About two years ago I was taking a creative writing class for my junior year of high school. I heavily enjoyed this class and I would say it would be the last one I took that “forced” me to work on my creative writing daily. Heading into senior year I did take a college composition class, but most of those writings were just essays and nonfictional works.
I recently have pulled up a lot of my works from my creative writing class and have been reviewing what I had wrote from what seems like a forever ago. I found one story that I’m still very proud of and wanted to post it to the blog to share.
I have many ideas for this blog with the primary focus aimed in on joining the discussion on mental health. Also, sharing my personal experiences, thoughts, feelings and poems on depression and anxiety. Already this blog and community has helped me heal as well as rekindle my love for writing. Which leads me to share with my followers that I also have a goal of sharing more of my fiction works on the blog as well.
I’m still dwelling on exactly what I want to share or how I will go about it, but decided I wanted to start with sharing this story of mine: a story that I believe gives a good preview of the fiction I write and a motivator to push me to continue to work on my creative writing.
The homework was to take an artwork and conjure up a story with the inspiration drawn from the piece. Below I have posted a photo of the artwork I had to write about, and below that artwork is the story I came up with.
“At Eternity’s Gate” Vincent van Gogh
The pain inside my head felt as my brain was slowly withering away into nothing but a void. I sat in my wooden chair, crouched over, crying into my palms. Sitting by the fireplace, I was almost driven to lay my head on the embers and let the flames scorch my head until there was no more to burn.
I hated when my thoughts turned this way but in the end this mental game was too strong for me to fight. My mind always won. There was nothing to do but grieve in agony. Softly I groaned until it progressed into uncontrollable shrieks that could possibly be heard from miles away. The intensity just grew bigger and bigger.
For hours I sat there, screaming, wishing the pain would surpass as it usually does. Normally it doesn’t take this long for it to fade away.
At the sound of knocking at the door, the pain instantly subsided and I was distracted by a new disarray of thoughts and feelings. Who could possible be at my door at this hour? I stood and wobbled to the door, feeling the aftermath of the intense pain. When I reached my depressed house’s entrance, I raised a hand to turn the knob. Suddenly I froze, not wanting to find who was on the other side. The fear was irrational and I knew somehow that it was in my head. After all what was I expecting to be out there? A monster? A crow?
My hand wavering in the air shook violently until I had to grab a hold of it with my left and fight to hold it still.
“Just a minute!” I called reflexively. I cringed, my shoulders tightening, jaw clenching, eye’s squinting. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Don’t let them know that you’re home!
The fireplace burned a brightness that could easily be seen through the blinds of the front window so even if the person, or thing, had not heard me it was no use playing the “nobody’s home” card.
I have lived alone in the same house for forty years. Faint but prominent memories are burned in my brain from the day my wife and I had purchased the place. We were young and in love, had gotten married and wanted to have a family. Four kids she wanted. Through all the anxiousness and adrenaline that pumped through my veins I couldn’t help but smile. Four she wanted. None she got.
Terror ripped through me once more and now my feet couldn’t stay frozen in fear no more. I half fled, half fell, backwards on my feet. I didn’t want to take my eyes on the door but I couldn’t see where I was going, walking backwards. I let my gaze shift for a moment to make sure I wasn’t going to run into anything and ironically I did. Once my hip hit the corner of the coffee table my knees finally gave way and I fell once more completely onto the wooden floor.
From the floor I could see the legs of my wooden chair over by the fireplace. Even though the fire burned with such vigor and strength the floor underneath my cheek was chilling to the bone.
“Why!” I cried. I sobbed, laying on the ground in a fetal position and in a paralyzed state watched the locked front door swing open. The entrance was pitch black and I couldn’t see past the threshold.
“Who’s there?” I called. No answer.
A deep silence fell over the house and the only thing that could be heard was my pathetic sobbing that was emitting small pools of water to form on the floor. From the doorway another dark, pool of water started to form. I opened my mouth again to speak but no words fell out. As I inhaled I tasted the faint metallic like flavor that was lingering in the air around me.
Slowly the pool grew larger, and larger until a tiny river of the liquid starting making its way towards me.
“What is that! Who’s there!” I shouted again. By now I was panting like a dehydrated dog, my eyes felt swollen and my head was once again pounding along to the beat of my racing heart.
I tried to stand but not one muscle in my body reciprocated the orders from my brain. I tried once more, but again failed to do anything but continue to stay paralyzed.
The liquid, which kept creeping forward inch by painful inch, reached my chin. I found now that it was blood. It started to encircle my entire body and soon I found it covering my mouth and nose until I couldn’t breathe.
My body started to violently shake, my lungs screamed, burned and ached for just the smallest amount of oxygen that could relieve the pain. Soon I blacked out and woke up again in my chair.
My head pounding. My clothes, hair and face covered in a red, sticky substance. I cried out in joy that I was alive. I patted my shoulders and head to make sure everything was there. My lips curled up into a smile and I took in a huge breath of air.
But my relief was short lived.
My door then flew open and from the empty void and space came a wind so powerful I was left with no control. Slowly I suffocated and fell out of my chair. As my body laid limp on the floor the last thing I heard was a faint knock, knock.