The Colliding of the Trains

Day Eight: Death to Adverbs

Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post.

The day is nearing its end and I didn’t make it to a park or public place.  I decided to give the assignment a go anyway.


She tried to quiet her mind, all the unfinished tasks whirling around in her head.

“Mom, Mom, Where are you? I need you,” she hears from the hallway.

She takes a deep breath and exhales. That has been the pattern of her day. Interruption after interruption. Said child leaves – another deep breath.

The piles of dishes with food becoming more caked on every moment vies for her brain-energy. The familiar pling of another email landing in her box reminds her of the over-full email box that did not receive the attention it demanded today.  Homework ungraded, books unread – the hours of the day melted away leaving so many untied ends.  It wasn’t that she wasted her time – quite the opposite. She got some time sensitive projects completed.  That didn’t make her feel any better at the moment. Why had she picked today to give up sugar? Long days are meant to end with ice cream.

She wills herself to get up and close the door, hoping that will help quiet her mind. She silences her iPad and takes another deep breath.  Her brain feels like there are six trains coming in at full speed and are about to collide.  She wishes she was a drinker at this moment – maybe that would keep the trains from disaster.

Lavender and peppermint reach her senses and she glances at the egg shaped diffuser. The glow of the light and the steam start to help her find that calm she is searching for. The sky has turned from a clear blue to dark in the last few minutes.  Just the act of her fingers plucking away at the keyboard brings a sense of order to her world. It’s as if one train after another reverses and falls out of her brain through the keys and onto the screen.

Her feet are now numb as she sits cross-legged on the open recliner. The patchwork quilt resting on her lap. The familiar ache is in her mid-back, but she doesn’t give it any mind.  Reaching up she removes the hair clip and runs her fingers through her long hair, then rubs her neck and temples.

She can hear clanking of dishes downstairs. Some saint of a family member must be having pity on her. Today, she would take whatever help was being offered.  Glancing at the clock she realizes she has had a half hour of silence, no knocks on the door, no emergencies, just silence.  The hum of the air purifier lulls the remaining trains out of her brain. The calmness she craved begins to flow through her body. She can no longer hear the screams of the undone projects.  All she hears is silence and she wishes she could cling to it a few minutes longer.


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