Now, before we embark on story #2 of my output from the other writing workshop I went to, I just wanted to shake my fist wildly at the sky and rage about an issue that particularly irks me; that of racism, and not just racism, but the misguided perceptions of offence attributed to racism.

Specifically what has set me off this week was an old schoolmate who had made the comment that a footballer should not be campaigning against racism ‘because he is not black’, and said old schoolmate did not see the point in getting annoyed about racism. Said footballer is mixed race, and has been on the receiving end of racial abuse in the past.

Now, I really must address the thing that irks me the most; The absolutely asinine misconception that just because somebody is mixed race, that it somehow dilutes the racial identity of the person. The truth is, mixed race people span a wide range of identities; There are some who identify with one particular race and a continuum all the way through to people who embrace both parents’ races equally. Then there are those who do not see race as an issue and instead identify with a different culture, most often seen in people who grew up in a country different to the home countries of either of their parents.

Any one of these people will have different reactions to racism directed to or around them, and it will be highly subjective anyway. Whether or not one person gets offended by racism is immaterial; the behaviour of other people is much more important in this case. You cannot simply assume that somebody will not be offended by racist comments, because to do so shows a great amount of insensitivity. To then backpedal and proclaim the offended party to be ‘overreacting’ to simple humour, or perhaps tradition, is a sure sign of immaturity and an unwillingness to stand up and account for your own foolish actions. To then intimate that ANYBODY does not have the right to be offended by racism amounts to sheer, repugnant ignorance of the highest order. It feels so very much like an attempt to make people conform, and shows gross insensitivity to the emotions of others.

So, to boil my message down to its key components: Don’t be a douchebag, and don’t tell people what to think!

Anyway, storytime I think! Enjoy!

Story Prompt: A character has to escape from a prison.


It was spring outside, and the birds were chirping. Laura peeked out of her window at the greenry, the blue sky reaching beyond the hills on the horizon. Too long had she been cooped up in the cramped confines of her house. The curtains swung loosely back into place as she scampered downstairs to the garden room.

“Mother,” she said, “I should like to go outside today.”

Her mother did not look up from the tray of roses.

“Child, you know that you may not. You cannot be allowed outside.”

“But I want to! I want to feel the sun on my face, mother, to feel the grass under my feet! I need to smell the flowers, and to touch their petals with my own hands!”

The mother abruptly snapped her head to look at her daughter.

“Is not this garden enough for you? Ungrateful child, we have sacrificed much that you need never go outside again! Go to your room, you selfish girl!”

Laura burst into tears and fled. Her sorrow did not hold long, however, and she turned in defiance.

“I will go outside, mother! I will not be beholden to you!”

She drove the stiff door handle down and moved to step outside. The sensation, familiar from so many years ago, hit her immediately; the hills rushed away into the distance, the sky abandoned her and even the garden path stretched on to the bounds of infinity. Gasping for breath and stalling at the stoop, Laura felt the gentle arms of her mother around her. A soft, sorrowful voice filled her ear.

“You know you can’t be outside, my love. You are not yet well enough.”

It was spring outside, and the bird remained in her cage.