Feeling Good. Or Not.

I don’t know if anyone else feels like this but I do. Sometimes, I feel really great, as if things are finally turning out okay. Suddenly, I feel sad again. Nothing happens in between that time. I just feel sad for no reason. I try to remember why I was happy but, then, I can’t. Next thing I know I am laying down staring at the ceiling, questioning my whole existence. Why I am here. If anyone will miss me if I go tomorrow. Or what legacy I will leave behind.
It sounds a little extreme. Maybe you will even laugh at my sadness. But this is what being sad does to you. It makes you pathetic.

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Writing Challenge: Day Seven

What is your favorite season? Use vivid details and even include memories you have of that season.

Autumn. The fact that it is right in between summer and winter, this means that at the start of autumn you can still wear t shirts with your skinny jeans but the gradual change in weather allows you to wear the snuggly jumpers, which you can feel the warm embrace.

In autumn, it gets darker quicker, I like that when I’m walking home, it’s oddly comforting. Just walking in the shadows of the night. As kids rush into their house to get there before the street lights are on, I walk slowly enjoying the empty streets. I like the solitude. Even dancing down the street with your headphones raging.

Sure, autumn is pretty with the leaves changing colour and falling. The leaves are dying but new ones will grow. That’s life. The colours are beautiful but it’s not the visual aesthetic that I like. It’s the cool breeze that rushes over you, you can feel it on your face, even though the rest of your body is wrapped up with your gloves and hat. The frost of winter coming, turning your nose pink. You are warm, even if it is like a freezer outside. The cold is oddly refreshing, however, when it gets too much to handle, you hold on to your friends to keep you warm.

Having hot chocolate or a good cup of tea. Getting the blankets and watching your favourite movies. Even when you are warm you still have ice cream because you can’t help yourself.

I love autumn. Changing my wardrobe. Buying the new clothes for my wardrobe. Being comfy. The feeling of eating warm food. Jumping in puddles when it rains, then immediately regretting it. Having an excuse not to exercise.
Celebrating halloween knowing that the snow will come soon along with Christmas.
Also, missing summer but you know that it will be around soon. Then, you can repeat this all over again.

Writing Challenge: Day Six

Start a piece with: “I am standing at my kitchen window…” (Be creative! Make the piece fit a specific genre such as mystery, horror, romance, etc.)

“I am standing at the kitchen window. I know that you can see me.” I was unsure of who I was talking to but someone was definitely there. Hiding in my garden. Squatting behind the trees. “Come out, otherwise I won’t hesitate to call the police.”
I hated the police. In bad areas, it’s usually down to the police. Where I live is a bad area. They don’t care when your house is robbed or if a neighbourhood boy is brutally beaten. They look the other and take bribes. They didn’t care when my wedding ring was stolen or when strangers are sitting in your garden.

I was lost in my hatred that I almost forgot the situation until I heard him. “No, you’re not”, said a voice from behind a plant.
“What makes you so sure I’ve got nothing to lose. Steal what you want I’ve got nothing of value here, anyway. Just leave my property. Leave me alone.”
“No,” the voice was louder, more confident and had more conviction. “I’m not here to steal.”
“Then, what do you wanna kill me for kicks? The angry lady who lives down the street by herself seems like an easy target. No one will miss her.”
“No, I’d never hurt you. Never.”
“That’s hard to believe from someone I don’t even know who I am talking to.”
“You know me.” A shadowy figure stepped out from the leaves.

I was still looking through the window. It was him. I’ve missed him for so many years and he stood in the garden. I still lived in the same house waiting for him to come back. Being depressed and staying in the house. I had lost my friends and my life because of that incident but, now, a part of that lost life has returned to me, right within my grasp.

I ran to the back door. Fumbling to unlock the door. I rushed to the garden as fast as I could, before I could wake up and realise it wasn’t real. Tears were streaming down my face and my vision was blurred but that didn’t stop me.

I crashed into my son’s arms just like when he was little and I used to comfort him. This time he rocked me in his arms, holding me tight. “Please dont”, he begged. That’s when I looked up and saw that his eyes were also glassy. “I’ll cry too but I’m so happy “. This only made the tears come out faster. There was a cold breeze that swept the surface. “It’s a cold night, let’s go in”, I said while wiping the last few tears with my sleeve.

He followed me into the house where I then locked the back doors immediately. I walked to the kettle and asked, :do you want tea?” He chuckled. “What’s so funny?” I asked
“It’s just in this situation, only you would worry about tea. You haven’t changed at all.”
“An old dog never learns new tricks. Besides, tea relaxes me.”
“I haven’t had a good cup of tea in a while.”
“Well, then you will get one now.”

He looked around the house. I could hear his footsteps walking on the floor whilst I was putting together some food. “Feel free to look upstairs, it hasn’t changed much or at all, for that matter.”
“It’s fine. I’m fine here. This is enough for now.”
I walked into the room with a tray of food and saw him flicking through our old picture album. He was much taller than before I only went up to his shoulder. Even his voice has changed to be unrecognisable.
I set the tray down in front of him. His eyes widened like when he was child. That’s one thing that will never change; his eyes.

He ate fast cramming the food down his throat. “No dear, savour the food because it’s not going anywhere”. He did what was instructed and just like that I felt like a mum again. The last four years disintegrated. We were as we always were.

I stared at him while he ate. “Why are you looking at me that?”
“You look just like your father,” I said with my eyes starting to fill with water again. “I just really missed you two. It’s lonely here. Even, your sister has a life of her own and she’s moved on from here. I miss seeing her everyday, as well.”
“You can live with her, she’s the type that always offers.”
“But if I go, how do you know where to visit me?”
“Well, I could go there instead”.
“But you don’t like seeing other people.
Why don’t you come back home. Live her for a while and settle down.”
“I can’t.”
“Why not? Where have you been. After your father died. You were 17 and your sister was 19, you were our rock. She was never good with feelings but you could always make us feel better, we needed you. I thought everything was eventually fine after two years but you left a note in your room. Saying ‘I’m going to find the truth. Just forget about me. I might not come back but ill try my hardest to see everyone again. That’s a promise.'”
I walked over to the fridge and grabbed the only piece of paper on it, held by a magnet which read ‘best mum’.
I chucked the piece of paper at him, but he just hung his head in shame. “How sad is that I don’t have any pictures that my kids drew on the fridge but I kept that note. I thought it was a suicide note or that you were dead but I kept it because I wanted to know the truth. So, what is the truth?”
He was still looking down at his toes with his knees trembling. His eyes were locked at his toes even when he stuttered out, “I don’t know. I’ve been gone for four years and I don’t fucking know. I’m not any closer than I was on the day I left.”
My maternal instincts couldn’t help but give him a big hug. I was still his mum after all. He wept. “I missed a lot. College. My sisters wedding and her graduation. My chance of being a good uncle. I left you guys alone for dad’s anniversaries.”
“But you are young you can still have that life. I’ll call your sister now.”
“No. I can’t do that. I may have not found the thing I was looking for but I found other things. Things which aren’t meant to be known.”
“What truth were you looking for? What was worth it?”
“It was dad.” Those words hurt me, however, I tried to brush it off. “Your father was a great man. But he died. He’s dead now.”
“That’s just the thing, mum, he didn’t just die. He was murdered. And to this day, six years later, we don’t know by who by or their motive.”
“It was probably just a mugger.”
“You know that isn’t true. Dad was a simple man. And it showed. He couldn’t even use a phone, let alone own one. He had the same jacket for eight years, so he clearly didn’t have enough money to be killed for. It wasn’t just a random person and occurrence, it was planned”.
It hurt the more he spoke about his father. I tried not to remember how they found his body in a puddle of blood mixed with water from the rain. In the cold and by himself.
“He took the same route for years so they knew where he would be and took that opportunity.”
“Who are they?”
“Exactly. And they know that I know. That’s why I can’t stop now.”
“You are starting to sound crazy.”
“You’re the one being crazy. You are allowing dad’s murderer to walk the streets. You aren’t even acknowledging the fact that it was planned.”
“No one would want to harm him. He was harmless and didn’t get involved in things of this nature, like you said he was a simple man.”
“Look at the evidence. Remember dad’s last few days, he seemed a little bit off. He worked in a company with this area’s dodgiest man. My thought is that he heard something he wasn’t meant to. Something a man of his calibre should have ever known, so they eliminated him because they saw him as a threat.”
“Please stop, I don’t want to lose you too. I’ve already lost your father. I don’t want you to suffer from the same fate. Why look for this so called truth, if this is the reason your father died? They would kill you and that will kill me.”
“I’ve got to know. And you are the reason I’m doing this. All of this. Everyone deserves the truth and I will find it. Dad needs to rest in peace, now.” There was a long silence. “I missed out important parts in your sister’s life from being depressed and locking myself in the house. You know, she married her childhood sweetheart and gave birth to twins.” This was the first time since I was diagnosed, that I acknowledged the fact I was depressed.
“I would have guessed she married him. Is she happy?”
“Yeah. She really is. Huh. I’ve been really sad that I didn’t even notice how happy your sister truly is.” I immediately had a huge grin on my face. “She tried desperately to get me to talk but no matter how hard she tried, I still couldn’t talk about your father or you.”
“Mum, please talk about dad. He would be upset if you can’t remember the happy memories. He never wanted you to be sad. Talk about him, cry a little or a lot. But then go out with your daughter and grandkids because I promise I’m coming back and I want to see everyone together.”
There was a silence because I knew he was right. I sat there still digging up those memories I’ve kept hidden. I didn’t cry because I remembered him, the man I fell in love with and no matter how much i missed him, I regret nothing. “I think this is a great place to end it at.”
“No, don’t go”, I grabbed his arm. “Come on, mum, I can’t stay here.” There was something in my heart that I knew I had to let him go.
“Fine but I got to know, are you taking care of yourself? Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, living.
“Yes, mum”, he scoffed just like a normal teenager.
However, I persisted, “but you were never much of a cook. You and your sister were both hopeless when it came to cooking or looking after yourself in general.”
“Hey, I’ve become a rather good cook. Not as good as you. I missed eating your food.”
“How about your life? Have you got plenty of friends?”
“I can’t believe I was going to leave without telling you”, he laughed.
“I met a girl. She’s lovely, she taught me a bit about cooking. Mum, you would love her. She’s so supportive and she always has something to say and she’s so smart. She is really annoying but really wonderful. But really I love her. Look at me rambling.”
“It’s sweet. You found her. Now never let her go.”
“I won’t, mum. We’re getting married when I figure it all out. When I know the truth. We’ve got a ring and everything.”
“I’m so happy for you.”
“When that happens, I can invite you and sis and her kids.” He looked at me, believing in his heart that will happen. He still had his child like mind. “I’m gonna go.”
“Don’t take ad long to visit me next time.”
“I won’t. I’ll come back in a few weeks no matter if I find out or not. I’ll be back. Promise.”
“Bye son. I love you. Stay safe.”
“You too, mum.”
I watched through the kitchen window as he walked back into the shadows. Out of the house but not out of my life. He will come back and soon, a mother knows.
I got on the phone and called my daughter. “Hey, hon, do you wanna come over for dinner tonight?”
“Yeah, sure, I’ll get my lazy husband to baby sit.”
“No. I want everyone to come you, the lazy husband, the kids. The more the merrier.”
“Sure, mum. That will be really nice. I could sense the confusion in her voice but she didn’t question me because she seemed genuinely happy. I’d never wanted to do the big family meals. I wanted to be alone because I thought I had no family, I did and they were always there.

Writing Challenge: Day Five

Day Five- Write about a dream or nightmare that you’ve had. Turn it into a short-short story.

I’ve had some pretty weird dreams but one particularly stuck out.

It was the strangest thing, waking up before your alarm especially when you are as lazy as me. I stretched out my arms and legs, whilst turning to see out out the window. Through the window there was no sun inhibiting the sky but it wasn’t dark either. Instead the sky was red, blood red. The sky was bleeding.

I reached to my dresser to grab my phone to check the time. The sky was probably a weird shade like this from an odd sunrise combined with pollutants. It was dead, I had it fully charged before I fell asleep. My dad’s old analogue watch was in my dresser, it read 10.01. “Fuck”, I said under my breath. My mum would be pissed if she heard me. I’m already late for work, I didn’t look in the mirror or putting my phone on charge.

I scrambled out of bed and hurried to my closet where I pulled out a bunch of clothes and picked out any that looked barely presentable. I ran to the bathroom and quickly grabbed my toothbrush and washed my face, still not checking the mirror because I knew I wasn’t presentable.

No one was home. If you have three siblings then they tend to make a lot of noise, especially on Saturday. They play their tv shows or music really loud, something that constantly has the neighbours complaining.
On a usual Saturday my parents wake us all up to eat breakfast together. It’s always a disaster but we continue to do it every week. It concludes with me rushing to work.
However, on this Saturday, no one was home. They didn’t tell me, didn’t wake me, they didn’t even leave a note on the fridge.

I walked around the house not noticing before how my footsteps echoed when I walked on the wooden floor. They house look dull today not like a home. There was dust, a lot of dust even though mum was very concerned with keeping it clean (okay, she was totally OCD). Nothing in the house had changed but it seemed as if no one had been living in it, it was dirty, cold and empty.

I rushed out of the house because the house was freaking me out. I had to get air, maybe I’ll see a familiar face I thought and they’ll know where everyone is. I looked at the outside of my house; the paint was peeling, the drive was overgrown with weeds there was rubble on the path. My house was the only one that was familiar.
There were no other houses around, they were there when I went to sleep and now there is nothing. There are some pieces of technology and rubble scattered but other than that is nothing. Nothing and no one.

There was no mum. No dad. No little sister. No big brother. And no little brother. There was only me. I trudged back into the house. From there I learnt that there is no electricity, obviously. No running water. No food. And nothing to do. There were no answers to my never ending questions.

I saw something blinking from the corner of my eye. A device that plays videos with a small percentage of battery remaining. I was so surprised something worked, curiosity and anxiety spiralled through my body. Then I pressed play.
“Honey”, it was mum, her voice, it was really her. “I’m so sorry, honey, but they said that we couldn’t take you. We are really are sorry but they’ll keep you safe and well be back for you soon. Real soon. If you are listening, we love you. Our love will always reach you no matter where we are. We are never too far. We’ll be there soon to explain it, until then hang tight.”
My dad’s voice chimed in, a unfamiliar tone. His voice low and cracking. “Your mother said it, baby. But you’re strong so use that. Use your brain and don’t do anything stupid, just wait for us.”
It panned to my brothers and sisters all saying their goodbyes. Or goodbyes for now. They were no longer here though. Before it could finish it cut off. The stupid device died.

I don’t know what’s out there and I don’t know what’s going on. But I’ll survive until they come back. Because they will. They promised.

Writing Challenge: Day Four

Day Four- Create a character off the top of your head and write a short history about him/her.

This is Bill. Bill has a mediocre job. He hates his job. He works nine till five on the weekdays, which is great for a family man. Except, Bill is not a family man. He has no family, his parents died when he was young and he lived with his aunt. She provided for him, nothing more and nothing less. There was no maternal love, actually she was hardly ever around. He couldn’t remember the warmth of unconditional love but he never went hungry and always had a place to go.
He had made his peace with God. He was not a religious man but he wasn’t an atheist. He, often, pondered the origin of life.

Bill lived for nothing and no one. He relied only on himself but still didn’t live for himself. He had nothing to live for and nothing to die for.

Bill is an average man. He is the every man. I will probably be some incarnation of Bill when I’m older because this is the typical fate of man and women alike.

Bill is simply, just, there. He is so insignificant but there are many Bills in this world. Together, they will create noise so loud and it will be heard but that is not the way because if they did that they would no longer be ordinary. This is not Bill.

Bill will die not creating any noise not contributing anything to humanity he will not be remembered. His story is not interesting enough to share. He will die as a body not a memory or a legacy. He will decay and rot and his remains will scatter, still being part of society but not contributing.

That is the real forever kids.

Writing Challenge: Day Three

Day 3- If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Use vivid details and prose to describe the experience you would like to have.

I want to sunbathe. And go snowboarding. I want to jet ski in the sea. I want to ice skate over a frozen river.
I don’t have one place I want to go. I want to go everywhere and do it all. I want to hike up mountains, I want to go scuba diving.

There are so many things in this world and I’m so indecisive that I can’t pick one. I want to travel.

Instead of the challenge I made up what I would like to see. Enjoy.

The harsh sunlight blazed across the valley, there had been no water for miles. No water, no footsteps engraved in the ground that burnt my feet. Absolutely, no sign of life, at all. With each step the sand swallowed my legs. This had continued for a while until it was seen.

The sunlight was glimmering over the oasis, which resembled a thousand diamonds. The oasis had stretched for miles, engulfing the sand around it. I dipped my bare feet into the cool water, and as soon as I felt the refreshing breath of life, I jumped in. The water ran deep than I had expected and my head went underneath the surface. I embraced the grip of the oasis and allowed to be carried away by it.

This oasis sparked my interest so I got out and started to follow the stream by foot. The land looked so much more beautiful with the oasis separating the plane. It was simple but beautiful. The sun still blazed over the earth but it wasn’t so harsh anymore. Just sand, sand farther than you can see and this small insignificant area of water in this vast nothingness.

The oasis came to an end at a small waterfall. The sand gradually sloped down but the water was still able to fall. This was the end. The waterfall made a small pond like structure. Again, I jumped in being embraced by the gleaming treasure. I lay there not wanting to leave. I dipped my head in and stayed underwater for a while. I, suddenly, sensed a strange urge to swim into the waterfall. The sound of falling water got louder as I approached it. I kept swimming straight into the waterfall without rest, until I went through it.

I entered a cave which lead a path much further underground. Way below the surface, I followed this path. I did not question it or try to understand it, I was simply living it. I do not understand how I could even see that below ground level maybe that sun was really brighter here.

There was part of the oasis here still glowing but not moving. It was completely frozen over. The ice that hangs in the corner and over the area. I skated over this surface observing every inch. Admiring the rocks with frost over it. Observing how the ice had formed into masterpieces. Staring deeper into this abyss because in one place, it was completely black, just pitch black.

After taking it all in, I eventually left, not knowing of it was minutes or hours that I had stayed there. I trudged back through the caves, which oddly radiated light, back to the sparking waterfall and past the oasis which provided some hope, showed some life in an almost lifeless place.

I vowed to go back there, one day further conquering the cave and going past the pitch black chasm which may be nothing but also be much more.

I never did go back. It’s not like I didn’t try. I wandered through the deserts for long intervals of time, longing for this lost dream. Maybe it had been a mirage, as I had heard this many times, but these people didn’t experience what I did. They didn’t feel it. They didn’t see how intricate it was. How real.
Even though there are things that didn’t make sense I still believe it’s there waiting to be discovered because that’s the magic of it.
The unknown fantasy which has to be found.

Writing Challenge: Day Two

Day 2- Open a book at random and pick a line. Use that line as the beginning of your piece and continue writing from where it leaves off. Pen the first thoughts that come to mind and don’t revise it. (Note the first sentence comes from the book ‘The Help’)

I hear the sound of a car motor on the road. It’s such a strange sound to someone who’s never heard it. I’ve read about cars but I’ve never actually seen one. My father once showed me a model of one, I think even he was amazed.
In this town no one had seen a car, let alone owned one. I guess that’s one of the reasons everyone has left from here.

They all dispersed slowly around the world, no longer thinking of their past home in this old town. Not thinking of their old friends. I saw them all leave and they would count on it. “That nice boy, always here, wishing the best for everyone.” There was no reason for me to stay but there was no reason for me to leave either.

This town is just rubble now, it had a few payphones scattered round the town and the rest were houses. I remember a library, only I go there, I don’t see a need for a phone, I highly doubt it works but who would I call. I no longer have friends, they all left me. However, books are always needed, they will always be around.

Sometimes, I miss the people, though. I did try leaving, honestly, I did but I couldn’t. I physically couldn’t step out of the towns boarder. I remember my mum telling me to go where your heart takes you. I wasn’t even able to do that. I miss them. I miss them so much. Why did they get to leave and I couldn’t? Now I’m alone.

I wished everyone else goodbye, who would wish me off?

Suddenly, I remembered the car, maybe I could leave. I didn’t hear them drive off, maybe the driver was amazed there was something here, after all maps don’t even acknowledge this town. So I ran out of the library and bathed in the rays of sunlight because I actually felt good for once. I felt hope. My bare feet hit the hot ground and I saw a young couple around the car looking at the remains of my town.
The man stared right at me in shock, after that moment of shock he quickly hurried his wife back into the car. I screamed after them, begging them to stop but the wife could not hear me and the man chose to ignore me. I tried running to him but it was useless because just like that they were back in the car.

Out of this dreadful town.

But I was still here.

I collapsed to the ground, my knees hit the dirt road. I thought to myself, why was it so difficult for people to listen to me. I used to have so many friends. Was I different to them. I looked down to my hands. They were normal. I touched my face.
Two eyes. One nose. Just like any other person.
I then looked down to my body and remembered. I flopped to the ground with my arms spread out.
The knife stabbed through my chest, the blood that still looked fresh but I knew was not. The last final blow.
I’ve been dead.

Writing Challenge: Day One

Day 1: write a story beginning with once upon a time.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there once was a woman. A very sad woman, who never experienced any happiness. She had no one and nothing. No possessions and no memories to recall. She only remembered sadness but never remembered the reason.
She only lived her life through books. She had no home instead she wandered the land looking for more books to read. The ones that people left behind and were forgotten. She loved old books, when the pages were frayed and had a distinctive smell, it added character. She continued to live through other people’s lost memories. She read about princes and knights and dragons. She read books whenever she could. She always read when she was alone, and she was alone all the time.
If all you ever do is read about happily ever afters, then all you can do is desire one for yourself.

So she broaden her horizons and read about people. Normal people, like her, by standards she was average. So she learned to not be average, not in terms of looks but in the way she was. She was different- her thoughts were deeper than any others and she spoke in a manner which was brutally honest yet beautiful at the same time. She had no consideration of social norms.

One day she left her books aside and went out in search for her own story. She wanted her own beginning and ending, not just another thoughtless empty death but an actual story of her own. She had an epic journey with all the fixes; slaying dragons and climbing the highest mountains.
Eventually, she became strong enough. She had done enough and she created many stories with many friends.

She never was a damsel in distress but she did save her king. She promised him to never to tell anyone how she saved him. He was so vulnerable and so lost, the memory made her laugh but he didn’t see it that way. He always wanted to save her but she never let him. He hated that fact but also deeply loved that about her. She wasn’t the damsel he wanted but she was his queen. She saved him and in a way he also saved her.

As much as she hated the happily ever afters in books, she certainly loved hers.