Free Writing No. 6 – Exposition

This time I ended up writing without ANY dialogue, which is probably what I’ve always found easier. Dialogue is harder for me. It’s also first person, present, which I’ve not done a lot with before.


I screamed full and loud into the night. It was a hard, harsh and primal thing, and it shocked me as it escaped from my throat, twisting and turning like an animal on its way up. The sound reverberated across the field, and I could see it as a fountain of red light as my damaged brain mixed sight with sound.

Sometimes it worked like this – sometimes there was directionless anger and frustration at the world around me. I wondered how other people were capable of such ignorance and hate, and it boiled inside me like a force of nature, a volcano of injustice waiting to spew forth. On days like that, I had to run, had to scream and had to let the energy flow through and out of me. If I didn’t, I knew for certain it that I’d burst into glorious flames and be left as nothing but ash and dust in the wind. Those were the easy days, and when I punched Mark in the face today for grabbing my arse at school, I’d felt a surge of action, and that brought positivity with it – I was shaping the world using my fire, and the world had recoiled at my unbridled power.

It was the way it ebbed away that was terrifying. The emptiness that it left in its wake was unbearable, and I’ve never found a way to fill it. It would be coming now, lurking at the edges of my consciousness with dark, hateful tendrils of misery. The fire that fuelled me, that made me so notorious for being outspoken, it was only short lived, and then it seeped out of my body through cracks and joints, leaving my chest – once so filled with righteous fury – hollow and empty. That was where the danger lurked. That was when I took all of my tablets at once, walked into the sea, and drank bleach. Because it futile, my brain berates me, because I will never make this world a better place, and when I die the universe will hardly notice. On the blackest days, I imagine the sun swelling up to engulf the earth and all I can think is that every single human being who has ever lived up until that point will be lost in an impossible swell of nuclear fire, and all the sonnets of Shakespeare, all the ballads of Lennon and McCartney, even my macaroni art that I’d brought home from playschool at aged four, would be completely lost forever. It terrified me, and it filled the void the fire left inside me with a heavy leaden feeling – days where I couldn’t even get out of bed, because literally every single endeavour was pointless. My life has no meaning.

I’ve tried to find meaning in life. I write songs, I front an angst ridden band and drink at house parties, the usual teenage clichés. I’ve slept with boys and girls from school, and some men who probably have daughters my age. I thought sex and alcohol and drugs would help distract me, but they don’t – not even slightly, not even there in that instant. I cut myself because I deserve it, it’s a punishment for being weak, and all the while I hiss insults at myself through angry, bitter tears. I remind myself about starving children, about war torn families and about being white and middle class is hardly comparable. There are others who have such a shittier start in life to me, who would kill to live in my world. If I could trade places with just one of them, I would. I’m not doing anything spectacular with the head start I’ve been given, but that Somali child could be the doctor that cures cancer, with my access to education and privileges. I deserve none of it, and I’ve squandered it at every turn.

I breathe heavily into the warm night air, as the atmosphere around me tingles with potential and static. A storm is probably coming, judging by the thickness of the air and heavy promise of action in the roiling clouds up above. I light a cigarette and blow a long stream of smoke into the air, shivering despite the warmth. I probably shouldn’t have run all this way in my underwear, but when the fire fills me, I move and let the energy dance – because once it’s gone, I’m afraid I might never move again.

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