Street lights shined on squiggled branches colliding in knotty nonsense as the wind breathed cold across the trees and into the southern city. Fog-framing hellos emerged from feeble-faced natives as they moved uncomfortably in their layered coats.

The weather seemed unalarming for foreigners, but the locals shivered, feeling the cold seep into their minds, paralyzing their creative energies into an uninspired stupor. When spring finally spread over the city, the freezer-burnt residents still needed time to thaw. 

An unusual writer’s slump kept Lucille staring into the sky, thoughtless. She took walks for stimulation, yet a dismal ambiance encapsulated her like fog forming in an endless black night. 

Finally, an afternoon of sweltering heat came through the town. 

Lucille thought, “Perhaps this balmy blast of summer will melt the unconscious corners of my mind.” Instead, the imagined fog leaked into the air, forming a physically real, heavy cloud around Lucille’s head. 

Coughing and heaving, she carried on to the local doctor. As she approached the care center, a crowd of vapor-surrounded heads wrestled for the door. Upon entering, their gloom deepened, seeing that even the doctor displayed a hovering halo of something like smoke. 

He suggested rest, hydration, and slow breathing until scientists developed a medication, but devastation swelled in the townspeople’s weakening bodies.  

Feeling defeated, Lucille walked home. In hopelessness, she kicked a crushed can lying on the ground. Her neighbor, Kat, noticed her distress. She leaned her smokey head down, picked up the litter, and threw it in the trash. When Kat turned to smile at Lucille, the mist around her head dissipated. 

Lucille’s eyes widened as she exclaimed, “Kat, you’re healed!” The startled woman smiled and then glanced at the open herby curby where she recycled the crushed can.

The next day, news spread that restoring balance to the world restores balance and well-being in our bodies. 

Lucille joined a group of friends collecting trash and working to preserve nature. After caring for her surroundings, she felt a warmth defrosting her frozen thoughts and sat down to write. 

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

Many warm welcomes to Voice.Club, Kelley. I really like the idea of conservation and personal well being being intertwined. I really admired your words in “squiggled branches colliding in knotty nonsense” and “herby curby.” I liked them for their silliness and musical quality.  

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Welcome to voice club, Kelley. Your story speaks to me deeply. I wish a well-balanced nature will be restore soon so that humans can also keep their well-being and balance. A very thought-provoking read, Kelley. Keep on writing. Well done. 

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
29 days ago

Kelley, I enjoyed reading your story, especially all of the alliterations! Good job.

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