Mental traffic

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

 

Flash fiction challenge:

Whenever I get too religious, as I have been this past Ramadan, I feel uneasy.
Does this mean I’m possessed by satan (all the worship frustrating him)? Pushing myself too much?
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me anymore. I feel myself stumbling between the rocks of rules and opinions and jagged edges of modern scientific thinking jutting out from nowhere, tripping me so that I fall and cut myself.
But it’s hard to say, yes thats it. Because sometimes it feels right to blow my brains out. Can’t trust that feeling. Just need to trust in God. And me.

100 words

 

*****

 

Anyone who has suffered depression knows it sucks. Can’t trust the thoughts in your head. I experienced depression a few years ago (due to medication I was prescribed for an auto-immune disease I was diagnosed with – but that’s another story). Thankfully I no longer battle it. But I have come out of it with a better understanding of mental illness, and have become passionate about championing mental illness awareness, particularly depression and bi-polar disorders.

Depression still carries a stigma in some conservative societies, not always the religious ones, mind you. The worst advice I’ve seen handed out by some well-meaning people was to pray, get your rosary. Might work for the blues, but not for mental illness. On the other hand, doctors need to understand the role religion plays in peoples lives and not dismiss it totally. It needs to be taken into account when treating the individual.

My style today is inspired by Donna Tartt. Reading The Goldfinch I find her writing so complex. Similar to how I used to write long ago, before journalism taught me to simplify. But, and this is rare for me, I think I could read it again, if only to understand the complex phrasing a little better. Definitely recommend the book.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the inspiring writer Rochelle. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less based on the prompt. This weeks photo prompt kindly provided by Ted Strutz. Click to view more flash fiction here.

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The rich man by the sea

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

Moonlight glinted off crystal glasses. Patrons dined al fresco on fish caught from the sea that lapped close by. He inhaled, salty but fresh. So different than the village he grew up in. Some men huddled at the bar, sneaked glances at him, sneers and frowns. Words sailed on moonlight. “Darkie”. “Probably stole to get rich.” “They’re all crooks.”

He guessed even his accented English would be an affront. To them, a sign of lower intelligence. Apartheid ended years ago, but the prejudiced were enslaved by their egos and twisted logic. A much harder trap to flee.

97 words

 

****

In general South Africa is a caring, connected community that at times even overcomes its prejudices to shine brightly amongst humanity. This is merely an illustration of the more subtle prejudices and stereotypes that people may have against one another, seemingly harmless, but simmering under the surface.

 

Written for the 100 word challenge Friday Fictioneers hosted by the awesome Rochelle, who writes mainly from the persecutive of the Jewish experience of the holocaust (and so much more). I’d strongly recommend heading over to her blog to read some very interesting posts.

Click on the frog or click here to view more flash fiction.

 

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