Writing a novel: My personal journey so far

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This post is probably really easy to write but i guess a few months ago i wouldn’t even know where to start.

I will start right at the beginning, or well from the memories of me as a kid that aren’t blurry.
I have known that i should write, or be a writer, publish a book. As a child reading for me was an escape, like for all of us. We get lost in worlds that we kind of wish existed. I was actually lucky enough to live across the road from a small library that sat comfortably next to a huge green filed where i would play. I am sure my mum got me into reading, but i remember mostly my grandparents reading to me the most.
As a kid, i didn’t have a great deal of friends but the odd ones from around the streets to which i have some amazing memories. The three grand kids that often stayed with a neighbour a few doors up soon became best friends during the summer – Though as always, they grew up. I made different friends, and i never played with those boys who lived in my street anymore because they were the good kids and when i got a bit older i played with the mischievous kids. I do love to think about all the friends i had back then and wonder what they are doing and if they are successful and making something great of themselves. It also makes me really sad because i don’t have any real life friends anymore.

I spent a lot of time on my own in the library, in the kids section reading. I often read  this scientist book, i wish i knew what it was called but it wasn’t in my age rang but i was in love with the feel of the paper – The writing font and the wacky-ness of the cover. I actually remember me once asking the librarian, this was a few years after i had read it for a longggg time – I asked her i can’t find this book it was all sciencey lol, she actually found it.
Most of my reads were the naughtiest girl in school or anything that was fun. Sometimes i would sit on the bean bags with a pile of books just flicking through to look at the pictures. I was bored of children’s books and i wanted more. So i began to read on the other side of the children’s section which was older than me, and i was reading lots of different things. I remember once i sneaked into the big part of the library, as a kid it was known to me as the grown up section and i often got Catherine Cookson books on loan.

This was my life.

In the UK we have primary school, so up until 11/12 you are at this school before highschool. I think i was in year six, because it was when Richard Hillman was in Coronation street.
We had to all write a short shorty, i wrote a thriller actually based on this soaps character. I remember it being my own interpretation and the twist ended up being Richard Hillman, i got excellent marks. I think my mum sent it to my great auntie, who i believed still has it. I hope to one day maybe get it off her and copy it as i would love to read it.
I never got much recognition in school, not that i remember. I found it really hard to stand out because i remember being in a class with so many loud personalities and i knew deep down i had some kind of talent i just didn’t feel like shouting it from the rooftops. I didn’t like my year six teacher and i cried when i found it was her as she was also our year five teacher. I remember in year five that she would read us Harry Potter, and some of us had our own book to read along. My book got stolen and i was really upset, i knew who it was but nobody did anything about it. It wasn’t until the boy who stole it returned it and said sorry, i opened it up and he had scribbled all over it inside.
I remember being the target for stuff like this too often, and it didn’t stop in highschool. I thought it would of because they were a bunch of new faces.

 

The older i got, the less i wrote or read. I would read a few books a year because i was too involved in surviving highschool, or trying to have fun. My collection of books didn’t exist like they did when i was a kid. I spent three years in highschool, then i quit. The bullying i couldn’t cope with it – But i do remember somewhere in those years i wrote a script for a horror film and got my teacher to look over it.
I will never forget Sally Field, she knew about my bullying, she saw my potential in writing she encouraged me – I loved her for that. She even drove me home sometimes.
Sadly a few years ago she passed away, but a few months before that we met again and i told her i was writing again she seemed so happy. I had hoped we got chance to connect more as she was a religious woman and i admired her strength because she also got bullied at school, by kids, teachers. She was like me, unheard.
I think she had a heart attack and spent a lot of years recovering but when i met it her she looked so healthy, so happy and we friended eachother on FB. I noticed her writing involvement and the work she did in the church community, she also had her own little radio chat show thing.
What i remember most is her love for the book Wuthering Heights, she would often burst into the classroom and sing Kate Bush’s song.
I often think about her, i often cry. She was so special, she was my light when i felt alone in a dark world. I never really got to tell her that.

As i got older, i wrote in note books or on the computer. I often entered writing competitions or  kept the writing for myself, i didn’t quite have the confidence to show anyone and i didn’t tell anyone i secretly wanted to write a novel.
I had so many ideas for romances, comedy, thrillers – All started but never finished. I think most of that work is gone now, i don’t think cloud or one storage existed.
I felt kind of embarrassed to admit i wanted to write a novel, it wasn’t really a thing. I can’t quite explain it – Where i lived, well should i say the lifestyle etc wasn’t full of artsy people etc. I lived/ live in a place where people work for nothing, some areas are deprived. Back then, it wasn’t as bad as it is now. I think this was my excuse, but the truth is because i didn’t finish high school and go onto college – I felt dumb, not good enough to write but no matter how many years of working crap jobs, partying with ‘friends’ – Being a published author was clawing at my brain, these little people telling me to write wouldn’t leave me alone.

My mum encouraged when she thought necessary, i think because i had so many ideas and things i started and quit it was tiring for her to keep on pushing me.
It wasn’t until my grandad died in 2008 that i felt a completely unsure about everything, this was when i was coming to terms slowly with depression and my anxiety. Something that has been with me since highschool, but i never felt the wrath of it until my mum met a guy, a guy that was abusive.

All the things i have done in life, good and bad – Situations i’ve been involved in never got me to pick up a pen and paper. One reason being, i was too busy surviving life or just trying to figure shit out, second reason i was again scared to write.
What if i wrote nobody liked it? Which was the feeling i got quite often when i didn’t hear anything back from all these writing competitions i would enter.

As the years went on, i would write and write and delete and delete. Files sitting staring at me, book ideas whirling around in my mind and i would say to myself ‘fuck it’ lets do this – Today i am going to start writing a novel. Which lasted about two days, then i lost the heart.
I remember writing half of a novel by hand, pencil actually in a huge notebook. It wasn’t until i read it back and realised how shit it sounded i just stopped. The thing is, i actually still have that.

I grew a little more confident with my writing, because i started to write short stories as too often an idea would pop into my head and i needed to get it out, this really did boost me up and this went on for a long time – Actually it still goes on, i love writing short because one of those little moments of randomness is actually something to do with my book.
I remember sharing a piece of fun writing i had written, it was to be entered into a competition and i sent it my mum, who then showed my auntie. They both seemed to like it. Though i read it back and i feel a bit embarrassed. I titled it ‘The change’


The Change – written 1/05/2015

 

Dawn was getting tired of her husband. Not just one specific thing but every little stinking movement he made.
The way he sat in his boxers watching tv in the morning letting everything hang out, the stench that came out of the other end every time he lifted his leg up to let one rip. Even the way he ate his food, she wanted to stab him in the head with a fork. Enough was enough!

”You slurp that cup of tea one more time Charlie and I will cut off your lips!”

”Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning darling?”

”No I did not, I am sick to the back teeth of you and your disgusting habits.”

”Can you find me a shirt to wear for today, I want too look nice for lunch at the Golf Club.”

”Shut up Charlie, you make me so mad. I am not a slave!”

”Oh no…Dawn.”

”For God sake, what?”

”You’ve started the menopause haven’t you? Damn it, I knew this day was coming you haven’t made a decent meal for months. I should of spotted the signs dear.”

”I am not on the change you bone idle twit… Go and find a shirt yourself.”

Dawn stormed off into the kitchen. If only she had a plan to make him disappear, maybe rat poison in his dinner? An accidental push down the stairs. She had an idea.

”Sweetie, how about I made you a nice boxed lunch whilst your playing golf, nothing beats my BLT sandwiches.”

”What a nice idea, is this your way of apologising? The BLT sounds great, throw in something extra on it as well. Make it one of your specials.”

”Oh I will don’t worry about that. Just need to head into the garden, my flowers need a water.”

She smiled so lovingly and headed outside. Such a beautiful spring day, the birds were about and the air smelt like flowers. Dawn loved her garden, she had some good afternoons showing it off to her friends when she hosted tea and biscuit afternoons.
As she headed towards the far end where the soil bed was a little more damper, she picked up her hand trowel that was left lying near by and began to dig. It didn’t take long until she came across a couple of worms, fantastic she thought.

After spending the morning watering flowers and then preparing Charlie’s lunch, she got rather excited at the thought of him leaving for the day.
Maybe she will pop round to Joanne’s for a chat, the day was hers.
”Here you go darling, I hope you enjoy your lunch. It’s a pretty random sandwich I must say, has all your favourites on it.”

”Thank you Dawn, you do know how to look after me, I will be back in time for dinner. Maybe you can do a fish dish this evening?”

”Of course, will anyone from the golf club be joining?”

”More than likely it will be Tom, you know he hates to go home.”

”I will make plenty then, have a great day dear.”

They kissed each other goodbye and Dawn felt immediate peace.

As Charlie sat at a picnic table with his fellow golfers he couldn’t wait to eat his lunch. He knew Dawn was such a sandwich artist, he loved everything, because she always used fresh and organic ingredients.
He opened up his sandwich box and took a quick look to see what she had put together.
Too his shock it wasn’t to his expectations. Bacon, lettuce, ham and a rather lovely looking dead worm.
Charlie laughed to himself and threw the worm on the floor.
Tom, his friend noticed him smiling.

”Something funny chap?”

”Oh, sorry Tom. Just the wife, I think the menopause has begun.”

”Charlie, that’s not something to laugh about, your life is going to be hell from now on.”

Charlie let out a laugh again.

”I think my life is most definitely going to get interesting that’s for sure.”


It was that day, that moment i knew i wanted to write but sadly i didn’t have the balls back then. I tried a lot of things, all which i have and will look at one day and perhaps they will make a story. One was a story about a married couple who suffered the loss of a baby. On the night of her finding her baby had died, her husband was out planning to leave his wife for another woman. To which he did, and left her alone to deal with the grief.
I think it made for a good story and i was about to get myself educated on all aspects of losing a baby and i would upload each part on Wattpad. I couldn’t cope with the shit writing so i deleted it.

In 2017 i lost my job, and started a blog. This opened so many doors for me to show off my writing. Whether or not people actually do read, because lets face it WordPress is riddled with the ‘instant likers’ – I didn’t intend on sharing my writing on this blog, but i felt so much confidence and started to make friends i thought what have i got to lose?
I have also never been in the presence of writers, i am pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to my writing and i do find it hard to communicate with others because i am less educated, i don’t really know anything about the life of an author, publishing world etc you get my  drift. So for me, sharing on here is a huge deal because the world can see it, the world can judge you. That’s something i am still coping with. But this blog was a life saver – Because i would be still sitting here allowing those little voices telling me to write and id be doing my hardest to fight them off.

Now, it’s 2018 – I am 27 and not getting any younger. Which also plays a HUGE part in why i am writing a novel. When i hit this age, i will admit a huge depression came over me – Some people say oh you are still young but i say i am not. I look at ‘friends’ (social media friends now) or others of my ages, the ones even younger and what they have achieved. That freaked me out, it scared me and instead of sitting up and doing something about it i spent most of last winter depressed and lost, not knowing what to do – BUT i did know what to do and that was to write.

I had this idea of a novel, i called it ‘Give me back my flowers’ Its a funny romance romcom kinda story, which at the moment is on the back burner because i feel as though it’s not powerful enough for me to want to pursue. My mind, my focus is not something happy and flowery, i have a lot of emotion inside of me that is perfect for the TWO books i have started to write.

Alena being my first, which is a fantasy. One that i have left alone because i want to allow the chapters i have written simmer and then i can look at them with a different frame of mind. Because, use writers we like to change ALOT.

My second novel is a sci-fi thriller, I don’t have a title for this yet but this came to me in a dream. I wrote a few short snippets of it and i realised this is book worthy. So i replayed what i could remember of my dream over and over and wrote what i could down, which then turned into me outlining it and yup i am now writing.

I hope to have my first draft done in a few months, because i am still unemployed. I think that will change once i get a job, so i am cramming in as much writing as i can before i don’t get to do it as much – I have faith i will get a job, i can’t stand working in this shit – But this book, this idea i have never felt so much fire in me for a long time. Its meant to be and whilst i am poor living off cheap food, writing this book is something that i must do. I want this to be my career, my life.

I said to myself over the years, it’s now or never. Do it, go on. But i never did, and the more we put off doing something the more chance we will be sitting in a rocking chair regretting ever minute.
I am scared i will fail, i am scared my writing is crap but i need to do it. YOU have to be accountable for the shit you do and don’t do.
Why didn’t i do this a long time ago? Because i am weak. I have put off things that i shouldn’t of, i will say hands up in the air that i have quit a lot of things because i get too scared, scared of the challenge and work i have to put in. Because, again if i fail what would of been the point?
This time, if i fail then i will be happy enough and proud enough to say you know what – See that book, the one with the cover and my name? I did that!

I have had so many dreams, and they have been dreams to fill in the gaps of something i feel i am missing. You know what it was? I was avoiding my purpose, i was purposely finding all these new things and business ventures to do, and making silly choices to avoid writing. They were fake dreams.

So here i am today, writing. Blogging, making friends online, and rambling. I think connecting with God has helped me a lot so i would like to thank him and the universe for pulling me up all of the years.

xo

Untitled – story

We slowly grouped and boarded off the ship, bags on our shoulders and torches in our hands. The Aegis guards were built big and stiff – Nothing would be able to get past them i thought.
We were not welcomed by the colony leader, which relieved me a little bit. I wanted to feel emotionally prepared before i met the man that wants to destroy what is left of us in order to continue his Utopian dream. If only i knew more about the world before i was born, how could it of possibly come to this – Pictures of green country sides and bustling cities burned my imagination. I only know of my country, England but the island of Aegis was once known as the United States – It looks smaller than i remember being taught in our classes as kids but that is all we were allowed to know. I do remember a cabinet always locked, i once caught a glimpse of it. From what i saw, it was files and files that were to be hidden away. Anything marked yellow was okay, but red – God forbid if the teacher pulled out a file marked with red.
“They don’t need to know everything, stick with the plan.” words i often think about, and the look of fear in our teachers eyes. – Back then i never thought anything of it, perhaps they were protecting our innocent minds, a time in your live when you can be easily manipulated – Made to think that this world, living like this is normal. Once i met Chris a few years ago, i have never doubted my existence as much as i do now.

The cold air was nice, it felt fresh something we lacked. We spent seven days a week on the ship and even though we freely roamed the deck the air felt the same, it smelt the same – I often wonder exactly how man drops of water i have felt from the splash back of the sea when its rough.
This island smelt different, i think that’s why i like the air. You can tell we are somewhere new, its just a feeling you get when the ground and surroundings are different. I blame the eyes, what you see makes up for what you feel.

Chris walked closely behind me as if he were somehow protecting me without looking too overbearing, Will seemed to be lost in thought but somehow pretending to look amazed at the huge lighthouse placed right by us. No doubt we will be introduced by more guards and led somewhere to stay – As always if you are new face, you will get stares up and down, whispers maybe even sniggers. I would do the same if i saw myself in the eyes of these perfected humans. Us lot, coming off a huge old ship wearing beat up slacks and long sleeved jumpers and scruffy boots. The Aegis guards are pristine, neatly ironed uniforms with weapons across there backs. No ships on water for these guys, they fly ridiculous air crafts. I think we are the only colony that work away on the ships and i don’t mind it staying that way.

“Males this way, females this way. It’s only temporary we need to get you clean, checked and have ID badges. You’ll be shown your dorms after. ”

I look at Christ with freight – “It’s okay” He said kissing my lips.
“I will see you soon” I grabbed his hand and he let mine go, what if i don’t see him again?

Untitled – story

We hid the message as discreetly as we could, if any one knew we had a secret we’d be forced to tell. Me and Chris did not want to get Will into trouble, the message was his and his alone. Whatever he chose to do or thought of it, was all on him – But we needed to stay by his side.
Before we could sit in silence some more and wonder, the captain made an announcement for us all to head to the front of the ship. I held Chris’s hand tightly, still scared of what we had just discovered.
As people clambered to the deck, we saw our team’s leader point ahead of us. In the distance was a huge watchtower, it was too far away to spot the detail but the rainbow lights that it shone were not hard to miss. It looked beautiful – This meant we were near, we were about to meet another colony. Only few of us got to meet, but we traded often with others – This time we were here for a job, a job that we knew nothing about. It was a regular thing to not know of your mission, this time the details were purposely kept secret from us.
It didn’t bother me, after this week was over we would travel back to camp and me, Chris and some of our friends would hire transport and head down south, a place  that had only just been cleared as safe. My ancestors lived in a place called London, we want to visit and learn more about where we came from. It might give us some answers because lately I have had such a bad feeling.

An hour later our ship slowly docked, Chris and I sat with Will. People began to rustle about and look out of the window at this colony we were approaching, whispers and excitement.
As I heard the name of the colony, I gripped Chris’s hand – “Did someone say Aegis?”
Chris looked at Will, his face turning white.

We had arrived at the place where the message to Will had come from. We were in danger.

Alena | Chapter one preview

Chapter one

 

The cold air hit Alena hard in the face, she tried to wiggle her mouth and smile, but it was numb and tight. Alena loved the winter; the cold air was refreshing, and it helped her in the mornings when she really needed to wake up and face the day. Cold air smacking her right in the face and eyes, making them water before she had even put any mascara on. That instant cool feeling hitting your lungs and breathing in the morning air. She never understood why the air was so different in the AM, you could smell everything from the dew-covered grass, to the damp moss covered stone slabs.   Alena found it more bracing when she made her fifteen-minute walk through the park to work, and the beautiful sunlight slowly seeped through the gaps between plants and trees. Birds would tweet as if they were also joining her and off to work themselves, or maybe they were leaving their nest to attend a morning coffee meeting at a local spot with other fellow birds – Who really knew how creatures and animals lived.
The night time though was a different story. The winter time in the dark was a lot more silent, especially by the time Alena finished work at five. A few dog walkers, the odd runner but people didn’t like the park at night, especially alone. Nature was much more enjoyable to spend time with, who wants to sit on a packed bus with sweaty, rude (most of the time) people? Let’s not forget the kids, screaming annoying kids or babies – It was her own therapy.

Not only was it beautiful, she felt safer walking through the park than the actual streets, it was as though the trees were somehow watching and protecting her and maybe even the night creatures that she could never see but always hear rustling around were guiding her home. Creating this little world allowed her to not think the worse, because sometimes just being in the dark itself causes our brain to create nightmares of their own.

This Friday night was particularly cold, mid-November really did start to show off its winter and what it was capable of. For some reason the colder the weather the more people obsessed over the idea of it almost being Christmas. But people were relieved to be leaving work, usually more appreciated on a Friday as they didn’t have to face the office for two days.  The relief for most though was purely excitement of getting drunk with each other in the pub not so far from the office building, a tradition that never seemed to die. For Alena, she never went unless it was the Christmas works do or a super special occasion, she never counted the birthdays of co-workers – None of them were her friends. It wasn’t a choice though to not have friends outside or even inside of work, in fact it was something that she wanted for many years now, for the past five years or so to be precise. The only real social interaction is either online with Facebook and other social media, or the small talk at work.
Her unlimited minutes and texts on her phone were a complete waste, as she has nobody to call or text. Quite some years went by and she never really gave it much thought as to why people just stopped being her friends, why the long text messages turned into small talk and then nothing at all. That even her ex friends all still spent time with each other but failed to include her.

This might be the core reason why she was so miserable and unhappy. It’s even worse when you can’t share your sad soul with best friends or a partner. The few good years she had in high school seemed to be irrelevant, as she thought her friends were going to be for life – Even though back then, they were a real bunch of bitches when they wanted to be. Even Alena regrets being friends with them in high school as she was often felt influenced to be a cold-hearted cow. But as they got older from the age of eighteen and upwards they all seemed pretty cool young adults. Many laughs, memories and drunken nights were always going to be remembered.
Alena also never really had many boyfriends either, she rarely chased the men like her friends did. Even on nights out, when she tried to flirt or even kiss a guy it was because he was too drunk to probably really see her, and the alcohol turned her into an overly confident loud mess.

It was sad what she thought of herself, after hours of styling her hair to look nice and applying makeup her reflection to her would look good, but immediately shattered when she realised nobody looked at her or even paid her a compliment. It was always her friends who were the gorgeous ones that turned heads, but she often thought she was too and just as good if not better sometimes without feeling a tad egotistical, better.  Her maturity back then was not like the rest, she acted older and had her head screwed on – But someone had to be like that.  Even one-night stands were not her thing, which was something else that seemed to be a trend, maybe that was one thing she should have done? Sleep with more men, but Alena refused to be that girl.
Her friends often thought she was too funny or too sarcastic and loud, and men saw her more as one of the guys but with huge boobs – Something else she’s had to deal with. Comments, compliments, stares are all things she has had to get used to since high school because of how developed she was. This didn’t make her feel confident, it made her shy and ashamed. Alena would do everything in her power to make sure even a lounge t shirt didn’t show any cleavage and because of being blessed in that region this did often attract the wrong guys, who did only see her as an object willing to offer them that something they could get at a brothel.

What was so bad about Alena, that nobody wanted to be friends with her? – She always wore her heart on her sleeve when it came to her friends, always willing to help, lend money or just be that last resort when they had nobody else. Every time she fell for it, even when they made her feel sad and often forgot to include her. Alena was honest when needed to be, and she liked to believe all of the thing she did were what made a good friend, but her entire life she found herself always forgotten.

She had a hunger for a new adventure but that was just a dream now and she if hadn’t spent all these years feeling sad or in such a dark cold place then Alena would probably have been to most of her bucket list countries. She also wanted to meet new people and make new friends, like the tv show Friends or Sex and The City. This thought made her smile, but they were all things that made her cry because they didn’t exist.
Alena couldn’t really remember when someone made her laugh, or even a time she smiled at all, she tried to think of when she last dated someone. Did even any of the men she walked past every day or worked with see her as anyone? Did they even think she was pretty? Over the years admittedly she had let herself go a bit, wearing tons of makeup turned into a light look, often none most of the time. Even at twenty-seven she couldn’t shake off getting break outs and her hair, long naturally wavy dark brown with tints of all sorts when the sun would shine, was now a shoulder length bob which she never wore down, always in a bun or half assed pony tail and used dry shampoo on a regular basis. Her need to look good and make herself feel good was lost, it didn’t exist. Because she either thought herself to look stupid and trying too hard if she did make the effort, and nobody would notice her anyway. To who was she impressing because doing it for herself seemed a waste of energy and product. She now accepted her pale face, and big brown eyes to be her identity. She even wore her glasses more than she needed to, because it covered her eyes and hoped that it would make people not look at her – Alena thought she looked like a creature without them, her eyes felt naked since she stopped wearing eyeliner and eyeshadow. Her thoughts reverted back to a time in high school when she loved wearing mascara and lots of black eye liner on her water line and would be teased for it. Then, she remembered sometime at nineteen, a guy she spoke to in a chat room for loners like herself said she had huge scary bug eyes. If she wasn’t being bullied for being fat, it was she looked like a bug.  Boys were even mean to her in high school. Alena never knew why, she was friendly with everyone and with growing up going into the big school, friends were important. Nobody liked to be that kid that sat on a bench alone during play time or stayed glued to the teachers. Whilst her ‘friends’ seemed to of had better experiences at school, she prefers to keep hers locked up and forgotten about.

 

Alena approached the entrance to park, relieved that she was finally away from the busy town centre and cars impatiently trying to beat the traffic rush hour. It was five minutes past five, it was already dark and extremely cold which was not usually out of the ordinary, but tonight the air had such a sharp bitterness to it.
Her walk would take around fifteen minutes and every day she tried to beat that time to and from work, but for some reason no matter how much she rushed herself it seemed to take longer. She didn’t care though; this park was her little adventure place, her own little world where she could get lost in thought and use her surroundings to create little stories.
The trees on the left-hand side were the working-class trees with a kind nature and friendlier approach, the right side were the upper class rich busy bodies with such perfect form. It was harder to see them in the pitch black, the only light seeping around the park were tiny specs of car lights from the streets but the further she walked the smaller the lights looked and within minutes, Alena was in the middle of the park where everything was silent and pitch black.
Her eyes managed to adjust to the sudden darkness, and she saw the outlines of trees, bushes and the odd grey stone bench. Fog slowly began to appear and thicken, it soon became near impossible to see anything around her – It was odd, she never felt the park to be so quiet. Alena could usually feel the atmosphere, or the presence of something that lived in the park, perhaps a hedgehog family somewhere scurrying back home to sit and eat around the fire place in their little home, but tonight was as though nothing else existed but her and this black space. No waft of air and no noise of the floor as her winter boots scraped the frozen dirt path she walked on, which in the summer make crunchy sounds as you would step on little stones mixed in with the dusty light brown dirt.
The temperature was dropping, and the cold became even more bitter as if flecks of ice were been flicked against her skin, she had never felt so cold. She wanted to speed up her walk, but the fog grew even more thicker which became impossible to see forward and her mind was no longer thinking of the cute nature stories this park had helped her create, but a worry in case she walked the wrong way as the park went on for miles around her – And she might end up in a ditch.
Alena took a deep breath but being cautious of her steps, and for the first time ever the dark was creating all of those unwanted scary thoughts – She felt scared and she didn’t know why.
She began to sing to herself, a Backstreet boys song something cheesy to keep her mind happy but her senses began to feel as though she wasn’t alone. Her anxiety levels were rising, and she was trying so hard to not to fall into that trap of being scared of the dark – What was the dark? ‘Nothing other than the earth rotating, it’s okay’ – She thought to herself.
A few minutes later, heart sank with relief and warm feelings raced around her body as she heard small leaves or something rustling. The animals had come out to make her feel safe, perhaps they were off to the pub as well –  But the crunching of frozen leaves and a warm blow of breath against her cheek caused her to stop dead still in the pitch-black park, the darkest it had ever been.
‘Hello?’ she called out, her throat dry and lips freezing cold. It’s all in my head she thought, and slowly proceeded to walk. It was no longer a casual walk home, it became a goal to get the hell out of the park and into some where well lit. All these years of walking home at night, peacefully without being disturbed had now drastically changed, which was not good for her anxiety and sometimes paranoid mind. All the films she had watched of people being creeped out by walking alone in the dark that caused havoc in our minds she once laughed at, now she fully understood the fictional feelings.

More rustles and crackling of frozen twigs were making themselves known, and the feeling of an actual presence began to worry Alena, it really did feel as though someone was following her – It wasn’t a late Halloween trick someone wanted to play, or some silly teenagers feeling brave to taunt a grown woman, something or someone was following her. Alena began to quicken her walk, if she really wanted to get home should she not be running for her life? But she realised that whoever seemed to be tagging along with her was mimicking her pace. Rustling and quick steps surrounded her left side, then swished quickly in an instant to her right as if it were a ghost, perhaps it was.  Alena caught a black figure from the corner of her eye moving again from left to right, almost teasing her or perhaps they were luring her into a trap. What could possible move that fast, is her mind making it up?
Alena walked and thought, she wanted to convince herself of this as some mystical woodland creature who liked to play in the dark and not someone who might attack her. It was extremely hard to think, it was freezing, and the cold was reaching inside of her gloves. Her ears began to hurt, as her beanie didn’t quite cover her ears fully and every time she pulled it down, because of her hair being tied up it caused the beanie to slip up. The last time she felt this cold was waiting for a taxi home after doing a huge food shop, unfortunately taxis were delayed, and traffic was rammed due to an accident earlier that day. The whole town was at standstill, and she waited two hours out in the cold. Alena tried to move about to keep warm, but it felt near impossible to move, it was as though the ice-cold air had frozen her bones, and when she tried to walk her body was stiff and achy.
This was how her bones were feeling now, even though she was already moving.

She tried to remain calm and kept the same pace, not letting them know that she was scared, it seemed a rational tactic but mostly to keep her sanity. ‘Please let it be my mind playing tricks’ she thought. Maybe a fox will jump out at any minute now and make her laugh at herself for being so pathetic, but her mind making it to be much more – Was this her life now, creating stories and fictional situations to make her feel a little bit better, though Alena couldn’t help but sense that whoever was following her, was not a figure of her imagination.
A little giggle let out and echoed the park, Alena’s heart raced she almost felt something pop into her throat and slide back down, now she understood the saying ‘my heart was in my mouth.’
She quickened her pace – Screw remaining calm she thought, and as her walk sped up so did the black figure.
What was going on? Her eyes wandered around her – Trying to get sense of her surroundings, she realised that the park was not your typical night time black where outlines of things were easy to spot. It was a black she could only imagine it to be of the bottom of a never-ending ditch. Which made her feel as though her surroundings were not quite right. The more she ran and panicked, Alena had begun to feel claustrophobic as though she had entered a tiny room painted black – No trees were to be seen, and the fog was invisible as if it were never there. She was panicking, her heart racing with fear put an enormous pressure against her chest it was unbearable, her walk had now turned into a run. ‘Keep going, just keep going’ she breathlessly whispered, not seeing her cool breath surround her face in a little cloud.
Her fear and anxiety grew, and her heart felt as if were to pop out, the pain and strain in her chest was uncomfortable – Was she having a heart attack? No, you’re being stupid she thought.
The quicker she ran, the more of a blur the park became, and within minutes what felt like forever her run would come to an end. The black figure swiftly moves and giggles behind her, but she managed to focus on the main goal and just before her legs were about to buckle with fear a flickering ball of light appeared ahead – She was almost out of the park.

Yes, yes, yes, she excitedly spoke out, never in her life had she had to run like that and her legs feeling like jelly were a mixture of adrenaline and being unhealthy. The closer she got to the light the slower she paced herself and eventually became face to face with the ball of light.
Alena bent over trying to get back her breath, breathing in through her nose and out with her mouth – Always something she remembered every time she had a panic attack. As her heart beat slowed down and she familiarised herself with the parks surroundings, she realised the ball of light wasn’t a street lamp – She wasn’t out of the park, and everything around her remained completely pitch black but this odd flickering light was right in front of her floating. It replicated the warm ambience of being in her living room with the fire on and candles lit. Which was her sanctuary of peace and comfort, but this light just floated in mid-air aligned with the height of her eyes, it was pretty, and Alena must have stood staring at it for a few minutes or so – It calmed her, she felt relaxed.

She snapped out of her trance and approached the light more closely, squinting as it became too bright for her eyes, what were those tiny little specs she could see? It almost looked like thousands of tiny pixels creating one huge ball of light, it almost mimicked the shape of the sun. It was nothing she had ever seen before, she touched it with her finger it tickled her fingertip making her let out a little squeak and within flash thousands of fireflies dispersed around her creating a circle, moving slowly around her. They were warm and as she closed her eyes, it almost felt as if she was at home sitting by the fire. She stretched out her arms to embrace whatever it was, and then just like that they disappeared – They didn’t fly away like a flock of birds, they just vanished as though someone had turned them off like a light.

Everything around her started to look how it should be, she saw trees and bushes. Alena had noticed her cool breath and the fog was once again hovering in the air. Alena really couldn’t understand what was happening but sighed with relief as she saw the entrance of the park, she had almost forgotten about the black figure that was following her and realised that whoever it was had stopped and she no longer felt this unusual presence. Alena composed herself, feeling oddly warm again and began to walk the last few meters out of the park, happy that she could see the street lit up and old Victorian houses in the street near by – This would mean only five more minutes and she would be in her own street, opening the front door and basking in the heat as the central heating timer would have successfully done its job and heated up the house a few hours before.

As she stepped out of the park, Alena looked behind her not forgetting what had just happened, how could she? – She saw the ball of light reappear, it flickered and once again disappeared. This moment, this walk home really was not something to forget, and she couldn’t help but call herself crazy and think that she had experienced a magical moment of some kind – That this ball of light saved her from whoever was following her home. Something strange happened, and for the rest of the walk every thought she had about it left her feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

 

This is me

The point of this is to really understand why I’m in the dark, why i spend every minute of everyday looking over my shoulders of the black clouds that cast over me as i live among the people of this planet – The people that see me as invisible, the ones that would never know i were to stand behind them unless my warm breath grazed the skin. The very same people that once made me smile, the ones who would smile back, but now they walk with the rest, ignoring me and my life.

Each storm does not follow by white clouds and fresh blue skies, nor rays of sun beaming to show the defeat of the grey monsters that roar above. – Every storm becomes darker, thicker, wiser and every time it pulls me into this whirling black vortex of misery it’s harder for me to hold on, because of strength and because of power.

My fingers are cold, dry and cannot grasp the air any more. My reflection is blurry, lost somewhere inside of the glass i am trying to break, the glass that separates me and my mind from the existence of what really is – But why can nobody see me? The glass is clear, it’s clean, the only prints are my finger tips as i try to reach out for a hand to match up against mine, a hand to reassure me that i am here, that i am safe.

The next turning i take i see the water, water that hydrates me no matter the temperature. But it’s rising, i can swim and maybe i can swim free? But the storm is back, its not letting me move the waves are harsh and thrashing my face – I try to gasp for air, but each wave does not give me a break to breathe. Gargling the water, the hydrating water but i am not thirsty i don’t want to swallow – I have no choice, i swallow and my arms are weak i float down and i cannot see around or below it is still dark.
I lay at the bottom, my eyes closing i am tired so so tired, nobody knows i am here and nobody will ever realise i am gone. It’s too late to change things, this is who i am and i won’t allow it to be the reason why i am invisible. I am good person.
My eyes close, i let go – I could sleep for a while.

A fish, or something that is supposed to live under water stops me from falling into a deep sleep, one that i might not wake up from. But i cannot breath, i swallowed how am i still at the bottom.
This white fat fish with feathery fins makes his presence known by flicking his back end on my nose. What does it want? I am not food.
I try to sit up from the bottom of the water, my arms heavy and it’s hard to move, almost slow motion. It swims around me in circles and my eyes cannot keep up, its annoying. My patience is small but it’s too quick for me to catch. It swims away, up and up and up until it is gone. A fish noticed me, am i a fish too?
I look up my eyes adjusting, its still dark but i can make out where i crashed down from – A small light flickering, almost bobbing up and down. This could finally be the sunshine after the storm.

The fish comes back, antagonizing little shit, it seems to be directing me to the top. I shake my head, bubbles surround me. Is this what it is like under water, could i be a mermaid.
My body begins to shake, it is not me but the ground rumbling it’s fierce and the water is disturbed, the fish looks frightened. He swims around me frantically and as the ground rumbles more it swims off up to the  top – The storm is back, its here to take me, forever.

I use what energy i have to move and try to swim, which is something i have never been good at. I breast stroke with all my might, each movement becoming harder. It’s pulling me down – But the light is so close.
The fish appears to swim in front of me, out of nowhere its back. It’s guiding me and my eyes focus on his feathery fins and tail, majestic almost angel like. I can see black shadows moving within the light, please storm do not make it dark. You cannot take everything from me, you cannot drown me – You have everything else but i want to be here i want to fight for my worth.

Something dark enters the water and the ground rumbles harder, i turn to look down and an explosion of water races up towards my body – Bubbles so big it would swallow you hole. The fish swims towards the explosion with might and courage, a tiny soul trying to make a difference in this dark world.
I try to swim for him but it’s too late, he has gone, it has consumed him. What’s left for me to do is to reach up to the light, swim, go – GO!

All is dark – All is black – All is gone. 

I wake up, a bed so white and lights so bright. Machines beeping and wires attached to my body. My eyes open fully, i see people so many people – A man, with white hair and all white clothing.

The fish, he saved me… I am not invisible.

 

 

 

Written by Rebecca Pursell