Written by Fantasy Girl 


A woman’s descent into madness reflected in Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper.
Image Courtesy of thedailyshift.com

You know how it feels, don’t you, to be living life but it’s like a dream. A simple, serene picture can turn into the waking nightmare. Well, that’s what it’s like for me anyway, I don’t know about you.

The vines – woven through the complex trellis designs – no longer create an escape from reality, but a barrier, stopping me from running. And when I finally get through, the roots claw at my feet, the vines grip my throat and I struggle to breathe. I begin to panic, I’m alone and no one will rescue me.

But then I’m back in my living room and I still can’t breathe. The raging fire in the hearth on the same wall doesn’t thaw the ice that’s lodged itself in my soul. And the constant cheery chirp of the red-breasted robin, as it sits on the frosted branch, no longer makes me smile.

I’m lost, trapped in a sea of twisted vines.

No one will save me.

No one cares.

I will stay here, forever wishing the drooping branches of the willows would brush my cheeks again, like the kiss of an angel, but they only tangle themselves in my hair and refuse to let go. They wrap themselves around my wrists and stop me from moving – are they trying to calm me down, maybe? Trying to make me think rational thoughts? I scream.

But then I’m back in my living room, still screaming. The fire in the hearth doesn’t warm the chills that run down my spine. And the constant cheery chirp of the red-breasted robin, as it sits on the frosted branch, just makes me angry.

I’m lost, trapped in a world of fear.

I don’t want to be saved.

I don’t want anyone to care.

Heartbreak was written on behalf of a challenge set by Fantasy Girl’s college English tutor. The challenge was to write about heartbreak through language, structure, and form, without alerting the reader to the reasons for a character’s broken heart. Fantasy Girl chose to focus on one simple image of vines twisting in on itself in wallpaper – presumably, this challenge was set in response to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Like Fantasy Girl’s writing? Make sure you check out Commune and Black Mirror.

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