Camilla's Attic Mirror

10. prosince 2014 v 18:39 | Iris |  Hřejivá výzva

Camilla's attic mirror


Summer morning, 1950, Hanwell Insane Asylum, West London

'She's crazy, Miss Hunter. She really does need help. Just... just listen to her! Camilla, tell us something about your imaginary friend!'
I was sitting in an empty consulting room and listening to my mother. I couldn't believe the way she was talking about me; I was sure my parents just wanted to get rid of me, because they didn´t understand me. They had never understood. Now they're striving to leave me locked in this horrifying, worrying institution.
An old, ugly nurse, Miss Hunter, was inspecting me, sitting comfortably on a cushioned chair behind her pedestal. I was wondering if that unlovable woman lived in a dirty house full of cats, or if she lead an ordinary family life and addressing her "miss" was just an anachronism. I always have to keep my mind occupied with such a stupid and unnecessary thought when I'm about to flare up.



'So, Miss Camilla Palmer,' the horrible Miss Hunter said, 'tell me something about yourself. Your hobbies, your friends...'
What an original question! Oh dear. In the last month and a half, this was my most responded question. All the doctors I was taken to asked me the same boring inquiry. Okay, deep breath, another empty talk.
'I am fourteen years old. I like reading, drawing and taking long walks in the city. I don't like mashed potatoes because I think it's brutal to mash a powerless potato. I love cats. Do you like cats too, Miss Hunter? How many cats do you live with?' I said with my eyes rolled.
'Camilla!' my mother slapped me on the head, 'stop being so rude and tell Miss Hunter the entire story. Or I will tell her myself.'
Miss Hunter surely was used to getting similar stupid answers. She wrote some notes to the file lying on her pedestal and then turned her eyes to me again. 'And what about your friends? Do you have anyfriends?'
My mother spoke again. 'No. Camilla has always been a drop-out. Since nursery school, without friends and alone.' She looked at me with an insincere glimpse of understanding. 'Well... But then she started to talk to the mirror, as I've already told you, Miss Hunter,' she said quietly.

'Well, I'm going to tell you the true story,' I couldn't help myself speaking. 'I have a friend which I meet in a mirror. To be more specific, I started meeting him while spending a lot of my time at the attic. I found an old, dirty mirror there, I cleaned it and then it started talking to me. I'm the only one able to see the mirror guy, but that doesn't mean that he isn't real!'
'They always say it this way,' Miss Hunter turned to my mother. 'Go on, Camilla, tell us more,' she said then.
To be honest, I have told that story for so many times that I was able to recite it automatically. It didn't hurt me anymore. It was just quite unpleasant to watch all the doctors' sceptical faces.
'He's thirteen years old. His name's Theodore. He lives in Austria-Hungary in 1913. I can see his room through the mirror, and he is able to see our attic. Anyone else hasn't noticed him but me - that makes me think that anyone else isn't ableto see him. It might seem strange, but I can explain...'

And then my mother interrupted me (as she always did; yes, she interrupted me each time at that precise moment of the story); 'Listen! Listen!' she nearly shouted in excitement, 'an imaginary friend she meets in the mirror, yes; his name is Theodore, which is such astupid name that only my unhinged daughter can make up; and he lives in the past. And she says that everything is all right; isn't that a bit ridiculous, Miss Hunter? What do you think? I think that my beloved daughter is crazy and that if we let her come too far, one night she will come to her parents' bed holding an axe and kill us!'
I made a pull face at her: 'Sorry, but who is suffering from a serious mental disease here?! I think that my poor mother has some problems with her self-esteem. Maybe it's called paranoia?' Then I turned at Miss Hunter, who was looking at me quite confused. 'To be brief; there are just two very special mirror frames which were made of an extinct ancient tree. The first mirror is placed at Theodore's bedroom and the second piece is in our attic. When both mirrors are in use, their users are able to communicate! Isn't it great?! I think it's... it's just marvellous to be a part of such a mysterious system!'

'You see, her fantasy is murderous.' Mother shook her head and leaned on the backrest of the chair she was sitting on.
'Well, Camilla, I think that I've heard enough now,' Miss Hunter said as she closed the file (I figured out it was my file, which meant I might be an insane person who needs some kind of a therapy). 'Mrs Palmer, can I talk to you alone, please? Camilla, dear, could you please wait in the hall outside the consultation room? Thank you,' she told me and she didn't even ask me if I didn't mind waiting in that nasty light green-coloured room.
There were two small barred windows in the waiting room; I wandered how the wards looked like. I was convinced they looked even more petrifying than that waiting room. I wished I could escape - but the door was locked. I started to feel seriously sick. Maybe I really was crazy and dangerous. Maybe it really would be good to shut me up in this depressive, sad place. Since my early childhood, I had been truly scared of doctors and hospitals and all the places where the ill and hopeless were gathered. And now I'm about to be locked in one myself! Oh, I sat down on the old, stinky couch and thought about how many young and missunderstood people surely had to die in institutions like this one I was just wasting my time in.


Before I left our attic for the last time (because I pretended this was my last time), I wrote a letter for Theodore and glued it on the mirror so he was able to read it and anyone can find it there now. Theodore can't take it and hide it at his place, because the magic mirror isn't able to transfer people to the other side. I realized that the letter might be a final proof of my insanity.
Well, maybe there wasn't anything else to proof any more. Suddenly, my mother and Miss Hunter opened the door and I was told I was mad and ill and dangerous and had to stay there for a long time. What a pity. Sentenced to drown in tranquilizing drugs, far away from my personality, my home and my only friend. In my family I'll be known as "the little mad girl".

Summer morning, 1913, Thalberg's residence, Vienna.


Theodore Thalberg is getting up, still sleepy. He notices a small piece of paper on the mirror, covered by his beloved friend's handwriting;

Dear Theodore, my distant friend,
I'm afraid I have to say goodbye. It's strange, but suddenly my parents have started to watch over me; they´ve found out I spent plenty of time here in the attic, talking to an old mirror, and they think I am insane, crazy, ill...
A lot of things have happened since our last meeting. I was taken to four or five doctors who asked me weird obtrusive questions or x-rayed me (oh, you probably don't know what an x-ray machine is. To be honest, I don't know when that terrifying machine was invented, just as I can't explain exactly how it works. But it allows the doctors to see what's inside a patient's body.). And this morning I'm going to a mental asylum. Just because I´ve found you in the mirror! Nobody believes me. Oh Theodore, can't you make the other people see you too and convince them of your existence?
Well, I just want to say goodbye. We probably won't meet again. So, good luck and please, take care of yourself during the two world wars (remember the horrible stories I've told you).
Your friend

Camilla Palmer

.........................................................................................


Pár slov k anglické povídce, již jste právě přečetli.
Vytvořila jsem ji do soutěže jménem Literary Award for Young Writers, na letošní soutěžní téma Mirrors. Limit tisíc pět set slov se pro mne stal vražedným. Původní verze byla ještě mnohem delší, než toto.
Anglicky se oficiálně učím od třetí třídy, což už bude takových osm let. Netvrdím, že můj anglický projev je nějaký extra dobrý; s editací a posledními úpravami této povídky mi pomáhala mamka - ale sobecky musím říct, že jsem na sebe docela hrdá. Když jsem dostala tuto povídku zadanou (oni si nás občas ve škole takhle vyberou do různých soutěží, podle toho, co nás baví a co nám jde), kroutilo mne zoufalství; rozpracovaných neperspektivních verzí vzniklo více než mnoho.
Povídka mi nic nevyhrála. Možná ji diskvalifikovali kvůli vysokému počtu slov. Nebo se jim prostě jen nelíbila, chudinka. Každopádně, teď ji mohu zveřejnit.

A taky se tak děje. Přiznám se; na devatenácté téma Hřejivé výzvy, znějící Kousek historie, jsem měla v plánu napsat rozsáhlou revoluční báseň. Ale dny plynuly a já měla stále pouze první dva řádky (znějí dobře, ale dost chudě, tak osamoceny), tudíž jsem se rozhodla vyjít na světlo se svou mišmaš psycho anglickou povídkou.
Zdá-li se vám příjmení Thalberg nějak povědomé, nemýlíte se. Pojmenovala jsem tak slečnu Flavii v jedné hřejivé (doslova) mírně časosběrné povídce. Omlouvám se za opakování jmen. Ale proč by o dvě stě let později žijící Flavie nemohla být dávným, nepřímým potomkem Theodora, jenž se zjevoval ubohé Camille v zrcadle?! Pomalu vyčerpávám svá oblíbená jména, tak se připravte, že je budu opakovat. Například Theodor(e/a) je mé úplně nejoblíbenější jméno. Kdybych jednou měla nedopatřením dítě, nijak jinak se jmenovat nebude.

Camille jsem přiřkla většinu svých negativních vlastností (které jsou vlastně charakteristické pro INFJ). Jinak to neumím. Má tvorba je moc osobní, že?
+ Včera večer jsem se rozhodla svou povídku přeložit do češtiny. K nahlédnutí zde. Ale je to můj první překlad a za moc nestojí. Možná ho ještě někdy upravím.

Děkuji za pozornost a příště se uvidíme (?) u nostalgické a sentimentální básně (pokud ji teda ještě trochu zkultivuji). Bude řeč o mém oblíbeném autorovi.
Iris :V
PS. Jelikož dnes nebyla dramabáseň, budeme míti alespoň dramapíseň o umírání za vlast.

 


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