'Escape'; a creative piece.

Up until recently, I was a member of The Coven Girl Gang (sadly have had to end my membership as I simply cannot afford to continue it in these times. Maybe someday I can return!) and something I really valued in my time as a member were the weekly virtual classes, talks and seminars I could attend, led by industry experts. I attended a few in my 3 month membership; ones on pitching, market researching, budgeting - but my favourite was the last I got to take part in, which was a Creative Writing workshop. We were given the opportunity to chat with a writer, listen to her tips, and then write for 45 mins and read it aloud (via Zoom) for the group, if we wanted to. The prompt we were given was 'escape'. Here's what I wrote... 

It’s so uncomfortable up here, in the eaves of the cramped old attic. I feel like a cliché, as I peer through the cracks and gaps in the floorboards and observe what’s unfolding beneath me – I’m such a ghost. Ughh. And even though they’re my family, it still feels wrong. 

I see my children come and go from the house; off to school, to see friends on the weekends, it all seems a little robotic and I worry they’re just following patterns. I catch them crying quietly while they’re brushing their teeth before going to bed, or as they try to read their favourite books by lamplight – they’ll always turn a page, then shake their heads like they’re trying to dislodge something, turn it back and try to re-read for the hundredth time. I can almost see the black clouds hanging over them. But they don’t talk about it.

I try not to watch my wife sleep, but sometimes I feel compelled to check on her at night, to protect her from the bad dreams. The bad dreams I’ve no doubt put inside her mind, after what happened. It’s torture seeing her get into what was our bed, curl up and make herself as small as possible right on the very edge of the mattress, like she always used to. She doesn’t know how to spread out and take the whole bed for herself yet – or maybe she doesn’t want to. That sounds like her. So selfless and gentle. She always made herself smaller for me. She didn’t need to. I wish she hadn’t.

I wonder what they’d think if they knew I was here. If they knew that all I want, desperately, is for them to be happy and move on; to escape this horrendous grief that grips them and leave me behind. Maybe if I could work out how to move on myself, they’d feel the relief of not having me literally lingering in the air around them, breathing down their necks every day. I just wish I knew how. I can’t seem to leave the house just yet; I’ve tried to slip through the windows or under the front door, but it’s like there’s a barrier in place that prevents me. This makes me think there’s a reason I’m still here. Maybe I need to reach out and find a way to help them move on. But I can’t seem to get messages to them, or move anything around like a classic, cheeky poltergeist might. No, I’m not a poltergeist. I’m not even sure I’m a ghost. I feel like I’m the essence of my old self; a memory they’re holding on to for as long as they can. Does that help them, maybe? If so, what happens when their memories start to fade, or worse, distort? And what will happen when they forget about me completely?


I really enjoyed writing this piece, and then being able to read it to the group and get some lovely feedback was such a treat. I feel like it needs fleshing out, but also cutting down, and it could also become a short story if I wanted to keep going with it. Maybe I will someday. I mean, I do love ghosts... 

So, what do you lot think of this little piece, my gang? And can you recommend any Creative Writing courses/groups/workshops to me? I think I could benefit from one in isolation, y'know. 


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