Steel, Cinnamon and Petrichor

Date: 5th March, 2019
Edited: 6th March, 2019

Written at the Writers Cafe meetup
Prompt: N/A <Did not use the prompt>

Drip. Drip. Drip.

The icy sound of water echoed throughout the space. Beneath the metronomic rhythm of the drip-drip-dripping, were two sets of breaths-

One, I knew by heart, regulated by the medulla, in and out, loud yet pathetic, through the mouth and not the nose, in and out, the hot air straining to move past diseased narrowed windpipes.

And the other- quite, slow, methodical, controlled. Deceptively so. The calm and careful excision of emotion speaking greater volumes for him.

In this murky darkness, I could still see.

Past the water, past the surface of clouded glass jar he kept himself in, I could see anger.

And I feared it.

Not because it was directed at me. Because it was directed at himself.

It was anger stemming from helplessness. From being able to do nothing. By having no control of his own life, by being unable to escape the glass prison so unfairly built around him by forces out of his control, he hated himself. He hated his very existence. It was like fire, but not hot, not burning, but cold, exuding no light, and quietly, painfully, privately, consuming him from the inside out.

The logical thing to do was to put the fire out. As human beings, we are masters of fire and nature. It should have been easy.

In this seemingly unending darkness, from outside the glass jar prison, I regaled to him the tale of an overcast gray sky, the blessed rain gently drizzling down to the earth and blessing all living things with respite from the harsh glare of the sun and leaving behind gifts of petrichor and muddy puddles. It is his favorite story, imbued with the soft minty taste of nostalgia and the almost effervescent scent of baking apple pies wafting about in between each and every raindrop.


The man behind the glass had slammed a fist against the prison wall. He hissed at me.

I was taken aback. Shocked.

The fire was then directed at me, a weapon with the purpose to hurt me.

He leapt and grabbed the words streaming from my mouth, his long fingernails ripping the story of the sky and rain into shreds. And then, he threw them at me. The shredded remains of words turned into tiny yet razor sharp shards of steel, giving me a million paper cuts upon contact with my fragile skin. The open wounds silently oozed with pain. The stinging sensation was shallow compared to the silence that followed.

And suddenly, it was just me in that space.

Me, the dripping of water and the heady metallic scent of steel.

But there was something else under that, the now overwhelmingly putrid smell of cinnamon and petrichor.

The cocktail of assaulting odors permeated past my nostrils, past mortal flesh and settled like a wound up poisonous serpent at the pit of my belly. One wrong move, one wrong thought, one wrong word, and that damned creature will strike at my insides. And then, my heart would stop, stilled by the venom created from that man.

And finally, I would be dead.

I looked around. And I looked harder, squinting my eyes into the darkness. Nothing. Nothing past the water. Nothing more. And then, listened. I listened hard, straining my ears into the silence. Just dripping water. My breathing. Nothing more.

I reached out into the gloom, a move of desperation, of wanting to confirm that this was my reality now. And my palm rested on something icy cold. The cloudy surface shone, absolutely brand new.

A glass jar prison just for me.

And that’s that.

It’s just me now.

Just me,

Steel, petrichor and cinnamon flavored tears drip-drip-dripping,

And the mess of what remains of us.

6th March, 2016
Writer’s Notes

It’s been a hard week. It’s been a hard week keeping myself together and trying to be positive and normal. In short, I am a right mess and am not okay. I understand the world doesn’t revolve around me. And I understand people will see this as something…edgy. A cry for attention maybe. Something worse maybe. And I understand that this isn’t a good piece of writing. Far from it really. I’m not happy with it at all.

But, it’s something. I’m trying. And that’s something. I’m not going to go into details about my sob story but part of my low patch in life is due to me feeling absolutely worthless, helpless and useless. It’s hard to fight against the voices that put you down in your head. I understand all of us struggle with that. But it’s so much more difficult when people you care about confirm that. And so, so difficult to know whatever you do, isn’t helping anyone.

So I write. It’s something I can do at least. Something that the voices in my head, as hard as they try, can’t take away from me fully.

I’m sorry about this piece. And I’m sorry for being weak and breaking down. Hopefully, this horrible darkness will pass soon and blue skies might be on the horizon.

Until next time,
The Writing Borb

PS: A lot of this was inspired by a friend telling me about Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar and stuff I’ve written before (but I don’t think I’ll be putting here because that’s still processing and being edited).