Sarah slumped towards her office, leaving a trail of milky tea on the floor behind her. She squeezed into her desk chair and blew the cobwebs off her laptop. More of a sigh than a blow, actually. She was protesting this tedious entrapment behind a desk.
It felt like years since she last sat here, gazing out of the window, watching the sparrows build their nests high in the rafters. It was nice to see that they had continued their work whilst the humans slept off hangovers, completely dead to the world.
The Christmas break had not been kind to Sarah, mentally or physically. It’s safe to say that she didn’t do well with a disrupted routine and she missed that feeling of purpose, or a sense of achievement. It didn’t help that she could also feel the button on her jeans straining under her swollen waistline which, very much like her sanity, now seemed to be hanging by a thread.
How does a simple two weeks away feel like a decade? Why does nine a.m. feel like six a.m.? These are mysteries of the universe which she vows to solve at a much later date. The muscles in her mind had not been exercised in too long. She could feel them protesting, hiding under the duvet and begging for another hour in bed. And, no matter how hard she searched for motivation, watching paint dry seemed genuinely more appealing than writing 500 words.
The weather didn’t seem to be helping her enthusiasm much either. Outside was awfully gloomy and a cold mist seemed to rise up out of the ground like you see in graveyard movie scenes. Bleak. The radiator, despite being set to a toasty level five, wasn’t giving out enough heat to tempt her hands away from her tea. She clasped onto it like a lifeline and huddled her knees up towards the mug.
People always say a New Year holds so much promise. At least, that’s the opinion her social media acquaintances seemed to champion, but she didn’t see it that way herself. Perhaps others do feel this way in January but they just don’t share it. Surely someone else feels as blue as Sarah’s fingers right, surely they look as deflated as her bank account, and can’t remember how to switch their brain back into gear.
She watched intently as a sparrow swooped down to the window frame behind her laptop, scooping up the flies that a spider had caught in its web for its breakfast. Clever sparrows. That looked like some pretty tasty protein-infused candy floss. Perhaps food would help to lift her spirits too.
With two slices of bread toasting (burning) nicely, Sarah stared into the steam and searched the emptiness for inspiration. What can I write about? What can I write about?! Then, just like magic, an idea popped into her head in perfect synchronisation with the toast. She could almost see the light bulb illuminate above her head. Her short story’s subject? Writer’s Block.