Twiddling

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PHOTO PROMPT © J.S. Brand

Twiddling.  That’s what Pops called it.  Eyes and fingers all a twitching.  Always just sitting there, but never just sitting.  Running a thousand miles an hour without moving.

Brian done come home from the war a changed man.  Everybody saw it.  Debby packed up and headed home on day one.  On day two Brian was back home with Pops.

Didn’t work.  Nuttin.  Just sat there, twitching.  Twiddling.

Until Pops said he was cutting down the old Sycamore.

Brian was up all night, makeshift spots on the tree, Pops’ wood-working tools in hand.  Nobody knew what to make of it.

Twiddling.

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © J.S. Brand.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

***

I saw implements of war in the carving – helmet, stone battle axes from different cultures, etc.  I thought about the artistry of making the carving.  But I ran out of words before I could get it all in there.  Oh well, that’s what Friday Fictioneers is about ;)

45 thoughts on “Twiddling

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I agree. I think people are seeing more and more benefits to art therapy for people who have had some major trauma, like the ex-soldier in this story. But I think everyone should try their hand and create something, express themselves.

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  1. Dale

    I think twiddling was the perfect choice of word. And pops may not have known that he was going to help Brian with his… Really nice take and I think you used your 100 words wisely.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I’m sure trauma counseling is tough work, but very gratifying when you see someone make progress. That was part of my thought process here, that be expressing himself creatively Brian was able to take a first step on his road to recovery.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      100 words is always a challenge, but I feel it more sometimes more than others ;) That was my idea – Brian found a way to express himself and the pain he felt from the war, and so bringing out this artistic side in him is bit of therapy, beginning his recovery process.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Brian did like the tree, but this sparked something inside of him and allowed him to express that which was able to with words. He was able to take action with his hands and possibly release some of the “demons” that had been dragging him down. This can be thought of as a first step on his path to healing.

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  2. 4963andypop

    Twiddling and whittling–love that combination of words in your comment!

    At first i thought perhaps a wartime head injury had caused this man to lose his wife and his independence, especially with the perseverating, or repetitive, movements that twiddling seemed to suggest. But you clarified it was PTSD in the comments.

    Either way, your piece speaks to the power of art therapy, a cause near and dear to my heart. I think it is being implemented across the US by various organizations, to help many veterans who have trouble adjusting or who carry the war with them. Also, a timely veterans day piece!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Truthfully, I had thought both PTSD and a head injury. As you said, it works either way. I know there are a lot of creative ways they are trying to heal soldiers, including arts and crafts. I’m with you, it is a great way to help those soldiers readjust to “normal” life.

      I knew they 11th was coming up, but I wasn’t thinking about it when I wrote this. Or maybe my subconscious was… Now that you point it out, I will now call it a very small tribute to Veterans Day.

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  3. Prior...

    I agree about the words – I had a few more things to say but that 100 had me “carve” a bit more – and as you note – that is what it is all about.
    __
    I like the culture rich vibe you give with the casual language.
    I did get the full message without your author note –
    and I sometimes see the word “brain” with “Brian” (that “top-down mental processing”) and so it worked well as you explored the idea of mental change and all that went on for Brian.
    well done

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Y. I usually put in a name that seems to fit the story and perhaps my mind came up with “Brian” for that very reason – I am slightly dyslexic and often do see Brian as brain….

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think twiddling” can have different meanings in the story, but at the end it is more a sarcastic statement (ironic statement?) where the narrator takes the insult about doing nothing and recognizes the artistic genius behind it. War sure can change a person. Thanks!

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