Monday, 15 July 2013


The rules:
1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up with your blog hostess (Nicole, Carrie, Tena or Leanne)
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
And here is the photo:

And here are the words -






Here is my entry:

Jennifer took the proffered tissue from the box.  She wiped the tears from her eyes and sniffed a few more times.  The smell of the leather couch comforted her as she sank back against the plush cushions. 
The psychiatrist sat, patiently waiting until Jennifer had control of her emotions again.  Last week they’d finished their session with the question of why she was always waiting for a sign.
Jennifer recounted the recurring nightmare of a shop window full of dolls heads leering at her, some smiling, some grimacing, some upside down, all waiting for something or someone to put their lives together again.
That is how she felt most days, as though she was a ship in dry dock waiting for repairs to be made to her hull, her interior fittings and fixtures needing updating, refreshing and revitalising.
Jennifer told her counsellor that if she could clock in everyday as she did at work in the perfume factory then she could organise her moods accordingly. 
It was her private life that let her down each day, the riddle of her birth that she couldn’t come to terms with.  Knowing what she now knew about her natural mother didn't make it any easier to deal with.
The two people who had brought her up were always fighting, always squabbling.  Why she was ever allowed to live them was obviously a strange comedy of errors.
Anna lent forward with a compassionate face.  ‘Tell me how often you have these recurring nightmares, Jennifer,’ she said in a hypnotic voice that made you feel you wanted to tell her everything.
‘It seems to have been forever and a day,’ Jennifer replied.  ‘When I think about it though, it was probably five years ago when my doorbell rang.’
Prompted gently by Anna’s nodding head she continued. ‘I looked through the peephole and saw a grinning face, plastic skin covering baby blue eyes, black lashes curling out from the eyelids and gently cascading down on to her shoulders was a mass of curly brown hair peeping out from a lace edged bonnet.’
Jennifer looked up and found the courage to continue her story.  ‘My boyfriend had bought me a fantastic doll, clothed in a pretty lace dress, with fancy pantaloons, she was a very expensive doll and I loved her.  She took pride of place on top of my dresser in my bedroom.  I called her Clarissa.’
A big gulp, a throat swallow, ‘then Roger left me for my best friend and since then all I can see is a discarded head, bald and decapitated.  I put Clarissa back in her box and shoved her in the bottom of my wardrobe.’
Anna cleared her throat and apologetically said, ‘we’ll have to leave it there for today, Jennifer.  I think we’ve covered a lot of ground.  Can you make an appointment with my secretary for our next session?’
Jennifer smiled a tight, false smile, another brush-off, another dismissal.  Maybe she wouldn’t bother coming back.

Word Count: 499


  1. I really felt for Jennifer in this story. Trying her best to come to terms with her pain and her problems, but wondering if people are actually listening.
    Strong feelings came out here, well done.

  2. As an old sea-dog I loved the ship analogy. I had a visit to a 'shrink' one time and considered it a waste of time but in Jennifer's case it is advisable she books another appointment. Writing about past ills acted as a kind of therapy, it can be painful re-living past ills but just airing them is like a release. Instead of a psychiatrist I would recommend she explained her thoughts and feelings to a close friend (they're much cheaper). This is very authentic.

  3. I love what you did with the photo. I agree with jp that the voice here is very authentic. Very enjoyable!

  4. A complete story in only 500 words. I wouldn't have thought it was possible. And a good story at that!

  5. I feel sorry for Jennifer! I just want to hug her!

  6. A wonderful and honest voice here, Sally. Jennifer has a REAL problem and this therapist REALLY annoys me. I don't blame her for feeling dismissed. The therapist should have left her with some kind of comforting words or an exercise to continue her healing.

    I agree with JP.... a good friend would definitely help Jennifer a LOT more.

    Nicely written with real emotion!

  7. I loved what you did with the prompt here, Sally! I think my favorite thing about your piece is how the dolls were a metaphor for something emotionally profound in Jennifer; this line: "... all waiting for something or someone to put their lives together again" is such a great illustration.

    Nice job!

  8. Sally, you've put together a great story and I echo the comments of the others. We all see the problem, but the person paid to understand doesn't. Good job!

  9. "Maybe she wouldn’t bother coming back." Good choice! What a useless woman.

    I love the descriptions here- especially "a grinning face, plastic skin covering baby blue eyes, black lashes curling out from the eyelids and gently cascading down on to her shoulders was a mass of curly brown hair peeping out from a lace edged bonnet."

    1. Oh! And I totally forgot to say: I will take your feedback in whatever form you'd like to offer it, wither on the blog or e-mail. My address is: