Blogbox | Fiction

Mirror, Mirror: Linguistic Refractions

By - 07.08.2018

Chapter 4

She ran through Prizren’s narrow streets and her pursuers followed just several steps behind. She moved in between shadows, and constantly changed directions, yet they always managed to catch up to her.

They’ve been chasing her for too long now, and no amount of time was going to dissuade them. They’ve invested too much time and effort on complete and total purification, and she was the last obstacle that prevented them from creating a pure, clean mode of communication.

Universal Clean Language [UCL] had been a dream for such a long time and now it seemed just within their grasp. All they had to do was get rid of this one last “impurity.”

Somewhere along the way she took a wrong turn and now she faced a tall mirror wall. The UCL goons now slowed their steps and began to surround her. They had every right to be so arrogant and so sure of themselves. If she tried to jump on the mirrored wall hoping to use its reflective powers to escape, they’d be just as quick to catch up with her.

But as Agent Sinner and Agent Believer closed in, carrying their crooked victory smiles, they didn’t expect her to run and jump on the wall at such an unusual angle. Rather than reflect, she refracted, passing from the English-language medium into the Albanian one.

Once on the other side, she placed her hand over the semi-transparent surface, and felt the vibrations of the UCL goons kicking and punching the glass wall.

Başka bir linguistic medium duhem m’e gjetë, i to što prije.” She had to find another surface that separated linguistic mediums, and do it quick. That was the only way to cover her tracks. “If I linger too long,” she though, “they’ll will find me again in no time.”

And she was right. She again heard shouts and commotion in Universal Clean Language. UCL promised complete and utter clarity in speech. No double meanings. No foreign words. No mixing of tenses. Inspired by Plato’s teachings, all the artists and poets were exterminated and the society was liberated from the poetic lies that had been responsible for so much confusion and suffering. Everything was clean now. Everything clear. Every uttered word, a “truth.”

As she ran, she encountered another mirrored surface and jumped through it at another unusual angle. But since her foot had slipped a bit, her crash caused a fracture on the surface of the mirror wall. She now found herself scattered across a linguistic medium which was split among Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin … But that was not a problem for the UCL goons, their language was universal.

Što ćemo sad?” she said, but couldn’t lose time reflecting on the subject. The chase was still on and the time was running out. “I gotta keep moving, yada herşey do t’marri fund.

As she ran for her final jump, she slipped into the linguistic medium where Prizren patois was spoken. Nara figured she’d be safe here for a while and so she walked in the direction of the River. “Dipping my feet in cold water would be great right about now,” she thought.

Feature image: Majlinda Hoxha / K2.0.