Thursday, October 14, 2010

Clouds ـــ An Allegory

Her fingers clutched the iron chains tightly  making the blue color of veins appear prominently behind her flushed skin. She took three steps backward, thrust her feet in the ground and then, let goes. Gusts of air hit her in the face making strands of  her chestnut hair fly everywhere. A tiny giggle escaped her mouth. Ellie looked at her mother standing with hands crossed and a smile of satisfaction on her lips, waved, then prepared for another round on the swing.
   The sun was blazing. Ellie cherished a belief that they had been there for long and ought to be going away soon, so even s weariness started clambering up her bones and the movements of the swing felt rhythmic the  thrill they used to give was gone, she still insisted on sitting there and doing it over again. There was nothing else to do.
   This time, the swing went far too high. Fear took over Ellie that she would fall and hurt her legs causing her mother to shout at her. When the swing started  slowing down though, she decided to repeat it again. Every time, she saw the sky hanging up there with dispersed clouds  and her feet only inches away from touching them, a longing burnt in her heart . She kept on trying but encountered nothing except failure. She then came to the decision, if she couldn’t touch the clouds, she would follow them to where they go.
   Even though the place was clamorous , Ellie tiptoed until she was a bit far from the swing; she’d seen it done in a cartoon before.  Her mother was engrossed in talking with a friend and wouldn’t notice her absence. Ellie had thought of asking her permission but was sure of rejection, yet now, discerning her face that looked so kind, she considered going back to the swing. She was torn between what she wanted and what she had to do. Ambivalence seized her from pursuing the clouds instilling doubts in her heart of whether it was the right thing to do. And yet, she didn’t know why it would be wrong; it would provoke her mother, she was sure, and that was always simply enough to detain her from doing it. But then she thought, her mother never said to her, “Don’t leave the swing.” And never said, “Don’t follow the clouds .” So maybe after all she would be okay with it. That put Ellie a bit at ease and made her resolved on doing what she wanted.
    Her eyes wandered off to the sky, and between a cluster of clouds, she chose one to follow with ravenous desire to know that surfaced a feeling of guilt twinging every now and then.
   The entire of her head was directed to the sky. She had been looking at her cloud for so long she could describe every little detail of it if asked. It was as though she dissolved in it and abandoned every other thing that was not it. Her legs had grown weary of walking long ago but stopping was not a thing she considered, her desire moved her further then her body would.  Within her mind, she drew the world of that cloud came from and a smile broke upon her lips whenever she imagined she would be there soon. For now, time was forgotten, tiredness was forgotten and her mother was forgotten. She no longer looked at the road ahead of her, just at the sky; but a rock in the way, brought her down to the ground again.
    She had fallen and injured her knees. The sight of blood oozing out of it and the sudden pain horrified her. Maybe that was the reason her mother, as she was certain, wouldn’t approve of her following a cloud. Maybe she should have just sat on the swing. Guilt overtook everything, until her eyes looked up again to see that the cloud was slipping away. With all her strength, she stood up and continued walking. Moments later, she was forced to stop; her mother came.
    The wrath in her mother’s eyes made Ellie cringe. The moment she was close enough to her, she started shouting.
    “What the hell were you doing in here? Do you know how worried I was?”
    “Sorry,” she said, her voice shaking.
    “Now tell me, what made you leave the swing and go here? And Oh. My. God. Look at what happened to your knee!”
    “I wanted to know where clouds go so I was following one.”
      “You followed what! You are a clever girl Ellie, and clever girls don’t stay such stupid things. Clouds don’t go anywhere.”
       With these words, her mother shattered her fancies into small pieces that hurt more than anything Ellie had felt before. Through a curtain of tears she said, “They do! You told me that everything goes somewhere.”
     “Now you come with me. It’s time to go home.”
       Her mother carried Ellie in her arms. One last time, her eyes wandered off to the sky. Her cloud was not there. It abandoned her. Clouds are cruel things. Clouds mislead you and make you fall and hurt yourself. Clouds make your mother mad at you. Clouds make you do stupid things. Clouds don’t go anywhere. The tiredness was now overwhelming. She closed her eyes and slept. Deeply. 

I have been having many thoughts concerning certain stuff and thought that using this allegorical form to portray them would be the most adequate thing. Every character, thing and event in here stands for something. I'll be posting a detailed explanation later, but first, I am asking you to kindly tell me your own version of interpretation. 


Oddyoddyo13 said...

I think it shows a painful past, very little hope, a fear of those closest to you, and a shattering of dreams.

But that's just me. :)

Kay said...

it's about shooting for the sun in hopes of hitting a star, ever so careful as to not upset the ones you love should you leave them behind. It's about falling and getting back up again, knowing the choices you have made (perhaps unwise) ....

oh bother. not sure what you intended. but always love the way you write.

JeffScape said...

This is well-written and a good story, but as allegory it falls short. In order to work as a literary device, allegories must, at some point, be clear (and I wouldn't have even thought this was allegorical without your note at the end). Given that you intend to explain it, even you must've realized it doesn't work here.

You're a good writer. Keep us in the story... that's all you need to do. ;)

THE BEATY said...

I read it as an allegory about humanties frequent attemps to meeet lofty goals even though they fail they continue to try. Also just for the sake of conversation I think that your deffention of allegory is a tad rigid. The best allegorys can be read not just for what the y stand for but the stories themselves. like eventhough animal farm is an obvious allegory it still is good on its own. Thats just one persons opinion though.

Maha said...

I apologize for not being able to show clearly what I wanted. I think I am gonna write that one day, just in another form.

Claudia said...

hm - i like the story - it's often that children do something like follow the clouds because they kind of put things together they have heard and interprete them in their own way...and the grown-ups just can't follow their way of thinking