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Rehabilitation

by on April 3, 2011

The first time I got in trouble, I was made a Fox for two weeks. I didn’t mind that so much because the fur was soft and silky, even though I couldn’t talk or eat properly. Also, I could hear and smell really well. It gets old really fast, though, when the fleas discover you. I never knew they liked fur so much!

The Fox was for messing up Jane’s art box and project. I was just curious and a bit clumsy, but that didn’t matter. I broke one of the special rules. You never know which rules are going to be special; I think they switch them around, because Susan didn’t get the Fox when she broke Alan’s vase in art class and I think that’s the same as what I did.

Unfortunately, I’m not very good at following rules. I try really hard, but I get distracted easily and the last thing that comes into my head when I’m interested in something is the rule I might be breaking. At the Pig hearing, they said I had a delinquent lack of impulse control.

The Pig thing happened about one week into my Fox sentence. It’s a long story, but the short version is that I got midnight munchies – I woke up and was SO hungry I thought my stomach would eat itself. I had to find some food.

It turns out that there is a special rule about eating after bed-time; they even have cameras in the kitchen to make sure we obey it. So, Fox became Pig, my sentence was doubled and here I am.

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3 Comments
  1. parfles permalink

    This has a really lovely voice – the hapless child comes across very well. I love the world you are sketching out – is it magical? Weird tech? Are the rules all really strange or are they just incomprehensible to the youngster in question? What is this place?

    The idea of being turned into an animal as punishment and this being slightly annoying but actually quite commonplace is great, I enjoyed it!

    My niggles are that it felt somewhat rushed – the reasons for the punishment are glossed over, and it feels a bit much to squeeze in two misdemeanors.

    I also wasn’t sure about the sentence about fleas loving fur – it’s a slightly odd sentiment.

    But these are small nitpicks, it is an interesting world and a great voice!

  2. I enjoyed this – the matter-of-fact, childlike tone is chilling given the subject matter. I agree with Parfles that the indeterminacy of the world really works. For that reason I’d actually tweak your first sentence: consider the difference between “The first time I got in trouble, I was made a Fox for two weeks: and “The first time I got in trouble, I was a Fox for two weeks”. You don’t need the “made”, the rest of the story quickly explains what’s happening, and I don’t think the child would need to use it. (I do, however, like the sentence about the fleas).

    I find myself becoming curious about what the child actually ate as a Fox. Fellow students? the pet hamster? enquiring minds have a nasty suspicion it wasn’t cookies.

  3. Enjoyed the ideas a lot. Think you got the voice of innocence just right, offended and believing an injustice has been done as any child (anyone?) who is punished does – but at another level accepting that this is the way things are supposed to be.

    I like the ‘special rules’ comments, again leaving us wondering if the rules are applied inconsistently or that this is just the perception of a little terror.

    Thought the crazy long sentence in the second paragraph could have been 2 or 3 sentences and still keep the conversational ‘child running off at the mouth’ feel but also be easier to read.

    Like the last sentence – good punchy ending that reinforces the matter of fact-ness of the child and it’s attitude to the situation.

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