casper miyamoto
twenty four
11 posts
10 points
mayday! mayday! this ship is slowly sinking. they think i'm crazy but they don't know the feeling.
#include "cassandra.h"
using freshbeginnings std;

int firstYears () {

You come into the world screaming bloody murder. It is expected, of course, but your cries are distracting to the doctors trying to save your mother. The nurses try to hush you, cleaning you off and cradling you close to sooth you. You continue to cry, testing your beautiful, big lungs. They scurry you out of the room, but not all the concentration in the world could save her.

Your father is lost without his wife. He cares for you as best he can, but it would have been tight with two incomes. He now has only one to raise you with. He goes hungry sometimes to afford the best for you, because he loves you so, but eventually the hunger gets to him and he tries to make a few extra bucks. He gets in with the wrong people and when he plans to testify, not willing to risk your precious young life, he is snuffed out like a candle on a windy day. You find your way to the neighbour's front door the next day when, for the first time in your short two years, you are hungry.

return = 2;

int fosterCare () {

You become accustomed to police and questions you can't quite answer and sleeping curled up to the neighbour who's name and face you no longer remember. She was sweet with you, but as the days passed, the government decided you didn't belong to her and you couldn't because you weren't related. They took you to a foster home where the rooms were dark and cramped and it smelled like smoke. You don't like it there, but that's okay, because you don't stay long. It is only temporary.

You get bounced between places for years. Some of them last a few months. Most of them you don't like. They smell or they don't feed you much or they stick you on an air mattress (or the floor) because they just want the government money for having you. By five you know that money is supposed to be spent on raising you. You also know that very little of it is.

The homes get worse as you get older. Maybe it's because you need less and they know it, or maybe it's because you stop putting up with their bullshit, or maybe it's just because you're not cute anymore. Your memory is full of homes where you were locked in closets without lights and where you were tossed aside whenever someone managed to get pregnant because you were less important than their own flesh and blood. You were still human, but you didn't feel like you were. So you learned to love computers. Computers never lied to you.

return = 12;

float psychWard () {

You eventually get adopted. You are fourteen when they take you in and you are suspicious. But the home is bright. There's so much white and bright pops of color and clean walls and whole meals that you aren't sure you belong here; that you will ever belong here. You are trouble. You are a dark and twisted creature who has learned to thrive in the shadows with only the glow of a falling-apart laptop that you built from scratch yourself. It isn't pretty, but it's good and fast and reliable and yours. You expect them to take it away because it doesn't belong in the light. Instead they let you keep it and buy you a brand new one, too. It's big and beautiful and yours, even if it's not in shambles. You are allowed to pick custom pieces and they make sure they're all installed and it is the best thing you have ever owned and you love it as much as your dinky little attempt and you thank them, shyly, before giving them a hug.

You remember thinking you would be happy there in the light, now that your eyes have adjusted, but you are not there to stay. They only offer you a reprieve.

You try to find out more about yourself using your beautiful new beast (for it is not a laptop, it is a living, breathing animal with it's lights and almost-silent whirring and sleek finish). You succeed. You find your father is still not found, that he is only presumed dead. You find what got him in trouble. And you then decide to find him yourself. You spend hours in your room, not quite locked away but willing to pretend because that is what you know and are comfortably-not-comfortable with. At least now you have a purpose there besides just waiting for the door to open. You search and search and you find nothing. Your 'parents' get worried. They start dragging you out, not-quite-kicking but definitely screaming. You still use those beautiful, wonderful, big lungs. They bring you to a doctor - not a doctor-doctor, but a mind-doctor. You give them the benefit of the doubt because they have brought you into the light, but too soon you realize it isn't light at all. It's just pretend, a different kind of darkness.

You don't like this doctor right away. He is gray and balding and his eyes, his eyes bother you the most. They are small and too-focused, like a predator stalking its prey. Within two sessions with this hunter you are proclaimed to be suffering from severe mental illness - delusions, obsessive compulsive tendencies, and the list continues but you stop listening. You are none of those things. You know that. They admit you to his psychiatric ward anyway.

The place is dark and dingy, but you are used to that. What really unsettles you is the surveillance cameras and off-white-everything and the lady rocking in the corner (she later becomes a friend) and the little cups full of pills they make you take even though you don't need them. You learn how to hide them and then spit them back out. It works, for a little bit, but then they figure out and it's injections instead. When you fight, they just strap you down.

It doesn't fix you. There's nothing to fix, but they try anyway. You miss talking to the crazy lady in the corner by now, but you only miss it sometimes because most of the time you're floating on a high from the sedatives, or sleeping it off, or being kept in isolation because you're 'too volatile' and you're 'giving the other patients ideas'. You haven't seen your adopted parents in days, weeks, months (you've lost track of how long it's been), but eventually they show up. They want to hug you and tell you they miss you and that you should try harder because you're sick. You flinch away and don't let them, but when you immediately wish you could put them through the same agony you are in, you wonder if they are right.

You push that thought aside immediately. No, you aren't crazy. You are not crazy.

They say the treatment isn't working and so they have to try new things. The drugs continue, but not the sedatives usually because they want you awake and aware. You wish they didn't, because now treatment hurts. It hurts so bad they have to strap down every part of your body and tie you up in a straight jacket. The second you see shadows at your door's barred window, you become terrified because you know that the electric shocks that make your body spasm and twitch and ache and burn are coming, but you aren't given a choice. You are not an adult and you couldn't refuse treatment even if you were because they've deemed you clinically insane.

By the time you get your shaking hands on a paperclip and pick the locks to break out, you can vividly imagine murdering them with the same shocks they used to 'treat' you. You finally begin to truly believe it; you are crazy, but you don't mind because so are they.

return = 3;

float escapeArtist () {

You find yourself on the streets because you can't go to the social worker - she'll just send you back - and you can't go to your adopted parents - they put you there - and you don't know anyone else. Maybe you shouldn't know anyone. Maybe you belong alone. And so you head for a main road and you stick your thumb out, hospital gown hanging loosely around you and soaked to see-through. You are eventually picked up by someone who looks more terrifying than the doctor, but he just hands you a big baggy coat and you wrap it around you with a shaky, cracking 'thank you'. Your throat is hoarse from all the screaming, though it hasn't formed proper words in what was likely months. The two words you do say are foreign to you. The man looks concerned, but he doesn't ask. You are thankful.

When he leaves you in the next town, he hands you a twenty, which you put to good use at a local thrift shop that you find and you get yourself a single outfit. You keep his coat, just in case it rains again. With nothing else, you make your way in whatever direction you have happened to pick (you aren't sure, just that it's away from the ward). You begin to use your voice again, finding it, just barely. You manage to beg and barter and get a backpack and more clothes and bits and pieces to build up another computer and (when you can't afford computer parts) you use the rest for food because you know you should probably eat. Eventually, you find yourself at the water's edge and you can't go farther and you decide to settle there, in a cardboard box you find that's big enough to curl up and and is right near a Starbucks that you can pilfer internet off of.

You begin to make a name for yourself in the hacking world, because you are still good with computers, and you use a handle that relates to how you feel about yourself - CasperTheFriendlyGhost, because you are invisible and alone and no one likes you but all you want is to have friends and a roof over your head. The name sticks. You become famous (or infamous) and you eventually earn enough to get a roof over your head and proper food and you begin to move up in the world and soon you find yourself moving away from the coast, with hundreds of thousands of dollars for illegal work in your bank account but no new clients in the foreseeable future because you're in a whole new city. You find another job, something to pay the bills so that the rest is saved as a precaution because you can't bring yourself to live without a back up plan. You are back in the light now, but you dragged yourself out of the dark so this light isn't going anywhere.

You won't let it.

return = 7;

void main () {

int child = firstYears();
int misunderstood = fosterCare();
float broken = psychWard();
float freedom = escapeArtist();

float life = child + misunderstood + broken + freedom;
cout << "CasperTheFriendlyGhost has lived" << life << "years of hell.";