It’s time for me to flex my creative writing muscles and take you lovely people along for the ride. Last month I started a series: ‘Monthly Mindscape‘, where I use story dice as prompts to help me come up with a short story that, hopefully, ties in with the topics I cover on Blue Jay of Happiness.
I don’t do any prep for this, no research, no story plotting. I throw the dice, see what I’ve got and just start typing. After a couple of failed starts last time I came up with something I actually really rather liked.
Let’s see if I can do it again huh? Here are the symbols I’ve got to work with:
Picture on the right is me getting arty for the Bloom & Grow photography course I’m doing, will be blogging about this soon!
Ok, interesting… let’s give this a go shall we?
Monthly Mindscape – June
Jess was having one of those days… actually, she was having one of those weeks, months, years. Every morning, in those glorious half-awake/half-asleep seconds she forgot what it felt like. She forgot how it felt to have the weight of the world sitting on her chest.
As soon as her brain caught up with her body and realised it was awake, it started. The fear. The fear of the fear. The anxiety that followed her every move. A simple trip to the supermarket becomes an emotional assault course. Mentally jumping through hoops, scrambling over walls and always on the look out for more rope.
She used to love drawing, but since her anxiety got bad she had little room in her mind for creativity. Her counsellor had suggested mindfulness meditation, but it felt like yet another battle she was losing.
Another animal she couldn’t tame.
“An animal you say?” Her counsellor said.
“Oh, umm, yeah – it feels like it’s constantly running away from me.”
Jess was in her weekly session and forgot she was speaking out loud.
“I’ve got an idea.” Her counsellor replied with a hopeful smirk.
Next thing she knew, she was being presented with a rabbit. A big brown one with floppy ears and a confused expression. Jess mirrored the expression and turned to her counsellor who went on to explain how animals can be therapeutic.
The hope was that having company and another living thing to care about would help ease her everyday sadness and anxiety. Quickly, her confusion melted away and was replaced with a smile. The first genuine smile in weeks.
She named him Harold.
Harold loved attention and rarely left Jess’ side, always on the hunt for one more ear scratch. One particularly sunny day, Jess and Harold were in the garden.
Watching Harold explore the garden and eating everything in sight, Jess felt an urge. An urge she hadn’t felt in a long time. An urge to draw.
She reached into the back of her desk drawer and fished out an old 4b pencil and her sketchbook. Positioning herself in a shady spot, she began to draw. And as she did so, everything else disappeared from view. Her thoughts stuck to the pencil and the way it moved like bees on honey.
Afterwards she chuckled to herself. As it turned out, it took an animal to tame an animal.