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Thank you for listening

by TheWeather

Chapter 1:Jane’s story

“In through the nose and out through the mouth.” At least that’s what my therapist tells me when I’m having a panic attack, reliving all the memories I try so desperately to forget.

But there are some things that stay ingrained in your mind. Attached to you even. Like a birthmark that can’t be scrubbed away.

Mom says these sessions are supposed to help me through it. We tried dance classes which were somehow supposed to rebuild my confidence but flailing across the stage like a goldfish was not the highlight my short lived dance career.

Then, we tried singing classes to help me “find my voice again”. But all I could let out was a croak, “sing from your diaphragm Jane!” Shouted my singing teacher. She soon gave up, much to my delight. And so, that’s how I eventually ended up in therapy.

That is where finally I spoke up and said “it hurt me”. I’d never really addressed anything that happened other than in my head to myself. There was something freeing about it all.

On my first day back to school in seven months I looked in the mirror, and for the first time in a long time, I recognised myself again.

My mom walked in, smiled and said “don’t ever let them dim your light”. And that was that. It still hurt, but not like before.

Chapter 2: Tom’s story

My Pink socks should always be exactly in the left side of the first drawer and my green ones should always be in the centre of the third one.

The plants should always be watered at 8am and my to-do list should be completed by 5 pm sharp.

I like having a structure and a routine. It helps me feel like I’m in control again. My parents split up recently, and ever since then I’ve been trying to keep everything else in my life together. Even if it just my socks matching.

Chapter 3: Sophie’s story

I didn’t always have a stutter, it kind of just came about.

Then started the shaking and trembling.

Then the paranoia and panic.

I don’t know why it happens, it just does.

I feel like everything is happening too fast and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I can’t breathe I can’t sleep and sometimes I can’t even eat.

I am constantly looking over my shoulder just in case it happens to me again, even when I know no one is there and blocking my ears, even when I know no one is whispering anything.

Chapter 4: Alice's story 

Some people count sheep.

Some count up to ten

Some practice breathing exercises.

I take pills.

The blue one is to be taken every morning,

The red one is to be taken every afternoon

And the white one is to be taken every evening. Sometimes twice, if it gets really bad.

It’s not even that I’m not tired, believe me I am. In fact I’m past tired, every ounce of my being is exhausted, terribly exhausted. It’s the kind of tired sleep can’t always fix.

It has gotten better, but in other ways it’s gotten worse.

When I do finally get to sleep, something as simple as a thought or a dream that’s too close to a memory wakes me up. And I stay awake for what feels like an eternity. The lines between what is day and what is night are completely blurred.

I wake up and sigh while changing the sheets. The bed is wet again.

Chapter 5: John's story 

I struggle to let go. Be it People, places or things.

Everyone always thinks I just moved in when they visit my house. And that’s the excuse I usually give because it’s easier than explaining.

I couldn’t possibly throw away the grandfather clock in my living room, it was a great vintage find and looks swell next to all the posters I collected of all my favourite superheroes when I was 10. That was 40 years ago now, but I can’t just tear away my childhood. Ah that brings me to my coin collection. I started to collect them since I was a kid, it gave me a sense of accomplishment saving all those pennies for a rainy day. That reminds me of all the kitchen china gifted to me by my grandmother.

As I walked over to the kitchen, several items fell in my path, my wilting plants, baseball caps, mountains of overdue bills, newspapers, blankets and other items in various boxes.

It was an utter mess. “I need to get rid of all this”, I thought. I began picking up everything off the floor, then I came across a watch I got in the market once, it was a bargain! I better keep it, just in case an offer like that doesn’t come up again.

Dear reader,

You will get through any challenges you are facing in this present moment. Read this as many times as you need.

Thank you for listening. 

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100 Reviews

Points: 12092
Reviews: 100

Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:16 pm
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Asith wrote a review...

At first glance, I wasn't actually thrilled at the prospect of reading this, but it turned out to be really nice!

Your strength is clearly in the way you build characters and their situations in a just a few lines. It's narration that's short, yet does what it needs to do. Honestly, without that skill, I would have enjoyed this much less.

That being said, I do think it could be worth revising the length of some of these. The brevity is your strong-suit, but it's never a bad idea to scrutinise your strong suit to keep it strong! You've got to keep sharpening your blade, after all. Specifically, I wonder if "Chapter 2" is too short. There seems to be lot of unexplored opportunity here. Talking about and describing Tom's obsessive state of mind more than it has been done could go a long way! And the bit with his parents splitting up felt way too sudden, abrupt, and swift. I think that you might be trying to bring out all these things nonchalantly, because they're just facts of Tom's life that he's learned to live with, and that's a great idea, but I don't think a little more emphasis would hurt :)

To a much lesser extent, the length of "Chapter 1" could also need a revision. It comes off a little long-winded, especially compared to the other chapters. The strength of that chapter is in the very end, so maybe prolonging it isn't the best idea. However, I don't think this is a very dire issue at all.

All in all, it was a lovely collection of stories. I'd like to reiterate that your narration is your strength, and it especially works well for stories like this, with such vulnerable characters :)

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546 Reviews

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Reviews: 546

Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:02 am
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...

Hello, FlamingPhoenix here with a review for you on this lovely day, and to help get your work out the green room.

Chapter 1

Okay so I saw one thing I would like to point out quickly.

It still hurt, but not like before.

Now I could be wrong with this if I am then don't worry about it, but is the It meant to be an I instead? If so then it's just a simple typo.
Other than that I liked what you had setup here, it's a good opening to a book, and it gives your reader a good view of the characters past. So that was good. Though I will say it was a little hard to see what parts were thought and speech, it was a little all over the place, but maybe that was just me.

Chapter 2

I didn't see anything wrong with Tom's story, I can see his can be rather picky about how his life is. But I guess you have to have a character like that. I think it funny how his got to have every thing in place. And how he thinks his got to be better then his Mother and Father.

Chapter 3

I really like s this chapter, it goes deep into the characters emotions, and to me that's really good it helps me as the reader to form a really good bond with them, and it brings the reader further into the story.

Chapter 4

Ahh this character sounds like she is dealing with stress or anxiety. If it's not that then I don't no what it is, but she sounds like some one that is having a hard time in like and needs someone to talk to.

Chapter 5

Aahh now this guy sounds like he is a hoarder, he likes to hold onto things that mean a lot to him or had something to do with something that happened to him, and he has a hard time letting them go. I can relate to that.

Well that's all from me, I liked this it showed me that many different people with different personality's struggle this things that are unique to them. I really liked reading this, it gave me a new view of how I should look at people. I hope you will keep writing and post again soon. Have a great day or night.

Your friend
Reviewing with a fiery passion!! ;)


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14 Reviews

Points: 2399
Reviews: 14

Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:56 am
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AndName wrote a review...


This is great! I like how you showed the people and their thoughts, without being flat out obvious, or worse yet, cheesy, about their struggles. I felt like all of it was pretty strong and if I had to, I would choose Tom's or maybe Sophie's stories as the strongest. Even though they're the shortest, I love the imagery and could really hear their unique voices.

I do this set up of writing a lot, the really short snippets with lots of strong characters, and I think that you could turn this into one long chapter with breaks in between the characters. Then you can have one medium sized chapter instead of a lot of little small ones, and it would be easier to make this a longer story (if that's your plan, which I think would be a brilliant idea 'cause this is just great).

That's all I have to say, because again, this is GREAT. :)


"We're just all nosy little busybodies."
— SirenCymbaline the Kiwi