Message to Readers

Packed with tons of symbolism- I hope you enjoy and pick up on some :)

The Teapot

April 12, 2021

"So as you can see, my great grandfather was very interested in acquiring fine art. He liked impressionism, I prefer surrealism but oh well, now I have both." Ms. Ruse said as she let out a booming laugh from her tiny body clothed in black silk and heavy diamonds. The grand clock in the corner suddenly came to life, gears grinding against each other signaling a new hour.
"Come now Elias, it's tea time."
Her sharp voice echoed around the hall, disturbing the tranquil scenes lining the walls. Elias followed Ms. Ruse out of the gallery into her tea room and participated in light conversation until the maid came with tea. He was seated in an old bare chair, the wood pressing on his tailbone. It was more elegant from a distance.
"Oh, finally Gertrude. Now come on, hurry up, I am feeling in such a daze right now." Ms. Ruse’s hand flew to her face in feigned lightheadedness. Behind her was a window hidden by dusty cotton curtains.
The maid poured tea from a burgundy teapot. It looked antiquated yet the paint didn’t have a single chip. A large green snake was coiled in the center of the lid.
"Do you like it?"
Ms. Ruse gestured to the teapot.
"Yes, it's very um, unique."
"Hmm, the serpent on the top really does have its charm. It was commissioned, it's been in the family for generations you know. And the recipe for the tea even longer."
"Recipe? You don't just use a bag?"
"Oh, good heavens no. Why wouldn't I have fresh if I can?"
Elias watched the tea come out but it poured thicker than he thought and whooshed into the cup like a waterfall, anxious to escape. The pot’s bright colour seemed to reflect in the liquid because it had a bloody hue. Ms. Ruse scooped a heaping of sugar and stirred her tea with great clinks not caring to preserve the fine china. The maid came over to pour Elias' cup full as he began to make conversation,
"So, how did your family originally come by its wealth."
Elias grabbed the cream and poured some in his cup, watching the swirls form into outstretched arms. He raised the tea to his mouth and ingested the murky flavoured water. Ms. Ruse looked up from her teacup to stare directly into his eyes. Her eyes looked less hazel and redder by the second, 
"Where do you think old money in America comes from?" 
She let out a tinkering laugh and returned to her slow, mechanical stirring.


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  • Zirong

    okay this is so good and I enjoy it so much and now I'm gonna write my super super long comment *star-eyed*:

    Below are some symbolism I've picked out. I believe there are even more, but just hope my interpretation of these are more or less accurate:

    1. Yea the first thing is definitely NAMES oooh -- "Ruse" is pretty obvious, "a deceptive manoeuvre," and I guess the snake is another symbol for this. The biblical meaning of "Elias" is "the strong Lord," so I guess he plays the role of a saviour in this story(if there's ever a sequel)? But currently it seems that the evil force has the upper hand so I wonder, if my interpretation is correct, what kind of a twist it will be for Elias to win Ms Ruse.

    2. I feel "her tiny body clothed in black silk and heavy diamonds" hints at the fact that although Ms Ruse has the wealth of the upper class, she is far from sufficiently cultured to match with her economic status -- so it's like her little amount of education is cloaked under her flamboyant appearance and behaviours.

    3. "It was more elegant from a distance" is a good one. It suggests that Mr Ruse, just like the chair, looks better from a distance, when her true colours are not out.

    4. "Behind her was a window hidden by dusty cotton curtains." This one I'm not quite sure, but I guess since light shines through windows, the fact that she never opens the curtains("dusty") indicates she does not want light to come in, or maybe she's afraid of the light? Either way it means she is a woman of darkness and her wealth came from nasty and dirty business that couldn't be exposed under light.

    5. "It looked antiquated yet the paint didn’t have a single chip" is interesting. It makes me think hard for a while. I guess it sorta hints at the fact that though the family history of Ms Ruse has been long("antiquated" like the teapot), the filth in the blood of her family was never washed away by time(fresh new like the paint)? Or maybe it means a long family history does not make Ms Ruse any more cultured? I feel it just means there's something abnormal/something evil kept intact in Ms Ruse, about this house and her family. I hope it's close.

    6. yay here comes the green snake. I guess it's referring to the green snake who convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit -- so it's deception yea. And the comment on it from Ms Ruse just makes it obvious that deception has been coursing in the veins of the family for long.

    7. "it poured thicker than he thought" -- Ms Ruse is more deceptive than he thought?

    8. "anxious to escape" -- anxious to escape capture?

    9. "it had a bloody hue" -- hints at the old family business

    10. "great clinks not caring to preserve the fine china" -- reinforce the uncultured point

    11. "watching the swirls form into outstretched arms" -- a hint at the family business again? Maybe it has something to do with slave trade and the outstretched arm(while sinking) is a symbolic SOS? Or maybe the outstretched arms indicate that Elias is going to be caught by something bad?

    12. "Her eyes looked less hazel and redder by the second" -- I'm not sure whether this counts. I feel it's more of an implication than a symbol -- that something evil is gonna occur.

    Ooo do let me know if any of these above is wrong and if there are more!!! God I just can't get enough of symbol pieces! Amazing work! :)

    5 months ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Re: Yes, that is such a good point. In that particular essay, he used humor to reveal some profound and uncomfortable truths. Also, racism definitely seems to be a major theme in his work, but it seems to reveal itself more 'insidiously rather than explicitly.

    5 months ago
  • Parisienne

    omggggg I LOVE THIS!! Wow this is brilliant...I really want to find out what happens next. Is there a murder?? Just love the way you write!
    re: Thanks so much awww my voice has never been called 'aesthetic' before. Bless. Yes, I am aware that you just read 'bless' in a British accent. hehe.
    Your writing is sooooo good! Love it. Hope you are having an amazing day
    Becca <3

    5 months ago
  • Nikki

    re: Nyla, you beautiful gorgeous musk ox, i love ur comment spams more than anything <33
    yes i agree! people havn't watched a lot of those shows here. hahah yesssss!
    #proud to be Canadian :)
    LMAOOOO. ur hilarious. and i relate, even we cant do anything extreme thanks to the midget in our family (my lil sister) tho she isnt that small
    awww tysm!
    hahah omg! woah that sounds kinda scaryyyy. i cant literally imagine going to a lake rn, like sitting there and reading a book, i wish. What a day that would be!
    omg that does sound annoying! yikes also sounds painful.
    omg thank you so much for your love on my piece :))) i think those are my favourite lines too! ahhhh tysmmmm *blushes*
    okie, im sorry for the late reply, i was sort of having a breakdown yesterday *winces* so my previous May was horrible, like mentally it was the worst thing i've put myself through. and i was having anxiety that this May would be the same. but im aright now :))
    my parents have also looked at getting a pet! okay posting my competition piece, pls read it.
    okay love you, byeeeeeeee

    5 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    re: actually... you gave me the inspiration to write the next part pretty quickly. hope you enjoy! it's not a direct link since i'll probably repost a couple of times today. https://writetheworld.com/profiles/26420/published

    5 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: ah, haha! Yeah, I get it! I actually read HG last year, and I watch the movies quite a bit still. Wow, they did that at lunch?! Lol, that’s hilarious! XD I would totally join in a debate like that! XD I think Peeta is just such a sensitive guy, and Katniss needs that.
    Yes, rain is so peaceful. Okay, sounds great! Let me know what you think of them! :)
    Ooh, that’s really hard...... I don’t honestly know. What would you do?

    5 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    re: i can totally do that! i hope to write the next part today, but we'll see if that actually happens haha:D

    5 months ago
  • ~wildflower~

    Thank you so much for your comment! Ahhh I got so excited when I read that you like my use of figurative language!!! You’re so sweet! I actually tried writing something for this prompt and failed spectacularly and completely (turns out symbolism is a lot harder to write than it seems!) but I’ll still attempt to give you some feedback!
    I actually really love this piece! The dialogue is very realistic and believable (sometimes I find that dialogue can seem a little stilted, but you crafted it perfectly!) and you described the characters and the scene really well. I was so caught up in the story, and I really did genuinely enjoy reading it - I am impressed by your characterisation, subtle-scene-setting and overall storytelling skills. As for the symbolism, with my very limited skills and knowledge maybe the most helpful thing I can do is tell you the symbols I recognised, so that you can see if you portrayed what you wanted to with the symbols:
    -“clothed in black silk and heavy diamonds” - I thought this represented the fact that she was wealthy but through unlawful and unethical (that’s not quite the right word, but I hope you know what I mean) means.
    -“ booming laugh from her tiny body” - there’s more to her than there seems and something wild and monstrous lurks beneath the surface, within her.
    -“ It was more elegant from a distance.” - Ms. Ruse‘s house, her wealth and her life looked tidy and perfect from a distance but were actually uncomfortable and not quite what they seemed.
    -“ Behind her was a window hidden by dusty cotton curtains.” - I have a feeling you were trying to use symbolism here, but I couldn’t quite understand the greater meaning... might need to clarify this one :)
    -“ It looked antiquated yet the paint didn’t have a single chip” - I don’t know if this counts as a symbol, but to me this just portrayed the idea that everyone in this house was not quite right.
    -The snake on the teacup - represents deception, and the temptation to do something that isn’t right
    -“Her eyes looked less hazel and redder by the second” - Ms. Ruse was beginning to unravel and her true colours were coming out. Her ulterior motives are being revealed, but it’s too late.

    Oh, and I have to add that I absolutely ADORED the ending. Ahhh it was just perfect and created such an eerie atmosphere, leaving me with just enough questions to be satisfied but left thinking. Wonderful work!!

    5 months ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Re: also, I wanted to let you know that I took your suggestion and said: "Uncle is not going to be happy. But I have never been a very good foster son." To indicate the Nahama was a guy. I am so grateful, cause I literally couldn't think of any way to weave that information in.

    5 months ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Re: Yes1 I totally agree! The definitions you highlighted were brilliant. Also, the Nietzsche one cracked me up. I liked how he showed how we bullshit our way through intellectual conversation as well as mundane small-talk.

    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Re: aww tysm!

    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    re: aaaaa thank you!! right back at ya!!

    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    re: wow thank you so much!! honestly such an encouraging comment I really needed it haha. you're so sweet :)

    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Wow this was intriguing. You did a wonderful job of showing off the character's personalities in only one paragraph, which was really cool to watch. And the way you described everything without making the descriptions boring or heavy or distracting was amazing. I really love your descriptions!! Love this :)
    re: awwww thank you!! It means so much :D

    5 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: yes! The books were amazing, but the movies were really good too.
    Yeah, I was always team Peeta, lol. How about you? Gale and Katniss fight too much. I mean, they were really sweet together in the first one, when he protected her family and they just helped each other so much. But after that.... yeah. Also last year I made Peeta my fictional boyfriend, lolllll.
    Aw, yes I agree! I love the snow too, but the cold bothers me a lot. Rain is so soothing.
    Haha, okay great!! Hm, so my favorite is Bulletproof: the Eternal. It is REALLY hard to pick one favorite, but that song has so much meaning for me. Some others that are close behind on my list are DNA, I’m Fine, Heartbeat, and Love Myself (plus some amazing solo song sounds if you’re interested.... of course I have tons more suggestions.)
    DNA and I’m Fine have really good performance videos, Heartbeat has a great music video, and honestly I usually just listen to lyric videos for the other two, but sometimes live performances.

    5 months ago