GROCERY STORE ANXIETY

A racing pulse
Many stolen breaths
Heavy weight upon my chest

A dizzy spell
Shredded nerves alight
A mental state of unrest

My eyes they seek
An invisible threat
That causes panic from within

A simple task
Once taken for granted
Now sends me into a spin

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought destruction to our economy, disarray to our lives and death to our doorsteps. The mental health impacts of this crisis will be profound and long-lasting. I know that my mental health has suffered from the isolation, the fear for my family and friends, and the disruption to our routines. It isn’t so surprising that I experienced a panic attack while doing a grocery run.

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LEASHING THE BLACK DOG

Note: Life is hectic. I barely have time to scrape together a decent post for my blog, so it’s rare for me to enter writing competitions. However, upon seeing this month’s writing prompts for Furious Fiction, a story immediately came to mind and I wanted to write it. I share this story with you.


Thunder rumbles. Grey clouds blocks out the sun’s golden rays, darkening the sky and bringing forth a coldness that seeps to the bone. The wind picks up, blowing through tree branches, howling its warning. My eyes scan upwards, noting the turn of the tide. The hair on my neck stands up, prickles in fear. A cold sweat dampens my brow and my stomach churns with apprehension. It’s here. I can sense its foreboding presence.

Scanning the horizon, my eyes land on the ferocious beast as it stalks forward, taking calculated steps, eyes pinned on its prey. As it closes the gap, I can see his snarl, revealing razor-sharp teeth. The Black Dog emits a low and menacing growl. I know he wants to lunge and sink his teeth into me, to subdue and control me.

My heart races, my palms sweat, fear threatens to flood my mind. “Stop!” I force myself to take deep breaths. I won’t let my anxiety overcome and send me into a foetal position. I have trained for the next attack. Standing still in front of the door, I guard my post. A lone sentinel. The only protector to my precious soul, tucked safely behind that door.

Did I miss the warning signs? Did I become complacent? What triggered his advance? I rack my brain for the answers, but it matters little as the beast breaches all of my defences. One by one, the Black Dog smashes through, its leathery skin immune to the surrounding destruction.

I have a choice. To run and be resigned as its victim once more or grab the leash and regain control of this wayward Black Dog. As my eyes narrow on the reason I am constantly on guard, I decide this Dog’s reign of terror has run its course. I am stronger. I am healthier. I am wiser.

Keeping a tight grip on the leash, I approach the beast with a plan in mind. With each step forward, I feel myself growing braver as the Black Dog starts to cower. I stand tall, face him with unwavering eyes, and with the full force of my strength, I snap the leash on his collar. He struggles against my hold and I strain to contain the weight of his pull. Eventually, the beast releases a weak growl before he collapses on the ground, defeated. I lead him to the cage. I am exhausted but happy.

I lean against my door, thankful to have been successful in my guarding. Glossy tears fall freely down my cheeks. I bask in the immense relief. Albeit temporary.

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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BREAKING HABITS

I see the hot tears
falling down your cheeks
I hear you crying
it shatters my heart
I feel your sadness
adding to my guilt
I know your pain
for it is mine
Even so I must
my little munchkin
be cruel to be kind
Goodbye arm pillows
Farewell hand-holding
So long midnight hugs
For we both need sleep

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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