This was a writing task for my University course Introduction to Creative Writing. 500 words titled where I write…
They call it the dungeon. My room downstairs. It’s actually just a room. Nothing like a dungeon at all. It even has a glass door out to the backyard. Of course, my view of the mountains isn’t as good as the one upstairs. Especially when the sun is setting.
But the view isn’t why I try to write here. This is my room in their house. The only part of the house that is all mine. So shouldn’t I be able to go into my own world while in my own room?
When I lived with my parents I could. In that hot sticky room at the front of the house. That’s where I started writing. In that room. In that house. Late at night, hiding behind the curtains trying to use the street lamps as a light. Or hiding under my covers with a torch. Mum and Dad didn’t appreciate my writing at the best of times, let alone when I was meant to be sleeping.
Writing was more of an escape back then. A way out of that world and into a better one. I hated being away from my world, from my writing. But as a child and a teenager, you don’t get much say. You have to go to school. You have to be there, in that world your parents have made for you. Despite if it feels like home or not.
Maybe that’s why I struggle to write in the dungeon. It’s still not home but I enjoy being here. Less of a desire for my better world I guess. The people I live with. The way this old house feels… this is only a temporary place for me but yet it feels the most real. The most natural. I’m not worrying if a mother or brother is about to burst into my room and complain that I’m “not doing something productive”. I’m not worrying about what other people are thinking of me when they see me because no one sees me. I’m alone down here in my dungeon. There are people in the house, yes, but not down here.
I’m comfortable here. Too comfortable. I’m not wanting to be anywhere else as savagely as I was at home. I’m not running away to my world.
I need to escape this world and find that one again. Sitting in a library, a cafe, even a hotel that’s when I can write. When I don’t want to be with the people I’m around. When I feel like a stranger in a room full of faces I know should be familiar. When I’m just that random girl over there who doesn’t feel like she belongs and so she makes a place she can belong. Or at least a place her characters can belong.
Maybe I should stop trying to write in my comfortable dungeon that nearly feels like home and go out into the scary world more often. So I can crawl back into my safe one.