So since the summer, I've been working on this project for Fixers. In case you were unaware (which you almost certainly are), Fixers is a organisation that helps young people to, in the words of the website, use 'their past to fix the future'. The website is here: http://www.fixers.org.uk/home/about.php
So I've been working on this for a bit. It's about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which is a chronic illness that I have.
I first wrote a short story for it, that was then adapted into a short film. The story can be seen below. As the film is only supposed to be about five minutes long at most, it isn't a very long story. Only around 1100 words, which is fairly short for me.
'I have always considered parks to be some of the worst places to visit. Granted, there’s grass, and trees and lovely flowers, but there’s also a lot of people. And I really don’t like being around a lot of people.
My brother, Mike, is the complete opposite to me. He’s already gotten into a conversation with a woman near the lake.
I grimace and lean back against the bench. He’s crazy. My hand absently starts to trace the gap between the wood on the bench.
“Ow!” I yelp, pulling my hand back. A tiny splinter of wood has taken it upon itself to embed itself into my finger. I scowl, and inspect the tiny wound.
I can barely see the splinter, but I can certainly see the blood starting to leak from it. Tiny splinters are the worst.
“Katie,” Mike runs over to me, “What’s the name of that tree over there?” He pointed to the tree in question.
I raise an eyebrow. “It’s an oak tree. Why?”
“No reason!” Mike runs off again, returning to the woman. I should probably be concerned that he’s talking to a total stranger, but he can take care of himself. Besides, I can still see him.
I yelp slightly, as my back twinges in pain. I reach back and rub the spot. It doesn’t help much.
I sigh. Maybe I’ll go and sit on that other bench. It’s closer to the lake, so I can keep an eye on Mike better. Besides, lakes are fun to look at.
I stand up, and a wave of dizziness forces me back to a sitting position. “Great.” I mutter under my breath, and I pull my wheelchair closer. I hate having to use it, but ever since we came on holiday to Cornwall, I’ve been finding it difficult to do anything else.
I stand up, and transfer to the wheelchair. I sigh in relief once I’m sitting down. The chair is far more comfortable than that bench. The twinge in my back seems to be fading a little.
“Hey!” A voice sounds behind me, and I turn. A tall boy, perhaps my age or a little older, is standing there. He’s surrounded by other teenagers, both male and female.
“Nice chair! Sure you need it anymore. You seem to have been healed!”
I feel my face heat up, but I force down my anger. It’s not the first time I’ve got that response from someone, and it won’t be the last. Don’t listen, just go.
I begin to wheel away, but I can still hear them yelling as I go away. “Miracle, miracle!” They chant, and continue to do so as I get further and further.
Mike seems to materialise next to me. He always seems to know when I’m in trouble. He glares over at them, but turns back to me quickly. “Need any help?” he asks.
I nod. “Would you help push my chair?” I ask. I can feel my wrists starting to ache from the strain.
He nods and takes a hold of the handles.
“Don’t listen to them, Katie. They’re just idiots.”
I give him my brightest smile. “I know, Mike. I don’t mind.”
He doesn’t look convinced, but leaves the subject alone.
I sit on my bed. The room is empty, far more empty than the one at home. But then again, my bedroom is exceedingly messy. So this is probably better.
I sigh and stare at my hands. I have literally never realised before how much I bite my nails. Wow. Impressive stuff. Mum got the splinter out once Mike and I got back from the park. It’s a little sore, but not too bad.
I cringe at the memory of the park.
No matter how many times people say things like that to me, they’ll never stop hurting. I still stand by what I said to Mike earlier, I know those kids were just idiots who didn’t understand what they were talking about. But that doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt. It just means that I don’t hate them for saying it.
I sigh. “Mike.” I say.
“Huh?” Mike appears in the doorway, and I hide a smile at his oh-so-intelligent response. And the fact that he was definitely listening in. The paranoid wombat. “Yeah?”
“Do you think that I’m making things up?” I ask.
He frowns. “No, of course not. Why would you think that?”
I shrug. “No reason. I guess I’m still a little worked up from earlier.”
“They really upset you, didn’t they?” He sits on the bed beside me.
“Oh come on, it was more than a little.”
“Okay, a lot. But it doesn’t really matter.” Even though I brought it up, I still don’t want to talk about it.
“Look, Katie, you’re not making it up. I’ve seen you, remember? I’ve seen you fall over after nearly passing out. I’ve seen you start to limp after just a few minutes of walking. I know you are not making anything up.” Mike seems convinced. Me, not so much.
“But what if I’m making things seem worse than they are.” This is something I’ve thought about a lot. I often worry that I’m just exaggerating, and I don’t even realise I’m doing it.
“Nah. I’d know if you were.”
I roll my eyes. “Why, because you’re an expert in Ehlers Danlos Syndrome?”
“No. Because I’m an expert in you. We’re twins, remember? I know everything about you, and you know everything about me. That’s just how it works.” Mike grins and I laugh.
“I guess so.” I say. My voice is soft.
“I know so.” He looks at me, right in the eyes. “Look, don’t let people like that bother you. They don’t know anything about you. If they did, then they’d agree with me!”
I shake my head at him. “Since when did you become all mature?”
“You know, I really don’t know. Oh no. Maybe you’re rubbing off on me!” He makes a face. “Oh, the horrors!”
I burst out laughing at his antics. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe you’ll finally stop talking to random strangers if I continue to rub off on you.”
“Hey,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
I just shake my head at him.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe I really don’t make things up. I wish I could know for certain, but I guess it’s not so bad. At least I have an brother who’ll tell me that sort of thing. I might tease Mike, but I can’t imagine life without him. I don’t even want to.'
This was, over a period of a few months, turned into a screen-play. Because of my complete inability to figure out how computers work, I couldn't put the screen-play itself into this article, but if you really want to read it, I could probably find a way. Anyway, today, we filmed the video.
While the video is not yet finished, below are some of the pictures taken by my mother during the filming. Well, technically, the photography, as the film will be pictures with a voice-over.
|There's me on the left side, then my brother and the photographer. In case you couldn't tell, I was attempting to stay hidden from the camera. As I was supposed to be in the photos, this was a particularly complicated endeavour.|
|Here's my little sister and the photographer. My sister is using my wheelchair here.|
|Me and my dad. The photographer was working with my sister.|
I'll put the video up once it's ready, which should be in around two weeks.
Next week, however, I will be putting up a post about the first stage of the editing process for a novel, and how I've gone about it with mine. Until then, however, I bid you farewell.