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Jo Hughes: Magpie

By millecajardk Jun 11, 2014 645 Words
Jo Hughes: Magpie

Main character
Has “personality”
Lucy’s sister. 4 years older.
Is “pretty”
The father
Expresses his sorrow with violence.
Doesn’t cry.
The Mother
Cries a lot.
Imogen’s boyfriend (when she is an adult)
Lucy’s friend.
Sees Imogen at the marked.

Distant family don’t think they are alike at all. They were looking from one of the girls to the other, and then let their eyes linger admiringly on Imogen. Lucy would try to make them laugh, but later, their laughter just disgusted her. If she saw a shooting star, or something like that, she would wish Imogen would disappear from earth. When Lucy was 13 and Imogen 17, Imogen disappeared. Their homes warmth was traded with a chill. While tragedy had descended the family, love had descended Imogen. She was living in blissful and bohemian dirt, just 5 miles away. Even tough her leaving was nice; her absence was a dark cloud over their life. Lucy’s father said, “life must go on”, and speaks of her as a borrowed angel – to good to live. He never cries, but sometimes he lets his anger out, by violating their house. Their once lovely home has an broken and bruised look about it, with cracks and fist-shaped dents. Lucy’s mother’s cries are without noise, as if the pain is trapped so deeply inside of her, that it cannot escape. She still goes about her daily schedule, but she has become careless. Flowers die in the vases, the fruit bowls are full of shrunken and wrinkled fruit, and the meals, which the family sit down to eat every evening are either bunt or half raw. Lucy feels as if another of her childhood wishes has come true; she has become invisible. But this feels like a punishment. She just comes and goes, buys clothes with money her father hands her from his wallet without even questioning her, copies her parents signature on her unread report cards (karakterer), and begins to cook delicious meals herself. The years go by, and she becomes a woman. She grows up gracefully, without the acne that Imogen suffered and without her mood swings. She becomes beautiful. She has become secretive (hemmelighedsfuld) and everyone around her assumes it is shyness or studiousness (omhyggelighed), but really she is just waiting. Though for what, she cannot say. Meanwhile, Imogen lives like she is in a fairy tale. She shares a small apartment with vintage furnishing, together with her boyfriend, Tom, and works on a second-hand clothes stall. Tom stays home, reading American detective novels. Tom says that they are the most believable novels, and Imogen believes him, because she believes in everything he says. Sometimes Imogen starts to write home, but she always gets stuck and don’t know what to say. She was also afraid that if they knew about her, they would drag her home and make her normal again. That would be awful, because Tom wouldn’t love her then. One day, Lucy’s friend Vanessa sees Imogen at the marked-stall where Imogen works. A week alter, Vanessa takes Lucy to the marked, and shows her Imogen. Lucy walks straight up to Imogen and Lucy says out loud the words that she has silently lived with all these years. “Why?” she keeps repeating, even when Imogen realizes it is her, and tries to hug Lucy. “Why?” Imogen answers, “I was in love”, and laughs nervously. Imogen watches her sister walking away, wanting to run after her, but instead she calls “I was in love, it was love.” But the word had lost its meaning. It didn’t matter how often she said it, how much she wished for it, or how beautiful it sound, because it was only in the end, the bittersweet warning song of a bird whose territory was threatened.

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