time and space

He played all day in his room, from the moment he was excused from the breakfast table until he was called again for lunch, and then again in the afternoon until supper was placed on the table.  His parents worried about his antisocial tendencies but all attempts to get him to play with kids his age had ended poorly, with him in tears and the other children wondering what was wrong with him.  His mom had considered taking him to see a psychiatrist, but his father had convinced her that it was probably a phase he would grow out of if given the space and time to do so.

So, they had waited, and watched, and fretted, and years had passed and still he played with his toys and puzzles and cars and games, in his room, by himself.  His parents thought they had done something wrong, that they had somehow created a rift between him and normal society, that how he spent his days wasn’t really living at all.

It became a sad, personal, joke between them, that on the rare occasions when he was seen leaving his room on his own accord that there had been a ghost sighting.  “Did you see the ghost this afternoon?”  “Did you see that spirit sneaking food from the fridge?”  “Did you see that ethereal being wafting down the hallway?”  They were jokes, but neither of them ever laughed.

Their child was a ghost of the living, and it was all their fault.  They should have forced him to interact more.  They should have required him to spend more time outside, more time rumbling and tumbling with the neighbors, more time learning what it was to be a boy, to be alive.

Each time he asked to be excused and he pushed himself away from the table they hoped that would be the time he would ask if he could go outside and play.  And each time he dashed their hopes and disappeared into his room instead, they grew sadder and more distraught, distancing themselves from their own friends and lives until they too became ghosts.

The child had no understanding of his parents’ plight or sorrow.  He was happy as could be, building worlds, creating friends, running adventures, and allowing his rampant imagination the time and space to grow to its fullest potential.

Open Door Blue Sky

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The curse of the introvert?  The gift of the creative?  Where others see a problem, there may not be something that needs to be solved at all…

This is in response to this week’s Inspiration Monday writing challenge:

Inspiration Monday logo

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

CARDIAC ARREST

FINGERLESS

GHOST OF THE LIVING

WASHING MACHINE

FRIDGE MONSTER

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64 thoughts on “time and space

  1. Fun to read, and stirs my imagination. So true, that thing about introverts being misunderstood as somehow lonely, when we’re not.
    (PS I’m exactly split introvert/extrovert so I can ‘turn it on’ and sometimes enjoy doing that…just as much as I enjoy withdrawing sometimes)

    • Isn’t there an app for that? 😉
      When I was growing up we had a computer, but I still spent most of my time playing outside or playing with action figures or cars in my room. Most of that time I was by myself building worlds around whatever game I was playing.

  2. Very well done, sir. And very accurate. The life of an introvert is not one of loneliness at all. What is called the real world simply cannot compete with the worlds we create in our minds.

      • All of them at once! It was unsettling, once again in a good way, to see how the child seemed to live in his own world, and his parents could do nothing about it. I think I’m just looking at it more from the parents’ point of view, so that’s why I think it’s eerie.

      • Okay, cool. That works for me. As I lived the child’s experience that is the view I can’t help but take… my parents were nothing like the ones I’ve written here though. This is almost a worst case scenario.

      • Ah. With all due respect, no wonder it seemed so spot on! It really couldn’t have been described much better.
        Aul

      • *Ceremoniously* Oh no, thank you 😉
        By the way, can I ask you a question? How do you know if the pictures you’re using aren’t copyrighted, and if they are, is it okay to use them?

      • that’s a great question…
        and I don’t really have a good answer.
        when I use Google Image search to find images I try to not use ones that are obviously copyrighted, and then I always include a link back to the original source of the picture (if you click on it, it will take you to where I found it). Then, if it happens to be a shared photo that has a image credit I usually add that as the caption… If I can’t tell who the image actually belongs to then I don’t put in a caption for it…
        That’s just my technique. I’m not sure if it is the “right” way to do things or not.
        Have you started reading Rara, yet? (rarasaur.wordpress.com) She is a great source for all things blogging and would be happy to answer any questions you have on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

      • Thanks for the answer! I’ve wanted to add pictures in my posts, but I was too worried that I’d get fined or something for using a copyrighted picture. Thanks for the Rara link too; I’ll check that out.
        Aul

      • Always happy to help.
        I haven’t heard of anyone getting fined. Usually people will just ask you to take down the picture if they find you using it and aren’t okay with it.

  3. so how long does it take you to write your magical words? Was the pic part of the prompt? and if so how did you get that write from that pic? and if not why did you pick that pic (sounds like peter picked a peck of peppers)

    I was an only child but don’t think lived in a very imaginary world

    • Today, it took me about 30 minutes to write this. I saw “ghost of the living” and I immediately thought of someone who was living but never present, a ghost to the rest of the world, and from there went to a introverted child and how his parents must view him…
      I wanted a picture from the movie “Finding Neverland” where Barre and his wife are going to their separate bedrooms, she opens her door to a normal room, and he opens his door to the colors and sounds of Neverland… I couldn’t find a picture of that though so found the one I used instead.
      😀

  4. I was always too much of a “Hey! HEY! Look at what I can do!” kind of kid to ever be called introverted. I think it comes from being a middle child AND the elder Irish twin.

  5. I thought that it was going to turn out that he was actually a ghost in the end so for me you had a twist to the story that was probably not intended as a twist, very good. And as an introvert I can relate..lol

  6. This post hits. I was supposed to attend a class tonight. It was about MBTI. I scored 89% introvert. The class was cancelled and while I really wanted to attend, most of my mind said Whoo hoo, class is cancelled.

    I wish more people understood that introversion is not bad and doesn’t equal lonely.

    Loved the post.

    • Hahaha
      I know exactly how you feel. Even social situations I’m looking forward to I always slightly celebrate when I end up not having to go. Just a wash of relief not to have to worry about talking, interacting, making eye contact…

  7. I don’t know, introvert or not, I don’t think it’s healthy to completely isolate yourself. We introverts need people, too, although not as many people as extroverts need, and not for as much time. Of course, he simply may not have found the right friends yet. That makes a big difference!
    I’m thinking some siblings might’ve done him some good. But I do
    know how frustrating it can be when those kind-hearted extroverts don’t understand a body just wants to be left alone, for heaven’s sake. 🙂

    • I agree that as humans we are all definitely social creatures. We just have varying degrees of that… I’m not quite at this low (and I had an older brother that I’ve almost always been close with), but I am at the lower for social needs. I was almost always content to spend time on my own inside or outside…

  8. Strikes me the parents should have taken him to a doctor, if only so that someone could reassure them and save them from their misunderstanding.
    I loved the bit about the ghost jokes – I can totally see that happening and the growing despair of the parents. There was a lot of emotion in this piece, in spite of the way it was told. Nicely done!

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