A short story - In A Nutshell
Helen, wallowing in pain and shunning the world and everyone around her, happens across an inspirational quote in her local store after leaving the house for the first time in weeks. Instantly, its message awakens something within her and she books a flight to a country she has always wanted to go.
In India the sounds, sights and colours of this spiritual place evoke a new awareness within her and the promise of release from the agony of her husband’s infidelity.
An impromptu encounter and an invitation to a local wedding open up an unexpected path and a flood of long-forgotten feelings.
Unlocked is a short story I released Christmas 2019 having entered the story into a writing competition with Spread The Word the year before. It was one of 14% of entries which received a second read by the judging panel. This is the first short story I had ever written and I was delighted that it reached the position it did.
My inspiration came from my Epic Indian Adventure in February 2018 where I travelled to Delhi and then using the Indian train network travelled to Agra, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanassi and Mumbai. It was one of the best trips I have ever taken.
For more about my inspiration please read this wonderful interview with author Anne John-Ligali which was published to celebrate the short story’s release in December 2019.
And in that stillness, in her aloneness, she found a soothing routine of sorts; she read books, wrote poetry and lived on a diet of toast and jam, huge mugs of peppermint tea and sporadic pizza deliveries.
The literary works, read over and over, sat in a neat pile against a backdrop of empty milk cartons, dirty laundry, her Gucci handbag and Louboutin stilettos. She spent hours at a time absorbing the words in Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, I know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, On Entering the Sea by Nizar Qabbani and About The Night by Anat Talshin; a spiritual awakening blooming within her, her soul wanting to be free yet too afraid and bruised and depleted to even try.
I hope you read Unlocked and I’d really appreciate a review when you do! Thank you so much.
With much love, Soulla xx