“Use what talents you possess…The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sung best.” Henry Van Dyke
A misfit among misfits, that’s what they said she’d be.
Dyson never fit in anywhere in any way. In a world of singers, she was tone deaf. In a world of dancers, she had two left feet. In a world of gardeners, her green thumb was brown.
She didn’t believe in the right God, the right politics, or the right social causes. Her fashion sense was beyond appalling, and what she called music sounded like crashing cymbals and sour trumpet notes to everyone else.
The H’trazi arrived fifty years ago proving that humanity was not alone in the universe. They were friendly, generous, and even humorous. But that was fifty years ago. Four months ago, they announced they would need to select several from among the human race for an important mission, one vital to not only the continued good relations of H’trazi and humans but to the well-being of the inhabited galaxy, which turns out to be only about 12 percent of the Milky Way, the current limits of the aliens’ faster-than-light drive.
Lottery tickets were sold worldwide for just a few cents, so everyone could afford to participate. There would only be ten winners and the H’trazi were absolutely tight-lipped about what the winners would “win.”
Dyson had never won anything in her life but in a rare fit of compliance and unity with her fellow Earthlings, she bought a ticket.
When the winning numbers were announced, she had to check her ticket five times. All five times she arrived at the same conclusion. She’d won. A billion, billion to one chance and she’d won. Winners were supposed to report to the nearest H’trazi cultural center, one was established in every major city, for further instructions. She felt like the happiest person in the world until the identities of all ten winners were revealed.
The other nine were just like her. Well, not just like her, but they were all “unique” like Dyson was, that is, they were all misfits regardless of the nation and culture from which they came. None of them was highly regarded by their fellows, were particularly accomplished or accomplished at all, or esteemed in any way whatsoever.
Dyson was a nineteen-year-old barista who could never get anyone’s order right and who imagined she had the soul of a poet. Unfortunately, all of her poetry was bad.
Dip was a forty-five year old call center employee because it was the only job he could hold down and he was willing to work nights, weekends, holidays, and was generally regarded as having no life.
Jaxon, Nikita, and Karlo had all been homeless for at least five years and Nikita had been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.
Anna and Giovanni were paraplegic and quadriplegic respectively, and Anna was a painter of incomprehensible portraits while Giovanni was a software designer of apps that never worked.
Quinn had just been released from prison in Scotland after serving a lengthy sentence for fraud. Sherrie had been considering going into rehab for the eleventh time after her third divorce due to her alcoholism, and Athena, having celebrated her eighty-sixth birthday at the beginning of the year suffered from dementia.
A misfit among misfits. Most of them made Dyson look almost “normal,” whatever that meant.
Each one reported to their local H’trazi cultural center. The H’trazi provided financial incentives for Athena’s relatives and the Greek government to transport the sweet but totally clueless old woman to their center in Athens. Special transportation for Anna and Giovanni was provided by the H’trazi themselves. Sherrie was certainly no where near sober when she arrived at the center in Ontario.
Three months later, the ten people were on board an H’trazi ship orbiting Earth but that was only after they had all been relocated to an isolated mountain retreat and allowed to interact with each other and only each other. As it turned out, they weren’t actually misfits, but rather one tenth of a series of human “components” that, when assembled, resulted in the epitome of human intelligence, creativity, and compassion. The H’trazi called them “Collage”.
It had taken the H’trazi fifty years to determine how to select the perfect representatives of the planet Earth to the other sentient races of the galaxy. Alone, each one was a misfit, disabled, mentally ill, or otherwise suffered from some malady that rendered them either useless or actually a drain on society. Together, they reimagined one another into a unique family that transcended their individual limitations.
Dyson and the rest of Collage were invited to the observation chamber to witness the ship leaving orbit and entering overspace, something no one else on Earth in half a century had ever experienced. For the first time in her life, she knew what it was to belong. Her legacy and that of the others was the stars.
I wrote this for the Sunday Writing Prompt #237 “Collage 38”. The idea is to use the quote above and the concept of a collage to create a piece of creative writing. This is my response.