A Strange and Peculiar​ Country

There once was a strange seafaring county where all manner of uninteresting things happened. A great many creatures lived in the waters, ones that floated very near the surface and played merrily with the waves, ones that danced just beyond the light, toying with the shadows and creatures so dark and deadly that only in the depths could they be found. It could be said that cast upon the waters were the very same categories of manlike creatures, some merry, some shadowy, some dark and deadly – thus sailed upon the sea.

Interrupting the waters of this country were mounds of hard, rocky, rugged land – beautiful to the eye. Do not be fooled… a treacherous land it was. It was cold, hard and unyielding to all who sailed to close, collecting at its greedy feet the skeletons of a great many who once lived in, or made their living upon its waters. Great care must be had, lest the sea get angry, grab its captive contents and dash the heads of all such creatures soundly against the side of the beautiful and callous land. Death and beauty are never far from each other.

 All was not always torrid and unpleasant, however, merriment could be made at the cost of other creatures. In particular, the weaker ones, the ones with feminine form were the most amusing. Oh, and don’t forget the children, they made great playthings for kickball, or charades, when the women were thus worn down and witless from weeping. There were no balls however in this land, not even a full deck of cards, or checkers with which to pass the time, it was the children themselves who were the ball to throw, or the cards to play, or the checkers to jump. A cruel land, with cruel inhabitants it was. 

In the very midst of this strange and peculiar country, on a dreary day when the rain fell hard and spiteful, something happened. No seaman lost his lunch, nor did a dory spring a leak, nor was there a change in the dismal weather that occurred on that day; not even a spat over the days catch. No, it was something far less important than all of that. A baby girl was born; her father was as dark and deadly a man as the sea he sailed, her mother a poor shadowy creature, her uncles and aunts were as pitiless and penniless as her parents, her cousin and first cousins were no more than dumb and witless creatures themselves; below this, they did not, or dare not keep track. So the little girl was… a Nobody. Yet for all the reasons she had to cry, the first thing she did was to be silent. I told you it was a strange and peculiar country.

As she grew up, everyone about her did their best to assure her that she was a Nobody; and the girl herself was so easily persuaded of it that she forgot that someone had ever told her so, and took it as an innate, fundamental, indisputable, unalterable truth that she was indeed – a Nobody. So carefully spaced and timed where the assaults, insults, privations, and accusations that it occurred to the girl that everyone else must be a Somebody. The worst of it was that the girl never thought of there being more than one Nobody – and that was herself.