Isolated Thunderstorms in the Morning, Sunny in the Afternoon

Submitted into Contest #11 in response to: Write about someone who returns as an adult to a place they last visited as a child.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction

Wow, what a tiny space! If I tried to crawl under there, it would feel a lot tighter than before, but I think... umph... not impossible. Nope, it's not impossible.

I'm animate. I live and I grew, but this bed cannot. It's logical, yes, but my mind can't seem to make sense of it. Was I really so small? Was this really the bed?

I was and it is.

So I used to come under here... hm, because I was tired sometimes?


It was because... ouch, it was because I was afraid. The pain I felt is coming back to me, rushing in and right by my heart. It's a separate part of me now. I'm not afraid of that anymore.

It seems the worries and fears have only increased since then.

Yeah, because I hurt everyone, and there's no reason for me to be on this earth— I'm unkind— I can't control my thoughts or my eating— I just ate too much, that's what eating too much feels like, now you know— I got up late— how much work did I even get done today— there's my macramé gift project sitting there unfinished— my stories, hundreds started with abandon, hundreds unfinished— I didn't sweep the floors again— AGAIN— the laundry's piled up— he didn't get his bedding back— there's no clean kitchen towels, no dry bath towels— ugh, they can't take a shower anyway, LOOK AT THAT TUB— I want to ask them to watch a movie with me tonight— didn't I just say something annoying— why would they— best to get out of their face— oh, gosh, tomorrow we have to help work on the new porch— I don't want to!— I'm scared— what if I do something wrong— what if I have to do math or measure and I am not quick enough— they'll find out I'm an idiot— I can't remember anything from school— I make excuses, it's because I never use it!— it's just because I'm so lazy, my brain's so lazy—

The darkness of the hidden space, I'm so glad it's around me again. I've missed this, I've needed this.

Each year encircled me closer and closer, and the safe spots vanished. I could not find somewhere, even in my mind, where I could feel like this: so absolutely alone and distant from all my troubles and concerns, it was like I had been temporarily removed from the earth. There's been little break and refresh from the fleet movement of events and the need for my personal cultivation and action.

Here, under this bed, I felt I could escape for a time, hide from the scary things when I just couldn't handle them.

Here, I can cry unnoticed.

Out there I'll have to go back to challenging myself, overcoming the hurtles, facing my fears, living up to mine and other's expectations, acting tough and confident if I can manage it.

But here... my own safety is laid on me like a warm blanket in winter. I can't be touched here, no one can get me, I don't have to do the things I don't want to do, it's all right, there's a moment now where NOTHING'S happening.

Wow, this is so much better than it feels in the moving world. I remember I used to wish that time would stop, everyone would disappear, and I could have things to myself until I could get everything figured out.

I haven't dared to stand in the way of my life in recent times. It is going way too fast, and I'm pretty sure it would hit me and run.

Does everyone want to run away sometimes from the hard things? It's not giving up, it's waiting for the time you're ready. Everyday, time doesn't wait for you to be ready. When your moment comes, you are up for it or not. Ahh! Mostly I'm not. I think, maybe next time, if I'm able to will myself to be optimistic. Sometimes there isn't any next time!!

I don't want to lose. I don't want to do anything at all.

These are thoughts of the same person.

I guess there's enough time in the world for us to manage all our feelings and all the things we need to do. I guess there's enough sanity in us to eek out to the end; and if not, we can always get someone to share theirs.

There's even time set aside for losing time in a secret space getting away from it all.

I can be happy and I can be vigorous. But I can't be them without some rest.

I'm an adult. Sometimes I think, so what? What does that even mean?! Ok, so it means, I'm the opposite of a child.

I'm the one with the responsibilities now.

I've got to pay them back, all the adults who took care of the responsibilities before so I could have a childhood. I'm not special, I don't get to be the only one who never has to grow up and share the weight of the world.

We all have a particular duty to perform. If I spend my whole life hiding because I can't bear to smile, I will be letting the world lose me, and what I can do.

Ah... I already knew this.

I know I'm needed out there. The battle is raging, and every soldier counts.

I know I can't stay here. Heaven's not on earth. If I don't get through this obstacle course, fighting bravely past the downs, I don't warrant the ups.

I cry a little.

It's hard being positive all the time.

Gee, but sometimes I've even a little bit proud to be an adult.

It was a blessing to be a child. It's not our curse to grow up.

It's a privilege, an opportunity.

I'm a person, I want to stay under this bed forever,

but I want even more to take the chance to do my best.

Hahahahaha, ah, that's all right... It feels better now. What a relief I'm not too big to fit under this bed.

Time to shine.

October 16, 2019 17:15

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Robert Sullivan
05:53 Oct 24, 2019

I think more balance would have evened this out; all narration and no dialog. The womb is enticing, but the conclusion I believe would benefit from more expostulation.


Hamadryad 77
21:15 Oct 26, 2019

Thank you so much for giving me your time! I'm trying to do a lot of practice and improve my writing. I actually love writing dialogue, it's so fun! But in this case, the character has no one to talk to but herself. I believe that a short story could be all narration, but I suppose I was unable to make it interesting enough because of the defects in my writing. By the way, instead of 'expostulation', you mean something more like 'elaboration', right? 'Expostulation' means "remonstrance; earnest and kindly protest".


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