Contest #47 shortlist ⭐️

Granola Guidelines for the Sensible Refugee

Submitted into Contest #47 in response to: Suitcase in hand, you head to the station.... view prompt


Adventure Drama

Don’t think about before. Never think about before, it will break you. Avoid the memories and resist the impulse to indulge in them. Forget the kind faces and small shops where everyone knows you. Forget the strange foods and smells beside the road, whether good or bad.

Remembering these things will leave you empty. 

Empty is bad.

Empty will leave you broken.

Fact: Crying on a plane by anyone besides small children and babies, terrifies people.

Always turn away or you risk having a good natured passenger asking if you are alright, and this simple act could break you. Gaze out the window at the small, graceful birds that fly elegantly near the terminal. You envy the way they fly; unaware of anything but the sky they roam. 

Warning: Looking out at your fellow passengers will cause you to see friends in simple strangers.

They aren’t there, look away. Forget them. There are proper times to mourn the living. No, no don’t think that. 

Don’t think of what is to come. All there is now is now, and that’s all you can handle. 

Please don’t break.

Fact: Music can help relive stress, it calms the mind. You read that somewhere. Don’t let the engine roar louder than the creciendo of the piano. Keep the volume up. Don’t you dare turn it down

Warning: As you found friends in strangers, you will find words in even the most mute of songs, truth in every stroke of the violin. 

The orchestra does not play of your despairs, the guitar does not strum of the piece of you left so hastily behind. The piano is not offering a supportive hand.

Skip the song, don’t break.

Fact: Flight attendants are exceptionally determined in the distribution of snacks. Every passenger must be kept fat and happy.

Fact: Food is a good distraction. Eat it slowly, savor every bite.

Fact: You quite like granola bars, they are much better than the disappointing bag of pretzels smelling suspiciously of cardboard.

Fact: Your hands become restless when your nervous. Hide them deep in your pockets, don’t let anyone see them shake.

A nervous wreck can cause panic on planes. 

Don’t be a nervous wreck, don’t break.

Fact: Air Marshalls have guns. 

Please, for the love of God, don’t break.

Keep yourself distracted. Tidy your area, it may be small but it’s the tiny slice of world you have control over. 

Fact: Control relieves stress, it calms the mind, you read that somewhere.

Fact: Not properly fastening your seat belt will cause skull shattering collisions with over head compartments and food trolleys. In turn, this would ruin all the tiny bags of pretzels, saving others from their deathly blandness. 

It would also ruin the granola bars.

That would be no good.

Fact: You quite like when the plane takes off and lands. Entertainment lies in the faces of non-frequent fliers, terrified by the way the plane shakes. 

Today you’re the one terrified, you are the clown. This is not a comforting thought.

Fact: Even the crappiest of horror movies can take your mind off loneliness.

Choose a scary one. Scary enough that thoughts of warm days at the pool with friends, complaining about homework and enjoying home cooked meals disappear. 

Never pick one too scary or you might remember it tomorrow.

You can’t break tomorrow.

Flight attendants will return with a more bountiful harvest of poor quality food. You will start to wish you ruined their trolley when you had the chance. Don’t dwell on it.

Fact: Faking sleep makes people leave you alone. Leaving someone alone means they won’t give you a small plastic box of slop lacking the vital granola bar unless a third party intervenes. 

Pray a third party does not intervene.

Fact: The proper way of faking sleep is to turn away from the target (a) so that you can not be seen properly. Close your eyes and if you want to boost chances of success, open your mouth slightly. Turning towards (a) could result in flinching or smiling. This will blow your cover. Don’t forget to turn away.

Fact: You probably won’t smile.

Fact: If your phone vibrates, it’s friends. 

They are probably wishing you good luck and safe travels or something of similar meaning. 

Don’t check it. 

Feigning happiness and excitement is not an option, it will break you. Instead focus on the finer details of the movie. Memorize the lines and characters, despite how poorly written they may be.

You will be too exhausted now to see any secret meaning in them. 


Fact: When the movie ends, you will feel an empty feeling in your chest, like you’ve lost a good friend. 

The credits will become synonymous with a funeral. Say goodbye, don’t stay long.

Look for another movie.

Opinion: Another movie is not an option, it’s too soon after the first one, you would feel like a traitor.

Fact: It is just a movie. You are becoming too fragile.

Fact: Anything will break you now if you aren’t careful.

A man coughing.

Faces in the clouds.

An empty seat in the row across from you shuddering from turbulence.

Please don’t break.

Fact: You will miss them. 

Fact: Panic will rise through the holes in your chest.

Please, please don’t break.

Fact: Picturing certain things can relive stress, they calm the mind, you read that somewhere.

Certain images could include a solid black hammock swinging in the middle of the night with you nestled inside gazing up at millions of stars. A gentle breeze rustling the invisible trees.

Fact: You quite like stars.


Fact: Never having heard the captain’s gruff message of the weather and half hearted thank you, you can assume you slept because the plane is moving steadily downwards.

You will curse the third party for waking you.

Fact: You wish you could just sleep forever.

Fact: You can not sleep forever. 

Therefore you must wake up.

Fact: Waking up means you can’t break, it means you must return to your new reality.

Fact: Your new reality isn’t pleasant.

In this new reality you are hurdling downwards, completely to the whims of the wind with no knowledge of where your going, stuck in a metal box piloted by a man you don’t know, flying in ways you don’t understand without being able to see a few feet in front of your face.

And yet you boarded the plane.

Fact: You are strong enough to get through this.

June 27, 2020 02:14

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Amel Parvez
16:56 Feb 06, 2021

Fantastic! Loved your way. Btw, most of your stories are sad :(


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Evan Rocker
00:15 Aug 30, 2020

Super read! I enjoyed this. The tempo of your work zips. Thanks for sharing!


B.T Beauregard
00:29 Aug 30, 2020



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21:26 Jul 29, 2020

Wow, I wish I wrote this! This was AMAZING! I love the interesting format. Keep it up! ~Aerin (would you mind checking out my story Rebel Prince? Thx)


B.T Beauregard
22:02 Jul 29, 2020

Thank you so much!! I'll check it out right now. :)


22:32 Jul 29, 2020



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Zan Lexus
22:32 Jul 08, 2020

Great take on the the second-person perspective. Very creative and engaging. ^_^


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Luca Nemeskéri
17:30 Jul 07, 2020

I really liked this, probably because the format was fresh and creative. The first thing is the title. It immediately grabs your attention and you get curious about the story itself. You perfectly captured some thoughts I usually have while I travel. "Fact: Crying on a plane by anyone besides small children and babies, terrifies people." I have no idea why do I love that line so much, but I do.


B.T Beauregard
18:52 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you!! I put a lot of thought into my titles so it feels great when someone notices. :)


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Grace Uppendahl
01:39 Jul 03, 2020

I like the way you formatted the story. I loved the story, it was different than others in a good way, and the message was beautiful. The one thing that I think would help boost the story is using more of the five senses. As the reader, it really helps us feel like you are talking to us by incorporating such things. For example random smells, the feel of your clothes against the skin when trying to calm down (an actual thing people do to focus on anything other than the stress-inducing situation), or the way the world starts to spin. Other t...


B.T Beauregard
02:16 Jul 03, 2020

Thank you so much for your feedback!! I will definitely try to use more of the 5 senses in my stories.


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Ethernia Thiadi
11:32 Jul 02, 2020

Opinion: The format is new and refreshing, and it captivated me with the first paragraph. It does give me more to desire, though. That feeling what makes a reader continue to read, so well done. Fact: There were spelling mistakes such as to "relive stress" instead of "relieve stress." While relive is a word in the dictionary, its meaning and connotations differ greatly from each other. To relive stress would be to remember an object of stress, re-living it, while to relieve stress would be to calm the stress down. There are also a few ins...


B.T Beauregard
14:49 Jul 02, 2020

Thank you so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it and will get right on fixing those grammar mistakes. :)


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Robin Owens
22:01 Jul 01, 2020

What a cool story! Fact: Loved the title and great first paragraph too.


B.T Beauregard
14:51 Jul 02, 2020

Thank you!!


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Bryony Coriander
18:17 Jul 01, 2020

I really like this story. Second person is normally hard to write, and I feel like you made it personal but not too much like a different POV. I like your style, and it's very unique. Great job! :)


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Shirley Medhurst
08:23 Jun 30, 2020

What an interesting idea, using all those 'facts' and 'warnings'. It worked very well in this story.


B.T Beauregard
15:58 Jun 30, 2020

I was a little worried about it, I’ve never written in a format like that. Thank you for reading!!


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Gabi Nitti
23:21 Jun 29, 2020

This is so good great wording


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Lily Dew
18:04 Jun 28, 2020

This had so much meaning, wow


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