Charles W. Johnson
A Fable

Current version: 10 July 1998, Auburn, AL
Original version: 22 March 1998, Auburn, AL

Unlike most of my stories about this same girl, this vignette focuses on her rather than on me. Most of the pieces about her are psychological bits about my reactions, how she hurt me, how I hurt myself. This one is about her, about how she was hurt in the past and how it prevented her from being able to react to my emotions without fear or resentment. It's a nice little bit of romantic bullshit to pretend that I was the only really sincere one offering my feelings to her, or that I really could unilaterally set her free from the prison that others had forced her into, but I suppose that little bits of romantic bullshit are what all love stories are pinned on, and there's no reason that this should be any different.

- CWJ, 23 November 1998

A Fable

Long ago she had been raped, and she ran far away. To keep out all the people who had raped her, she built a tiny little room, and locked herself up in the dark. Every so often someone would knock on the door and promise to protect her if she'd come outside for a while. But whenever she opened the door they would just come inside and rape her in the dark. Soon she stopped opening the door. One day a boy knocked on the door and promised to let her out forever. His voice sounded different from the others, as sincere as they weren't, but she was afraid of believing him like she had believed the others. He kept telling her what a beautiful day it was outside, but she wouldn't listen. She had lived in the dark for so long that she didn't remember the sun anymore. She told him to stop lying and to go away, that it was dark everywhere like it was in her room. He kept knocking and telling her about the daylight, but she wouldn't open the door and soon she stopped talking to him. When the poor boy died on her doorstep, he had knocked on her door 3,534,202 times, and never gotten an answer. An hour after he died, she wondered what had happened to the knocking. She opened the door and immediately squinted as sunlight painfully flooded her sight. She saw his prone form and started to cry. Knowing that she had thrown away her only chance, she went back into the dark cell and locked the door. She remembered the sun, terrible and beautiful in its brightness, until the day she died, alone in the dark, at the age of 83.

Written and maintained by Charles W. Johnson (
Copyright 1998 by Charles W. Johnson.
All rights reserved.