Heartbreak

Written by Fantasy Girl 

the_yellow_wallpaper

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.

Tack

Written by Lumberjacktom

fire

Destruction in many forms.
Image courtesy of: http://www.crazy-ivory.de

A little silvery trickle of water began to run from the bent pipe. It was surprisingly tough; the dull, stained copper was standing up to all the force Tack could put on it. He held the pipe by the brass tap on its top. Thinking about it, Tack saw that whoever had put this in was a terrible engineer. How they had expected a fairly flimsy, half-inch pipe to stand up to everyday use without so much as a bracket to support its length against the wall was a mystery compounded by the fact that they had evidently expected it to stand indefinitely, since, most of its length was buried in concrete making any repair an undertaking not worth the effort.

Needless to say, it would not stand indefinitely. Tack wrenched the pipe back and forth through fully a quarter of a turn by its length, levering against the concrete which collared it at the base. As he did so the trickle became a gently arcing thread glittering in the streetlight.

There was a visceral satisfaction in destroying something; some piece of public infrastructure, be it wrenching off a tap or dropping a mattress from the overpass, or watching thick, smoky petroleum flames begin to lick from the top of a litter bin. Pointless destruction of pointless things. For nothing had a reason, nothing had a goal which stretched beyond the void which was the end of all things. People abhorred destruction because they had been told to. Society constructs, it builds, moving toward a greater goal, went the mantra. Freedom is consumption, and labour, in a perfect balance. The freedom to work. The right to a mortgage. A neat lawn. A tidy funeral.

The thread became a spray, a mirror plane of clear glassy water, rent apart by surface tension into a thousand droplets soaking Tack’s shin.

Dab and Fen had finished smashing the lock from the cemented shell of a bin and the plastic inner container now lay bent and crippled on the ground, trails of stinking rubbish strewn along the sea defense. They turned their attention to Tack’s tap. Tack braced against the wall with one foot, and wrenched the pipe as Dab and Fen beat and kicked on the anchored end. Slowly, reluctantly, the pipe twisted and sheared free, a metallic crunch heralding its defeat. Foamy, pure white water ejaculated from the ground in a knee-high column, then ran down the concrete slope to the beach, muddied by dust and sand and grit.

Entropy, Tack smiled.