A Mental Moment

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A fictional short story a young male who suffers with his mental health.

Submitted: August 31, 2019

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Submitted: August 31, 2019

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An affliction of the mind is one so cruel. To be lost in a world of unending and debilitating intrusions into one’s own thoughts would be unimaginable to most. For Jonah this was a very real and troubling truth. He had battled with this crippling condition alone for many years, having been too scared to ask for help with what had become a dark and unspeakable taboo. It was on Jonah’s twentieth birthday that he finally confided to his mother about the mental torture he endured. It was then that Jonah began to seek the medical help he so desperately needed. Talking openly and honestly to a doctor about his illness lifted a tremendous weight of Jonah’s shoulders. Jonah was no longer alone with his overbearing mind.


On one late November evening, about a year after Jonah had first sought medical help, Jonah sat in his mother’s cottage as heavy rain rattled strongly against the living room window. The accompanying wicked wind howled round the perimeter of the home like a territorial wolf. The weather was truly terrible. Jonah sat in the darkened living room listening to the clatter of rainfall in a typically somber mood. Jonah couldn’t help but be unhappy with his life at present. He had watched enviously as many of his friends had blossomed into adulthood, while he was left to stagnate in a perpetual state of limbo. Jonah was desperate to earn an income and therefore become less burdensome on his kindhearted and supporting family. But finding a job was not so easy for Jonah. Jonah had no practical vocational experience and only a moderate education. This meant that almost all of his job applications were met with decisive rejection. It was while contemplating his banal existence that Jonah picked up his laptop in an effort to find employment. Jonah spent several minutes scrolling past what seemed like a never ending list of admin roles, none of which Jonah had the will to apply for. Suddenly and startlingly, Jonah came across something unusual. There was one small advertisement that stood proudly against the backdrop of mundane office roles. Its wording was forthright enough to ignite a small sense of trepidation in Jonah’s heart.  


"Jonah Bellows to serve queen and country,” read the advertisement unequivocally.  


Momentarily agasp, Jonah tried to rationalise how this advertisement bearing his name had come to be.


“This must be a joke," Jonah said to himself. "Ben must be up to his old tricks again.”  


It was then that Jonah’s overbearing mind started to muster the most surreal thoughts about the curious vacancy. Jonah knew that the idea of him serving queen and country was entirely ludicrous, but he was unable to shake the pronounced delusional feeling that he had somehow been chosen anonymously. Jonah could no longer be sure it was his friend who had posted the advertisement. Jonah picked up his laptop and stared at the screen once more. He hesitated momentarily before sheepishly sending his resume to whoever had posted the curious vacancy. Feeling slightly perturbed by his application, Jonah once again attempted to rationalise the waves of delusional thoughts that had overcome him.


“There must be thousands of Jonah Bellows’,” thought Jonah. “I’m probably worrying about nothing.”  


Suddenly Jonah’s phone began to ring loudly. It was an anonymous number calling. The tuneful song that Jonah had chosen as his ringtone was now offering little comfort to Jonah’s overactive mind. Jonah’s hand began to tremble terribly. He questioned whether or not to answer to the ominous ringing, but eventually curiosity got the better him.


“Hello,” said Jonah to the anonymous caller apprehensively. Jonah waited with baited breath for a response. He longed to hear the anonymous caller say something that would ease his other worldly fears.


“So you want to serve queen and country Jonah,” boomed the anonymous caller in a deep and commanding tone.


At that very moment Jonah had entered the world he so longed to leave behind. It was a world which the illusions of his mind had created. It was a terrifyingly surreal world. Jonah’s heart began to race wildly. He rose from the sofa and paced frantically up and down the living room floor. Suddenly Jonah began to hear the sound of unmistakable laughter. As Jonah’s ear got closer to the phone, the anonymous voice became so very familiar, and a wave of relief slowly washed over him.


“I can’t believe you fell for it,” joked Ben hysterically, referring to Jonah’s application for the curious vacancy. Although Jonah was truly embarrassed by Ben’s deceitful prank, the overwhelming feeling of relief had outweighed much of the humiliation.  


Jonah couldn’t blame Ben for inflaming his illness. Although Ben was a friend, Jonah had never spoken to him about his illness. Jonah was worried about what his friend may think about him if he knew of his mental anguish, so he preferred to keep it a secret. It was important for Jonah to keep some things the way they have always been. He didn’t want to be treated any differently by his friend because of his affliction. It was this normality that Jonah hoped would help root him firmly in the real world.
 

 
 


© Copyright 2019 marvin bloc. All rights reserved.

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