A spider, on one silken strand, drops from the kitchen ceiling. Camille pinches it with her fingers; its body squirms, until it stops—but not without pricking her first. Her pulse quickens; the thoughts come rushing in, weaving themselves in tight, wheel-shaped orbs of past guilt, trespasses, and doom.
“You know what to do,” she tells herself.
With a ballpoint pen, she pins the head of the spider down and removes it from the thorax. She wraps it in bits of sky-blue cloth and buries it in the garden. The spell she casts banishes the thoughts. In their place, blue borage star-like blooms take shape. Camille collects the petals, which herbalists of old proclaimed brought joy and healing. She makes a simple syrup and puts the petals in. She drinks it down with ice and gin.
Author Bio: Cecilia Kennedy taught writing and literature courses in English and Spanish for over 20 years in Ohio. Currently, she lives in the Greater Seattle area with her family. Since 2017, over 27 of her short stories have appeared in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies online and in print. The Places We Haunt (Potter’s Grove Publishing) is her first work of fiction, which was released June 30th. She also keeps a blog of her humorous attempts at cooking and home repairs: Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks: https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog/
How writing has affected Cecilia’s wellbeing: Writing and wellbeing are intricately linked. I keep a journal of the thoughts that bother me throughout the day and, when I write them down, they disappear. They might resurface in a story of fiction, but that’s part of the wellbeing process too. When I see the things that might have bothered me, through a character’s eyes, I learn something new about myself, the world around me, and human nature itself. I also write to make myself laugh. Writing weekly posts for my DIY blog has brought so much joy. So, I write to forget and to remember—to forget nagging anxieties and to remember to laugh.