‘The Prompt Project’ are posts that are essentially a way for me to exercise my creative muscles. I post what I write on the spot, I don’t impose a word limit or time it, just go with whatever my brain spits out for as long it keeps up the momentum. I’ll literally see prompt, write and then post the results.
Today’s prompt was sourced from Reedsy :
“Write a story that takes place in the woods.”
So here goes:
Where my Soul is Infinite
I should probably move at some point.
I don’t have my phone and I don’t own a watch, so I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve been here but I think it’s bordering on worryingly-long.
Did you know if you lay still long enough and stare upwards, the leaves start to blur? If you can manage it, they become one big homogenous green blob. The sky is so blue today it all just kind of fades into one bluey-green mess and you start to feel like you’re floating. If you just kind of, let go completely, your body goes all numb and nothingy. I wonder if this is what ghosts feel like?
Oh, by the way, I’m in a woods.
More precisely, I’m in a woods, in a tree, lying flat on my back on this really sturdy branch I found, which kids have nailed some boards to. There’s a gap in the canopy above me and the suns out, so it’s a pretty decent spot to get existential in. I feel like I can go home and create some kind of artistic masterpiece, like, pour all the sky blobbiness into a canvas, you know? Or create some incredible literary work of art and I’ll be hailed as a genius ahead of my time once I’m dead.
I won’t do that though, because I can’t paint for shit and I don’t sound nearly as elegant on paper.
The thing is, I’m not thirsty or hungry. I’m comfortable and I’m feeling just the right amount of sun warmed glowyness that I don’t need to move. I feel nothing actually. The sky is just so massive. It’s empty and full at the same time. I’ve just never noticed it before. We walk around, all day and night under it but we just never look up. Which is waste because it’s like looking at the ocean, except it’s bigger than that because the sky is literally infinite. It’s so big and it feels like it’s pulling at me, I couldn’t move if I wanted to. I’m emptied out because we’re so tiny, we’re so insignificant and made of nothing, it seems crazy to me that humans believe in fate but at the same time it makes sense. Of course we need something that pretends there is order, that there is a point to everything we do. Like we’re not just another animal following the same instincts to live, find food and shelter, find another human and continue on the species. What’s one life, one tiny person in amongst all that?
So now you see why I’ve been here so long. It’s got me feeling epic. Like that point in a movie or a book when everything just comes together and it’s the big finale when it just feels so complete and your whole soul was borrowed by it for a while. Then you walk out the cinema or close the book and you’re fucking horrified by the grim feeling of reality again. When you literally forget the worlds exists that you are a living breathing individual because you got absorbed into these other people for a while.
Apparently, I get a bit too lost in my head sometimes.
Other people don’t think this much, you know? I get lost in thinking about thinking and how can we even be sure we are real and when it comes down to it, isn’t that what humans are really afraid of? The Matrix could be true. This whole world could be my coma dream, who knows?
But before the sky can empty me out too much, the wind has something to say about it. Makes the trees move a bit, wafts up the smell of earth and things flowering and brings me back into my body. For a moment there I could almost see myself. Like I was floating above me. The blue bells and cowslips have sprung up, seemingly overnight. One minute it was winter and the next, poof, it’s alive again. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine your only responsibility in life is just living, going about your day? You don’t see a bee sitting in the tree pondering its’ existence. Although, if we’re being fair, if we see a bee calmly sitting on a branch, we don’t speak bee so we can never know for sure. Maybe they can solve world hunger but we’ll never know… but then again, I bet the bee’s solution would be ‘stop killing the bees, you idiots, because we help make the food’.
I could die today, and I would be cool with it. This isn’t sadness or happiness, this is a good neutral state to go out on, you know? There’s just so much life around me right now that I don’t really feel part of it. I feel like I’ve been away a hundred years, everyone I know and love is so distant from this place, the way I’m feeling. They belong to the other world. I belong to the sky. I’m also fairly sure I belong to a colony of ants but they aren’t biting just yet so It’s fine. Maybe I have become part of these woods? What if they’re building a home in my bones? Surely that would hurt? But would it, if I was already dead? No, those kids come by here too much, there’s no way they’d just let my bones sit and rot here. No one else knows where I am, so I’m relying on some weed smoking road men as my saviours right now. Although, if I were already dead, what are they saving me from?
My backs actually aching a little, so, not dead as it turns out. I don’t think corpses have achy backs, although, this presents the same conundrum as the bee because how can we ever truly know?
Plus, the blue dome above by head is decidedly less ‘sky blue’ now and it’s become more epic stormy-ocean blue. It’s blue streaked with black, with swirls of purple and pink. I never really got why people called the sky when the sun was setting ‘inky’ but I think I do now. It’s like someone has literally spilled blue ink across the endless sky ocean, it billows and curls in places. Gives some of the clouds a dramatic outlining. Like sneaky tendrils creeping over the day. Stealing it. Twilight is my reprieve; the sky has given me back before the stars come to steal me away again.
I can no longer pretend that I don’t know how long I’ve been here if the sun is setting. The red glow of it is bleeding all across this moment. They’ll be worried. I shouldn’t have left my phone behind.
Since I am not dead today, I had better head home.
It was pretty late when I wrote this and wine may have been involved but I hoped you enjoyed it! I don’t write in first person and don’t always do well with the whole stream of consciousness style, so I thought I’d challenge myself with this one.
You can fine the first prompt I did “Chipped Edges” here
Or the second “Reaping What You Sow” here