Hello and this time we have a piece that is heavily inspired by another short film. This time we have a YouTube animator named Mike Inel, and his short animation called, “Draw with Me”. In essence, it’s about a girl who is trapped on another side of a glass wall and is approached by a wandering boy who begins drawing messages to each other. In essence, this is what World of Glass is about, a girl stuck in a box, and a boy who finds her. Except, that’s just the surface. It briefly touches upon tradition and exiles. It brings about the theme of the unending human will, and the fragility of the illusion of control. World of Glass is everything about the cruelty of tradition than it is about the assimilation into the hells that we may find ourselves in. Here you go, “World of Glass”.
I see glass everywhere around me. I was put in here because of tradition. I was given no euphemism or flowers. As I opened my eyes I noticed the world around me had became ever so clear. I was placed in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn’t call it a wasteland, since there was snow lining every inch of wherever I was. The only problem was that I couldn’t see a building, or any semblance of human settlement for miles. At first I was cold. The snow around me, the raging blizzards, and the whiteness of it all made me cold. Then, I realized I was in a glass box, and the coldness subsided. Now, I’m sitting and watching the sloped hill, wondering if I would slip and fall, and escape this world of glass.
Today I stare out at this world of glass, into the outside where raging snows threaten to encapsulate any who so dared to traverse these lands. The sun above me, if there was one, has long since faded. The only thing I see as I peer above the glass ceiling, is a sea of grey clouds.
I place my hand over the glass in front of me, and breathe on the clear pane. My breath made a shape on the glass, and left a small afterimage. I begin to trace my finger across it, making something akin to a road. Before I know it, it starts to swirl and form an irregular pattern. I move to the left, and take another breath, creating another section of my canvas. I extend my road, and as it came to the end of my page, I step to the side, and breathe another section. I did this until I stood at the end of the glass wall. I then trace my road to the right of the glass pane, until the entire front pane is a large in-congruent road. I stretch my hands out, and then fall to the glass pane below me. It didn’t hurt as my back hit the glass. I then force myself to arch up, and with my right hand, start to trace the line in front of my eyes. I begin walking to the other end of the wall, thinking of it splitting in half, like a sword melting through the glass. I watch as my breath begins disappearing from the wall along with the road. I laugh, and then flail my arms and legs, pretending to make a snow angel. I never once thought of my behavior as abject, but often I found myself crying to sleep, only to wake up in the same white-filled world. I can’t escape.
Today I wake up without knowing where I am. I look outside, and into the white familiarity of the world. Except, there is no white. The world around me is enshrouded in a veil of shadows. I can’t see anything, but, I know the glass pane around me is still engrossed in my being. I don’t know what to do, but to stare and watch. I sit down, and watch the blackness around me permeate the glass, seeming to want to grab me. Hands start reaching into the glass, but none of them could break through. All around me I see black hands. I sigh and watch, and steady my shaking hands, and grab my knees to stop it’s shaking, and tell myself that the cold wrapping around my body is all in my head, and the oxygen that I breath isn’t slowly dissipating, and that I’m not being choked, and that I’m fine. The blackness fades when I wake up the next morning. Everything is white again.
I figure my days will be in this interminable playbook. Every flip of the page reveals my face, and my conditions, and my glass world. Though, today will be different. I start the day by flipping the page, and then looking to see something new. As I stand at the glass pane, drawing my line, my eyes begin fixating on a standing figure. He’s about my height. I can’t discern anything else. His whole face is blackened, his body, his hands, everything was a blur except his height. He walks forward, and touches his blackened hand on the glass pane. He leans forward, and breathes a blackened breath. He lifts his left hand, and begins tracing as well. He stops, and notes that his canvas is too small, and begins creating a larger page around the lines he already made. Soon the lines converge, and I notice his picture forming into words.
“Hello,” he writes. I take a few steps to the right, and begin a page to write on. I try my best to write backwards, so that he can see my response through his side of this glass world.
“Who are you?” I ask. I see him drag his hand across his previous message, creating a new page. He begins to write again.
“My name is Elliot.” As he writes this, his face begins clearing. The blackened mask he wore shifts to something of ilk to what I am. I see Elliot’s bright blue eyes and short brown hair. His cheeks seem soft, and his expression is gentle.
“I’m Alicia,” I reply back.
“What are you doing in there?” Elliot turns his head to the side and squints his eyes at me. I’m not sure if I appear like him, like a blackened figure. Right now, I can see Elliot’s face, but his entire body is still blackened.
“I don’t know, ” I respond.
“How long have you been there?”
“I don’t know.” Elliot purses his lip, and tenses his eyes. He doesn’t respond, but rather twirls his finger in the air, trying to grasp his words.
“Can you get out?”
“No,” I answer without hesitation.
“Do you want to get out?” This time I don’t know how to answer. It takes me a while to write him a response, but even then, I erase it multiple times and have to reconsider my conclusion. In the end, I settle with, “If I get out. I think I would cause a lot of trouble, for a lot of people.”
“Where did you come from?” I change the subject. If he came from where I was then he would understand.
“That’s a secret,” he responds as he places one finger over his lips. His hand’s blackening dissipated, and I can see his bright fragile hands in front of him. Slowly I begin to realize the nature of the blackness. Though I’m still not sure, and I didn’t let it deluge me.
“How did you find me?” I ask.
“I walked.” He smiles, seeming to want me to play along on his carousel of annoyance.
“Okay,” I begin, “How far did you walk?”
“I walked for days until I finally saw this huge edificial glass box.”
“How many days?” He shrugs. His legs lose their blackening.
“Aren’t you cold?” I ask. He shrugs. The only part of his body that is still blackened was his torso. I can see his face, his arms, and his legs.
“What do I look like to you?” I ask him. He places one hand over his mouth, and takes a deep breath. He traces his hands on the pane of glass with both wide and low sweeps, acting as if he was an erudite at visual arts. It takes him quite some time to finish his picture, but when he’s done, he draws back a few steps and sighs. He puts on a big smile and brings his arms out to showcase his magnum opus. I smile at his drawing. There is no color, but everything seemingly fits into place. Elliot drew my blonde hair, my black eyes, my dead red lips, my pale cheeks, and my emaciated body. I answer his drawing with my own, breathing another page, and trace everything I see about him. Except, although I can’t see his torso, I still make one anyway, and as I did, his entire body starts clearing. The blackening disappears, and it matches my drawing. Elliot smiles at my drawing, but then lowers his eyes, and he brings one hand on the glass pane. Without thinking, I bring my hand to match his. We are two open palms, separated by the world of glass.
“I have to go now,” he writes. I smile at him, and answer, “Okay. Will you be back?” He nods. After he leaves, I lay down on the glass floor, and trace my hand in the air, drawing something on the glass pane above me. I don’t know what I’m drawing, but I dance my fingers in the air anyway, and smile at my pointless discretion.
The following day, Elliot shows up again. He is everything that I imagine, nothing was blackened. He smiles and waves as he arrives in my world of glass, and writes, “Let’s try and get you out.”
“How will you do that?”
“I’ll break you out.” Without warning, almost as if he was apoplectic, he begins crashing into the glass. His fist and foot clashes with the glass world, and it seems like it will break. However, I know that I’m destined to stay here for the rest of my times, because that is what tradition dictates. I’m supposed to stay here forever. The glass cracks, and for a single moment, I feel like perhaps I will finally be able to leave.
“Yes!” I hear his voice, a clear crisp voice as the glass breaks. I see it all in slow motion, the shards fly towards me, and the glass produces a gaping hole. Elliot smiles, but just as quickly as it breaks the glass reforms itself, and pushes Elliot back down the hill. A few moments later, Elliot scales the hill and comes back to my world of glass. He is sweating, but he smiles and continues hitting the glass. Every time the glass breaks, Elliot is sent flying back, and every time, Elliot scales the hill and continues to break the glass. It didn’t take long, but Elliot’s hands begin reddening, and the snow below him is slowly dyed a crimson red. Elliot smiles each time he came back, and smiles each time he breaks the glass. I watch him go through each iteration, telling him to stop, but he ignores me each time.
“I’ll break you out.” He writes again, using his reddened hand on the glass pane. I shook my head to this, and reply, “Let me try.” Elliot moves back, and I wind my fist, and smash the glass pane. My hand nearly comes off, and my knuckles redden all over. The glass below me becomes deep red, and I try again. I punch the glass until all my bones shatter, and I begin kicking the glass. Elliot stands and watches with wide eyes, but I keep hammering away at the glass until both my legs are broken, and until I lay in a pool of insidious red. The pain slowly dissipates, and I feel my bones reform. I stand back up, and my body is fine. I can move my arms, my hands, and my legs, and I run my fingers over my knuckles, only to see that the cuts from punching had long faded. I smile at him, and write, “I can’t die here, but I can’t leave either. It won’t let me.” Elliot’s eyes fade into a black amalgamation.
“I’m sorry,” he writes. I shake my head, and bring my hand to the glass pane.
“I can’t leave my world of glass.” Then, something lit within him. His eyes shine, and he quickly writes something in reply, “I’ll stay with you then.” He then sits down on the snow, and smiles, “It must be lonely here, all by yourself after all.” He hides the fact that writing on the glass pane exacerbates his pain. And I know it did, because every time his fingers dance across the glass pane, he winces. I’m happy that Elliot is going to keep me company. Except, a looming darkness now resides over him. It forms a dark smile, and a dark hand grasps Elliot’s neck. He doesn’t notice, but I can see the hand and the face, and I don’t bother to tell Elliot. Then, a gust of wind blows over. The snow below him clears, and below him, is a skull. Elliot sits with wide eyes, and then looks up at me. I smile a crooked smile, and write, “I’m sorry for not telling you earlier. This world of glass, encapsulates all that it comes into contact with.” This world of glass is a curse, and each blackened figure is that of another soul taken in by that curse. I have long stopped counting how many this curse has taken. Elliot tries to leave, but then the blackened figure pulls him back. He slams into my world of glass. And I sit, smiling at him.
“Won’t you stay, for the rest of your life?”