A Prologue: Freedom
A Prologue: Freedom

 anxiety stories

meganangharadI write poems and stories.
Autoplay OFF  •  a year ago
A prologue for a potential novel largely revolving around teen suicide amongst other things. Please comment with any constructive criticism! Thanks :)

A Prologue: Freedom


I’m shaking like a washing machine, and I can’t breathe. It feels like there’s a washing machine pressing down on my chest.

Like the washing machine is pressing down on my chest under water, and I’m sinking down down down to the bottom. That’s how I feel right now, in the grasp of this second.

And the next second. And the next. And the next one after that.

Forever, maybe.

What if I was stuck under water, for real, for ever? That would be kinda funny. No one could ignore me then.

Maybe it would be in the news and everything: Girl Trapped Underwater By Washing Machine – Oxygen and other necessities delivered via scuba-divers and submarine.

Maybe people will come from all over the world to see me.

F*** the Celtic ruins and The World’s Biggest Washing Machine – everyone will come to this stupid town to see me and my washing machine, miraculously still alive at the bottom of the ocean,

or in the swimming pool. Not sure which one yet.

The swimming pool would have to close to contain all of the photographers and journalists and tourists, so it wouldn’t be great for the kids who need swimming lessons and sh**.

I don’t want little kids to drown or anything.

But if I was in the sea I could get attacked by sharks or something. They’ll probably have to contain me in a cage to keep me safe.

Although it would be more entertaining in the sea than the pool because I’ll get to see all the fishes as they swam around me. That wouldn’t be too bad.

And little kids would still get swimming lessons.

The lights of the swimming pool are still on in the Leisure Centre, even thought it’s midnight in the middle of summer. F***ing waste. I passed it, like, 5 minutes ago.

I think. I am running, after all. Well, fast-walking by now. I’m not that fit.

Past the swimming pool. Past Sky’s house. Past the crazy parrot-lady’s B&B (she has hundreds of them, I’m not joking!). Past school. Past houses where people are sleeping, probably, dreaming about weird and wonderful things that they won’t remember by tomorrow.

Or still awake, stressing over stupid things that are utterly unimportant in the scope of the universe. If I were them, I’d skip that part of life, like an ad in front of a Youtube video.

The front door isn’t locked, of course. Who locks their doors in this privipedged part of town? Aren’t I lucky.

Everyone’s in bed. Mam and Dad are sleeping, probably (they never talk to eachother anymore), Alice on her Mac, binge-ing another horror series on Netflix.

Healthy, happy eyes follow me as I climb the stairs.

We’re one of those pretentious families who cover every inch of every f***ing wall with photographs of ourselves so that everyone who enters the house can know how perfect and happy we are and that they should be jealous of the sickly perfection of our lives.

It shocks me how superficial and ignorant some people are.

Alice is the oldest so she got the largest room, lucky b**ch. I’m oppposite Mam and Dad, above the kitchen. Mam wakes me up every morning when she makes her coffee before starting an early shift at the hospital.

I toss my headphones and phone onto the pillows, rock music blaring from the speakers, and drag the cardboard box from its hiding place under my bed.

I tear off a lid flap in my hurry and curse under my breath. I sigh. It doesn’t matter now. It’s not like I’ll be needing it after tonight anyway. The thought tugs a soft laugh from me.

My hands are still shaking as I finger the polaroids and papers; caressing them first, gently round the edges, longingly over the faces, thoroughly over the handwriting. I trace a finger over every angle of the thin, black pen. Then I lay them down gently on the carpet to reveal the treasure underneath.

I can almost breathe again.

This goddamn washing machine has loosened on my chest and I’m so close to the surface of the water now, I can feel the warmth of the sun on my face and see blurry outlines of bodies on the shore, tugging against the tide; it’s almost like they’re dancing.

My heart beats fiercely, like a captured bird beating its wings wildly against the cage of my ribs. Soon. She’ll be free soon.

I reach for the big black camera from the comfort of its tissue paper and bubble wrap nest.

After the little square screen flashes into life I can see you – a pixelated silhouette behind the big blue play button that covers you like a taunting accusation and I can’t.

I can’t I can’t I can’t and I’m so angry that I can’t and I drop you back into your nest and hide you with your memories and chuck the box back underneath the bed and run out of the room and to the bathroom and throw some eyeliner on. (Cat-eye. I have to go in style) and it’s wonky but who the f**k cares and-

Horizontally, not vertically.

I learned about that on a first aid website-

Horizontally, not vertically.

It said that people start breathing quickly and sh** when they lose a lot of blood-

Horizontally, not vertically.

Your heart starts running away from you as well, and everything begins to spin, kind of like when I tried on those drunk goggles on Alcohol Abuse Awareness Day at school-

Horizontally, not vertically.

I expected more pain than this, if I’m honest. I’m disappointed-

Horizontally, not vertically.

I’m wearing a red glove, a glove that shimmers, almost like glass in the light from the street outside, like the kind of glass that covers photographs in a picture frame-

Horizontally, not

photographs in a picture frame-


photographs in a picture frame-


photographs in a picture frame-


Suddenly, I’m not sitting in the dark on the kitchen floor. Suddenly, I’m fast-walking.

No, I’m running, moving moving moving like a washing machine and feeling my lungs expand like bloody balloons as I drag air into them-

One second,

one breath

after the other.

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