Words are my weapon

Lynlee Derrick

More stories from Lynlee Derrick

Emma Zawacki
March 15, 2021
Linus Kaechele
February 17, 2021
Words+are+my+weapon

In the beloved English language, there are 26 letters.

And I distinctly remember sitting a small room as a child—only two windows to provide a playful peek of the playground—and repeating those 26 letters of the alphabet like a mantra. Practicing for a concert, every kid in the rooms sang what they could remember. A to Z over and over again.

With infinitesimal legs crossed in the mass-produced “criss-cross applesauce” way, I sang along, learning each and every one.

I grew up piecing these letters together despite copious blunders. Between stages of life, shallow breaths, and a noticeable speech impediment, the words collided in my mind, begging to be released into the world. Letters carefully chained together, linking themselves into words, sentences, and paragraphs.

Stories formed with the years. I analyzed the letters as they taintedly twisted into words. Childhood books molded into my mind; the words, printed in deep, black ink between cultivated drawings of princesses, spun a web of creativity in my mind. I plucked the strings like a cello, electing each word I read to become my own.

I loved the words.

I embraced their effect—the smiles, the love I would receive. All of the viciously vital attention was on me as I would list off a series of events, a story, or repeat lines from a beloved book.

Every time I spoke those expressive words into the world, a hug of radiant warmth delightfully wrapped around me like a reward for my efforts. Basking in that feeling, dancing between its rising and falling waves, I found myself.

Words became my medium in a spoken sense; combined with childhood innocence, I was an indomitable, effervescent force, running freely throughout my debut into the world.

Yet, in tantalizing tandem with my childhood, this studied affair with words shifted as the curtains closed on that oh-so-longed-for innocence.

I will employ those golden lemon words as the fiercest weapon.”

Out the door my childhood abruptly ran, ushering me into a foreign phase of life. No longer could those words protect me. My protective bubble of infancy had finally popped, leaving me a witness to what the world had to offer for my growing self.

I did not like what I had met.

Searing red-hot words blindsided me, blitzing me with unforeseen power; rapidly, my sun-bleached lemon words were overpowered as others had become one with their faculties of words.

Yet, theirs were so hateful, so spiteful to the world around them, that they began empurpling with rage as they struck from the owner’s mouth.

My words seemed infirm in comparison to this splenetic spew of words that came from others. Ringing in my ears were sentences, stories, and words that were apoplectic with flaming fury. No longer could my voice be heard in their thunderous, stomping storm.

I cowered to the dictator-like power they were wielding. Roping back the chain of sentences, I learned silence. I thought that those 26 letters were no longer important.

Believing that the suffocating silence in their presence was better, I spent years watching my words as they cemented in my mind, rarely absconding out. With all this bubbling inside, my mind hurt as my heart slowly lost its drive.

And now, I’ve decided to fight back. Sitting in suffocating silence was suffocating me, suffocating my happiness.

It is my turn to brandish my weapon of choice against their enraged daggers.

I will employ those golden lemon words as the fiercest weapon. I will employ those happiness-spreading, life-loving words. I will employ those youthful joy words. I will.

I will show the world how my words—and theirs—can be radiant as I inspire enrapturing ecstasy and sympathy against those red, blistering words.

My words are my weapon now, for better or worse.