After ten minutes, she finally managed to move.

It was just to finally shrug off her jacket, and she didn't even get up to hang it on its hanger, she just let it sit there, a crumpled black and gold heap on the floor. But she'd done it, she'd worked through the fog that was weighing down her limbs and she'd taken off her jacket. Now, for the rest of her clothes, to be replaced with her pyjamas. Then to take out her dangly earrings, undo her hair from its clasp, comb it into bed-time readiness. All easy things to do, but she couldn't.

She just couldn't.

Wearily, she looked towards the door, expecting any moment for the door to open, for judging eyes to see her sitting and interpret what was happening in the worst possible way. Waiting for the barrage of horrible words to rain down on her. She had to move, she needed to get up, get ready for bed, act as if she was normal and not behaving in a way that would alienate everyone and just cause more fighting. She had to stop being a problem. After all, if she could shift slightly to ease the feeling of the hard carpet underneath her bottom, she shouldn't have a problem with getting up, right?


She stretched a hand experimentally towards her crumpled jacket, prodded at it, before abruptly withdrawing her hand, not expecting to feel something. Frowning, she prodded at the jacket again and then slowly pushed it away to see what it was. When she saw the beginnings of the object, she grabbed it with two of her fingers, pincer-like, and pulled it out.

Huh, she thought, I thought I'd lost this ages ago. She held up the pen, stared at it, and then idly clicked the top before realising she'd need to get up to find paper. Oh. With a sigh, she closed her eyes and leaned back against the bed. Tried once again to get past the block in her mind.

But once again, she failed.

She opened her eyes, but continued to look up at her ceiling with the naked light-bulb without really seeing it. She clicked the pen top again so that the nib would retract, and almost without realising her grip slowly loosened until the pen slipped out of her hand and clattered to the ground. Abruptly, she sat up and stared at the door, terrified. She waited for it to happen, for that voice she now hated so much to call out and then come to the door with the worst-case scenario all ready to hurl at her, unable to see the actual feelings that she'd been carrying around with her.

And she kept waiting.

After what feels like forever, I've done something original. I mean, not that it's a bad thing that all I've been doing is fan-fiction of different types-I love my fan-fiction and I've written some stuff I'm proud of. Even so, I've been meaning to try more original stuff so I am glad that the Guardian Masterclasses email gave me this writing exercise to try.