How to Write About Raw Emotion

by Joe Bunting | 26 comments

Songwriter by Kirk StaufferWriters read, but they also listen. Every writer I know loves music as much as or more than they do reading.

When I first started writing, I didn't compose blogs or novels or non-fiction books; I wrote songs. The poetry of all those beautiful words sung like pearls on a string of melody inspired me to try my own hand at songwriting. Soon songwriting led to other kinds of writing, and now, here we are.

Songs inspire me more than anything.

Which is why I'm listening to them today. Yesterday, we spent seven hours shooting a short film I wrote. It left me exhausted and as dry as a desert. I don't have any energy to create. I barely can write this blog.

So I turned to music to lift me out of creative sloth.

Playing With Control/Chaos

Yesterday, I discovered the song “I Was Broken” by Robert Pattinson. It's a dingy recording from a live show in some dirty English pub, by the sound of it, but if you've ever looked at the cover of a gossip rag in the past few years, you've heard of Robert Pattinson. Mr. Pattinson plays Edward in Twilight.

Yes, I know for many of you that exempts him forever from your attention. However, you need to listen to this song. Apparently, Pattinson is an incredible musician and singer: a mix of Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

What I love most about this song is its unrestraint. “I was broken for a long time, but it's over now,” he sings late into the song, pushing his voice to the breaking point. You know from his vehemence it's far from over.

Bright Eyes did something similar with “At the Bottom of Everything,” when he sings (at about 3:50), “And then we'll see it and we'll see it and we'll see it.”

I like to write like this, pushing words so hard they step right up to the edge of breaking. Unbridled, raw emotion. Below you'll find out two secrets about how to write like this.

Repetition

All these songwriters use repetition to intensify the emotion.

“But it's over now. But it's over now. But it's over now,” and “And then we'll see it and we'll see it and we'll see it.”

Repetition allows the meaning to change and deepen each time it's said. It might change the meaning to its opposite. By repeating, “But it's over now,” he is invoking the cliché, “thou dost protest too much.”

Same with Bob Dylan's “Most of the Time.” Check out the third stanza:

Most of the time
My head is on straight
Most of the time
I’m strong enough not to hate
I don’t build up illusion ’til it makes me sick
I ain’t afraid of confusion no matter how thick
I can smile in the face of mankind
Don’t even remember what her lips felt like on mine
Most of the time

Obviously, you see the repetition, but he is using the repetition to plead his sanity. The interesting part is, we don't know why anyone would doubt his sanity until halfway through the song, “Don't remember what her lips felt like on mine. Most of the time.” He's not sane, he's not okay, he's pretty screwed up. Some of the time.

Restraint

If you want to write with unbridled emotion, the most important part is to hedge the unrestrained emotion with even greater restraint. People can only handle so much raw emotion. It makes the song/poem/novel chaotic and dull, like a junior high girl's journal.

But if you're able to suck everything up and control your prose/verse, it can be powerful, hinting always at something deeper going on beneath.

This is something I love about Cormac McCarthy, how he slips in and out of control. Hemingway does it too. For ninety-nine percent of The Sun Also Rises, Jake is in complete control of himself. However, maybe three or four times in the whole book he shows how tortured he is underneath. Emotion changes everything.

And it's simple to imitate, too.

PRACTICE

Write about a man walking down a street in the city where you live. A few weeks ago the love of his life died. Combine unbridled emotion (using repetition) with restraint. Write for fifteen minutes, and post your practice in the comments.

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

26 Comments

  1. Steve Mathys

    It had been a tough week. Hell, it had been a tough year. First the election, then the promotion which was supposed to be a blessing in disguise, ended up being only disguise. Then Carol got sick, and John has suddenly found himself up a creek without a paddle. But recently, the weeks had gotten tougher. Especially the last one. For the first week after her death, he’d had someone there –his cousin, who came to stay for a while. His grown kids who helped come bury their mom, the pastor of the church who stopped by daily to help out. Yes, it too had been a tough week – tough by any standard. The thing was, it was different – almost sane. People know what to do after someone dies – you bring over cards, flowers, a lasagna to put in the freezer, make funeral arrangements, and put a notice in the paper. But, soon, all too o soon, that tough week is over after the memorial service and everyone goes back home, leaving you all alone again. Oh, sure, you lie and say “It’ll be alright,” and they all lie and say “Call me if you need anything, Dad,” while they’re checking their watch to make sure they leave in time to get across town to the airport, they lie and say “Yes, God still has plans for you, John, you can believe that. No, I don’t know what they are but with His help we’ll find out together.” They lie when they say “we’re here to ensure that Carol is properly remembered,” all the while subtly steering you away from the simple, plain casket you know she wanted to the slightly more pretentious one that you can tell your daughters are angling for, perhaps in a veiled attempt to assuage their own guilt at not having been there the last three days when she went down hill so fast. There was always something: a PTO meeting, a big presentation, a husband out of town on his own business so she couldn’t come anyway so soon.

    Yes, it had been a bad week, that first seven days and seven sleepless nights after she passed away, but the next one had turned out even worse. Because when everyone went home, all he was left with was himself and the memory of who he’d been, who they’d been together, and another sense – his own insecurity, his own guilt at not having done maybe just one more test to see if the cancer could be stopped, or maybe it would have taken just one more specialist, the holistic healer they’d heard about up in Manitou, who practiced that whackey-out type of “functional medicine,” he called it. Maybe if they had, she’d still be here, and he wouldn’t be having this conversation in shi head.

    Oh, who was he kidding. It was inevitable, if not this week then next, or the week after that. And, come to think of it, maybe is weekend should have been six months ago: maybe they should have stopped the chemo the first time Dr. Mason suggested it. Maybe they should have called hospice sooner. Maybe they should have prepared the girls better, so they weren’t so pre-scheduled that they couldn’t come help him grieve as she died and grieve after she was gone. Maybe they should have – maybe – maybe…

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      This is very moving Steve. Thank you for sharing it.

      I like the repetition at the end, “Maybe they should have – maybe – maybe…”

      I liked these couple of lines, “The thing was, it was different – almost sane. People know what to do after someone dies – you bring over cards, flowers, a lasagna to put in the freezer, make funeral arrangements, and put a notice in the paper.” Especially the, “almost sane.” It’s like saying, “Almost alive”; you’re still not alive.

      What happens after this snapshot of his mind?

    • Steve Mathys

      I don’t know what happens, Joe. I didn’t get to write that part yet… As for your comment on “almost sane”, it’s really a parallel to some things I’ve been dealing with regarding my wife’s health issues. Sometimes I have thought, morbidly so, that if the Lord were to take her home, it might be easier. No, not right away, but there is a fairly standard path for those who grieve over a lost spouse. Not so much standard when your loved ones have an obviously debilitating illness that may have no clear reason, no clear cure, and no clear precedent for how to help.

    • Joe Bunting

      I’m so sorry Steve. I can’t even imagine… Thank you for your vulnerability.

    • Mark Almand

      Steve, as I read your post this morning, I thought it had an air of authenticity. I’m very sorry to hear why.

  2. Steve Mathys

    It had been a tough week. Hell, it had been a tough year. First the election, then the promotion which was supposed to be a blessing in disguise, ended up being only disguise. Then Carol got sick, and John has suddenly found himself up a creek without a paddle. But recently, the weeks had gotten tougher. Especially the last one. For the first week after her death, he’d had someone there –his cousin, who came to stay for a while. His grown kids who helped come bury their mom, the pastor of the church who stopped by daily to help out. Yes, it too had been a tough week – tough by any standard. The thing was, it was different – almost sane. People know what to do after someone dies – you bring over cards, flowers, a lasagna to put in the freezer, make funeral arrangements, and put a notice in the paper. But, soon, all too o soon, that tough week is over after the memorial service and everyone goes back home, leaving you all alone again. Oh, sure, you lie and say “It’ll be alright,” and they all lie and say “Call me if you need anything, Dad,” while they’re checking their watch to make sure they leave in time to get across town to the airport, they lie and say “Yes, God still has plans for you, John, you can believe that. No, I don’t know what they are but with His help we’ll find out together.” They lie when they say “we’re here to ensure that Carol is properly remembered,” all the while subtly steering you away from the simple, plain casket you know she wanted to the slightly more pretentious one that you can tell your daughters are angling for, perhaps in a veiled attempt to assuage their own guilt at not having been there the last three days when she went down hill so fast. There was always something: a PTO meeting, a big presentation, a husband out of town on his own business so she couldn’t come anyway so soon.

    Yes, it had been a bad week, that first seven days and seven sleepless nights after she passed away, but the next one had turned out even worse. Because when everyone went home, all he was left with was himself and the memory of who he’d been, who they’d been together, and another sense – his own insecurity, his own guilt at not having done maybe just one more test to see if the cancer could be stopped, or maybe it would have taken just one more specialist, the holistic healer they’d heard about up in Manitou, who practiced that whackey-out type of “functional medicine,” he called it. Maybe if they had, she’d still be here, and he wouldn’t be having this conversation in shi head.

    Oh, who was he kidding. It was inevitable, if not this week then next, or the week after that. And, come to think of it, maybe is weekend should have been six months ago: maybe they should have stopped the chemo the first time Dr. Mason suggested it. Maybe they should have called hospice sooner. Maybe they should have prepared the girls better, so they weren’t so pre-scheduled that they couldn’t come help him grieve as she died and grieve after she was gone. Maybe they should have – maybe – maybe…

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      This is very moving Steve. Thank you for sharing it.

      I like the repetition at the end, “Maybe they should have – maybe – maybe…”

      I liked these couple of lines, “The thing was, it was different – almost sane. People know what to do after someone dies – you bring over cards, flowers, a lasagna to put in the freezer, make funeral arrangements, and put a notice in the paper.” Especially the, “almost sane.” It’s like saying, “Almost alive”; you’re still not alive.

      What happens after this snapshot of his mind?

    • Steve Mathys

      I don’t know what happens, Joe. I didn’t get to write that part yet… As for your comment on “almost sane”, it’s really a parallel to some things I’ve been dealing with regarding my wife’s health issues. Sometimes I have thought, morbidly so, that if the Lord were to take her home, it might be easier. No, not right away, but there is a fairly standard path for those who grieve over a lost spouse. Not so much standard when your loved ones have an obviously debilitating illness that may have no clear reason, no clear cure, and no clear precedent for how to help.

    • Joe Bunting

      I’m so sorry Steve. I can’t even imagine… Thank you for your vulnerability.

    • Mark Almand

      Steve, as I read your post this morning, I thought it had an air of authenticity. I’m very sorry to hear why.

  3. Dillon Queen

    ((I do believe I took more than 15 minutes to write this, but I felt something tap into my heart when I began writing this. It’s not perfect, but I guarantee it’s strait from my soul. I do recommend listening to the song I listened to while writing this to set the mood for the ‘song’ within the story. Thank you! Tell me what you think?))

    (The song listened to while writing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C5Ih_Bvnjpc#! ))

    The night grew soft. Tender and wonderful with a hint of supernatural control. The sky drew a dark veil over the stars as the clouds began to rumble the war torn horns of the unending battle of nature. This night would be a reminder of the past. A past rarely to ever be forgotten by the weary souls of the kindred hearts to the departed angel that once called this night her own symphony not a month ago.

    The dreams racked his mind in daylight and also within the sweet embrace of the shades that most call the moon’s sanctum. His feet pained with natural feelings of being worn, but ahead he tread the path that only a few set onto at this timeless hour of night and morning.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    His eyes smiled and his teeth shown their brilliance of white and a tone of yellow. To this realm he walked among shambled buildings, and desolate lifeless roads. Though within his heart he ran in fields of shimmering radiance and dreams followed in every breath.

    The field glowed with a shimmer not of light or darkness, but of something in between. Colors of violet and purples no man could describe within a mortal’s voice. The leaves swayed, the grasses danced, and the birds sang along to the song that controlled the night with a sway and a bend on every mythical turn.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    In the realm of mere men his journey continued. The man seemed dead walking except for the soft and endearing smile worn upon his tear stained face. Dirt matted the wounds of raw and tender skin that the water’s of sorrow had made fester. Turning his body he set down a path to what seemed to be a local park of some sort.

    The bone icing winds of the corrupt world around the man sent ungodly chills down head to toe. Showing even though he walked like the dead living, he truly wanted to live, but not here within this world.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    A voice other than his joyful own sung along to the music of the ever immortal midnight. A tone which raised the spirits of harmony from slumber within every living creature including the man of sorrow who stopped now to listen.

    His eyes followed the nearly visible notes within the cool and loving air. The darkness covered the vocalist, the dream weaver in a stone like turmoil. Closer he tread to the voice he knew! The closer he grew the harder it was to continue. Tears of pain rose, and sadness in the soul emerged.

    Within reach of the shadowy figure he smiled and reached out to grasp the fragile and welcoming hand that seemed to long for the warmth of his touch. The familiarity of a lover. Upon touching the woman he knew and once loved within the living realm of time and space, stone covered wherever he touched. Cold and encasing he began to cry out to her, but her song fell silent as she grew to nothing more than marble and granite.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    His hand traced the engraved name of his former and forever bride. Taken by the reapers not a month ago. Tears dripped and dropped to the unforgiving grass below. He knew she was safe from this world of hate, forever singing within the realm that was his heart and soul.

    Tonight he would let her go and continue his life as she prayed he would before she departed for the heaven that awaited her return.

    Standing the man walked on home, but not before reciting a solemn ode,

    “Good Forever Night My Angel of the Violet Midnight”

    Below that an inscription even more boldly engraved read,

    “Fantasy Can Become Reality.”

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Hey Dillon. Certainly some raw emotion here. I like the colors. Interesting, the song certainly added some depth to this. That’s so funny how music can influence how you read something.

      There are some parts that seem a little too melodramatic to me. For example, “In the realm of mere men his journey continued,” or this, “his teeth shown their brilliance of white and a tone of yellow.” I like the attention to detail, but it seems like you’re trying to make something more of the insignificant. Of course, maybe that’s the place this man is in. Maybe he feels so full of wonder and grief he sees everything in that kind of awe inspired light (although he wouldn’t see his teeth, unless he had a mirror at the moment).

      That twist at the end was nice. We don’t know where he’s going or what’s going on and then it all makes sense. Very cool.

    • Dillon Queen

      Thank yah! To be honest I don’t know much terminology when it come to writing (been out of school a bit too long), but I feel that the way I was narrating the story was from a ‘all mighty and all knowing’ point of view. I wanted to show the details in the face and teeth to show a bit of detail the I rarely touch. That would be the looks and details of imperfections. I and many writers usually keep to the typical white teeth, but I wanted to show imperfection to add to the feel of grief. As for the ‘realm of mere men.’ bit I wanted to make sure the transition between the dream state and reality was known.

      Thank you for all that you said and I do feel I could have executed it all a bit better.

      I kinda wish more people would give me their thoughts but I suppose this ‘raw emotion’ post has been buried recently under other posts.

      Oh’s well.

    • Joe Bunting

      Yeah terminology is confusing, but to me it doesn’t feel like “God’s” almighty and all knowing viewpoint. It’s too personal, too wrapped up in his feelings. God, I assume, is more rational and… I can’t think of the right word… able to make rational, unemotional observations. You are deep in this guys head, and he’s not thinking about teeth.

      And of course, these aren’t the things you execute the first time. You do that later, in editing. As it is, this is a good practice, a good first draft. Now you’ve got to make it great (or not and file it away for later).

      Yes, this post is an old one so it’s harder for people to find it. Sorry about that!

  4. Dillon Queen

    ((I do believe I took more than 15 minutes to write this, but I felt something tap into my heart when I began writing this. It’s not perfect, but I guarantee it’s strait from my soul. I do recommend listening to the song I listened to while writing this to set the mood for the ‘song’ within the story. Thank you! Tell me what you think?))

    (The song listened to while writing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C5Ih_Bvnjpc#! ))

    The night grew soft. Tender and wonderful with a hint of supernatural control. The sky drew a dark veil over the stars as the clouds began to rumble the war torn horns of the unending battle of nature. This night would be a reminder of the past. A past rarely to ever be forgotten by the weary souls of the kindred hearts to the departed angel that once called this night her own symphony not a month ago.

    The dreams racked his mind in daylight and also within the sweet embrace of the shades that most call the moon’s sanctum. His feet pained with natural feelings of being worn, but ahead he tread the path that only a few set onto at this timeless hour of night and morning.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    His eyes smiled and his teeth shown their brilliance of white and a tone of yellow. To this realm he walked among shambled buildings, and desolate lifeless roads. Though within his heart he ran in fields of shimmering radiance and dreams followed in every breath.

    The field glowed with a shimmer not of light or darkness, but of something in between. Colors of violet and purples no man could describe within a mortal’s voice. The leaves swayed, the grasses danced, and the birds sang along to the song that controlled the night with a sway and a bend on every mythical turn.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    In the realm of mere men his journey continued. The man seemed dead walking except for the soft and endearing smile worn upon his tear stained face. Dirt matted the wounds of raw and tender skin that the water’s of sorrow had made fester. Turning his body he set down a path to what seemed to be a local park of some sort.

    The bone icing winds of the corrupt world around the man sent ungodly chills down head to toe. Showing even though he walked like the dead living, he truly wanted to live, but not here within this world.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    A voice other than his joyful own sung along to the music of the ever immortal midnight. A tone which raised the spirits of harmony from slumber within every living creature including the man of sorrow who stopped now to listen.

    His eyes followed the nearly visible notes within the cool and loving air. The darkness covered the vocalist, the dream weaver in a stone like turmoil. Closer he tread to the voice he knew! The closer he grew the harder it was to continue. Tears of pain rose, and sadness in the soul emerged.

    Within reach of the shadowy figure he smiled and reached out to grasp the fragile and welcoming hand that seemed to long for the warmth of his touch. The familiarity of a lover. Upon touching the woman he knew and once loved within the living realm of time and space, stone covered wherever he touched. Cold and encasing he began to cry out to her, but her song fell silent as she grew to nothing more than marble and granite.

    Fantasy can become reality.

    His hand traced the engraved name of his former and forever bride. Taken by the reapers not a month ago. Tears dripped and dropped to the unforgiving grass below. He knew she was safe from this world of hate, forever singing within the realm that was his heart and soul.

    Tonight he would let he go and continue his life as she prayed he would before she departed for the heaven that awaited her return.

    Standing the man walked on home, but not before reciting a solemn ode,

    “Good Forever Night My Angel of the Purple Midnight”

    Below that an inscription even more boldly engraved read,

    “Fantasy Can Become Reality.”

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Hey Dillon. Certainly some raw emotion here. I like the colors. Interesting, the song certainly added some depth to this. That’s so funny how music can influence how you read something.

      There are some parts that seem a little too melodramatic to me. For example, “In the realm of mere men his journey continued,” or this, “his teeth shown their brilliance of white and a tone of yellow.” I like the attention to detail, but it seems like you’re trying to make something more of the insignificant. Of course, maybe that’s the place this man is in. Maybe he feels so full of wonder and grief he sees everything in that kind of awe inspired light (although he wouldn’t see his teeth, unless he had a mirror at the moment).

      That twist at the end was nice. We don’t know where he’s going or what’s going on and then it all makes sense. Very cool.

    • Dillon Queen

      Thank yah! To be honest I don’t know much terminology when it come to writing (been out of school a bit too long), but I feel that the way I was narrating the story was from a ‘all mighty and all knowing’ point of view. I wanted to show the details in the face and teeth to show a bit of detail the I rarely touch. That would be the looks and details of imperfections. I and many writers usually keep to the typical white teeth, but I wanted to show imperfection to add to the feel of grief. As for the ‘realm of mere men.’ bit I wanted to make sure the transition between the dream state and reality was known.

      Thank you for all that you said and I do feel I could have executed it all a bit better.

      I kinda wish more people would give me their thoughts but I suppose this ‘raw emotion’ post has been buried recently under other posts.

      Oh’s well.

    • Joe Bunting

      Yeah terminology is confusing, but to me it doesn’t feel like “God’s” almighty and all knowing viewpoint. It’s too personal, too wrapped up in his feelings. God, I assume, is more rational and… I can’t think of the right word… able to make rational, unemotional observations. You are deep in this guys head, and he’s not thinking about teeth.

      And of course, these aren’t the things you execute the first time. You do that later, in editing. As it is, this is a good practice, a good first draft. Now you’ve got to make it great (or not and file it away for later).

      Yes, this post is an old one so it’s harder for people to find it. Sorry about that!

  5. Laura W.

    All right. I really like this blog, but I will have to pick on you for this.

    “It makes the song/poem/novel chaotic and dull, like a junior high girl’s journal.”

    Why a girl’s journal? Why not a boy’s? Many guy friends of mine admit to chaotic, dull junior high journals and emo poems about their unattainable crushes. Just like girls. “Chaotic and dull, like a junior high girl’s journal” sounds dismissive — almost cruel, actually. It devalues the chaotic, dull junior high experience of girls. Those emotions are over the top most of the time (because most of us only wrote in our diaries when we were emotional enough to remember we kept them, ha), but they’re still valid emotions.

    Now, I’m sure you didn’t mean to sound sexist. But unthinking sexism is still sexism, a kind of stereotype/prejudice that’s so deeply ingrained in our culture that we don’t even think about it (especially if one is not usually on the receiving end of sexism). The fact that you wrote “girl’s” instead of “kid’s” here demonstrates that. After all, aren’t girls overflowing with melodramatic emotion while boys are unemotional, strong, and silent? It is a small instance of prejudice, but one that you should be aware of.

    Yay:) I succeeded in writing an emotional piece! With, hopefully, the right amount of restraint (as you suggested). Again: don’t get me wrong; I really like your blog.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Ha way to go on the emotional piece 😉

      You’re quite right, Laura. You’ve pegged me… or my generalization, at least. When I was in junior high, my journal would have been quite ridiculous to read. So I could have said “an emo junior high kid,” and it would have been just as true. Generalizations can be funny and easy shortcuts, but you’re right that they often hide as much truth as they reveal. Thanks for revealing that.

  6. Laura W.

    All right. I really like this blog, but I will have to pick on you for this.

    “It makes the song/poem/novel chaotic and dull, like a junior high girl’s journal.”

    Why a girl’s journal? Why not a boy’s? Many guy friends of mine admit to chaotic, dull junior high journals and emo poems about their unattainable crushes. Just like girls. “Chaotic and dull, like a junior high girl’s journal” sounds dismissive — almost cruel, actually. It devalues the chaotic, dull junior high experience of girls. Those emotions are over the top most of the time (because most of us only wrote in our diaries when we were emotional enough to remember we kept them, ha), but they’re still valid emotions.

    Now, I’m sure you didn’t mean to sound sexist. But unthinking sexism is still sexism, a kind of stereotype/prejudice that’s so deeply ingrained in our culture that we don’t even think about it (especially if one is not usually on the receiving end of sexism). The fact that you wrote “girl’s” instead of “kid’s” here demonstrates that. After all, aren’t girls overflowing with melodramatic emotion while boys are unemotional, strong, and silent? It is a small instance of prejudice, but one that you should be aware of.

    Yay:) I succeeded in writing an emotional piece! With, hopefully, the right amount of restraint (as you suggested). Again: don’t get me wrong; I really like your blog.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Ha way to go on the emotional piece 😉

      You’re quite right, Laura. You’ve pegged me… or my generalization, at least. When I was in junior high, my journal would have been quite ridiculous to read. So I could have said “an emo junior high kid,” and it would have been just as true. Generalizations can be funny and easy shortcuts, but you’re right that they often hide as much truth as they reveal. Thanks for revealing that.

  7. Will

    For the past month or so – his sense of time wandered, that he hardly felt it pass anymore – Matthew had begun blaming himself. For Debbie. He thought of her when he passed the long seaside street, crossed the wooden planks and bridges until the smell of the sea clogged his nostrils. Debbie had loved this path, she had loved the sea, she had loved Matthew.

    Clouds caught the sunbeams in their thick clumps. The lights diminished, before returning with a pale glow.

    When Debbie had died, Matthew had breathed a sigh of relief. He was relieved for her, of course – no more would she cry in the night, starve, go through all imaginable operations only to collapse the next week due to an electrolyte imbalance. But he was also relieved for himself – he slept so well, so deeply at night; because he never her her purging in the toilet anymore, and he never again would have to lie in bed, tittering with fear, wondering which new method of destroying her body resourceful Debbie had come up with.

    Now, he was as neutral as the clouds, or so he hoped. He could make himself puff and breeze away, immaterial, unfeeling, free of Debbie, of family, of people.

    Above the clouds is lovely, and quite cold.

    Matthew knew he had to be cold, too – otherwise, he might just as well lose his mind. Like Debbie.

    Yet, in those perfect moments of restraint something inside him broke, and all he kept thinking was Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. He was so sorry he wasn’t good enough a husband to save her. He remembered carrying her emaciated body to bed, all the times he’d done that.

    The irony was, now that he was finally apologising, Debbie wouldn’t hear. Apologies aren’t useful to a corpse.

    She’d had a nice funeral. That was a blessing, wasn’t it? He’d tried to remember the good moments, the times before the business with the eating and vomiting and exercising and collapsing. Debbie had been wonderful then. Just fine.

    Reply
  8. Lele Lele

    He covered himself as the freezing winds blew around him. People shivered as he walked down towards the alley where a pub was set.

    He blew a breath and air froze around his mouth. A woman smiled at him and he stiffened. His arms felt heavy as he gave a wave back. The woman was already gone; he slow dropped down his arm and put it in his pocket.

    Something bumped right hand as he walked forward. He paused, pulled it out and he pursed his lips. “Marie,” it read.

    People walked past him while he opened that small piece of paper. It read a date. Just two weeks ago. “You should’ve come,” it said.

    He crunched the paper and shoved it down his pocket almost tearing it. He grit his teeth. His right foot moved slowly forward. He grit his teeth.

    The stores were just opening up and the sun was barely above the horizon. He could hear birds chirping. He turned around but there were none. “Marie,” he said.

    The freezing wind blew. He bit it hard.

    Then he covered his mouth as he drew blood. He shook his head and walked forward. He put his hands on his pocket. The paper was still there crumpled.

    He bumped into a small child. The child frowned at him and he stared hard. “What’s wrong with your face mister,” the child said. “Halloween’s over you know.”

    He moved past the child as the child turned around and blew his tongue at him. He looked up. The sun was higher now. He blinked. Then closed his eyes as people shuffled around him. There steps hit the pavement. Then he opened his eyes and walked foward. His hands in his pocket. His right foot moving slowly.

    He touched his mouth. He shivered. He covered himself.

    He grit his teeth. He drew blood.

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  9. tendai max ziwa

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  10. tendai max ziwa

    As he walked down Canada drive ,everyone who knew him and what had happened to him was not mistaken by the way he walked.He walked as thou he was being forced ,reluctantly like a zombie .His face looked cold ,as if he didn’t like to live anymore .His dejected face and weary body sold him out that something horrible had happened in his life .Though he tried with all his effort and energy left in him to smile ,when i greeted him ,trying to disguise his heart felt heart break, but still his body sold him out.

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