Title: The Sad Fate of China Dragons
Fandom: Being Human
Characters: Annie (passing reference to Owen and Annie’s mum)
Prompt: Space @ story_lottery
Summary: Annie contemplates the living’s attitude to space.
Spoilers: Only if you don’t know the concept of Annie’s character in the series.
Word Count: 1,010
Disclaimer: I do not own Being Human, the BBC have that one too.
A/N: This is set before George and Mitchell have moved into the house. It’s my first Being Human fic and it’s written in a stream of consciousness style that isn’t my usual either (taking advantage of this challenge to do some experimenting) so all concrit and comments gratefully received.
She’d never really thought about space before. Well people didn’t did they? It was just there; all around, not worth giving a thought to. She knew she’d referred to it in passing; discussed it a bit, talked about it; but she’d never really thought about it.
Of course now that she was dead she had a lot of time to think about a lot of things.
Though of course now that she was dead space didn’t matter to her.
But it was funny how something that doesn’t matter anymore suddenly seems so important and worth giving a lot of thought to.
Good job she had the time then.
Now it upset her; upset her how the living never realised how important space was; took it for granted; never realising how important space was in everything they did; an ever present, unconscious thought. People just took up space; used it up, neglected it, abused it.
People even used space as an excuse; “Oh I couldn’t possibly have the whole family at Christmas, I don’t have the space.” “Yes darling, I love you, but we don’t have the space for a dog.”
Space was even a way to get out of a relationship. “I think we should give each other some space.” “I need my own space.”
Or you used it as a way of getting out of a big decision. “I need some breathing space.”
Well, now she had all the breathing space she needed. Pity there wasn’t a breath left in her body.
Her body had often taken up an amazing amount of space; more space than was necessary Owen said. It’s just that she’d always liked gesturing. A big, expressive arm gesture; it was good for the soul. But sometimes, when she got really carried away she’d do it somewhere where there wasn’t enough space and an errant arm would hit a wall, or a shelf, or a fridge, or a stranger on the bus.
But that wasn’t a problem any more. She didn’t need enough space for even the wildest of gesticulation now. Nope, now any extra flail to a gesture simply led to her arm passing straight through a wall, a shelf, a fridge, or a stranger on the bus.
It should have made life easier, but all it did was remind her how dead she was. The dead didn’t need living space.
But that was another time when space became so important. When you were looking for somewhere to live; looking for a new flat or house, like the one she was in, you’d say;
“Oh it’s a lovely space. Blank canvas. I could do a lot here.”
“There’s not much space is there? You couldn’t swing a cat in here.”
“Oh, there’s a lovely lot of storage space.”
That’s what she had said. It’s what you do say when you’re setting up home with someone. It makes you feel grown up; it’s what you should be looking for in a home. Lots of storage space for all your stuff. Enough space for all your earthly possessions.
Except that didn’t matter now either. She had no stuff, no earthly possessions.
She had watched impotently as all her belongings had been packed up; put in boxes for charity shops, put on e-bay, put in black plastic bags and left on the side of the road in the rain for the bin men.
She’d hovered over their shoulders as her mum and Owen had handled everything she had once loved, once cherished. All those material things she had no space for but kept anyway, that suddenly had no value to anyone but a ghost and username: JimBob1984.
She’d given up shouting at them and trying to protect her stuff long before her little china dragon had been broken. She’d bought that little dragon on her first trip to
She’d cried again then, over that cheap little dragon that meant so much. That dragon which represented her freedom, her juvenile independence, but now lay broken, head smashed; symbolic of something else now.
Her mum had cried then too. It had been as if they had shared their tears over her possessions.
She supposed she was a possession now. That’s what they called it wasn’t it? Possession? Haunting? This was now a possessed space, a haunted house. A place for a ghost, no space for a person.
Personal space. That’s something people went on about a lot too.
When she’d been alive she was always being told off for invading people’s personal space; but she was just being friendly that was all.
Who didn’t like a hug? and yes, sometimes she’d give people a little shove or shoulder nudge, but that’s just what she did when she laughed. No-one really minded. She wasn’t really invading anyone’s personal space.
But that was something else she didn’t have to worry about any more. She could walk right up to people now. Stand right on their shoulder, stand nose to nose with them and they wouldn’t notice. Didn’t move; didn’t flinch, didn’t acknowledge.
Sometimes people walked right through her. Like now, just because she was dead, she didn’t need the personal space.
But she did. Now, more than ever when she was alive, she needed personal space.
And this was her space. This house. This was her house and she wasn’t about to share it with anyone.
She knew she should have felt bad about scaring that young couple out. She had done mean, horrible things to them; things she would never have contemplated doing when she was alive. But then, if she was alive, she wouldn’t have needed to.
They had seemed nice enough, and happy, but this wasn’t their house, their space, to be happy in. This was her house. And so she would continue to guard it. Fight for it. Defend her personal space.
Two young men had been round to look at it last week. They were moving in tomorrow.
She gave them a week.