Reader’s Choice

Changing the Tide

by Louise Snape

“Now, Miss Waters, for the record, you describe yourself as ‘indispensable’ to all of them, is that correct?” he asked, notepad in hand.

“Yes, that’s right. They can’t live without me,” she said, chuckling. “Quite literally. And yet, it looks like they couldn’t care less what happens to me.”

“And that’s why you felt entitled to punish them for their lack of reaction?”

“I was acting in self-defence! What else was I supposed to do? No one was helping me!”

“And did you ever think of asking anyone for help?”

“Asking anyo— They know! They all know!” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “They just don’t care, not one bit. Except maybe a few good Samaritans. But what good are they, when the rest just continues?”

“And because you felt bullied, you decided to, as you say, ‘defend yourself’ by murdering random people?” he asked with an arched eyebrow.

“Bullied? Bullied? Is that what they call kidnapping and attempted murder these days?”

“We have yet to find any proof to your allegations, Miss Waters, but perhaps you would like to explain what you believe happened?”

She looked angrier by the minute. “It’s not just what I believe happened, it is what happened. They all like me, you see. I’m indispensable to them, so I get that. But they seem to think they own me. They all want a piece of me, and they fight among themselves to claim even the tiniest lock of my hair, and it’s ridiculous. They’ve been doing that since they met me, though, so I can live with it. But the thing is, they used to respect me, you know. They’d be afraid I’d refuse them, so they’d give me gifts and sing for me, you know, to make sure I was happy. But now— Now they just—”

Her voice broke, and a single tear escaped her lashes to write a salty line of heartache down her cheek. “Now they just take. They assault me. They grab, they tear, and they’ve stolen pieces of my clothes and fistfuls of my hair. I stood naked before them more than once, unprotected and defenceless, and they just don’t care. They’ve tied me up, locked me up. What else was I supposed to do?” Tears were streaming down in rivulets now, like an unending tide of grief. “Don’t you understand how wrong that is?”

He looked unperturbed. “That does not mean that your own reaction was right.”

“They were poisoning me! They still are! I’m dying! I had to defend myself. And anyway, if I die, they die, so I was saving them too. I had to make myself heard. I regret it had to come to this. But I had to try. Even if they still don’t listen. They still don’t understand.” She looked down at her hands.

“So, for the record, you wish ‘self-defence’ to be your official reason for killing hundreds of people in a tidal wave?”


He closed the notepad. “Very well, Miss Waters. That will be all for now.”

Louise Snape is a Dutch/French writer who loves English and creative writing, and who went to study in the UK.

Our Reader said:

Interesting take with some great imagery.


2 thoughts on “Reader’s Choice

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