Over the Edge #writephoto

This piece of creative writing was inspired by Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Thanks for the inspiration, Sue, and I hope you all enjoy the post.


It’s a funny thing, to be alone. It’s not at all like we imagine it, either. Our dreams of relaxing on a moonlit beach, the silence ringing in our ears, they aren’t real. Or maybe we dream less drastically – maybe all we want is to lounge in an empty flat, unbothered by the noise and clutter of others. That’s not real, either, though. The real thing – the real prospect of being absolutely, completely alone – is much bigger, and much more intense.

Sue Vincent
Credit: Sue Vincent

First, you will feel the fear. You will realise that relaxation is impossible because that moonlit beach is haunted by shadows. The silence is there, but it isn’t blessed; it’s thick and crushing, pushing in on you louder than any shout or drumbeat ever could. You glance nervously behind you, terrified of everything that you can’t control, just as you do in that empty flat, because that’s not safe, either. It creaks, and makes strange noises that make you jump and stare at the door.

After the fear, you will relax, but it’s not peaceful. It’s unearthly. You disconnect with your material self as you contemplate much greater things – much scarier things. You almost forget who you are. You aren’t a person with a body anymore; there are just your thoughts, and your thoughts are you.

I stand on the precipice, none but the birds to keep me company, and as I stare down, the shadows dancing in my mind’s eye, I feel myself slip forwards, outside of my body and into my mind. I imagine myself falling, but it’s not real. All that’s real is me – my thoughts – the pointlessness of it all.

And how I don’t want to be alone anymore.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Ellora says:

    I really liked this piece, especially how you described the ideal of being alone, only to contrast it with the realities of utter loneliness – it was very effective! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ellora! Glad you liked it – I think most people are guilty of over-glorifying things without facing the actual reality. Glad it paid off! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Vincent says:

    I used to be terrified of being alone in the house… Outdoors, especially at the place in the photo…nothing bothered me. I always felt safe.

    These days I know that we are never truly alone.

    Beautifully described Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really interesting how the outside didn’t bother you.. probably says a lot about your character! Thank you for reading 🙂

      Like

      1. Sue Vincent says:

        It never did… odd, I suppose. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandi says:

    I’ve actually felt this before…there was a point in my life that I had already moved out of my parents house, and my relationship with my boyfriend had died, and past roommates had moved on – got married, etc. I moved to a new city, in a tiny studio. I couldn’t afford cable for t.v. and the “alone” time – there were times it was too quiet. The kind that you hear the ticking of the clock so loudly, like in stereo. However, it was good for me to learn to deal with alone me. I learned a lot about myself during that quiet time. Before I got married and had kids and now wish for days that I could sit and read the paper and reflect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you for sharing; I’m so sorry you went through that! 😦 I completely understand what you mean with the ticking clock – when you’re alone you start to notice everything that you didn’t before.

      Like

  4. willowdot21 says:

    You describe this so well, you must of been there too. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I think I felt it most when I first went away to uni – I was miles away from all my friends and family in a strange city that I knew nothing about… it’s a very strange feeling… glad the emotion came across 🙂

      Like

      1. willowdot21 says:

        It is very hard when you first leave home…it gets better though 💜

        Liked by 1 person

      2. willowdot21 says:

        💜💜🌹🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael says:

    I thought you explored this so well Emily, the descriptions of the things I too fear. There is only so much alone time you want to endure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michael. Glad you could relate.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is not about being alone but about being lonely. I know we can be all alone and still be lonely and at the other end of the spectrum is that we may never be never be alone but still be achingly lonely.
    You captured that sense of loneliness beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point, Neel. Thanks very much 🙂

      Like

  7. Frank Hubeny says:

    It goes full circle from wanting solitude to no longer wanting to be alone. I like the description of shadows haunting. Usually what makes the shadow does the damage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I like your point about the shadows.. but I suppose they can be just as scary when they’re misinterpreted or distorted. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pamela Morse says:

    This is a great and emotionally charged piece. You tell the truth in a poignant way. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pamela. Glad you liked it

      Like

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