Brick by brick he boxes himself in.

There is a hammer in my hand and I’m tempted to strike at those walls, but experience has taught me a lot. Hammers reinforce. For every strike, he builds up another layer.

I must be like flowing water. Calm, soothing, undemanding, persistent; wearing the walls down so gradually that even the brick doesn’t know.

His counselor and I have managed to open a few windows. The playful light beams dance about keeping him from plunging into the total dark.

But there are other hammers. Hammers that I neither wield nor control. My eyes do not hold enough water to sooth their blows away.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 12 October 2018, based on a photo prompt contributed by her.

16 thoughts on “Walls

  1. You’ve crafted a good story of how someone suffering from depression will shut themselves away from the world. You sustain the metaphor of the wall really well. The idea that hammer blows cause the depressed person to make the walls stronger is an imaginative way of describing what can happen. The idea that the mother (is it the mother?) has to be like water to wear down the walls and bring help is brilliant. Opening the windows is nice, too. I love your last line which conveys the intensity of the mother’s feelings. She has wept over and over again at the way other people have harmed her child emotionally.

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    1. Thank you Penny. Your generous comments mean a lot. The walls we put up, all of us, are a defence mechanism. For emotionally disturbed people I assume the walls close in tighter. And in that small tight mind-prison sometimes they shrivel and become smaller, and sometimes they go crazy bouncing off like a crazy squash or ping-pong ball.

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