"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot...but what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament."
"But who was he really? What was he like?"
We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world."
When does the line between good and evil--right and wrong--become blurred? When are they kneaded together like the dough of daily bread, writhed by hands that once were pure. It is not at the moment one blossoms in the womb, nor when one experiences her first wound.
To be colored gray is to have much of her erased by the impact of the people around her. The times they offered no understanding, no compassion, and no regard. The times they took from her, not only the quilt that her grandmother had sewn but it's warmth. The cold shivers peck at her tolerance until it gnaws into her neck, sucking faith out of her like it was a thick, maroon sap.
Who was she before these people forced their own darkness upon her? Who was she before she decided to react? She had lost rationality, but not as easily as an earring but as heavily as her head and limbs, unable to think as she danced with two left feet. She begs silently, but no one hears her. Not even herself.
When she reacted, why did she? Her tilt to darkness was not through one night, but many, as she absorbed the moonlight in her dreams while she was awake. Had all those days not bear significance? Why is she remembered only for one day, the one day she reacted, the one day she destroyed the world (or so the periodicals made it resound)? Did no one know her before? Did no one stand up for her when she could not?
Did they watch her fall? Did we watch her fall? And do nothing?
Who then is the villain? Her? Or them?
Remember, on the 5th of November, that no one is born evil, but it is the evil outside of them that has them turn gray--or black. When one requests faith or hope or love, let them borrow a few ounces of sap and remember them for who they are, in all of their spectrum, from all of their days, not merely their worst day.
"Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell."
Keep this in mind when you consider your protagonist. Know that what she is fighting for will leave dirt and blood on her blouse, and often, at her hands. What she believes in is not for us to prescribe, but for us to understand. This value is an important value in The Recital, and in life. It is better to be understanding than it is to be understood.
Do you have a favorite villain? Why is he or she your favorite? Tell us in the comments!