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Fic: Letters & Papers from Prison (2/3) Rogue + ensemble

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  • Minisinoo Girl
    Disclaimers and notes in part I ... The students didn t have individual mail boxes because most of them had no need for them. Nobody was writing them letters.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2001
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      Disclaimers and notes in part I

      ---

      The students didn't have individual mail boxes because
      most of them had no need for them. Nobody was writing
      them letters. Those who did get mail picked it up in
      the office, or had it slipped under their doors by
      Miss Munroe or Mr. Summers.

      Bobby Drake was one of the lucky ones. He and Rogue
      and Kitty Pryde were coming back from lunch and he
      stopped in his room to drop off one set of books and
      pick up another. There was a letter under his door. He
      grinned, when he saw the writing on it.

      "Parents?" Kitty asked.

      "No, my friend Joe."

      "He graduate from here before I came?" Marie asked.

      "Oh, no. Joe's no mutant. He's my next door neighbor.
      We grew up together." He turned the letter so they
      could see the front address. "He calls me 'Iceman.'"
      And he grinned that wonderful Bobby-grin.

      Marie wondered what it was like, to have a friend who
      wasn't a mutant but who still wrote letters?

      ******

      The book Eric had given the professor wasn't the only
      one annotated. Marie discovered the second book, the
      one by Bonhoeffer, had been marked and written in,
      as well. Page 27:

      "I believe that God both can and will bring good out
      of evil. For that purpose he needs men who make the
      best use of everything. I believe God will give us all
      the power we need to resist in all time of distress.
      But he never gives it in advance, lest we should rely
      upon ourselves and not on him alone. A faith as strong
      as this should allay all our fears for the future. I
      believe that even our errors and mistakes are turned
      to good account. It is no harder for God to cope with
      them than with what we imagine to be our good deeds. I
      believe God is not just timeless fate, but that he
      waits upon and answers sincere prayer and responsible
      action."

      Underneath, in the hand she had guessed to be the
      professor's: *"All that is required for evil to
      succeed is for men of good will to do nothing." If I
      must one day face a similar trial, God grant me the
      power of which Dietrich spoke.*

      ******

      I recall the day Moshe died. He had been the only one
      not frightened of me, not frightened by what I could
      do with metal. But he had grown weak in these past
      weeks. He had been abused for too long, and his
      once-bright spirit had faded along with the flesh off
      his bones. Soon, they would come for him. He had
      outlived his strength and his pretty face, and thus,
      his usefulness.

      We learned, in Birkenau, to respect death. To respect
      choice. For three days before, he gave me his bread,
      told me to hide it in my bed. I did as he asked. On
      the third day, he embraced me before we went out into
      the yard, said goodbye. The sun was shining. It was
      almost pleasant.

      There is a no-man's land between the outer fence and
      the yard where we are permitted to go. The signs along
      it read, "Halt!" This space had been used before for
      the same purpose to which Moshe put it that day. He
      flung himself out into it, as if racing for the fence.
      The soldiers in the towers above shot him.

      He was free. But it left me alone.

      ******

      Marked, page 221, a poem entitled "Who Am I?":

      Who am I? They often tell me
      I stepped from my cell's confinement
      Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
      Like a squire from his country-house.
      Who am I? They often tell me
      I used to speak to my warders
      Freely and friendly and clearly,
      As though it were mine to command.
      Who am I? They also tell me
      I bore the days of misfortune
      Equably, smilingly, proudly,
      Like one accustomed to win.

      Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
      Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
      Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
      Struggling for breath, as though hands were
      compressing my throat,
      Yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of
      birds,
      Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
      Tossing in expectation of great events,
      Powerlessly trembling for friends at infinite
      distance,
      Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
      Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

      Who am I? This or the other?
      Am I one person to-day and to-morrow another?
      Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
      And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
      Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
      Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

      Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of
      mine.
      Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

      And underneath: *He echoes my own questions. Do I
      still believe in the God of my childhood, if not the
      teachings of the Friends? I think that I do. At least,
      I believe we are all God's children, mutant and
      non-mutant. I cannot hate my brothers, even if they
      hate me.*

      ******

      "Jubilee, do you believe in God?"

      Jubilee lifted her dark head and narrowed her eyes at
      Marie. "Why you want to know?"

      "Just curious."

      "I guess I do. I mean, like, who made the universe if
      not God? But I ain't exactly into church."

      "I believe in God," Kitty said, firmly.

      "I don't know if I do," Marie told them. "If there's a
      God up there, why'd he make me like this? So nobody
      can touch me?"

      "I don't know," Kitty replied. "God works in
      mysterious ways."

      "That's a line of bullshit the preacher gives you when
      he can't answer your question."

      "That doesn't mean it's not true!" Kitty seemed
      indignant. "I mean, God's omniscient. He sees
      everything in the past and the future. You can't. He
      knows why you're like you are. There must be a reason
      for it."

      "How do you know God's a 'he'?" Jubilee asked with a
      smirk. "Seems kinda dumb, when you think about it.
      After all, don't the Bible say we were created in
      God's
      image? How could God create women if God was a dude?"

      "*What*ever," Kitty replied. "It's just figurative!
      He, she . . . Who cares? But I'm not going to call God
      'It'!"

      Marie got up and left her friends to argue over the
      gender of God as she wandered the halls for a while,
      wishing Logan were around. But he wasn't. Logan was
      chasing his tail up in Canada. So she went down to Mr.
      Summer's office. He was working at his desk, writing
      by hand � probably grading papers. He had a CD
      playing. Mary Chapin Carpenter. STONES IN THE ROAD.
      She knew that whole CD by heart, but hadn't expected
      it to be something Mr. Summers would listen to. Then
      again, he had more CDs than he had books, and that was
      a lot. He looked up. "Hi, Marie."

      She sidled in, wrapped her scarf around her hand. "You
      like Mary Chapin Carpenter?"

      "Sure."

      "She's a country singer."

      "So? She's a great song-writer. Her best stuff usually
      doesn't get air-play."

      Marie smiled. "I like the first one on that album
      best. 'Why walk when you can fly?'"

      He grinned back. "Me, too. You have it?"

      "I did. It's back in Mississippi. I couldn't exactly
      take my CD collection with me. Kinda heavy on the
      road."

      "I'll make you a tape."

      "Thanks."

      She continued to stand there, twisting her scarf. He
      watched her. Finally, she just blurted, "Do you
      believe in God?"

      Maybe he blinked, but of course she couldn't tell.
      "Not especially."

      Somehow, that wasn't what she'd expected him to say.
      "But you gave me those books and the guy Bonhoeffer
      was a preacher. He talks about God all the time."

      "Bonhoeffer was a theologian, actually. A very famous
      one. And I can agree with many of his sentiments,
      admire him as a person, without sharing all his
      beliefs, Marie."

      "So you're an atheist?"

      "I'm an agnostic. I'm not convinced there is a God.
      But I'm not convinced there's not one, either."

      "I think that's me, too. What about the professor?

      "He was raised a Quaker and still is one, in many
      ways. But he can't support pacifism any more."

      "And Dr. Grey? If you don't mind my asking � "

      "Jean's Episcopalian. Loosely."

      "Did you go to church when you were a kid?" She knew
      her questions bordered on rude � her mother would be
      appalled � but he didn't seem to mind.

      "I went every Sunday. I was raised Catholic. My
      parents are devout."

      "What do they think of you not going now?"

      "I have no idea. My parents and I don't talk much
      these days."

      "Oh." She wandered over to his bookshelves, ran her
      fingers over the colorful spines of books. For a math
      teacher, he read a lot that wasn't math. History,
      anthropology, mythology, even travel books. Lots of
      science stuff, of course. And novels. He must like
      science fiction. He was watching her; she could feel
      his eyes on her back. And maybe he wouldn't care, but
      it seemed fair to give him the same information about
      her that she'd asked of him. "I was raised Southern
      Baptist. No big surprise, coming from Mississippi. My
      parents weren't really into church, though. We only
      went on Easter and Christmas and Mother's Day. But
      when I was in high school, I joined the youth group
      and sang in the choir. There was a cute guy in the
      choir."

      He chuckled. "I hear you. Amazing what hormones will
      get you to do. Jean wants a church wedding. All the
      bells and whistles and a long white dress."

      "So you gonna do it?"

      "If I want to marry her and quit living in sin, I
      suppose I'll have to."

      Turning, Marie grinned at him. "Oh, but big weddings
      are such fun."

      "If you're masochistic. Were it up to me, we'd elope."



      --Continued in part III


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