Happy New Year lovely humans. Whoever you are, no matter what you did or did not accomplish in 2018, the fact that you are here is an amazing feat. You survived. That is enough.
That can be hard to hear and even harder to believe. I know that my brain is always reminding me of all the things I said I would accomplish but didn’t. Big and small. It’s only the first of the year and I’ve already managed to fail at getting this blog post up on time. So I’m really starting the year off strong. But you know what? I’m working on being okay with that, on taking the time I need to and sometimes that means pushing back timelines that I set for myself.
So what I’m saying is, if you try to work on one thing this new year, let’s work on being kinder to ourselves. There’s a difference between pushing ourselves to be better and work hard and pushing ourselves into a nervous breakdown.
So let’s get the creativity flowing for the first week of 2019, and get on to the visual writing prompt.
As usual, if you would like to write your own story or create your own piece of art inspired by this photo and uninfluenced by the story I tell, stop reading after you look at the photo below. You can come back when you’re done.
Also, if you write something, or create some kind of art, inspired by this photo please share in the comments below! All thoughts, comments, art sharing, or process sharing, is welcome.
VISUAL WRITING PROMPT:
The Broken Bottle
She put down her cup. Her phone buzzed on the table next to her, but she flipped it over, and looked at me. I wished she wouldn’t look at me like that.
“What?” I said.
“I can’t stop thinking about what happened,” she said, staring into her coffee cup as she stirred it. I was grateful for the reprieve from her intense gaze.
I pressed my palms against my eyes, trying to relieve the pressure in my head. It didn’t help.
“I mean, I know we didn’t do anything wrong. I know it,” she said.
“Then stop talking about it.”
“That’s the thing. I can’t. It’s in my head.”
The truth was, I couldn’t stop thinking about it either. I just kept staring at the tips of my fingers, like they were still stained red.
“We need to tell someone.”
“And tell them what?” I set my cup down. It clacked against the saucer. The frothy brown liquid drooled down the side of the cup. I looked around the room but we’re all alone.
“I don’t know.” She put her head in her hands.
“Exactly. You haven’t thought this through. You can’t just call the police and say ‘hey, my boyfriend’s been missing for three days but if you search my house his blood will be all over it’ and expect it to all be fine.”
“But we didn’t do anything wrong.”
“You didn’t do anything.”
She looked up from her coffee and stared at me for a moment.
“That’s not funny Alex.” She took a sip. The cup rattled against the plate as she set it down, her hands shaking.
“I’m not trying to be funny.”
My stomach turned as I think about all the reasons, all the things I’d done. The shards of glass I pulled out of my fingers. The way the blood poured down his face.
“Shut up,” she said, “he probably just got patched up and crawled into some bar to get pissed again.”
“I screamed it the last time I saw him. I wished he was dead loud enough that the whole building heard,” I said.
I squeezed my hands into fists and then let them go.
“That’s still not killing him. Or tying him up in the basement and torturing him. Either would be more than humane for him though.”
“And what about when someone else reports him missing? Or if he shows up dead? I’m the lead suspect. I’m the only suspect.”
Outside, the sun sliced through the clouds. A police officer walked his bike down the street, weaving through tourists starving for a breath of warm dry air.
“But they’ll clear you,” she said, her voice getting smaller, “you haven’t done anything wrong.”
“I did it,” I said, “I smashed that bottle over his head.”
I looked down at my hands, still pale and unstained, unlike my carpet. Blood doesn’t come out of carpet. You never really think about that, until you need it.
“You were defending yourself.” She finished off her coffee and looked out the window.
I pushed the chair away from the table, my voice rising in my throat for a way out. I wanted to scream.
“What are you doing?”
“The only thing that makes me better than him.”
I turned and rushed down the stairs, ignoring her calls, the sound of her getting up to follow me. I pushed my way out the door and ran after the flash of fluorescent yellow as it rounded the corner.
“Excuse me sir,” I called.
He must have heard me because he had stopped moving by the time I caught up. His badge caught the sunlight. The radio on his belt groaned and buzzed.
“Which way to the closest police station? I need to report a crime.”
As always, if you were inspired to any kind of creativity from this prompt, I’d love to hear about it.
If you want to share a line, or more, from your writing, or a picture of your visual art, or a sentiment about your creative process in this, please share in the comments.
Let’s start the conversation!