Lot’s Wife by allecto

Lost in salt and sand. An exhumation. Lot’s wife was really a pillar.

I will not go silently. This you have already learnt. I relinquish to no one. When you told me your stories to shape me, they unmade me. They merely taught me how to remake myself. In the most powerful way. Through stories.

You thought that you had the power. That your power was exhaustive. You had the power to name. You had the power to tell. You had the ultimate power of story. And the one true story.

But see, I have taken your power. And I can wield it for myself. This is me. In these words. These words that you shaped, to shape me. You made them a weapon. I can make them peace. And piece. For all the pieces that you chopped me into.

With your stories.

I think I can hate you without anger. I think I can love you without fear. I think I can do both.

I think I can put you back together too. If you listen. If you let me heal you with my stories. The ones that can put the pieces back.

Sometimes I wish that you could hear me. This is my voice, this is my voice. I am not shouting. I am just telling.

This is what your stories did to me.

Can you look at yourself?

Your voice is louder than mine. Your voice has more power. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in your words. Drowning in your droning voice. I suppose I am. My own voice sings continually to save myself.

When I stop my weaving you will know that I am gone. And you have buried me. With your words.

Silence can be my death. And I have died before.

I am not sure how long I will keep telling. With my weaker voice. In my insignificant words. This is the ground that I have chosen.

You are the opponent that tells better stories.

Lot’s wife didn’t have a voice. Nor did she have a name. Shall I give her one?

This is my story after all. Here in the confines of this page. She was a blank because of you. She was salt in spite of you. But I can make her whole.

Here is a secret. She never wanted to be sugar. And Lot had no taste for salt.

I made promises to you. When I was little; sitting on your knee. And you would start the stories.

If you are a good girl, you would say, if you are a good girl. And I would make promises and swear. That I would love you forever and forever.

But at some point I turned into a pillar of salt. What was it that I was looking back at?

I can lick my skin now and I like the taste of myself.

I did not keep my promises. And you did not keep yours.

Is this a letter that I am writing to you, father? Or is it a story? One of my many pieces. The slow beginning of peace.

These are not the stories that you want to hear. Did you think I had a choice when you sat me on your knee and consumed me with your stories?

I once was your princess, coated in sugar and I turned into a pillar of salt. It was evening. I ran away from your city.

She says that she can hear you still. I’ve shut you out. But look. Is this a letter or a story?

I can’t tell the difference anymore. You still have me. Your stories still hold me. I want out.

I will keep telling.

I realise there is a dissonance that runs through all of my words.

I write because I hate you. Is that the only reason?

You thought your stories could tie me down. I make-believe that I’ve reclaimed myself. And I pretend. Because we both know me.

At least you thought you knew me. At least I thought I knew myself.

Maybe all I know is the limits of my cage. Maybe I cut you free and cut myself too.

It isn’t you I hate. It isn’t you I love. It is this cage. Every day I discover more bars that have been disguised as freedom.

A man once said, “the mind is always free.” This is the ultimate of your deceptions. This cage you built for me within my mind is stronger than any cage you could place around my body.

And I’m scratching you out, scratching you out. It is hard to tell where the bars end and the woman begins.

I don’t know if you have noticed that I am still bleeding.

You are quite right. It is rather like madness to want to rip myself to pieces. To invent myself histories I haven’t lived.

But all women are mad. They are mad if they believe your lies and they are even madder if they don’t.

I refuse, thank you. I’ll make up my own lies. Starting with this page, with these words, with this story.

These are my lies. It is up to you whether you believe them.

You told me once that you would build me a castle. Instead you made me into your castle. A place to hide your dreams. A defensible position; or so you believed.

But look. See. I have come into my own. My body is no longer the castle of your dreams. And you think that I have transformed into your nightmare.

I have. I am alive for myself. No longer a castle but merely a pillar… Salt, sand, my exhumation. I am supporting myself.

by allecto


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