Afraid of the Dark

Scary, those things that lurk in the dark...
Scary, those things cloaked in darkness…

I don’t dwell in dark places.

What lurks in the recesses,

the lonely parts

of my mind, frightens

me more than monsters

haunting stuffed closets and

dusty under-beds.

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Inspiration:  I wrote this recently while struggling with the sadness that settles over me at times.  I didn’t have a reason to be anything other than content, which is why this recurring ‘darkness’ gets to me.  I don’t understand it, can’t explain it, and never know how long it will last, which is why I fear it.  I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to find a monster in the closet, but at least I can comprehend that… and would have a chance to beat it into submission 🙂

I hope you have a beautiful Monday.  I’m glad you stopped by today!

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All Ears (And Feet)

I feel your presence.

I notice your ears; then… my-

what big feet you have!

11-3 Baby JackRabbit

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Jack rabbits move faster than I can think. Before it occurs to me to get my camera, they are nothing but a memory! My older son noticed this one outside by our deck several weeks ago and said, “hurry, Mom, take a picture.” Right. The camera!

I took the photo through the closed window because I knew any effort to get closer would result in the rabbit running- er, hopping away. I think we all have a flight instinct. When in physical danger, our body releases hormones that give us a boost of energy- allowing us a chance to survive.

In my last fiction piece, forgetting and remembering were contrasted; both resulting in apathy and fear. Joanne made a comment that said in part, “That is a fear I battle. I am afraid to move forward because I can’t see the next step.” I can relate to this statement so much.

This got me thinking about our evolution and how the “fight-or-flight” response to physical danger (which no doubt involves fear) makes us move, but the result of emotional fear is often to stay put. We get paralyzed with unknown scenarios and the myriad of “what-ifs” that come to mind (and they always seem to be worst-case outcomes!)

Today, my prayer is that we all find the faith to take on a fear. It’s not easy to get past the road blocks constructed in our minds, but acknowledging them is an important step that can lead to action. I have some fears of my own to take on. I think we all have them if we stop to think about it.

Just a few rambling thoughts on a Monday… thanks for bearing with me and reading through them.

Have a beautiful day!

Darlene’s Fear

I search Jeff’s face for sincerity.

My past has unraveled into a taunting illusion.  I’m afraid to build a future on lies, but truth could render me a stranger in my own skin.

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TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to Trifecta’s weekend prompt:

Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, wrote, “It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”  We are looking for a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character).”

Check out the link above to read other responses, or even better – submit your own.  It’s only 33 words!

NOTE:  This is another community-voted challenge, which means that readers have the opportunity to vote on their three favorites by visiting Trifecta’s site after the challenge closes on Sunday, at 8PM Eastern time.

Since I haven’t written anything on Darlene’s Story for a while (since September 23, to be exact) I decided to address her fear.  She could turn away and not explore whether or not her father is involved in illegal drug testing, or if he’s responsible for her mother’s death, but if she does that, the not knowing will nag her forever.  If she continues her quest and uncovers the truth, it could make her past a lie and leave her uncertain of who she really is.  Further complicating the matter is whether to trust Jeff (her father’s ex business partner) to help her.

Click here for Darlene’s Story page if you want to read the entire piece.  Thanks for stopping by!

Serenity Amongst Worries

Embracing serenity
Embracing serenity

Have you ever been so focused on one thing that other things to do are neglected – they slip by unnoticed and undone?  If I get engrossed in a project, meals get skipped, bathroom breaks are forgotten- until it’s almost too late- and muscles become knotted because I forget to let myself stretch.  (Please tell me this isn’t just me!)

Since we moved from big city to small town in March, I’ve mentioned to my husband several times that I need to look for a church here.  I also say that I need to get a drain stopper for my younger son’s sink…I need to fix the window screens with holes in them…I need to work on my novel more.  Our attention has been directed toward getting the yard cleaned up and we’ve made progress…but it means other things are not getting done.  (I’m not Wonder Woman after all…but oh, how fun that would be!)

You might be wondering, “If you want to find a church so badly, how come you don’t get it done?”  Simple answer:  my shyness and social anxiety have been stronger than my desire to find a church.  Since my husband works on Sundays, I wouldn’t have him to lean on.  Yet, I’m not disciplined enough yet to study the Bible regularly on my own, so I really do need the weekly nudge to keep me motivated.  This has been my struggle for the last few months.

As we drove home from watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, I saw a church and commented again, “I really need to look into finding a church here.  I miss it.”

On Saturday, my husband called and told me about an ad on the radio about a generator for sale.  He looked at it and liked it, so I met him at the person’s house, checkbook in hand.  We got to talking to the people and it turns out they are part of the worship band at a nearby Bible church.  (Oh, we’re small town now, so everything is nearby :razz:)

Long story short, I’m going to swallow my nerves (and eat a light breakfast, just in case) and go to the church service today.  Everyone in town has been friendly, so I can only attribute my anxiety to leftover issues from my childhood.  I read through several Bible verses last night to try to calm my increasing worries.  (What if I get lost on the way…I don’t know where to take the kids…what if I run late and can’t find a seat…what if I find a seat, but it’s all the way in front…oh the list went on.)  I liked these two best:

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  (Proverbs 12:25)

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

Today, I pray that God will replace my inner turmoil with serenity and ease my social apprehension so it is not a hindrance in seeking a new church home.  I ask that He banish my superficial worries so that my ears and heart will be open.

Do you have fears/worries that churn inside you?  How do you find peace?

A Story Of Cacophony, Soap, and Insects

She slid her lunch tray across the metal rails, careful to avoid eye contact.  Instead, she studied the fruit choices:  sliced mandarin oranges or strawberries.  Strawberries were her favorite, but she chose oranges because she’d be teased if strawberry seeds stuck between her teeth.

High school cafeteria, freshman year – it was always the same.

The cacophony of plastic trays on tables, dropped forks and raucous chatter gave her a false sense of anonymity.  She paid the cashier; a plump woman wearing a hairnet and a frown, and then searched for an empty table.

Four steps and it happened – again.  She slipped in a puddle of chocolate milk.  A hush fell over the cafeteria.  Covered in a mess of chocolate milk and mandarin orange syrup, she felt the heat of two hundred gazes.

Humiliated, she ran away.  The first three doors she tried were locked.  Hysteria rose inside as their laughter threatened to unleash her dammed tears.  The fourth door swung open and she ran, dizzy and disoriented, to the bathroom.  Her eyes wouldn’t focus through the blur of tears, but she pumped several squirts of pink liquid soap into her palm and rubbed it on her shirt anyway.  The soap’s Band Aid smell gagged her.

She heard voices.

She knew the giggles outside belonged to Tiffany, and the seven girls who swarmed around her like insects after a storm.  She knew they would gawk at her and giggle, then point and whisper.  After a minute of scrutiny, Tiffany would turn on her heel and leave, and the others would lift their chins and follow their queen, dragging part of her soul with them.

When misery threatened to tighten its noose around her neck, she awakened.  She always did.

She reached for the half glass of water and two pills kept on her bedside table.  She swallowed the pills knowing deep down that they couldn’t exorcise her demons.  But at 2:37 AM, she’d settle for prescribed drug-induced peace.

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This is my second (and final) entry in the weekend challenge.  I don’t think I have a brain left to develop another idea 🙂

Here are the rules For this week’s Trifextra:

The challenge is to write a response that is between 33 and 333 words long and uses the words listed below.  Use the words however you wish, but make sure that all three appear in your response.  Oh, and they must appear in order.  Good luck!

  1. cacophony
  2. soap
  3. insects