You’re only alive once.
That’s my dad in my head again.
You should go outside more.
His words echo around my mind as I keep watch out of the upstairs window.
Some fresh air would do you good.
I sigh as my eyes stroll back and forth across the street, darting from face to face.
It’s not good to be cooped up inside all day, go play with the neighbours, go chat with your friends.
I recognise each person down on the street; the little old ladies, the balding, middle-aged men with paunches sticking out over their waistbands, the women, the teenagers in their up-to-date outfits and freshly trimmed hair, the children.
The sunshine’ll make you feel better.
I squint up at the clouds, but there’s no sun shining through. Nothing but nebulous, churning grey.
It must get stuffy being locked away in your room.
My gaze twitches to the latch of the shut window — it’s locked, it’s always locked, but how I long to open it once more, to feel the cool kiss of a gentle wind, to smell the bouquet of the world’s perfumes.
Everyone’s out there, living their lives; go join them.
The knot in my chest squirms like a ball of snakes, like a black scribble, perennially writhing within the hollow confines of my heart. From behind the safety of the glass, I look from friend to neighbour to family; all out in the street, swaying slightly like reeds in an autumn breeze, eyes vacant, mouths agape and mindlessly chewing nothing with an almost bovine absence, their sallow skin pulled taut across their decaying frames like the membrane of a funeral drum.
What are you waiting for?
Dead. All of them dead.
Go join them.
And yet, not entirely so.
“You’re only alive once,” I confirm to the empty room. “You’re only alive once.”
Many thanks to PJ for tagging me in this little challenge! I took things which have been said to me, in various forms, whilst growing up and twisted them into a work of fiction! (I hope that’s allowed.) Rest assured, my family and friends are all well and are not (as of this moment in time) zombies.
You can check out PJ’s initial post and awesome poem here!
I’m not sure who to tag in this, but instead, I open an invitation to everyone who sees this to take part in this little challenge — the rules are simple, just use something that’s been said to you and use it to make something. Other than that, go wild with your creativity, and have fun!