Words a Week: Merriam

This is part of my self-development cycle where I push my creative juices out of my body and on to the public stage. It may be good, it may be silly, but it is. Cheers. 

Merriam didn’t want to change. She liked things exactly as they were. Before her was the embodiment of exactly not that. Her hands were white knuckled fists. She shook and she watched. She could barely breathe let alone form a sentence to convey how disappointed she was. Thoughts of violent rage swirled with thoughts of compromise of how she should be tolerant of others but this was hers. Her place, her things and her life. 

So she did what she always did when faced with change. She kept very still. Like a stone or a great tree and she waited for her feelings that bid immediate violent action to subside. Soon the fire was a smolder and soon the smolder a single, cherry red coal of ire; never out completely, but redirected. Never out.

Being out of control was never a scenario that Merriam worked well in. A creature of conservative observation, preferably from a safe location, was where she preferred to work, but that had just been torn from under her in mere moments. So much work lost.

She’d need to start over of course; no good idea should be thrown away because of the seemingly impossible level of betrayal and ineptitude she was witnessing right now. It almost seemed premeditated. Like it had been designed to produce the maximum amount of despair in her life. She felt the red coal in her heart start to smoke. Deep breaths. 

She’d file a formal complaint. She’d loose her venom in words, a place of power she knew well. She’d make a statement calling out in no uncertain terms the travesty she had just been witness to. She’d name names and burn it all down if she had to, even if she was consumed.

No, no. That would never do. Who is qualified to take my place? Who can see this through to the level I can?  Who has the drive? The Focus? They’d probably shutter the whole damn thing. She knew she needed to survive this, no matter the cost, as long as the work continued.

As she watched she considered her humors. Had she lived centuries ago, they would have told her that she needed balance her choler. She was choleric. Then they’d tell her she had too much blood and want to liberate it from her.  Perhaps they would saw her head open, “to let the demons out” or her personal favorite, “why was a woman worrying about such things anyway?” Then she’d point at the destructive miscarriage of science taking place in the very room and stick something sharp in their eye socket. Right into their frontal lobe. “Welcome to 20th century medicine, you bastard!” she’d say. Merriam allowed herself a smile.

They’d be wearing black, likely. He would. It was always a “him” in these high concept, macabre, not to mention invasive procedures designed to physically do what’s best for you whether you like it or not. As she considered this, her smile turned into a frown. Maybe she’d wear the uniform of a medieval plague doctor: a long over coat, the color of ashes; a wide-brimmed black hat; and a mask, shaped with the long beak of a bird. Smoke rising from the nostrils to protect her from miasma. Merriam grinned at the idea.

Merriam turned her attention back to the world and watched the activity before her. Didn’t they know what they were doing by interrupting her? She would get their names. Whatever favors she had left she’d call in and she would end them. She’d find them herself if she had to, but on her termsin their homes. Termites. (Smoldering). Carpenter ants. (Smoke). Uselessly destructive. (ignition) My home, my work.

As she began to move again, it was with without notice. Relative to the cacophony that was taking place around her she might have been standing still to an observer. Much like a cat. No, not a cat she hated cats. Perhaps a mantis? In the hustle around her, in the erudition hate crime taking place (burning), she quietly and consciously grabbed her coat. Today, like every day, she’d be wearing the clean white coats of “modern” medicine. This is what she looked like even when what she had to do is terrible. Clean, sterile, terrible.


Image credits: Weathered Plague Doctor by scklyic.deviantart.com




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