from her seconds long journey to the television, which was successful in its efforts, and spun back around, leaving an unbraided Kate with the view of beautiful hair, of which she created.

“Maria, can you braid me, now?”

“I have to finish this, sorry.”


With nothing to do, Kate began thinking of nothing. Nothing became words, “Carrot”. Words became adjectives, “Orange”.

Adjectives became descriptions, “I acknowledge that the carrot is orange”. And, within milliseconds, the girl became bored with describing such things and began thinking of herself. “Cheerful, happy, one who sacrifices!”

She thought of what she thought. “Cheerful, happy, one who sacrifices.”

“Cheerful happy, the only one who sacrifices.


The only one who sacrifices.

No one sacrifices…”

A sudden fit of self-disliking came over the girl, and she felt the slight sting of sadness touch her mind. A mild tear filled her eye. As she wiped it away, a cousin of the same origin replaced what Kate had previously be-ridden. Afraid of gaining unwanted attention, the Kate choppily peered around herself to make sure no one could witness the sudden swell of distress. Fel remained motionless. Maria, the same. Kate looked to her mother. Her endearing mother who, self-help book in hand, looked to the teary eyed Kate, smiled and, with Kate on the verge of migrating to her mother’s position within the house, moved away to the kitchen. An unfortunate consequence of being a happy person is that no one tries to find a sadness within Kate’s heart.

Vague Condolences

And when it becomes a standard, it will be assumed by the ignorant that they deserve more.

Maria sat, brother to her left, sister behind, looking forward to finishing her assignments. The left Fel, staring at a piece of paper, made no motions. The Kate positioned behind, was playing about, as she normally did, with Maria’s hair. The room around her, for which she paid no attention, was a visual mess compiling the desperate attempts by two aging homeowners to capture a form of meaning and significance back into their lives. This would, in fact, be a truth found disturbing by Maria so long as she didn’t find the necessity of this home a necessity once removed, if that description can pass. A luxury becomes known become a luxury no more, in fact. And this was very apparent to Maria, and drove a part of her towards a sustained need for improvement. The noteworthy realization of her leaving her comfortable life on her own, the inevitable, was a scary thought by itself. Coupled with the need to gain a wealthy lifestyle, which was no easy task for someone whose standards were set so high, and Maria was left with a helpless desire to find a path for improvement. So far, none were to be seen. School tenderly offered a solution, though she doubted its validity to an extent.

With the thoughts developing in her mind and seeping their way into Maria’s heart bearing heavy, she was pulled from her fix of emotion by a giggling Kate. With a slight assumption that her sister had purposely made her hair into an embarrassing comedic piece, Maria felt the back of her and head and, to her slight relief, found the style formed properly. With Kate’s apparent giggle for attention, Maria spun around and thanked her sister. In receiving the words, Kate smiled endearingly. Simple treat for a simple mind. Maria caught herself thinking a terrific thought, and quickly corrected herself. The young Kate was not so simple as would seem.

“What are you working on?” Maria looked at the curious Kate fully aware that she would probably not grasp the current curriculum to which the sister, placed in classes of a higher intellectual requirement, was subject to almost daily.

“We’re currently studying the history of philosophy and the literature that came into existence due to the greats.”

“What makes the class difficult? The people or their books?”

“The people or their books, bless this girl’s heart. The writings, definitely. Zarathustra is mind-consuming enough. I really don’t enjoy having to trio that with Candid and Symposium, if I am being honest enough.” Maria could see the blatant damage control on her sister’s face. No words were needed, and the façade was left alone for the betterment of simplicity. It was during this appeasement that Maria noticed Fel, blank eyes full of intent. To speak, it would seem.

“Hello” Fel was directing his energy to Kate, though it was unknown to Maria why. His monotone voice distracted her from questioning the motives and was left to take notice in the rather annoying television that phased itself into the background unnecessarily. She took motion to turn it off as she laid her ears upon Kate’s response.

“Hi.” Her voice was sweet like honey; even if it lacked any energy you could feel the warm coating around you when she spoke. And with the end her vibrations Maria spun back around to her unfinished work to proceed reluctantly. She took notice of her mother sitting on the other side of the room in front of her. A book in hand. Kate’s voice unexpectedly flew into the air once more.

“Maria, can you braid me, now?”

“I have to finish this, sorry.”


Braiding didn’t sound much like fun to begin with, but it was slightly indignifying to think of such an activity as leisurely. Kate meant no harm, surely. But Maria took no seriousness in the matter of hair and felt offended when thinking of the self-betrayal that would come with lowering herself into committing closely a useless nicety. No harm to Kate, but it would give the impression to others that her mind was not occupied with pressing matters. Matters which burdened her mind. No help was needed, but in the event that it was, Maria felt as though it would not seem out of place so long as issue seemed to press her to the appearance of others, at least to a small extent. It is important to prepare a standard for others to assume positions for. Maria knew this, and made sure to act accordingly. Forbidding silly antics, such as braiding for its own sake, was one.

Work was to be done, and so she continued. Questions for exposing of new material, answers for repetition, repetition for mastery of the subject.

Kate remained silent, Fel the same, staring at his paper. Blank paper. Everyone in their places as they were minutes ago. Absolute silence of lovely ease within the air. No tension. Nothing to inhibit comfort. And to make the body count diminish, almost as though God headed a subconscious plea for extra comfort, mother Maddy exited the room. One less thing to worry about. Lovely.

“I do deserve such an ease in my efforts to become better. And people will learn that, perhaps, to ease my struggle would be to apply my grace unto myself.”


The two I trust,

Whether I should or not,

By my right.

Sounds of my television making the audible equivalent of watching,

Watching intently,

A passing of business peoples.

All selling with their mouths.

Making individual noises which,

Counter productively,

Phase into a singular hum of anti-attraction

Who is the anti-thesis of intellect

The outrageous villain of decency

The artificial human

With plastic dignity

That takes head in the instructions of this sound?

A family,


With so much wealth cannot find it in their boring lives

To obey such basic pleas for disguised inheritance.

The passing business men mean nothing.

And one will, soon enough, end their noise.

My name,


Is not the thesis of my existence but rather the title

For which you shall remember it by.

For Fel.

For me.

I do love my Maria.

I do love my Kate.

Flawed and perfect.

Not so perfect,


without their flaws.

Do I love my Mother?

My mind is placed into the realm of intrigue

As opposed to protection.

Question the Maria.

Shield the Kate.

Attack the Mother.

Cut open her skull to allow myself a helping of her thoughts.

She puts on a charade that I cannot see past.

I can always see past.

I cannot see past, here.

And that must change.

A book in hand that points to a lack in confidence.

Something is wrong in her life.

Perhaps that is only to torture me?

Perhaps she knows I cannot know

In her life of selectivity

To a measure of confidence whether she means ill or well.

Feels ill

Or well.

I shall accept this for this very short moment as I peer to my darkened Kate.

She stares silently with an odd energy.

I fear for her well-being, this one.

When it comes to the serious matters pouring out of her head,

Seriousness will be uncomfortable for those around her.

Pushed away, it shall be.

Pushed away, she shall be.

I must exist to absorb it.

A quick poke for acknowledgement

A hello for human companionship

My best way to tell her I love her.

Maria has been speaking to the Kate and,

To my alleviation,

Has also decided to slay the annoyance that is

The business sound.

(Quite a beast, if I do say so myself)

And has now turned about, once more,

To her focus of origin.


I hate the word.

Its hilarious implications.

Harking at my very existence.

A shame, a shame, for no laws should exist without natural consequence.

A shame, a shame, for no laws exist with natural consequence.

The Kate acknowledges my greeting without fight

Turns to our sister and asks for an equal trade of service

Which would result in two well-made hairstyles.

The Maria declines and returns to where she is now.

What a memory.

“Your smile invokes a response similar to that of either a mother or someone who is sexually attracted to you.”

This one either feels this way about most

Or this one has lied to me.

Abandon a trying son for shame, for no true mother can. Abandon a friend in emotional isolation for a congratulatory kiss. I have taught you too well against my own good, My Maria.

And just as I notice a pause in the forgotten Kate’s slight motion

The Madeline moves from her position out of the room.


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