no-show

Closing the curtains, I seal myself in solitude.

Only me and the muted screams from outside.

Jubilation ripping through the streets is a stronger sign of spring than a calendar.

I used to be one of them..dancing, drinking, laughing…

Sister told me to join her today … said it would lift my spirits…

Though, the moment I open the door, I know the festivities won’t nourish my barren heart.

Long exhausted from feigning happiness.

Time to ditch the facade and return to my reclusive reality.

Shutting the door, I save the people from the outcries of a famished soul.

*******This is my contribution to this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to check out pieces from fellow Fictioneers!

My gratitude for your support goes far beyond words,

Adelie

 

 

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47 thoughts on “no-show

    • Oh you’re too kind, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the story. As I’m sure you could conclude from our little discussion on your post yesterday, the feelings behind this story weren’t quite fictitious! Though, you’ve definitely helped pull me out of my slump. I don’t necessarily consider myself a master, but I’m truly touched that I could inspire. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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  1. I’ve only read a couple of your stories so far (I believe this is maybe your 4th or 5th FF) but I’m noticing a trend in your style — a sort of disconnected stream of consciousness — random thoughts that tell a story but don’t necessarily flow together in smooth prose. I wonder if you might try formatting this as poetry — don’t know if you’ve tried your hand at poetry, but it doesn’t have to be all iambic pentameter and rhyme. GOOD poetry has a certain flow and rhythm, but I see more poetry than prose in your thoughts. Just an observation, darling — take it as it is — freely given and with the best of intentions.

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    • Hello, Helena! I greatly appreciate you reading and taking the time to share your thoughts and offer helpful suggestions. Honestly with this one, my intention wasn’t poetry. Though, as the story was coming out of my mind, I couldn’t find a way to organize it into smooth prose either. I settled with somewhat of a hybrid. While I realized it didn’t flow as smoothly as I hoped, I felt that if I forced it into something else, it would lose its impact. I’m considering dipping my toes into poetry more, but I am apprehensive because I’m severely intimidated by all the poetic talent I’ve seen here. It really means a lot to me that you offered your observations!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for the thought you put into your response. I considered mentioning a death or traumatic experience to explain her need for solitude. However, I decided to go a different route where the cause could be more general and interpreted several ways. Many people I’ve met, myself included, sometimes go through those times where you just need a “time out,” even if for no apparent reason. Who knows?!
      Anyway, I greatly appreciate you reading and for all the wonderful comments you leave!

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  2. Adelie, you conveyed the emptiness of this person so well. I need solitude sometimes, too, but this seems deeper than a simple time-needed-to-recharge break. By not telling us the reason, you allow us to bring any experience to it that we may have and use those to identify with your narrator. I agree that a poetic form would work well with this and I think you’re close to it now.

    janet

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    • Janet,
      I’m so relieved to hear that my purpose was achieved. While I understand that vagueness runs the risk of being less engaging, there are times when I want to leave a certain amount of detail out so that the readers can draw their own unique interpretations of the story. I fancy the idea of planting a seed of a story and seeing how it sprouts in the minds of those who read it. I’m extremely grateful for your input and encouragement!
      Adelie

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  3. The sense of isolation for this character is palpable. At the risk of sounding like I’m just joining the crowd, the format does lend itself to poetry. Don’t be intimidated by other contributors; just bring your own best work. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Long exhausted from feigning happiness.

    This was my favorite line and I think could be the opening line to a personal memoir. Anyhow, it just stuck chords for me because I find socializing extremely fatiguing when I must always be “up.” I feel like each one of these could actually be the first line of a different chapter, actually. Rather then go the poetry direction, I would love to see this fleshed out into much more, as you can tell by my comments. Nice work “in the raw” Adelie!

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    • Thanks so much for reading and sharing, Stephanie! I’m glad to know that I’d not the only one who finds exhaustion from socialization. I really appreciate your suggestion and interest to learn more about the message behind this. It was one of those stories that could’ve easily gone beyond 100 words for me. It was quite challenging to get all the description that I felt was significant within the guidelines. Perhaps that’s why is came out a bit fragmented. I always enjoy and value your unique feedback!

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    • Jim,
      Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and comment. I find it intriguing that certain images can have adverse affects. In this case, a festival spawning feelings of depression and isolation. You know what they say about great minds…. πŸ™‚
      Adelie

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  5. How absolutely gripping! In such a short story you’ve managed to convey a wealth of emotion. I got a glimpse into the character and my chest clenched at the pain and sadness. Well done artfullyadelie!

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  6. Adelle, I read Helana’s comment.. and for me this read as a poem, very much so. I like the way my mind is seeking for the reason of the forloreness she is feeling… but you do not give any hints to that, but focus on the feelings she is feeling.. the resentment of joining the festivities…

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for the feedback. My intention was to leave the backstory open for interpretation, suggesting there wasn’t a specific cause of her depression, but I see now that there is a lot of desire to learn the reasons behind it. I really appreciate the input!

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  7. Very nice poetic work which leaves you wondering what happened to her and what might bring her out of it other than ice cream and a good 1950’s monster picture. “I save the people from the outcries of a famished soul” is an impressive line that well describes the feeling of the depressed not to overburden others with their problems. Nice work!

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  8. Dear Adelie,

    It’s pretty much all been said. I, too, agree with Helena. You’re pretty close to poetry here and it reminds me of some that I wrote during a very dark time in my life. You’ve captured the soul of a depressed person isolating herself in the “outcries of a famished soul” line. While she tells herself she’s saving the people, she’s really protecting herself.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  9. This was poignant and a stark depiction of depression (or a crippling case of apathy). I’ve felt this way before, and it’s not bloody fun. I hope your protagonist finds help, or pulls through, soon! Great work!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful and encouraging comment. Yes, lately I’ve been feeling somewhat down and antisocial- though not to this extent. So, writing about this came quite easily, and I also felt significantly better after putting it out there and receiving positive feedback. No bloody fun indeed! πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

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  10. I agree that this person is suffering from some kind of depression. If I knew the character, I would suggest she get professional help to see her through. I don’t know why the character called “Sister” has suggested she remain inside away from the festivities. There seems to be another layer or more in this story that could be told in a longer version. This would be a good hook for the first bit of back story that gradually lets the reader in on the other layers. Well written and good description of sadness.

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for leaving the thoughtful comment! I find great challenge in writing a story that’s short but complex at the same time. I’m glad I was able to intrigue and entertain!

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  11. “I save the people from the outcries of a famished soul.” i like the last line a lot. i think the narrator’s sadness and desire for solitude really came through.

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for the wonderful comment. By this last line, I was attempting to convey that she’s seeking solitude not because she dislikes being around people but because she feels she’s doing everyone a favor by hiding away. Thanks again!

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      • Ah thank you so much for reading and your wonderful response(s)! πŸ™‚ Personally, the screaming would make me seek solitude as well. I can only take crowds in small doses. However, there are some who find that their cup-of-tea I suppose! Thanks for the comment on the “stronger sign.” I’ve found that calendars aren’t necessarily accurate with seasons. For example, today there is snow in our forecast! 😦

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  12. Really good writing – Depression grabs each victim ever so slightly different. It’s so much easier to stay in the confines of your comfort zone than to go out and mingle with happy people. I remember Marlina Deitrich (the early film actress) having a famous quote “I want to be left alone, and who of us has never wished to be left alone. However, depression can lead you down on so many bad roads – the worst being suicide which helps no one and only makes those left behind feel they should of known more. Well – that’s my rant for the day! Nan πŸ™‚

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    • Nan,
      Thank you for reading and for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful and informative comment (Rant πŸ™‚ )! I completely agree with all you’ve said. Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether or not you should have some alone time because too much of it could be a bad thing. Thanks again for leaving such a lovely comment!
      Adelie

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