Saturday’s Hunt-01 July 2017 – Grief


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Your task today is to choose an emotion (love, hate, fear, joy, etc.) and fully personify it. 

It started as an ordinary day.

I was at work early. I like to avoid the morning rush. ‘Figures of Speech’ is a popular work place.

As I clocked on around the water cooler there was the usual bunch of similes arguing that ‘as’ was superior to ‘like’. Assonance garbled on in their own lingo, thankfully no one paid them much attention. It was like this every morning, and I couldn’t wait to get to my office and settle in for the day.

Just as I did the message came over, “Three metaphors and a personification, to the office immediately.”

Obviously, a job had come up, and as I was the only one in at that time, I headed to the office.

When I got there, the metaphors had already received their orders, and I was given a piece of paper.

‘The Dooley Funeral at Mortuary Street’, they needed ‘Grief’.

So, I fronted up to the venue, and there it all was. Old man Dooley laid out and around him was gathered his family.

Grief is not an easy emotion to get right. As a personifier, I would have my work cut out for me.

Grief was a subtle business. Too much and no one believed you. Too little and they felt you weren’t trying.

Grief was about projecting sadness. You had to achieve a certain removal from the present as if caught in the memory of the loved one. It didn’t matter to me who it might be it was a matter of projecting and having your audience believe there was sufficient grief being expressed.

I approached the open coffin and looked down at the deceased. I hesitated, my hand went to my mouth, I audibly gasped at the sight of the old man, I shook my head, with head down in my hand I shed a tear, just a little one, no point in over doing the tears, that can be a tad too ostentatious.

I felt an arm around my shoulder, and a comforting voice offered to show me to a seat. I sat in the front row, gazing straight ahead, wiping my eyes at appropriate intervals, nodding to the mourners my acknowledgement of their concerns.

My grief was obvious, the gathered family felt it, the whole service took on an air of solemnity which as it turned out was what the family hoped for as no one apparently was sorry to see the old man go. Hard for them to generate grief when the sad fact was Old Man Dooley was not a good man.

But my appearance gave the service some validity, they went away knowing grief had been there present and they all felt it.

After, I debriefed at the office eager to cast off the shackles I always feel when an emotion is called for.

I called my supervisor requested some happiness as my next job, saying I needed an up after my last job. She agreed and gave me the rest of the day off but warned me that tomorrow there was a job requiring anger and I should prepare.


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19 Responses to Saturday’s Hunt-01 July 2017 – Grief

  1. Good job! I like that the figures of speech where the characters! I used to love such a prompt… was my favorite assignment in creative writing in high school. So much so, I have recreated it and given it to many classes as a teacher (until I started teaching only math). I just wrote a bit about lacking empathy, but now I feel I should have personified empathy.

    • Michael says:

      You only teach maths??? I’m sure you enjoy it and you’re very good at it. I was lucky in teaching English and Drama. The combination kept me sane.

      • I used to teach everything, but the times have changed. I’m more of a case manager now. Assuming I am unable to find a new job, I will return to my old one in the fall, teaching 2 math classes and being a case manager. Math is great in its own way, but it’s much harder to be creative with. Overall, I’m tired of being a teacher.

      • Michael says:

        Is case manager like a welfare position?
        I can understand being tired of teaching, if you are in a challenging school it can be very draining on you. But what else can you do?

      • Special Education. I do too much paperwork and make an effort to help every student on my caseload in all of their classes… Even though it is impossible for me to be everywhere at once. I never succeed.

      • Michael says:

        That’s the nature of that work isn’t it, like running on a treadmill. I worked in an academic school so a lot of our ‘special students ‘ were Asperger.

  2. Cara Hartley says:

    I think this is a very clever idea, personifying the figures of speech this way.

  3. scribblersdip says:

    I totally loved this Michael! Brilliant idea and concept and how you ran with this? Damn – but you are so creative! This completely is mind blowing – okay, so I’m the one with the infertile brain 😉

    Seriously, you really wrote a most excellent and unusual piece here – I throw roses and dandelions at your feet Sir! 😀

  4. Jael Sook says:

    Oh my goodness, this was great, Michael 🙂

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