Challenge #01886-E062: All in the ManualsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  last year 


If you're tired, sleep. If you're hungry, eat something. Take care of yourself. Self Care Haiku, found on the internet. -- Anon Guest

It was a decorative plaque, almost in the style of the Ten Commandments in the way they were arranged.

If you are tired, sleep, it read. And onwards into other rules.

If you are hungry, eat something. If you are thirsty, drink. If you are ill, take medicine. If you are dirty, bathe. If it is broken, get it fixed. If it is ruined, replace it. If it is gone, mourn its loss. If you are sad, cry. If you are angry, yell. If you are lonely, come to me. I am here for you.

It was in an art gallery, and the title of the piece was, Owner's Manual For the Human Body.

Some of its instructions were not compatible with citizenship amongst the Galactic Alliance. There were many Havenworlders who had adverse reactions to loud noises. Most of it, however, was good advice. It boiled down to Look after yourself and don't cling to bad emotions. But it was put in terms so simple that very few could try to argue with it.

And humans... were wont to argue.

Some could argue with a sunny day. They could certainly argue with self-care instructions like "Eat when you're hungry." And plenty had arguments against instructions like, "Express your emotions." But put like this? As if it were a manual with diagnostic procedures. They could all see the truth of it.

Even the argumentative ones.

Shayde, who had been contemplating it for some time, said, "Ee, isn't sommat like that in the wee gift shop?"

"Wooden wall plaques, yes. People give them to people who think they can go it alone," Rael said. And, seeing the shape of the immediate future, said, "You have no need to give me one."

"Spoilsport," Shayde muttered.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Spectral]

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