A Blooming Red Thread

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Review Chain

This is for Archia's contest, the prompt with the red thread, I hope you guys enjoy:)

It's simply easy to struggle dealing with anxiety, dealing with a new environment, or finding your place in the world isn't easy. Sometimes, it's your choice how much you want to spread your own roots and threads to bloom. Words are a powerful thing.

 

 

It was the beginning of fall, with the pretty colors of red and orange leaves dotting the trees, but I didn't quite pay attention to the natural beauty outside of my campus. In fact, I ran in a sprint as I left the lecture hall of my Principles of Psychology class. Everything around me was a blur as if I was on a roller coaster ride. Although I was trying to find a safe and quiet place in solitude to calm my panic attack. 

 

Thankfully, my psychology class wasn’t far from the library. When I first walked into the grey bleak pillars of the library. I inhaled the fresh smell of books like scented candles. It’s almost as if I dived into my personal introvert spa. 

 

The librarian, Mrs. Reed, is a sweet and kind older woman. Her hair is in its usual grey bun, with a thick pencil behind her ear, and big round glasses around her vibrant green eyes. As usual, we have this understanding with one another. I’ve either given her a thumbs up if I’m having a good day or a thumbs down if I’m having a bad day. Her eyes widened when I subtly gave her a thumbs down. Thankfully, nobody was at her desk and she gave me a quick nod. I quickly followed behind her as we passed by the long walls full of bookshelves. I felt a sense of curious glances upon me, but I tried to remind myself it's proably all in my head.

 

She took me to the far end of the library, which held an abandoned section of dictionaries and thesauruses.

 

"When almost everyone is too lazy to use a dictionary or thesaurus anymore, thanks to Mr. Cheeto Google", Mrs. Reed muttered to herself with a long sigh.

 

"Well, at least it's being useful to keep me booked from my panic thoughts," I tried to attempt with a joke, yet grimaced at myself with the corniness. Mrs. Reed, bless her, laughed at my cheesy humor.

 

 

“If you need anything, sweetie, you know where to find me. Just concentrate on your breathing and it will pass soon.” I nodded my head shakily before she left me alone.

 

I headed to my little perch, which I claimed as my personal window spot. Once I sat down, I felt like my entire body was being knocked over by a gust of wind. Inhale and exhale, I kept repeating in my head. However, I just couldn’t seem to keep my thoughts at bay. 

 

I knew exams would be coming up soon, but I just wasn’t mentally prepared when the professor announced them earlier. It’s my first year at university, yet I’m already thinking about wanting to go back home. I barely have any friends, even though I could count Mrs. Reed. As for my roommate, well, she’s a huge extrovert and has invited a lot of people to our dorm a lot. The library is like the only sanctuary I have for peace and quiet and not mingling with people. 

 

Gosh, I just sounded like a total anitsocial pessimist.

 

Maybe if I just stick it out with the fall semester, I could try to transfer to a community college and be back home. I terribly miss my family, also my mom especially, since she would know what to do to calm me down. Initially, every little thing has seemed to set me off in a panic mode. So I just didn’t know what could lead me away from my thread of anxiety?

 

I sighed loudly as I began to get up. I started to browse through the books, so I could distract myself from my depressing thoughts for a while.

 

Suddenly, I saw a long piece of red thread waving at me through the dusty thesaurus. When I looked closely at the thread; a pretty crimson flower was sewn in the thread and engraved on the golden petals spelled out a word.

 

'COURAGE' 

 

XOX

 

After that day, I started to receive a different red thread from the same thesaurus every week. At first I thought it was a fluke, but then I started to notice each different word gave me a sense of power. I felt like I’ve grown in this past month: I made friends in a book club I joined, also I set boundaries with my roommate, and I didn’t fail my first exam from my psychology professor. 

 

It’s the start of a new month, so I’m excited to see what my word would be this time. I slowly opened the thesaurus before I gasped loudly. Dozens and dozens of red threads spun together in a bouquet of roses. However, what brought tears in my eyes was what the threads spelled out.

 

'Congratulations, Reba!'

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: December 10, 2021

© Copyright 2022 FromBlackToViloet. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Thoughts Before Rem

That was kind of cute
I liked this one. Alot of the sentences were still a bit awkward (I'll probably read through again and leave little notes.) But I do really feel like there is genuine progress in your writing. I've been reading calla Lilac chapter 2 and I see where your getting a bit better as a writer. Though I'm not really one to talk since I'm still not the best myself but I guess that's why I can see someone making progress same as me lmao.
I really like this story it was like an uplifting flash fiction. I used to be in university and I know how annoying having an overly social room mate can get especially when you're just trying to chill out for the night or study.
Good story I really like your stories

Sat, December 11th, 2021 7:26am

Author
Reply

Aw thank you! I'm glad I'm making progress with my writing, especially when it comes to short stories. I sort of combined community college among university with what my friends told me. Same like I can see your progress with your writing as well. Sometimes, like reading from an author's book, you just pick up on their writng style. I actually wrote this during finals week, still am, so the inspiration kind of went from there. And my insecurities with college. I feel people who are in or were in or going to college could relate. Cause tv shows sometimes glamorize it. Some universities are like that, but to not that extreme lol. I'll look over your notes, also to re-read, see what I can do to fix it. Thanks so much!:}

Sun, December 12th, 2021 5:41pm

Poetshri

This story gives a hope to the people, suffering from anxiety problem. I loved the way how you maintained the flow. Wish I had met Mrs Reed. I always loved the libraries, especially the huge ones. Reba chose a wonderful place to deal with the issue.

There is a saying in my nation that even a straw can be a lifesaver to a drowning person. I'm curious to know whether Mrs Reed put the red thread to support Reba, or it was a magic. Your story conveys that providing a hope or support, a person can deal with serious issues. The story was cheering as well as relaxing. Thank you for an incredible work, Violet. :)

Tue, December 14th, 2021 12:29pm

Author
Reply

Oh thank you so much, I suffer with generalized anxiety disorder, which comes with panic attacks. I tend to overthink a situation and well my mind doesn’t know when to clear. I really love your nations saying: that pretty powerful and so true. One thing or person makes a huge difference to someone’s day. Mrs reed, were some of my past teachers I had, I think they knew I had anxiety before I was even aware. I was pretty young so they didn’t quite diagnose me yet. But they used to give me small things or tell me how well I’m doing. Just their words brighten my day. I’m glad you enjoyed this read, something positive in a stressful day makes the day brighter:) thank you!

Sat, December 18th, 2021 12:00pm

Lucas Barstow

I like the concept of this story. Someone looking out for the disadvantaged and being a real friend through support in an unexpected way. I’ll admit that I’m an introvert so can relate but I’ve no idea about panic attacks. It’s quite a sweet story.
My personal preference would be to not have the first paragraph, it feels unnecessary with the actual story developing after and the last section being a well rounded conclusion.

Tue, December 14th, 2021 3:47pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much, I took your advice and it really helps the story flow better. Yes, being kind to someone or any words can impact a person. I’m a huge introvert too, I love hanging out with my friends and family, but I just need to recharge and I like to do my own thing. Oof panic attacks they’re not pretty. It feels like your dying and you keep thinking and thinking. I’m really glad you liked my story, thank you again and for your advice:)

Sat, December 18th, 2021 12:04pm

Aluriyasha

It was a lovely read, I felt the anxiousness of the character also the hope.
I like the smaller descriptions of the characters and their strong emotions I really have very few things to point out sadly, it flowed pretty nicely.
Good job :D

Thu, December 16th, 2021 8:36am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much, yes that is what I was going for. The tone of the story had anxiousness and hopefulness. I’m glad the story flowed well:) The character Reba was kind of me in a a way, so it was kind of like me through the pages of the character. Thanks again!

Sat, December 18th, 2021 12:07pm

KatV

I really enjoyed reading this. I LOVE your imagery. Two of my favorite lines were "red and orange leaves dotting trees" and "inhaled the fresh smell of books like scented candles". You intrigued me and held my interest through to the end. I kept wondering where you were going to go; I wasnt even sure if you were male or female until the end. I love your idea of power in words. The only suggestion I have is with the first paragraph; I had to read it a few times to find a flow. I think you could tighten it up and smooth us into your story if you cut out some of the information you are providing. For example, I'm not sure you need to tell us it's fall, since you did a beautiful job dotting the trees with color. That dotting also enhances your description of sprinting, so you probably don't need the roller coaster piece. Keep the searching for a calm place as that sets us up for the threads. Overall, great job with an uplifting story! Good luck with the contest! Write On!

Fri, December 17th, 2021 12:07pm

Author
Reply

Oh thank you so much:} I'm really glad you liked this story and the imagery I put there. I see what you mean since I can show the reader the descriptions I put. And don't have to over-explain. I had fun writing it and I'm glad you liked my imagery. I wanted to put like a positive story and a powerful message. Like sometimes a day might not be the best, but there's positivity in a silver lining. Thanks again, congrats with your poem, I loved it:}

Thu, January 6th, 2022 5:49pm

Archia

What a beautiful end. Uni can be a very challenging and scary place, especially when it's new but courage and perseverance can get through it. You had some really nice descriptions in your and I felt like I was there with the pretty Fall and in the library with her. It was a great story. Sometimes we just need someone to believe in us for us to believe in ourselves.

Thu, December 23rd, 2021 5:38am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much! Yes university is terrifying lol. It’s nothing like the movies lol. When I first started college, I was so nervous, and I felt like I was making a wrong decision. However I had some of my old and new friends that made my college experience so much better. I’m glad you liked my imagery and you felt like you were there. Thanks again:)

Fri, January 14th, 2022 9:24am

Karen Court

A Blooming Red Thread

This evocative short story painfully brings into vivid life the distress of a panic attack. The introverted character seeks refuge from her overwhelming feelings in a reliable, solid place of sanctuary and there she finds solace, understanding and encouragement. It is a poignant and uplifting tale.
There are places where the writing could mature further, such as the sentence structure and the unfinished sentence that hangs awkwardly (or was that just the misplacement of a comma with a full stop??). Attention also could be paid to the mispelling of words like 'antisocial' or 'probably' to present the story in a more polished manner.

Mon, December 27th, 2021 4:30am

Author
Reply

Oh thank you so much:) yes, slowly but surely I’m growing as a writer, thank you for pointing those out to me. Sometimes, I try to look over it, and then I’m like am I missing something. So I appreciate you pointing those out bc it helps me grow as a writer and what to look out for next time. The character was a lot like me. I’m an introvert and I know the pain from panic attacks. They tend to spiral
So sometimes I try to write about them bc of some of my friends want to understand. I try to show no matter how much you struggle with mental health there’s people out there who cares about you and you have your own hidden support system. But the main system is yourself. Thanks again!

Fri, January 14th, 2022 5:12am

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