What would you do.

By Zoe Farris (26.4.98)

Do you know what itís like to be hated. I mean really hated? To grow up with the belief that you would grow into something disgusting and evil? Told so often that you would grow to became a feared monster that you knew it to be fact. A creature who feeds on the souls of humanity.

Do you know what it does to a person to be constantly reminded that your birth was the cause of anotherís death. To see the hate, and even fear, in the eyes of the one who is supposed to love and care for you the most?

How do you think you would feel growing up with your guardian telling friends and neighbours that you should not have survived your own birth? Then to have the whole town avoid and openly scorn you. To have your very existence regularly questioned and denied.

Do you understand how torment, self loathing and self blame can be a personís constant companions throughout life, forever eating away at whatever passes for a soul in a doomed monster? That at a certain age you would cease to be human.

I do!

That is how I grew up. Being told I was condemned to be a ĎMonster" long before I knew that it referred to those who became Sime. As a child I had dreams of hideous overgrown creatures that looked nothing like a human. Then I dreamed of becoming a Sime with grotesque features and tentacles that controlled my mind and made me attack everyone I came near. In my dreams I could feel my tentacles draining the life from anyone I touched. I learned to fear myself as I got closer to my teens.

I had never actually seen one so I had no real idea of what they looked like but I feared them, and I feared becoming one even more.

Yes I grew up believing that when I became one of these Simes that my soul and my humanity would just shrivel up and die and the thing I would become would have no memory of the life before it. I would have no logic, no love, no compassion, and no humanity. I would only have an instinct for hunting and killing..

I think I feared myself more than my guardian ever did, but they never knew that and I doubt they would have cared anyway. I was cursed from birth. An accident that caused a death by merely being born.

When I was twelve years old I ran away. I wasnít going to let the people of my home town see me become a monster and have the enjoyment of purging me from this earth. I wondered hungry and dirty for weeks, eating whatever fruit and bush food I could find. It was at the end of that fourth week that I saw my first Sime.

It looked human and as it spoke It sounded human. It wasnít until I saw itís arms that I realised what it was. All my nightmares and fears rose and I was so scared I couldnít even move to save my life. The Sime just stood there. Why wasnít it attacking me? Thatís what they did wasnít it? Maybe it was waiting for me to change as well and join it.

The longer we stood staring at each other the more I realised that it looked as scared as I did. Now I was confused. It was talking but I couldnít understand the language.

It looked like it was trying to resist something. It dawned on me that it was talking to someone else who was off to my right but I was too frightened to take my eyes from the Sime in front of me.

With resignation to my fate I somehow relaxed a little. Maybe they hunted in pairs. I slowly turned to face the second one who I thought was sneaking up on me only to find that it was approaching the Sime and not me. As it got closer it held itís arms out to the Sime. His arms were bare, he was not a Sime. He was human and he was willingly going to be killed. So that was why people were so terrified of them, they could control peopleís minds and make them come to them.

This person was talking to the Sime, and in itís own language. I was beyond confused by this point and stared at what I knew would soon be the death of this poor person. He looked calm and he even grinned at the Sime as his arms were grabbed roughly by it. I watched in horror as tentacles lashed viciously about the mans arms and was pulled hard against the Sime, their lips meeting.

Within about a minute, which felt like an hour, they parted. Instead of the human falling dead at the Simes feet it was the Sime that collapsed into the otherís arms. The man was talking soothingly to the Sime and it appeared comforted by this. It didnít kill. The man didnít die. Was everything I was told a lie? As if a spell had been broken I now felt the urge and ability to run. To run as far away as possible fromÖ.Ö. Before I even put thought into action the man called out to me and said not to be afraid.

He spoke English this time. He approached me saying that his friend, he called it his friend, was not going to hurt me. He said that I had "established" sometime during the last few months and that my "field" had enticed his friend. I had no idea of what that all meant except that I had the idea he was blaming me for his "friends" problem, whatever that was.

Well itís now been two months since that time and Iíve learned a lot about Simes, and Gens. Thatís what they call people. I am learning to help keep Simes from killing, and they say Iíll be really good at it some day.

Are Simes dangerous? Oh yes, and many do kill to stay alive. Are Simes monsters? Some, but not to the definition I grew up believing, and not in the sense of becoming mindless, soulless evil creatures. Monsters are not in the species, they are in the individual.

I went back home to visit, mainly to let them know I did not become what they all believed I would. I didnít tell them of the Simes, the people, I met and now share my life with. They wouldnít believe me anyway. I just wanted to show them I had survived something worse than a Simeís attack, and that was their slow destruction of my heart and soul. They were the callous, cruel monsters and they couldnít even see it.

I still fight the self hatred and that inner fear, that canít be easily explained, deep inside. Being home awakened a lot that I had managed to bury.

Now that my guardian knows Iím human he wants me to come back. As if all those years had never happened, he now wants to show his love and acceptance of me. He wants me to love him in return.

What should I do? Should I now forgive him, and the town, their ignorance. Should I forgive my guardian his cruelty? I try but I donít know if I can. What would you do?

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