Friday, February 12, 2016

This Beast

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 1,2,3 ~ 4-leaf clover ~ 5 a day ~ 7/11 ~ 9 to 5

They were submitted by:

I fully admit that when I got these, I scoffed. Loudly. These were not okay by me. haha. But, a phone call led to some inspiration, and here we are.


She flips through the channels mindlessly. A kids’ show, 2 girls in pigtails jumping rope and counting “1, 2, 3…,” appear and disappear on to the next one.

A commercial flashes on the next channel, an ad for a new energy vitamin. A ripped meathead holds a bottle and points at the screen saying, “Only 5 a day and you can look like this!” She huffs at that wondering just why anyone would think a few pills will get them magically fitter and keeps flipping.

On the next another commercial appears… a little leprechaun with a 4 leaf clover on his hat talking about a blowout March Madness sale at a local car lot. It’s a creepy little thing and she shudders a little before flipping on.

The next channel shows some kids in a 7/11 type store at a Slushie machine, two teens in ripped jeans and faded metal band shirts discussing the cultural relevance of Pantera in some kind of indie comedy. She almost pauses, slightly intrigued, then sighs and changes the channel again.

Movie channel this time. The 1980 classic 9 to 5 and she’s almost tempted to stop. A bit of a feminist tale, of course, and that almost makes her settle on something, make up her mind and stop flipping incessantly with that restlessness she feels inside, that dissatisfaction with everything. Almost. But she flips on then clicks the television off and tosses the remote on the couch beside her.

She feels uncomfortable in her own skin. It’s just one of those days when nothing or no one will fill a space that only she can, when every little thing is an exercise in patience. She wonders if everyone has those days when everything is an aggravation and nothing makes sense, and she realizes that it’s probably true. No one is as perfect as they make themselves out to be on Facebook and Twitter.

The throw she has over her legs is a little too warm on top of the leggings and flannel shirt she wears, so she tosses it to the side unable to really get comfortable today, everything pushing her buttons. She can’t even get lost in her own head, and maybe that’s the problem today… maybe avoiding that safe space has her wound up and unable to relax. There in her inner world is a perfect romance that could never really exist in life. She fell in love with a unicorn, an imaginary beast that was equal parts myth and reality…a beast that would never really be able to give her unhurried moments of unbridled passion that left sheets sweaty and hearts melted. Because life intervenes.

Life intervenes.

Instead, she is here on her couch alone, flipping channels and unfulfilled. Longing for something that she can’t have which is one of those ironic parts of life…wanting what can’t be and not finding fulfillment in what is.

Perhaps the universe really is a troll.

Perhaps she just likes to troll herself.

She pushes off the couch and makes the walk to the kitchen, clicking the light on and surveying the room. She washes her dinner plate, stacks it into the too-full dish drainer and wipes the counters off. She grinds some coffee beans and goes through the motions of making a cup of coffee. The process soothes her nerves a little, the familiarity of it, and the work involved. She pours liquid comfort into her favorite mug—the one with the owl on it. She adds the sweetener and creamer like always and leans back against the counter to take a sip, loving the heat of the mug in her hands.

She shakes her hair out of her face, biting her bottom lip in thought. A phrase she read recently comes
back to her in that moment, “And she grew tired of being asked if she’d ever fallen in love. Like she wasn’t complete otherwise. With a world full of insecurities and short-sighted sheep, she was a wolf with her chin held out high. She took its worst, and she took it with a smile that made the bravest take note. Ask that questions to someone, anyone else. This beast decided long ago that everyday she’d fall in love with herself.”

She repeats the last line of it once again savoring the way it rolls around her mind, and she smiles that knowing smile while she lifts the coffee up to her lips again.

Everything will be just fine.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: Baking In A Tornado The Bergham Chronicles Spatulas on Parade The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Southern Belle Charm Not That Sarah Michelle The Angrivated Mom Never Ever Give Up Hope My Brain on Kids Confessions of a part time working mom Climaxed Someone Else’s Genius


  1. Inspiration is all around us if we just look. Love where you found inspiration for this one, they were very difficult prompts.

  2. oh wow, glad you got these prompts and not me! Great job though, love how you made it work :D

  3. As long as the universe isn't a troll, everything will be just fine!
    Great idea on using my numbers!

  4. I'm so grateful I didn't get these words Prompts. You did absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us!!!

  5. You did a great job given those difficult, but interesting, words. But then you always do!

  6. See, that wasn't so hard now was it. LOL I would have done the same thing.Looked at the "words/numbers" and been like WTH am I suppose to do with this crap? You did wonderful.
    Spatulas On Parade