How on earth are we coming to the end of summer? Time moves in incredible ways, doesn’t it. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful August, I’m really looking forward to writing this month’s short story. I’m listening to Trills, a band that I think is the *perfect* soundtrack for writing.
The image I’ve chosen to inspire this month’s story comes from Cathy (@lostinafire). I’ve been following Cathy for some time but have been very much a lurker, quietly liking, saving and feeling inspired by her work, without interacting much, so I hope this story will be a testament to how inspiring her images are.
I love the honesty, the creativity and the hauntingly beauty that seeps from her photos. This is the one I’m using as this month’s prompt.
I have a feeling it’s going to link well to last week’s blog on night-time anxiety. Let’s see shall we?
Pulling the covers over her shoulders, her muscles are twitching. The rock in her stomach sits heavy and her mind begins its nightly ritual of taunting her. Opening her eyes she sees shadows dancing on the wall and hears her boyfriend’s quiet breath as he falls deeper and deeper into sleep.
She closes her eyes again and tells herself to stop thinking. The monologue in her head giggles. Every mistake she’s ever made, every doubt she’s ever had is handed to her with a smirk. Like a starving child shown a buffet they know will give them food poisoning, she can’t help herself. She picks up every criticism and devours them whole.
The air around her is thick with silence while her mind gets louder.
Sweat begins to form around her temples, so, slowly, she peels the covers off and slips out of bed. Removing her pajama bottoms she gives her skin room to breathe. Deciding sleep is too far away to stay in bed, she makes her way to the lounge, walking as quietly as she can.
She lights a candle, reaches for her notebook and curls up in her favourite armchair. After taking a couple of deep breaths, she puts pen to paper. Every word, thought and feeling from her mind comes pouring out, like a river bursting its banks.
At first, she can’t write quick enough to keep up with the thoughts tumbling from her head. But, after some time, everything slows down. She’s able to pause between words and give them a little extra time. She’s able to question the words hitting the page and consider a different narrative.
The arguments begin to form as she asks for evidence behind the critique. She makes plans and let’s go of what she can’t control.
As her mind grows quiet she stifles a yawn. Her muscles release the tension held earlier and her eyelids become heavy. Blowing out the candle she tip-toes back to bed. Sliding back under the covers, she gives her boyfriend a gentle kiss on his shoulder.
At last, her mind is as silent as the rest of the world and sleep welcomes her with open arms.
Mental health demons really do love to come out at night. I wonder if you can relate to this story? For me, writing is one of the only ways to distance myself from my thoughts. Let me know in the comments.
That’s all from me this week, next Sunday I’ll be sharing my menstrual cup journey so far – why I decided to make the switch and why I’ll be sticking with it, despite some teething problems. I hope you have a lovely week.
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