The Extraction (flash fiction)

The Extraction

“They think I’m crazy! I need an extraction immediately.” Maz said talking into her wrist.

“And what are we doing out of bed?” The nurse asked shining a flashlight.

“I’m trying to leave.” Maz told her.

“I think you should be sleeping.” The nurse replied. Maz was marched back to her room and given a sedative.

“I don’t like these pills.” Maz complained.

“Just take it, and no more night adventures please.” The nurse ordered. She closed the door behind her, but heard a thud. Opening the door again, she found Maz was gone. “Damn the alien got away.”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 99

This was written with the prompt extraction provided by the Carrot Ranch May 2 Story Challenge.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher


My First Panic Attack (flash fiction)

My First Panic Attack

I didn’t realise I had anxiety. In my early twenties I had my first full-blown panic attack. I was in a marketplace and my heart started racing, and the flat ground around me became steep and I was unable to traverse it. I suddenly feared gravity would fail me and I would fall into the blue sky. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought I was dying.

These days I know the signs, and when it hits in a supermarket or out walking, I focus on my breathing and try to touch something around me. Eventually it passes.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 99

This was written with the prompt anxiety provided by the Carrot Ranch February 7 Story Challenge.

Not actually fiction…

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Going Home (flash fiction)

Going Home

Kaylee was beginning to see the world clearly again, not just in the dull grey colours that had clouded her vision. She didn’t know how long she had been here, but it had been some time since she had been found in the warm bath with her wrists cut open. They had stitched her up and sent her here.

Today the doctor said he was pleased with the progress she’d made. She hoped she would eventually get out of here and return home. She knew now this would happen, that she would be whole again, that she would survive.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt to write a story that rephrases “light at the end of the tunnel” provided by the Carrot Ranch January 21 Flash Fiction Challenge. This is my second one.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Thought Disorder

Last year I fell in love with someone I shouldn’t have. She already had a partner and early on she just saw me as a friend, until it all got weird. It created all sorts of issues. But I can’t choose who I have feelings for. My problem is when I fall for someone my feelings go very deep and are hard to get rid of. The only thing that works is time and letting the feelings die but that can take a long while, even years. And though there are some days I’m fine, there are also many days where she is on my mind and on these days I have to hold tight and weather the storm. The best thing I can do is keep myself occupied and in fact this whole blog is just one really big attempt to stop me thinking about her, or at least help me get over the bad days when I’m feeling a lot of emotional pain, as I am today. But at least I’ve been constructive with my time.

When I look back at the last year I’m really proud of the stuff I’ve written and the projects I’ve started and finished. A year ago I didn’t think I would be putting up my own fiction on this blog as I’m doing now. It really just started as articles of things that interested me and my poetry. I think it’s proof that some good can be created out of a bad experience or situation. If I wasn’t able to write or express myself I would have finished myself off a long time ago I suspect, as I almost did last year. If I hadn’t survived I would never have completed my sequences The Return or Volcano City, and what is rapidly becoming my first ever completed novel, The Sky-Pirates of Durn, would never have come to be written. Sometimes you never realise the value of holding on.

I do often wonder how she is doing. I have no idea if she is reading my posts or ignoring them, but I imagine it’s probably the latter, even though if it wasn’t for her they may have never been written. A lot of great work was probably also created by similar circumstances. I think there are many artists and writers that were left behind or unwanted and this helped fuel their creativity.

The title of this post comes from the song Thought Disorder by the New Zealand group Tall Dwarfs. Listen to it here.

Has unrequited or lost love caused you to create work you are now proud of?

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When All Else Fails I Bake.

It was a good cake despite the haphazard icing…

I’ve been trying to fight off a depression the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately when I get depressed that’s when self-destructive thoughts begin creeping in to my head again. I want to write. I’ve got many ideas in my head of things I want to write about, but when I feel depressed my self-confidence goes out the window. The sad irony of it is that when I’m writing it makes me feel better about myself, but to start writing I have to be able to believe in myself and my writing abilities…

Cake #1


The most constructive thing I’ve done the last couple of weeks, apart from beginning to beta-read someone else’s novel, is that I’ve started baking again. To date I’ve made two chocolate cakes and now some chocolate chip cookies. I think I’m making them as an apology to everyone I live with for my shortcomings. I can be a moody bitch at times…


My chocolate chip cookies merged into one giant one 😦


Anyway I’m planning to shortly begin work on part 17 of my Sky-Pirates story, so hopefully I will begin to feel better soon.


How are things going for you at the moment?

The Night I Wanted To Die


For anyone who has triggers or has no wish to read about issues regarding depression, suicide/suicidal thoughts, childhood abuse, or self-harm, then please do not read this article.

I will be glad when 2017 finally ends. It has been one of the worst years of my life, and there were times I never thought I would see the end of it. Seriously. I have a darkness in me. Sometimes it threatens to overwhelm me, as it almost did this year. I have survived to this point at the years end, certainly not unscathed. but still here. This is a very hard thing for me to write about and I’m not sure where to start.

I am a writer, and I’m also a loner, and an introvert. I don’t mix well with others, though I wish I could. If people get close to me they usually get sick of me or bored with me, and I find it hard to deal with rejection especially since I reach out to so few people. I think it’s best that I keep to myself at times. If I am intimate with someone, they will eventually lose interest in me or push me away, and it hurts. It hurts a lot.

There were two things that went on to spark a crisis for me this year. Firstly at the beginning of the year, following a resolution I made to try to sort my life out, I finally began talking about how I was sexually abused when I was eight years old. I had never talked about it before. A therapist suspected that was an issue when I was being assessed as a 17 year old and tried to prise it out of me, but failed. There was also another time, a couple of years ago, I resolved to talk to a therapist about it, but she couldn’t see me for over a month and by the time the appointment came I had lost my courage to talk about it and canceled. I’m a member of a secret small group of friends on Facebook. There we talk about things we don’t necessarily want other people to know and it was in this group that I first talked about what happened to me. Talking about was like opening a Pandora’s Box. All this stuff came out. Yes I was glad I had got it off my chest, but a whole host of other feelings came with it. I had to finally admit that it had happened to me. For years I had suppressed it and now having to confront it made it more real for me. I was embarrassed, I was ashamed, and I didn’t want people thinking of me as a victim. I also became full of anger and rage about what had happened to me. And this rage began to dominate me, and began to spill out at inopportune times.

The second thing that happened was at the same time this was going on I fell deeply in love with one of my flatmates, which I shouldn’t have. She already had a partner, and she was a flatmate. But I can’t control who I have feelings for, and can’t switch off my feelings for people. It would be nice if I could. We used to talk a lot about various things in our lives and I treasured every moment I spent with her. I even ended up smoking again as it gave me an excuse to hang out with her. I wished I could spend more time with her, but she was with someone else, so it couldn’t happen. When I have strong feelings for someone it can bring out the worst in me. I get jealous and possessive. Which is another reason I think it’s best I keep away from others. Then one day she began pushing me away and it made me feel hurt and angry. In March, after an altercation, she unfriended me and stopped talking to me. I was devastated. I had never felt so wretched. I ended up drinking a lot of whisky and cutting my arm up with a craft knife, not as a suicide attempt, but as a way to punish myself for my actions which had led me to this. We eventually did begin talking again, but it was very civil. I was now just a flatmate, not a friend, something she reiterated several times over the next few months. She would also engage others in the house with conversations, sometimes directly in front of me, but not me, in fact she would ignore anything I said. And that hurt. Eventually I ended up screaming at her one night, and I’m not proud of that. I thought she was deliberately trying to hurt my feelings. Then in late June after another altercation I resolved to kill myself.

At the time the house was mostly empty. Flatmates were away elsewhere in the country. I was severely depressed and had run out of hope and I no one to talk to about it. I wrote a suicide note and then ran a bath of hot water. I took into bathroom with me my iPod, whisky, and a knife. It took a while to gather up the courage to cut myself, but once I did I began to cut myself with a focused determination. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the knife was too blunt. No matter how much force I put into it I couldn’t do a deep enough cut. My arm was bleeding but not enough to cause harm. After a lot of frenzied cutting I eventually gave up. I just ended up sobbing until the water became cold. When it became clear I was no longer going to kill myself that night I got out of the bath and collapsed in my bedroom. My arm was cut up and bleeding but my blood clots up quite quickly, so it wasn’t that much of a problem. I did resolve to sharpen my knife and do it again the next night, but by that time the strong desire to die had lessened. As it was the middle of winter I don’t think anyone noticed the cuts on my arm under my sleeve.

I learned that night that given a sharp enough knife I would probably kill myself. Since then the woman I was in love with and her partner have moved out and that was probably the best option for both of us. I no longer see them or hear them all the time,  and in fact I no longer see them at all. I have slowly begun to heal, but it is slow going.

I am proud of my writing. I am so proud of my poetry. I don’t care if no one else likes it, because I like it and I feel it is good. But it’s not enough to save me from the darkness. I know I should probably go back into counseling to talk about my abuse and what’s happened this year, in fact there is a government agency willing to pay for it all, but I’m mindful that I withhold information from therapists. I don’t tell them everything, I keep stuff hidden. It’s what I’m used to doing. So I’m not sure it can help me, or ultimately save me. The thing is if I have resolved to kill myself I’m not going to tell anyone, not if I want to really die. I am too brittle for this world. I want to be a better person, but I’m not sure how to do that. I don’t know if I will survive in the end. It all depends on how strong I am when the next crisis or severe depression hits. Up till now I’ve always been strong enough, though I nearly wasn’t this year, and that has shaken my belief that I will always come through it. I am a survivor, but the darkness is always there.