This Writer's Angst - 500 word story

By Michael O'Hara All Rights Reserved ©

Poetry / Drama


A 500 word story on the poetry, trauma and drama of a writer’s angst.

The Flow

Fast-moving, never-stopping, eager.

That’s what I call, ‘the flow’. There’s no need to capitalise. You don’t even have to remember the fullness of what you’ve seen, heard, smelt, tasted, felt, intuited or recalled. You just need to not get in the way.

You just need... To. Let. It. Flow.

Hold it back and you’ll release little rivulets of ideas and thoughts - visual streams, if you like - pushing and probing, crawling and squeezing themselves out of every available mental orifice you possess. You’re the child with fingers in the dike, watching wide-eyed and helpless as your 10-finger-limit is breached, and the dam wall springs leak, after leak, after leak.

Squish! Flurt! You don’t even know what a Flurt is - but it’s there, and you’re powerless to contain the breach. It’s going to ooze and bleed strange and quirky plot-lines, characters and memes, and they’re going to keep coming ‘til you can’t sleep at night.

Sleep. Blessed, evasive, cuckolding Sleep, who brazenly shares the bed of every person but you - abandoning you naked and alone, frantic and exhausted, laying exposed and frustrated under sheets of lead.

Sleep, and dreams. You know them as Hypnos and Morpheus - because you’ve researched that. And more. You’ve unmasked and uncovered, hunted and tracked down every facet of every sly word foolish enough to evade or avoid you. Except maybe, ‘flurt’. You’re Artemis and Actaeon melded into one mercurially dangerous Alien, trawling vast realms and entire worlds in your efforts to dominate territory that may hide your prey. And what is your prey? For what it is not, is sleep or dreams.

The prey you seek is ephemeral, nebulous, and not under the patronage of a single god. If only! If there were to be a god in charge, you could negotiate your eternal soul for three-score-and-ten of access to the flow. A lifetime is all you possess and the most you have to give - but it is nothing to a god, so the deal would be a good one. The prey is worth your soul.

At least, that’s what you tell yourself in the early hours of morn, laying sweaty and feverish and bereft in your lonely bed of doubt. But unlike Descartes, you have no rock in your turbulent, unending sea. You truly are, alone.

Curl foetal and prone in that vast, empty bed that is yours, alone.

But in the deepest depths of your despair, unfurl a finger, stretch a toe, and dip tentatively into the flow. Just a tip. Tip enough to sense the delicious tingle of anticipation and reawakening. Let the flow invigorate the capillaries and cutaneous nociceptors of your extremities, ‘til the honey’d nectar of its ambrosia fills your veins and drenches your forsaken soul with the sensuality of pleasure and pain. Reactivate the part of you that makes you, you. And you will finally be free of that curse - free of the angst that it is, to be kept from the flow.

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