Amanda Newman is my next exhibit. Thirty two years old, she lives alone in the big city off savings that weren’t to be touched for another twenty five years. She left college at eighteen with good grades and high hopes. Her teachers got it into her head that she would be the next big thing; all she wanted was to make it as a respected journalist – nothing special, just features in a known magazine would suffice for Amanda as long as it paid the bills and got her established.
At twenty, she became an intern for her regional newspaper before joining the team full-time. This would have been good for Amanda if it weren’t for two things: If the stories they sold hit consistent sales targets (which they rarely did), and if anything newsworthy actually occurred in the stale area that she once lived. These, and the inability to stand up for herself to the petty, power-hungry boss, resulted in her untimely termination from the company just after her fifteenth year.
This wouldn’t deter Amanda, however, for where she fell flat in bravado, she made up for in determination. She hastily used what limited contacts she’d acquired to secure a part-time place as the weekly horoscope writer for a poorly designed news website known as The Oracle. Though sceptical and unsure of the position (like the typical Scorpio she was), she had no intention of losing the roof over her head that she’d worked so fervently for. And so, with a working knowledge of astrology in her pocket, Amanda spent weeks spurting what she believed to be illogical drivel from the glazed screen of her trusty laptop mere days before any deadline that awaited her.
Fortunately for Amanda, the realm of the Zodiac began to fascinate her, and within weeks, she was taking her work very seriously. Unfortunately for Amanda, however, bills had begun to stack without notice, and appliances started to break all around her. With her fresh naivety running wild in her head, Amanda saw this as a sign from the stars above, and as their scribe, left a sincere warning on the site:
‘Libra’s efforts may be futile. Keep expectations low and spirits high’.
After laying down her austere premonitions, Amanda closed her laptop and listened to the quiet hum of her dying apartment.
Miles away, in a land unknown to Amanda, a woman’s delicate hands opened up the untidy webpage of The Oracle after returning from a hospital in which a suddenly ill father lay. Amongst the unruly adverts and pixelated headlines, she was met with lowly omens of futility and deathly messages of morality. In vulnerable desperation, what this woman saw before her was the sealing of her father’s fate – a sickened Libra with his fate scratched in the stars. The hours of wretched panic that followed resulted in her dead body sprawled on the floor in that dusty, grey room; a lifeless image of naivety and surrender with unwelcome chemicals fizzing in her still blood.
After leaving the hospital in perfect health, her father never stopped wondering what led to his daughter’s death, until a year later when hardened arteries finished him off for good.
Amanda will never know of her contribution to the death of that faceless creature, but if you are to learn anything from Amanda’s invisible crime, be wary that even the flap of a butterfly’s wings has the power to cause a typhoon.
‘Ignorance might be bliss, but it also has teeth.’ – Craig D. Lounsbrough