General

Heidi felt the panic begin like a cluster of spark plugs in her abdomen. Tension grew in her face and limbs, her mind replaying the last attack. Her breathing became more rapid, more shallow. In these moments before her personal hurricane, she understood the drug addict, the alcoholic... anything to stop the primal surge to flee. She hit speed-dial for Macca, no answer. She called again, her heart racing faster - no answer. Again - no answer. Again -no answer. No Macca. Heidi's eyes scanned her other contacts and the panic grew. In seconds she was curled tight in her bed, her only movement the trembling of her limbs and salty tears darkening her sleeves. There she stayed, unaware of the passing afternoon until she found the feelings had passed. Opening her eyes to the softening sun she gazed at the clouds, brilliant white against the blue. Though she could still hear each of her breaths, rasping just the same as when she had the flu - she'd made it. No Macca. No help. Just her. With the slightest of smiles and pink puffed eyes, she rose. Next time would be easier, and the time after and the time after, until it all went away. For the first time in forever she had the hope of being free, able to just be herself.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), August 10, 2016.
General

The thoughts are accelerating inside my head. I want them to slow so I can breathe but they won't. My breaths come in gasps and I feel like I will black out. My heart is hammering inside my chest like it belongs to a rabbit running for its skin. The room spins and I squat on the floor, trying to make everything slow to something my brain and body can cope with. I feel so sick. I want to call an ambulance but the phone is too far away, it's too far away, it's too far away. I don't know who to call, what's their number, who too call, too far away, he's gone, he went, breathe, gone, what number, too far away... blackness... creeping blackness... I'm on the floor in a ball- the foetal position. Where is he, what's my name, who to call, what's the number, the stairs are too steep, the room is spinning...blackness...he's gone...

By Angela Abraham (daisy), January 29, 2015.
General

Miranda is moving about the room like there's a hurricane inside her. She's moving like her brain is demanding the energetic expenditure of an athlete but won't tell her limbs what to do. Her eyes are wild and when I make her sit she starts rocking, rocking, rocking. She gets faster and faster until she explodes into motion again. Suddenly she's taking. Talking like she doesn't have enough time to say what she needs to. Her words are crowded together and some are missing. Her sentences are fragmented and her thoughts seem to jump from one thing to another. All her fears are tumbling out unchecked by her brain, she's in some kind of mental free-fall, unable to analyze things or assess risk. My words are bouncing off her like they were hard rain. Now she's right in front of me, her fingers are white-knuckled holding onto my sweater and she's asking me if it will be OK. It tell her yes. I tell her over and over, stroking her back and planting kisses on her face. I need her to calm down.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), January 7, 2015.
General

When Mac got the to hotel room the concierge was outside. This kind of call was generally beneath a detective but he remembered how his own daughter had been when her mother died. These things can happen to anyone, to the best of us. The woman was rocking on the end of the stripped bed, everything was everywhere. She'd trashed it, probably in minutes. Apparently she'd been crying and demanding her husband, yet he'd died that morning in a traffic accident. Apparently the two of them had booked this suite every anniversary for the past twelve years. Part of her brain figured if she just came here then he would too. Mac turned to the staff, “Call an ambulance, she doesn't need police.” Then he stepped into the room, as he did so her shaking increased and she called out again for her husband, “Brian, Brian, Brain!” Her face was red and eyes utterly bloodshot. She took one step toward him and fell on the floor, quivering, not in control of her mind or body.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), January 7, 2015.
General

It's seven, she was supposed to be here at four, no call, no call. She's dead. Gone. There's a pile up. There must be. She's hurt. She's bleeding. She needs me and I'm not there. I want to hold her hand, she mustn't die alone on the dark highway. I need to call someone. Call the police. Call the hospitals. She's hurt. The car is old. The airbags failed. She's bleeding out and no-one knows. My daughter. My baby. My baby. My baby. I can't breathe, I can't walk...the phone is ringing...I can't get there...I must...my baby...

By Angela Abraham (daisy), January 7, 2015.
General

The panic starts out as thin cellophane, something my fingers can pierce breathing holes in. In another minute the panic is a deluge of ice water surrounding every limb, creeping higher until it passes my mouth and nose. That's when the attack becomes absolute, shutting my body down as fast as punching a biochemical reset button.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), August 20, 2015.
General

An invisible hand clasps over my mouth; an equally ghostly hypodermic of adrenaline pierces my heart, unloading in an instant. I feel my ribs heaving as if bound by ropes, straining to inflate my lungs. My head is a carousel of fears spinning out of control, each one pushing my mind into blackness. I want to run; I need to freeze. Sounds that were near feel far away, like I'm no longer in the body that lies paralyzed on the wet grass...

By Angela Abraham (daisy), August 20, 2015.
General

There is a distance in Eve's eyes as she takes a few steps backwards, bumping into the kitchen counter like she wasn't expecting it. Her head rolls with the impact, eyes glazed. Her voice comes out thin and distant, "What, but, no, it didn't, that's... not... right..." She's breathing all wrong, beginning to gasp like there's not enough oxygen in the air.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), August 20, 2015.
General

Ivan has a look in his eye I've seen before, but not on him, or on a person for that matter. It's the look I've seen in the horses' eyes when they come in for schooling at the ranch, wild, not even knowing what people are. It doesn't belong on his face and it scares me. He's the one who always knows what to do. Then he bends over double, hands on his knees, struggling to regulate his breathing.

By Angela Abraham (daisy), August 20, 2015.
General

I'm rushed outside into freezing cold air. I can't breathe. Everything is spinning and it feels as if the ground is melting under my feet. I collapse onto my hands and knees, my breathing shallow and quick.

I can hear Carson saying something, but he sounds distant and muffled. My stomach flips as I think about Aaron's words.

"Don't worry, I'm sure they are taking great care of your brother. Wherever he is."

I gag at the thought of his calloused hand tugging on my chin. My body is shaking uncontrollably. I feel Carson's hands gently rest on my shoulders but I shrug him off.

My hearing is the first to return, then my eye sight follows suit. I'm still shaking as I push back onto my knees. Carson is quietly squatting next to me, his breath forming white clouds in the freezing air.

By Madelyn Rice, March 2, 2018.