Don’t Feed the Black Dog*
Genre: Realistic fiction, (dark) humour
Word count: 151 (sorry, Rochelle, I tried!)
She sends a photograph skittering across the caramel-colored desk.
“What do you see?”
“What’s this, some new version of the Rorschach?” I crack a joke about Welcome Back, Kotter, conflating Horshack and Rorschach. Ah, before her time. Shouldn’t have said that.
“Jennifer, basically I just want to gauge how you’re feeling before we start the assessment.”
“Okay, but I think musically sometimes. Heavy cloud, but . . . no rain?” I offer my best Sting impression.
Another flopper. Why can’t I get this right? Fecking feck. She probably thinks I have multiple personalities now.
“Unh-huh.” She scribbles down something I can’t see. “In your own words, what’s your mood today?”
I find myself counting the indentations on the ceiling. 23-24-25.
“Uhhh? I’m a resilient mess. Most of the time. I guess.” You indecisive moron!
“I see. Can we proceed to the PHQ-9 now?”
“Sure. I got nothin’ better to do.”
*Note: I much prefer the metaphor and idea of “miasma” for describing depression to that of the “black dog,” because I love dogs, but many people do connect with it. Hence the titling.
This short story/flash fiction was crafted for March 11th’s Friday Fictioneers, which is lovingly curated by Rochelle as always. I hope you’ll stop by her post(s)—this lady’s got novels and short stories galore—and take some time to read other FF posts. With the variety of stories, it’s easy for me to make this promise: you’ll be amused, surprised, entertained, moved, and, very possibly, shocked. .