fighting the dark clouds. [flash fiction]

I wrote this piece a few days ago. It was one of those moments where I just felt down for no reason at all, despite everything going so well lately. All my blog posts have been happy and positive recently and I love that, but I always want my blog to remain wholeheartedly me, even on the days when I’m not so happy. So this is something a bit more personal. I don’t know why these feelings came back – maybe it was the weather or starting uni or hormones or an array of reasons – but, regardless of any of this, feelings are always valid. And I’m learning to trust in my ability to overcome them. 

 

 

I know when that dark cloud is falling over me. I know that now and you’d think it’d be easier because I know, but it isn’t.

It’s something I can never pinpoint, but it happens. I know it happens when suddenly I’m a distant star, staring at this galaxy of blended people like I’m not really part of anything. Like I can be seen, I can be heard, but my wails only rattle inside my chest and all you see are my smiles. Nervous smiles.

I know it happens when I start to feel empty. Neutral. A feeling that isn’t really captured by either of these words but I just can’t find the right one. The feeling of just being stuck inside one stagnant emotion in a moving world, like suddenly I’ve lost the control to move about the world like a functioning being. Physically, I can. Emotionally, I’m too far gone.

I know it happens when I wake up and I sit here and I want to write things like this when two weeks ago I was in a world of summer and fun and real smiles and a happiness I hadn’t felt in a very long time, if ever. And in contrast, I feel stupid.

The reality is that if the world and other people and the climate can change, so can I. The reality is that you have to live in the moments in between before you find your footing again and that’s what I’m doing; that’s what you’re all doing even if you don’t know it yet.

When I sit here and I feel myself sinking into the ground it’s easy to let it happen. It’s easy to live my life like a ghost walking through crowded corridors because that’s what I did. That’s what I did at my worst and I don’t want to be my worst anymore.

Instead, I’ll put on my shoes and I’ll walk. I’ll walk until my feet hurt instead of my insides. I’ll walk until the beat of the music in my chest is out of happiness, not fear. I’ll walk until I’ve walked until I walk until the walk comes to an end. And I just have to trust the end will be bright.

I don’t know what to do. [flash fiction]

This piece is based off of a nightmare I had a few days ago. I ‘woke up’ in my 10-year-old self’s room, I looked like 10 year old me, but I was still myself and I couldn’t get back to reality. It felt so real and it was honestly terrifying, but all you can do when you have a bad experience is turn it into something remotely good. So I’ve turned it into creative writing.

I don’t think I quite captured the sheer panic of the dream in this piece of writing, but there is an eerie calmness to it that I kind of like, almost as if on reflection everything is drained of its initial shock, because you can never quite replicate an experience. Not fully. 

I wake up, dazed. Eyes swirling round the room like a house of soup. Except I can’t taste the air – not like I used to. It feels like nothing and everything at the same time. A familiar yet unknown place seeping into the ears and nose and holes of my body until I become at one with this place that I now have to call home.

One day I did call it home.

Now, I see the childlike bounce of my steps on the tattered rug that lies on the floor. Mustard coloured like a giant stain and flowers dotted about the place. I don’t know why my attention focuses on the rug. It’s not my rug. It’s not my empty wooden floorboards with a sliver of light seeping into the morning room. It’s something of the past.

I reach to my phone next to my bed and it’s still there. It’s the only thing left in this world of fantasy – a stone in a wall of memory dust. Maybe that’s what makes it so realistic after all. Because how can two worlds years apart collide at one moment in time? How can I be there yet here and everywhere in between?

I shut my eyes because that’s all I can do to escape. That’s what they always say. Will it away, away, away, eventually you will leave what is haunting you. But when I wake up, there is a flickering image of that mustard yellow rug blurring my vision. It can’t be right. It can’t be right when I close my eyes and open my eyes and close my eyes and open my eyes and it’s still there it’s still there it’s still there it’s still there

I scramble out of bed, mind bouncing off the walls. Old desk and posters and everything there as if my memory knows how things really were, but this is not how things really are. The curtains lie flat against the windows but I feel them curl around my toes, crawling at my legs and tying themselves around my stomach, my arms, my chest, my heart; I can’t take it I look in the mirror and see me. I see me but it’s not me it’s ten year old me and I stare at it like I’m drunk, but all I’m drunk on are the emotions that flood my insides like I can’t quite cope with what my eyes are drinking from the room.

I open the door and scream for Mum as the waves of the corridor drown me in the memories of everything that happened here. I can’t escape what’s holding me back if I can’t escape reality. My Mum walks in. She holds me and asks me what’s wrong, but I don’t know how to explain this burning desire to be anyone but myself right now.

My body falls apart on the bed and the ocean of waves inside me come crashing into the room, flooding it and flooding it until I’m left screaming into the emptiness of soundless water that I like my life, I want my real life back, how do I get my real life back, and she doesn’t know what to do and I don’t know what to do and I don’t know what to do

Garden Bath. [Flash Fiction]

He has a bath in his house. I guess most houses have baths but his bath was the focal point. or at least to me it was. I’d slip into the bathroom to use the toilet and I’d admire the fancy shower curtain – an array of rainbow zig zags darting off at all angles like they might hit me like lightning. I admired it all the time until I realised it wanted to be admired. It wanted to be admired because if it was admired no one would know what it hid.

One day I walked into the bathroom and I pulled back that curtain and I saw the bath. Except the bath was full of soil and there were carefully placed flowers all along it. The shower curtain was hiding a garden. A really beautiful garden. Why would you want to hide such a beautiful garden?

I wondered this for a while. I wondered this every time I showed up to that bathroom and saw the flowers just as pretty as they were the week before. It was too pretty. It had to be too pretty.

One day I decided to dig. I don’t know what came over me but I dug. My hands flung soil all over the bathroom floor and as I dug and dug and dug I damaged and damaged and damaged and I didn’t realise that to get inside a bath you destroyed the bath with it. Especially when it wasn’t ready to be opened.

So I sat on the bathroom floor with the dirt all around me, piles and piles and piles of it until I was just as stuck as the bath had ever been. And I peeked over the edge of it and I saw the bottom of it – I finally saw the bottom of it – and it was empty. It was so goddamn empty I wanted to cry. Except, as I peered closer, a small scar lined the edge of it. Faint but alive.

When he found me he realised what I had done. He realised that I had wheedled my way into the bath of his brain. He could not cope with it all. He could not regrow the flowers for us and I should have known that flowers torn apart could never be mended.

I never visited his bathroom again. He put the shower curtain back up like nothing ever happened.

oh take me. [poem]

I wrote this poem a while ago, about being trapped in the present and yearning for freedom. It is written from a point of passivity where the narrator hopes something other than herself will give her freedom. But the only person who can free you from your struggles is yourself. And if you want freedom enough, you will create it.

take me take me oh take me

the wind teases at my hair.

I let my feet hop off the pavement

and fly fly

oh please fly

I wish the sky would take me.

the view above like a map

pick me up, me up

a pin on a board

I don’t want to be here

move me elsewhere.

it is easy to change

where I am where I am

oh take me…

I am hammered too far

into this earth.

 

the fire inside. [flash fiction]

I can feel the heat rise from my toes. simmering, simmering. it leaks into my veins as it travels and travels from hair to hair to freckle to freckle to ground to head. it can be said this is what it is like to be fire. this is what it is like to be set alight from the inside out. I’m an ice cube to you I can see it in your eyes but I won’t let it make me feel wrong this time. I can feel it. the simmering may seem like it started in my toes, but it started in my heart. the match you lit with your words fell down my throat, smoke constricting, and you can’t get that back. try reaching into my body. I won’t let you. you’ll leave me walking smoke trails and by the time you want to follow me the smoke will be gone. I will be gone.

I can feel the heat rise from my toes.

simmering, simmering.

never let that heat rise from your own.

across the waters. [poem]

I blow quietly

across the waters

waves of tea rippling across

the mug’s ocean, it’s mine.

it feels like I have power over

something more than I own

it is a release

to create peace

in a world beneath the surface.

I blow quietly

across the waters

and eventually it will all ripple away.

sleep: why won’t you take me? [flash fiction: part 2]

I cast the light over my skin like a setting sun. it gives birth to the night and it gives birth to my mind. I pull words out of my head like stars on string, falling to the ground with no control. they are layered and layered it’s hard to say that they’re broken. it’s hard to say that the night isn’t quite as perfect as a crescent moon and constellations. the moon inside me is jagged and misshapen and the stars haven’t quite found each other yet. when the light in my room dims, my body parts float into a darkened haze until I’m just one with the shadows. that’s when I know the night has taken me, but that’s also when I know that the rising sun is looming. with the snap of an eyelid, I’ll wake up to more light than I’ve ever seen before.

 

inspired by knowing I have to accept those sleepless nights, reminding myself that there will be more light tomorrow

sleep: why won’t you take me? [flash fiction part 1]

give me the freedom to be myself again, I beg of you, whoever ‘you’ is, it is just nonsensical to me now. I write into the dark in the hope that it can hear me, but knowing the shadows won’t listen until I cast a light their way. don’t let me remain this way.

I say I am free to the demons of the night.

take me and I will venture forth on your journey.

 

inspired by the nights I lay awake, wondering why sleep won’t take me.

If Each Weather Forecast was a Person… [flash fiction]

Inspired by: Dyspraxia Diaries 101

You’re the loudest quiet person I know. You never speak but I can feel the rumbling. There’s something inside your chest banging and banging and banging its way out and I wonder how you deal with the drums of your heart. The cloud of your aura tries to hide them away but I peek past the curtains to see what really dulls your shine. I wish you could tell me, for your thoughts to be mine. I always feel like I owe you the world. I always feel this way about thunder.

I mistake you for tears because I think that’s all you’re made of. I push you away because I don’t need that kind of pain today, but I forget that you are beautiful. I forget that you are always there in the back of my mind, pattering away whilst I make my way through the day. You give life to the silence. You give life to the emotions that other people are too afraid to share with the world. You make me feel. I always know you’re there to help me wallow in my true self. I always feel like I’m given confidence in the rain.

You don’t make a big deal out of anything. You just sit there and take it. I admire you but sometimes I think you deserve the attention. You make such a huge impact on the world, stretching your puffed out arms all around the globe, floating cloud-smiles flying past to cheer up every person crying out their bedroom window. Some people think you’re dull but you only want to make a difference to the world. I always feel like a cloudy day makes a difference.

Don’t let me come too close because I’m so wary you’ll melt. You give so much joy to the world whilst you let yourself crumble to the touch. I hate how people use you, throwing you about and morphing you into identities I know you never wanted to be. I wish I could give you the confidence to be yourself. I wish I could give you the confidence to stay a bit longer before leaving. I always feel like snow is too short-lived.

You have all the energy of the world, seeping up every drop of happiness and pouring it into the mouth of the listener. It makes me feel like I’ve been missing something, like I’ve been holding back from being the best person I can be. You give me confidence I could never imagine having and you do this by simply smiling and being yourself. I love how you light up the world of everyone you cross paths with. Sometimes you seem too good to be true, but that’s how I always feel about summer. That’s how I always feel about sunny weather.