So I had to write a story under 250 words for work, using a line from the book ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith as a prompt. Here’s some flash fic in response to the prompt – “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink” (didn’t have much time but this was quite fun.)
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink on a warm, summer evening. With a glass of sparkling wine by my side, I wash away the weariness of my day. I take a moment because lately I’ve been so fleeting and this sole spot by the window makes my world stand still for just a bit. I can’t tell you the name of the song that’s playing on the radio because I can’t remember it.
It’s strange how all it can take is one insignificant second to change your life forever.
It was one foggy moment and the next – I crashed into the side of the bridge, falling off into the cold water under it. When I woke up – I felt like I was born once again. I had no memory of who I was – all the happiness, pain and misery were swept clean from my mind. I could feel stitches under my skin and smell disinfectant and blood.
I panicked and bawled my eyes out like a newborn.
I felt like I accidentally hit “delete” on myself and I couldn’t even remember the man who claimed to be my husband. He looked incredibly hurt but how could I have helped for I didn’t even know him.
I write now, to remind myself of the self that remains although my memory is lost. After all, what are we without our experiences and memories?
I sit here with this glass of wine and grieve over the death of me.
(noun) A word with Ancient Greek origins, psithurism is defined as the rustling whispers of the trees in a windy day, or the melodic swooshes from the leaves on the ground.
- etymology: psithuros = whispering
i. I keep running into you,
In the middle of your favorite song,
And in the tattered notes, I find in old books.
It feels like we’ve lived so many lives together.
ii. In the backyard of my house,
Beneath the pile of fallen leaves,
We buried our love alive under an unnamed gravestone.
-The Late Night Novelist
When I was younger, I used to believe in possibilities and happy places. I wanted to grow up faster to experience life all at once. And then suddenly, I grew up and I lost faith in things like magic. I’ve felt numb on days – this general lack of emotion was completely alien to me – I couldn’t even cry when I felt like dying – when I lost loved ones to death or to life – I just stood there, feeling nothing, watching as life spun around me like a whirlpool in slow motion.
But there are days, when I step outside and I’m warm in the sun and there are nights, when I sneak off to the roof and watch the stars shine while listening to Chet Baker, and for a brief moment, I feel like I’m back to my self again – the one I seem to have wandered away from.
Dark days are unavoidable but I know I’ll come back home to myself, even if it’s for just a little while – I will.
I am learning to welcome uncertainty and confusion. I am slowly learning to accept that emotional ups and downs are a price to pay for simply being alive. My face rests in sadness some days, but my happiness is obvious and loud. I’m frightened by the thought of living an inauthentic life but I wonder if I’ve been doing exactly that, unconsciously. I want to accept all parts of myself and not experience life based on inaccurate beliefs. That would make my experiences inauthentic and my life would be nothing but a sham.
There is a poem by Rumi called ‘The Guest House’ in which he so eloquently gives the notion that every feeling and emotion one has is a guest. Unexpected visitors do show up and stay for a while. The idea is to welcome them and learn what they may have to teach you; they may just lead you somewhere you really needed to get to.
-The Late Night Novelist