Road art

These painted marks mean something, North Vancouver, 2018

These painted marks mean something, North Vancouver, 2018

Writing Prompt No. 111

The circle in her stomach drew tight in her body making her breath catch in her mouth.

She’d never experienced such pain. She lay on the thin foam mattress staring at the ceiling. Every type of light fixing hung above her head. She lay there, naked apart from a worn blue cotton robe only seen in an institution. A whiff of washing powder drifted up to her nose.

She’d tried several times to free herself from the tight muscular band that had settled deep inside. She couldn’t get her fingers behind it to pull it all away, the stress, the ache. She’d come here hoping there might be help.

The technician scanned her body then left the room after placing her hand in reassurance on her arm. I’ll get the doctor, she said. Her face was kind but she didn’t feel reassured. She lay there waiting.

A box containing two hundred and eighty pairs of lilac coloured medical gloves sat on the shelf next to her. A gentle scent of lavender emanated from them. She scratched her nose and licked her lips which were dry and chapped. She’d forgotten her lip-balm. She knew where it was, at home in the fruit bowl where she’d chucked it absent-mindedly. She hadn’t washed her hair in a week. Stuff, busy, no time.

She stretched out her hands and fingers. Tendons and bones clicked with the movement. They hurt. Someone told her that she needed to connect, to touch, to be touched. There was nothing. Her hands were continuing to suffer from this lack in her life. Tears pricked her eyes. A sudden overwhelming need to cry rocked her. Where was this coming from? There was a brief knock and the doctor came into the room.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.