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Keep Calm and Burn

One Minute Challenge

By Shaun WaltersPublished about a month ago 2 min read
Keep Calm and Burn
Photo by Chirag Nayak on Unsplash


One minute. That’s all I need. Want. One minute to myself to stare at this little digital flame. One minute. Crap, I’ve already lost the thread. Stop thinking. Breathe. In, out. In, out. Oh, Georgie get your fingers out from under the door. I just need one minute. Why’d I choose the bedroom for this? It’s not like it’s some kind of sanctuary. I know what’s happened here. How would I choose anywhere in this apartment? Oh, stop knocking Georgie. Where is your sister? I just wanted one minute to myself. She can’t watch you for one minute? Probably scrolling through her ex’s posts. That girl needs to move on. Girl needs to help out with Georgie. Okay, okay. Breathe, breathe, just breathe. Georgie’s moved on. I can focus. Oh, he’s crying. Why is he crying? Where is his sister? She probably made him cry. Where is his father? Maybe he made him cry. God, one minute. One Minute! How is it not over yet? One thousand four hundred forty minutes in a day and I just want one. Just to stare at this little fake fire. This tiny, little light. This little light of mine…NO. Breathe. Remember to focus on the breath. I’m going to fail at this, too. One minute. I’m not going to get a quiet minute to myself until I’m dead. Probably not even then. Maybe after the wake. If my husband ponies up for one. Probably not. Just propose a toast to me at the buffet, beer in hand. Maybe he would if he could find a way to invite any of his whores. They better keep their tears to themselves. I don’t need their sympathy. Breathe. Don’t think of them. How is this not over yet!? I can’t do this. Can’t even forget them one minute. Not when he’s gone, not when he’s around. These thoughts take my breath away. Make me so angry. Make me want a real flame. A torch. One of those classic Indiana Jones’ torches. Instead I’ve got this silly little app telling me to keep calm, carry on. How can I carry on? He’s already carrying on for the both of us. Breathe. He says he’s better. He’s been home more. Still not sure if that’s better. At least it’s a new problem. He says he’s better. That’s what he says. What he’s been saying. Do they matter? His words? Why am I thinking about this? Breathe. I shouldn’t have done this. Not here. There’s no calm here. Out there, in here. Just a raging fire of thoughts ready to burn me from the inside out. Maybe if he was gone I could put them out. Maybe it would just set a whole new blaze. I just don’t want to think. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Not thinking. Just breathing. Maybe I’ll try to tequila next time. Seemed to help him him forget me. Like a freakin’ memory loss elixir. I couldn’t live like that. Can’t live like this. The thoughts are too much. Just one minute in a crowd of other horrible minutes. That. Never. Stop. Is that it? Is that all the time it takes to end a marriage, one minute? No. This minute’s not to blame. It’s all those other minutes that just keep coming back. All those minutes he stole from us. Oh, Georgie. I can still hear him sobbing. Why aren’t they helping him? Am I the only one that can hear him crying?

Oh. It’s me.


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About the Creator

Shaun Walters

A happy guy that tends to write a little cynically. Just my way of dealing with the world outside my joyous little bubble.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (2)

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  • Catsidheabout 16 hours ago

    Wow, this is so poignant and heart-rending. Well done!

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    hahahaha, meditation for the newbie always goes like this - no control over the mind, it goes where it wants when you want it quiet! Good job!

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