Consequence Free

Everything was perfect until the fairies showed up. Everything went along and made sense. Everything had its good points and its bad points. School was long, but I got to make spitballs, and dip Penny’s braids into the inkwell in my desk.  Church was long, but singing hymns was nice. Vegetables at supper were always awful, but if I ate mine, I always got dessert. There was a system, and when I followed it, I could be sure of certain consequences.

Until they showed up.

They ruined everything.

Now it’s all sunshine and light, no matter what you do. Now if I want six spoonfuls of golden syrup on my oatmeal at breakfast, I can have it. Now if I don’t do my homework, the teacher doesn’t care. Now if I dip Penny’s braids into the inkwell, she doesn’t notice at all. No one yells, and nothing happens.

We thought they were beautiful, like little angels covered in white down, pure and made of light. We thought they were perfect, and it seemed so, but instead of inspiring joy and goodness and a penchant for doing right, all they do is inspire complicity and benevolence. Except in me, somehow. Mother always said I was stubborn. And I thought it was wonderful, at first. I behaved well, for awhile, almost scared into the idea of Hell, but then I cut a class, because I had wanted to watch them — and the teacher didn’t care. I noticed when I left some of my peas uneaten, I still got pudding. And when I didn’t wash behind my ears, Mother kissed me goodnight anyway.  Then I didn’t make my bed. I didn’t brush my hair. I didn’t brush my teeth, and I didn’t turn in my homework, and I didn’t come home on time, or study, or pay for my lunch milk, or go to violin lessons, or help with the housework, or tell Gran I loved her when I secretly thought she smelled of violet powder and old pee, and then I broke dishes, and pulled Penny’s hair and wrote dirty words in the lavatory, and cut holes in my bedsheets.

I behaved in every awful way I could think of, and everyone was still… nice. Everyone was still sweet and kind and didn’t seem to pay much attention to what I did, or didn’t do.

Not sure if this will get their attention, but if all these guns and all this gasoline doesn’t do the trick, nothing will, and then what will I do?

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