Friday, April 15, 2011

Pressure (Friday Fiction)

Hi everyone! I have the distinct pleasure of hosting Friday Fiction this week and I am quite thrilled. I am also amazed that I actually have something finished and ready to go. ^_^ To join, just add your name and url to the Simply Linked gadget below. Don't forget to read and comment on other stories--we all love the feedback--and there's some pretty neat stuff to read.



Author's Ramblings: This is a small piece of prompt fiction on the topic "Headache". I'm not quite sure why it took the direction that it did--but it was an interesting prompt just the same. I hope you enjoy it, because I sure had fun writing it. ~_^ Happy weekend and enjoy the read!


Headache. 

Throbbing, pounding, forcing my sanity just beyond the grasp of my cold fingers. I can see it. I can feel it. Watching me, mocking me, taunting me…just out of reach of my freezing hands.
I can wonder many things—like why I can’t touch it, why I can’t reach it and why on earth are my hands so cold all the time?

But instead, I sit there or stand there and do nothing. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to do something. I just know that I don’t want to be doing nothing all the time. Nothing loses its magic when I do it too often.

Nothing.

Something.

Everything.

One thing, maybe.

It’s circling somewhere in the back of my mind, carving the shadows from the wall and spraying the rawness with vinegar.

I feel pickled and salted—with nowhere to go.

Voices surround me. Reality compels me. But instead, I sit there or stand there and do nothing. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to do it?

I have my world spread out before me and I’m doing nothing, because I can’t get free from the hands grasping my head, with their tight, wicked claws digging into my brain and raking it through over and over.

I feel pain and no pleasure.

Pain of every degree and horror of every moment. I only know that I can’t think straight. I can’t think crooked. I can’t make it work the way I want it to, because I can’t stop my head from torturing me.

This constant, throbbing, pounding and prying that is threatening so deliberately to draw me to my knees. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to make it go away without a sigh. I want to be free. I want to be me. But this headache will not leave me be. I know not what to do. I do not think I care. 

I am tired of this normality mess. I am tired, exhausted and depressed. I want to find a different view of things, a place where my soul can sing. 

I want to get away from this personal prison of pain. I want to tear off these shackles and hurl them into the very pits of despair and watch them burn in the flames of hope. I want to stand there and  laugh at the very thing that is ripping me apart from within. I want to stare it in the eyes and dare it to live. Dare it to die. Dare it to lie there and try to take me one more time. I want to force it through the same mental gymnastics, though the same frantic fantastic—through the same, long boring game where I am never sane.

This pain is not my life.

I am so much more than it. I have so much ahead of me, but instead, I sit there or stand there and do nothing.

Why?

Why must I even ask?

There must be some purpose, some dream, some unspeakable heroic deed which only I am capable of doing, but instead, I sit there or stand there and do nothing.

But I am tired of this. I have decided at last. I have decided that I will not take another glass, another pill, another sample of someone else’s reality. I want my own. I want my life back. I want to see myself running faster and stronger, further away in the distance where my hands may be cold, but my head is clear.

Like train tracks, a familiar clickety-clack, a steady thrumming hum, a surety of security that remains.

I see the possibility, in spite of the pain.

I see the normality, in spite of the pain.

I see the fragility—that comes with this pain—and then I see the strength.

In the night when the darkness beckons me, I pray. In the morning when the sun’s light has not yet breathed in life, I pray. In the midst of twisted, torrid confusion, I pray. As the voices draw me in, calling my name, I pray. As the faces are watching me watching them, I pray. As the norms of this world envelope me, I pray.

For every prayer that I breathe, a strand of hope is returned. For every strand that I receive, I bind upon these chains. As the chains grow heavy, I find strength in the golden threads that are holding me together. As I stop stumbling after these chains, I find that I do not carry them alone. I find that as I fill my arms with these heavy, burning links, there is someone beside me, lifting, carrying and moving. I know who it is. I know why and now I feel very shy.

Struggling in my cubicle of pain, it is easy to think that I am worthless. I may be hopeless, clueless and completely dense.

But I want my Father’s help, I want to hear His wisdom and I know that He made me with more than common sense.

He will not rip away these walls unless I let Him do so. He will not take control unless I give Him these keys. I know that I must give it all over. So in the midst of nothing, I will not stand or sit there. I will do something. I will give more than I have, I will live deeper than I breathe and when this strangeness comes for me, I will not just give in.

Throbbing.

Pounding.

Stabbing.

Pain.

I am alive. I am alive to feel every throb, every pound and every little stab. But I am still me.

When He lifts the curtain of pain from my burdened shoulders, I realize the strength of His name. Because in the corners where the light does not reach, He can chase the shadows away—and as I ask and wait, I stand there or sit there and I stay.

© Sara Harricharan

5 comments:

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Wow! Thanks for hosting this week.

Yvonne Blake said...

I love the ending.
(I think of Hally and how God has rescued from her headaches.)

Catrina Bradley... said...

I was sitting up straight and gripping my chair in the midst of the torment. Wow, Sara. You've reached deep down within and written a gut-wrenching memoir of pain - spiritual, emotional, and physical pain, and the hope in Jesus we can always cling to. Stunning.

Simultaneous+Reality said...

__Hey Sara it’s me, J.H. What a busy summer, can’t believe I didn't grace you with any of my thoughtful commentaries! I feel bad. I know, you can poke fun at me re-launching my blog if you like and how I always seem to stop a new project right as I’m getting steam. Ha--here’s to maintaining discipline!

+So let me start by saying, wow. The stream-of-consciousness rhythm totally amped when you started rhyming at paragraph 15. You even surprised me with internal rhyme: “…this personal prison of [pain.] I want to tear off these shackles and hurl them into the very pits of despair and watch them burn in the [flames] of hope.” Didn’t know you had a little hip-hop in you, Sara. I’m impressed!!! Were you listening to a little 'Phanatik' that week? Seriously, wonderful use of long and short paragraphs to create dissonance. I felt the height of a headache’s throb from the short lines and the fade of it from the longer. I’ll also mention your skillful use of repetition. It kept the piece unified. Phrases like “I sit there or stand there”(my favorite); “throbbing, pounding”; “I pray”; and “my freezing hands” made the reality that much more in-your-face, or in-your-head, I should say.

--This piece is more poetry than it is plot. So why was it labeled as short story/fiction? As a “short story”, I’ve spent waaay too much time in this one, unnamed, character’s head. You’re also asking me and the audience to stretch our ability to believe that despite having been told in paragraph 14, “I only know that I can’t think straight”, the main character still manages 1,000+ words of internal monologue while suffering a splitting headache. It’s the power of God, you say. Ok, I’d like to see the power of God at work. Does she/he take 3 aspirin to no affect? How did she/he get the headache to begin with? Does anyone else know or care that she/he has this headache?

All this is relevant......if this is a "story".

+Since it's poetry, it is complete. Maybe you could have begun rhyming at the start, but being lead into it gives it a free verse style that just fits. And maybe you could shorten it, but I don’t read any lines that don’t belong. If you wrote this in one sitting it really shows as there is consistent voice throughout. Not to mention, you would not have been able to transition into the overall message effectively. “This pain is not my life.” Loved this line. And I still can’t get over how apparent you made the spiritual connection. Why do we let our souls throb and pound in pain, thinking we can fix them with material remedies? “…I want my Father’s help, I want to hear His wisdom and I know that He made me with more than common sense.” Right on! You speak truth in soft terms, Sara. That’s a skill of which I’m an amateur. Thank you for the lesson. May the Lord bless you with fewer headaches in the coming month.

Sara Harricharan said...

Hey J.H.! Wow--it's been quite a few months since I've last had the chance to reply--and then add your comment to the mix. :) I hope you are well and still writing.

Congratulations on relaunching your blog---I know that blogging is practically a full-time job on it's own, so I commend you on starting over again, while trying to keep up with your other projects. Discipline is simply a practice that you do one day at a time. :)

Oh wow--I actually hadn't read this piece in a very long time. I did know it had a touch of poetry, but apparently more than I'd ever given notice to before. I have a tendency to write in occasional rhyme when I am attempting to flesh out an abstract emotional response. It seems to help with setting the atmosphere. I'm really glad it worked on more than one level.

Incidentally, I did have a ghost of a headache when I was writing, probably why it came out the way it did. Most of my rambling pieces with this specific vein was usually for a headache or a really dreary day.

Most of my pieces are fiction in that, I don't actively base them off of something specific. It's in my head, there's no real-life bearing (I had a tiny headache, the character had a massively live-changing episode) and so, to me, it is "fiction". I only apply the poetry tag to pieces that are overly descriptive prose or in verse / song format.

I can see what you mean about it having no plot though--there isn't one. It was simply written to the tune of the toothache syndrome--you know, when you have a toothache and supposedly you cannot think of anything else? Even when you're sitting in the dentist office waiting to have it pulled/fixed/cured, all you can think of is how miserable you are and how you wish it was OVER. ;) That was kind of how the rambling, constant dialogue of the pieces stumbles by.

Now that I think of it, I have no idea why the character really had a headache, apart from the fact that I had one and was probably trying to distract myself. :)

Rhyming is not necessarily my forte, usually when it happens, I wasn't paying enough attention to what I was working on. I'll see about changing the tags though. I hadn't considered this piece to be prose, simply because I was seeing it as a character, that therefore had to be involved in a piece of fiction.

I'm sure my rambling, unorganized explanation probably makes no sense at all--and I do apologize. I literally do write just about anything and that sometimes makes it hard to keep straight what is what, when I'm posting it. ^_^' I'm working on a specific system to organize and revise some of my pieces, hence the distinct lack of new work in the past year. However, between writing and university I have been tremendously busy. I am currently gearing up for the spring semester starting in a few days. :D

I actually did write this in one sitting. It was one of my Friday Fiction pieces, meaning that I sat down on Friday and hammered it out in about an hour or so and posted it. Nearly all of my Friday Fiction pieces are written/composed/posted that way, without any additional edits/revisions or time, unless the Author's Note says otherwise. Most of the time, it is written a few hours before midnight.

Anyway--thank you again for your insightful and helpful comments. I really, truly do appreciate you taking the time to leave such detailed feedback. Again, I hope you are well and wish you all the best in your writing and the New Year! :)
~Sara