I had entered All Things Considered 3 Min Fiction Contest some months ago. Unfortunately, my entry was not picked from the 6000 (!!!) entries....but I was happy with what I wrote and I wanted to share it.
The prompt was: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door." It had to be 600 words or less. So here was my entry. I hope you like it. Feel free to comment or criticize.
She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. She placed her hand on the cold metal, paused, and turned. Slowly. Purposefully. Only… to let go, yet again. The heroines in her beloved books explored, conquered and owned the world. She drew strength from their examples. She drew courage enough to cross the room and make the attempt. Outside there were no dragons or beasts that she could see or even touch. Only that feeling that turned her blood into sludge and slithered around her throat with a quickness and a tightness. The book to inspire her to test that invisible, invasive beast had not yet been written. Nor would it be, ever; unless, she would be the one to forge the words and sharpen the ideas.
Inspired, she picked up the pen. She wrote of the fears. She wrote of injustice. She dotted her “I”s and crossed her “t”s. She enumerated her reasons and highlighted the challenges. She explored and dissected the events that caused her to dilute her mind, dissipate her will, and create a cocoon so she could give herself away in a soft, tightly wound package. She denuded herself, strand by strand and pen stroke by pen stroke.
The ink began to skip. First, on the small words like bravery, comfort, safety and even the most minute of words, ‘no’. She had to shake, scribble, even burn the tip to get the words redemption, transcendence, and forgiveness to form themselves on the page. When the moment came to write “The Reason”, the ink just coagulated and stopped as if the pen was completely spent.
Her resolve began to fail, utterly. She was faced with the same dilemma that plagued her every time. Should she scream? Should she cry? Rage? Or maybe just cease to breathe? And if she lacked the resolve to even do that, she could do as she had always done. Just stop.
And so she did. Her eyes began to glaze and her focus threatened more boldly to leave her, Leaving her nothing. Not even herself. But finally, she heard that tiny voice straining to be heard. If she heard the tiny voice, it meant that she was still in there, Alive. That recognition alone meant that she could ask the question.
She saw another pen. It wrote beautifully and gave her the power to change “The Reason”. Dismantle it. Bleed it’s power. And her story, that she had written with the creation within, despite the skips, the trips, the stops and the starts, caused her to close the book, place it on the table and finally….walk through the door.