Hemmed In


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

My heart constricts, my breathing becomes rapid, shallow.  I try to compose myself, but feel the terror racing up inside, scrabbling, intent on suffocation.  Frantically, I seek an escape.  Each possible exit is treacherously narrow. 

Stay calm!  I mustn’t panic. 

I try to breathe slowly, deeply, but it makes me gag and heave violently.

Inwardly, I am screaming, clawing at the walls, desperate for freedom.

People look at me with curious expressions.  Some studiously ignore me.  Maybe the scream wasn’t just inside my head.

I have to get out of here.

Can’t someone help me?


Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.


33 thoughts on “Hemmed In

  1. James says:

    I remember reading a story once about a woman who was Nyctophobic (irrational fear of darkness). An unlikely series of events forced her outside her home at night with her door locked and being confronted by a stranger.

    Somehow she survived the horrible experience only to discover that her daughter had engineered it in order to cure her.

    One therapeutic method used to cure phobias is called “implosion” or “immersion”. Basically, you bury the person in whatever they’re afraid of, and when they stop screaming, they’re cured.

    Maybe it works, but it seems terrifically cruel.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lynn Love says:

    You’ve used nice, short sentences and clauses to rake up the tension – we have a real sense of the characters’ stress. Really clearly conveyed. I’m not sure we need the last sentence – I guessed that she was claustrophobic from your great writing and the build up.
    Really strong story Clare

    Liked by 1 person

  3. patriciaruthsusan says:

    I’m not claustrophobic either but if don’t like small places or crowds. Pushing and shoving crowds especially scare me as I was in one once. I’m afraid of heights. Your description was perfect. Good writing, Clare. 🙂 — Suzanne


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