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.
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:
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.
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.
GHOST OF THE LIVING