Caring for Your Psyche. #amwriting #fiction

 

blur close up dragon figure
Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

By Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2019

“We are all given a psyche.  You must think of your psyche as its own living thing.”

This was an interesting class Cassie dragged me into after my divorce.  The instructor was a little wacky, though.  Lots of college kids were there.  Were they getting college cred?  I sure wasn’t.  Continuing education?  Hmm.  Some blond, New Age hippie named Ashbury sat to my right.  Much to my relief, he smelled of Irish Spring.

The instructor continued: “Imagine your psyche as a living being…and draw it.  Then, label it.  Your last instruction, is to start nurturing it.”

I started with paws, and a belly, then decided to step out for cigarette before finishing.  I was sick of always doing what I was supposed to; it got me nowhere in my marriage except mismatched with a narcissist.  Plus, I had no idea how to picture my psyche.  Some air might help.

Ashbury smiled at me. “Are you stuck?”

“Yeah.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone.  I might be the failing student here.”

A smile spread across his face.  “You can’t fail if you took the first step.” He pointed to the half-hearted drawing on my paper.  “What will the rest be?  I wonder.”  He tapped his pencil to his forehead lightly.

“Right now, I wouldn’t care if you drew something on there.  Something radical, horrible, I don’t know.  I’ll be right back.”

Ten minutes later I came in , apologizing to the instructor about a stomach issue.  Sitting down, I saw a baby dragon staring up at me…and Ashbury smiling at me. There was a lovely orchid on his paper.  I chuckled.

“Mine looks like ‘Puffin’ McStuffins’!  Well-done, Ashbury!”  This man had sized me up and done my homework for me.  Could I nurture Puffin in all of his adorable imperfection?  You bet!

“So now you have a name, too.  I think you’ll pass.  How do you think we could nurture an orchid and a baby dragon together?” he asked, one eyebrow raised.

“Passion-fruit tea?”  I said through a smile.

“Yes, let’s go!”

He walked out first with his drawing, and I followed moments later.  The instructor just looked up at us, defeated.  Or maybe he knew I was beginning the process of nurturing my psyche?

*Posted in response to the prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/rdp-thursday-nurture/

I hope you enjoyed my story. I’d love to hear your comments or your experiences with this topic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#flashfiction “This Time,” #shortstory #fffawchallenge

Photo courtesy of Joy Pixley.flashfictionjoyphoto-20161219154654337

The trail was long and her legs were weary.  Did I do the right thing?  She wondered.  Sure, I had to stand up for myself, end the madness.

A buzzard screeched above.  At least he wasn’t hovering around her.  Soon, it would be dark.  I’ll make it, she kept telling herself.

Ahead, she saw bushes and brush, and beyond them, a silhouette of more bushes and brush.  Where is that darn road?  I should be there soon.  Good thing I wore the comfortable shoes.   She looked down at her reliable Chucks.

The view up ahead looked foggy, like confusion.  It looked hazy and a little like the loneliness she felt.  No, that wasn’t it.  It looked like warrior’s freedom.  It was her release from the man who got behind the wheel drunk and risked both their lives regularly.

His command:  “Shut up or get out!”

Her response this time? A slammed car door and hasty footsteps.

©Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge calls for a short story of no more than 150-175 words in response to a photo prompt.  I encourage you to join the challenge or peruse other flash fiction responses at http://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-20-2016/ .

I find it fun to see how different minds will respond to the same prompt.  Thanks for reading!   I know it’s awfully short, as necessary, but do you get a sense of closure?