OUaL Special: Put on a Happy Face

This seems like a fitting time for another special look into the goings on in Moonlight Falls that Lincoln has no clue about. As you can tell by the title picture, this special will focus specifically on Mira. After the last chapter many of you commented on poor Mira’s state of mind, and many of you felt sorry for what she is going through. That gave me an idea. I want to show things from her perspective. What daily life is like for Mira. What it is like to be an Immundus in a town that loathes your very existence. This special will go into further detail of what/who is at the root cause of Mira’s suffering, and her struggle to constantly feel the need to put on a happy face.

This excerpt has been taken from Mira’s journal, and shows you first hand the struggles that she faces. It should be noted that the events of this journal entry take place after Linc gives Mira piano lessons and before he apologizes.

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Oh Journal,

How can I adequately describe the day’s events? Things are starting to become overwhelming, and when that happens words seem to escape me. I suppose that chronologically would be the most logical means of describing my day. So that is what I shall do. In turn, by doing this I am hoping that I may be able make some sense of all that has happened.

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I was woken up in the usual fashion: with Tolstoy’s boisterous meows signaling breakfast time.
The clowder was fed in the typical manner. First, Bronte, Hemingway, and Austen were given their wet food.  Secondly, Rowling, Fitzgerald, Shelley, and Tolkien were given dry food. After that, Twain, Dickens, Orwell, Christie, and Tolstoy were given a combination of both wet and dry food.
Finally, once I was satisfied that the heard was properly nourished, I went to find Papa.

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As per his usual routine as of late, Papa was found in the basement absentmindedly tinkering at his invention table.
“Oh, is it morning already,” is the same response that he gives every time he sees me bring the tray of scrambled eggs and toast. He then follows that by saying, “InventCon is only a few weeks away, and I must work though the night until I am ready.”.
This breaks my heart every time that I hear it, the same way that it did the first time Papa and I had this same discussion. The first time that I had to remind Papa that InventCon came and went months ago.
As you may recall Journal, the first time that I told him that InventCon had passed Papa became extremely irate with me. He proceeded to destroy the little scraps of metal that he had on his workbench, all the while calling me a nasty liar. Then, Papa stormed out of the basement and locked himself in his room for the rest of the day. But not before grounding me for a month (sometimes I think that he forgets that I am a young adult). The next day I found him back at his work bench with no recollection of the previous day’s conversation.
So instead of starting another fight this morning I smile, put on my happy face, and ask Papa what he happens to be working on today.
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It was during this point in the day, when I finally managed some time for myself to practice my magic. And Journal I am extremely vexed to inform you that the blasted Transportation Spell continues to allude me. I have had no choice but to resort to utilizing a magic wand.
Now Journal, I know what you are about to say. I have not needed a magical wand since my first year of magic class. Nonetheless, you have witnessed, first hand, the trials and tribulations I have faced while trying to conquer this spell. Every time I attempt the spell, it never fully transports the object.
I have moved an apple with no core, less than half of a pear, and only about a third of the bushel of bananas transported correctly. I was hopeful that the wand would help harness my power, yet so far, all of my efforts have been fruitless (no pun intended).
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I am reminded of what Mr. Aberdeen, my first year magic teacher, would always tell us, “Magic power comes from your emotions. Powerful emotions lead to powerful spells.”
Right now my emotions are a volatile concoction of frustration, anger, and exhaustion. Which does not equal to anything close to resembling a powerful spell.
I take a few deep breathes, smile, and put on my happy face. Then I try the spell once more. I had the apple glowing a bright shade of pink (which has never happened before). The spell was about to take, when I was interrupted by my cell phone.
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I sigh, because I know that my spare moment to practice my magic is over for the day, as I look to see who is calling me.
I was equal parts relieved and yet saddened by the fact that it was not Linc calling me.  Even after all this time, I still don’t know what to think about Linc Ryan. He is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum, tied up with a bow of mystery.
I could tell from the start that Linc was hiding things, keeping everything about his past and present life close to his chest. And I respected that. I never minded going over to his house every time that he asked me to. I could tell that he needed a friend, so I tried being that for him. And even though I could tell that he only payed attention to about half of what I said, every so often he would let his guard down. Even if it only ever came in small doses.
Remember Journal, when I told you about Snowflake Day? The way Linc reacted to the guitar that Papa made for him? No one else saw it, but for a split second Linc looked happy. He was humbled by my act of kindness, and I could tell that that simple guitar meant the world to him. His eyes lit up brighter than the tree as they met mine. But just as quickly as it had appeared, it was gone. An emotionless “thank you” was the only part of Linc’s response that Renatta and Flint saw.
They tell me that I am wasting my time. Maybe it is true. Maybe Linc really is a lost cause. But something inside is telling me not to give up on him. Call it a gut feeling, or magical premonition. Whatever it is, I am going to continue to be a friend to Linc.
It has been a long while since I spoke to Linc. Call me strange, but I am really starting to miss my friend. That is why I was saddened when I saw that it was not Linc calling me. Yet at the same time, I was relieved since my last interaction with Linc was not a pleasant one which resulted in us yelling at each other and me kicking him out of my home.

 

The caller was, in fact, my very dear friend Renatta. She was wondering if I would go to the store with her to which I replied, “sure, and while you are at it, why don’t you ask Flint if he wants to come with us as well?”
“Oh, goodness no!” Renatta cut me off. “What I need at the store is for Flint.”
Journal, it still boggles my mind as to why these two have not come to terms with the fact they are both madly in love with each other. It is obvious to everyone, well that is to say that these feels are obvious to everyone but themselves. It all comes down to the silly fact that Flint doesn’t feel that he is good enough for Renatta, and Renatta feels like she broken and therefore not worthy of Flint. Which to me is utterly absurd, but I am starting to digress.
Back to the topic at hand: I let Renatta know that I will be at her home in a few minutes. Before I headed out I went downstairs to check on Papa one last time, only to find him still tinkering away just as he had been this morning (the plate of eggs and toast still sitting on the side table uneaten).
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As we walked to Sam’s General Store, I called Sam to let him know that we will be stopping by for a few things. Renatta and I each give him our shopping list, so he can have everything ready and waiting for us out back behind his store.
Sneaking around to the back alley behind the general store is yet another painful reminder of how bad things have gotten in this town.
It all started right after Grendel took control by giving himself the title of Supreme Commander. The changes were subtle at first, so most of the people never saw it coming.
First came the whispers of judgment. The looks of disgust behind the backs of every human in Moonlight Falls. The hate was there, but not out in the open.
It is unclear as to exactly where or how the term Immundus came to be. Both Grendel and Alcander lay claim to creating the term’s new hateful meaning, however I believe this to be untrue since neither one is cleaver enough for such a thing.  Nonetheless, the hate filled whispers became hate filled shouts. Before long the bigotry became a secret no longer; it was out in the open. In fact, most of the time it was encouraged by the ones in power. It wasn’t until after the unsuccessful Werewolf Revolt that things went from bad to worse. And Journal, I fear that things may never be the same again.
But once again, I am starting to digress.
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As you know, Sam’s wife is blindly following the angry mob, while Sam is more empathetic. She would rather lose her store than let my type set one toe inside. So, Sam leaves our groceries out back behind the stack of crates.
Renatta and I put our money in the witch gnome, as per our prearranged agreement with Sam, and head back home. Then just as I was turning around to leave the alley, Renatta and I are met with, “What are you doing back here?”
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As I have mentioned before, the intolerance in Moonlight Falls is getting worse and worse by the day. Even so, most of the time I am able ignore it. I can smile, put on a happy face, and pretend the words don’t bother me. I won’t mention all of the different ways people have found to let me know how much my existence disgusts them. For if I put them to paper I give those evil words life, and I choose not to give the hate that kind of power. However, the only time it is too hard to just put on a happy face is when those words come from my cousins.
Beatrice, Belinda, Bianca, and I grew up together. We shared everything with each other. They are a few years older than I, and for as long as I can remember I have always looked up to them. We were closer than sisters. And now with hate in their eyes and hate in their hearts they call me the most horrible names imaginable.
“What are you doing here?” Belinda demanded. “Your Immundus is infecting the vegetables!”
Beatrice then added, “Yeah, you ugly Gold Digging Slut.”
My cousins’ dislike of me not only comes from my human mother, but it is also fueled by the fact that Alcander is dead set on making me his wife. Even though the very thought of that makes my skin crawl. He is not taking no for an answer, which makes each of my cousins more and more jealous with each passing day.
“Why don’t you do this world a favor and just kill yourself?” Bianca added her hateful comments. “And take that failed science experiment with you!”
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The hurtful speech would have continued, and I can only assume that it would have gotten violent like the last time, if it weren’t for Alcander.
Yes Journal, that is right. Alcander stepped in acting like my hero, rescuing me from my cousin’s attacks. In fact, I would not be surprised if he had been watching the whole time, waiting for his cue to come in and “save me”.
“As Chief Tenta Enforcer, I aught to have you all arrested.” Alcander mused. “So many beautiful women in one place aught to be against the law.”
Alcander’s words of empty flattery made me sick to my stomach. What’s worse though, was seeing my cousins’ demeanor chance from hate to lust in the blink of an eye. Their response to Alcander’s flirting was a silly mix of school girl giggles and seductive poses trying to highlight their “assets”.  Belinda went so far as to attempt, yet fail at, the Bend & Snap.
“Why hello there Alcander.” they flirted. “My oh my, your muscles are even bigger than the last time that I saw you.  And is that a new tattoo?”
As hard as they tried, Alcander didn’t give my cousins any more attention. He instead focused his attention on to me.
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Alcander sauntered past my cousins as if they weren’t even there and said, “Mira, your beauty is even more enchanting today than the last time that I had seen your face. Of course standing next to this ugly, horribly disfigured creature would make even the ugliest of dogs look like Helena Troy.”
This was not the first time that Alcander had used such derogatory language towards Renatta. I could feel her cower even further, while I on the other hand am not going to stand for it.
“You will NOT speak to my friend that way!” I demanded, and then I added. “And I believe that it is Helen of Troy whom you are referring to.”
“You know, when we are married you will have to stop trying to correct me in public.”
“For the millionth time, I will never marry you Alcander! And there is nothing that you could ever do that would ever make me change my mind!”
“Oh, you are so pretty when you are talking nonsense. You can’t fight the laws of nature. For you are a beautiful yet helpless gazelle, and I am a strong proud male lion, on the hunt for my prize.”
“I can’t even begin to properly tell you how ignorant you sound. We are not in the savannas of Africa. This is Moonlight Falls. Secondly, it is the female lions that do the majority of the hunting.”
“Hahahaha. Now you are just talking crazy! A female hunter. Have you heard anything so absurd?!”
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That right there was the last straw. I had had enough.
I stood my ground, but still put on a happy face, and said “It has become increasingly clear to me that you do not wish to engage in meaningful conversation. Furthermore, based on today’s exchange and conversations from the past, I doubt that your brain has the capability to do so. Therefore, I would like to end this conversation. Come Renatta, let us depart from this Neanderthal. Enjoy the rest of your day, Cousins.”
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I spent the rest of the day with Renatta at her home. She was still pretty shaken up over what had just taken place, so I prepared some herbal tea and tried to get her to relax.
“Did you see Alcander’s face when you told him about Helen of Troy?” Renatta joked which was a good sign that the tea’s calming properties were starting to take effect. “And I bet you he understood less than half of what you said. The again, Neanderthal is too big of a word for his tiny brain cells to comprehend.”
I was enjoying the time with my friend, that before I knew it, it was time for me to get home. It was getting late, and I still needed to fix Papa his dinner.
As I walked home I was all smiles. No need to plaster on a fake happy face, I was genuinely happy. However, my mood completely changed once I saw who was at my front door.
“Hello again, Mira.” Alcander was no longer flirty as he leaned against my front porch with his muddy boot propped up on the siding.
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I had hoped that I was done with Alcander for the day, and I was less than cordial when I demanded to know “what do you want now?”
“There is no more need to play coy with me.” Alcander said as me slowly moved closer to me.  “That science fair reject, or mangy lap dog, that follow you around are not here hiding behind you. So why don’t you just admit that you want me, so we can be married already?”
“I have told you countless times before, I am not going to marry you. No way. Why do you insist on making me your wife anyway? We have nothing in common, thank plumbob. You only want me to be your servant. Barefoot and pregnant, catering to your every demand.”
“Nonsense,” Alcander said in his signature condescending tone, “what do I care if you wear shoes or not?”
“I don’t even know how to respond to that.” I had to roll my eyes as I spoke.  “Your ignorance is beyond all comprehension.”
I wanted to go inside, cook Papa’s dinner, take a long hot bubble bath, and read a good book before bedtime.  However, Alcander had other ideas.
With his legendary quickness, Alcander had me by my throat as he backed me into my jellybean fern.
“Listen here you Immundus Bitch,” Alcander towered over me as he choked my neck. “It is only because of me that you and that senile father of yours have not been run out of town yet. And it is only through my protection that you are safe, for now.”
I was fighting to breathe, and quickly losing that battle. I was seeing stars, yet Alcander squeezed tighter as he spoke, “So instead of talking back to me, why don’t you get down on your hands and knees and thank me. One day you are going to need my protection, and I won’t be here to save you!”
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And that brings me here, sitting in my room wondering how much longer I can put on a happy face?
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12 thoughts on “OUaL Special: Put on a Happy Face

  1. Wow, Mira has it even harder than I thought. 😦 The poor thing, treated like that by her own cousins and chased around by that moron. Oof. Can’t help but be even angrier with Lincoln and his nonsense, since that’s the last thing she needs when all she’s doing is trying to be kind. Hopefully, things turn around for her soon. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really appreciated this perspective! There is something Mira doesn’t know and that if for sure and certain in regards to the marriage. Sweet one second and the devil the next, I hope she stays far away from him and gets out from whatever is lurking beyond her reach of knowledge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linc is so consumed with his own life, that he misses everything else that is going on in town. And I thought Mira would bring an interesting perspective to just how bad things are in town.
      Thank you for the kind comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Mira 😦 💔 She’s really got it hard. She just can’t get a break!
    That guy is the worst of the worst, and her cousins are no better. Plus, the situation with her dad is not helping either.
    And now she has dum-dum Lincoln treating her like he did too. But at least he showed some signs of regret and growth after seeing her at this state, so I’m hoping things will look up for both of them ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lincoln has been so self absorbed that he has really no idea what Mira has been going through. I wanted to create this chapter to give you a better understanding of her character.
      And you are right, Lincoln is starting to be better. But hopefully it isn’t too late.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Conversely, I do not have a happy face on. Oh, Mira. You write the growing tension so well, I can’t even imagine what it must be like in her shoes and yet I know there are areas and times when people are treated in such a way. I hope Linc has a part to play in stopping it. But I also hope Mira can rescue herself from this brute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry that you don’t have a happy face either.
      Isn’t it sad that in this day and age people are still being discriminated against just because of their race, or politics, or gender, or sexual preference?!?!
      I too hope Mira can rescue herself, and soon!

      Liked by 1 person

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