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A Pure Circle by Tom Spencer

My mind is a circle. A constant circle where my thoughts are dragged round and round and round never able to settle, never able to end. Sometimes they fall, into the abyss on the inside and I feel the relief of that fall as that thought tumbles. But then I realise the abyss is never ending and the thought that fell is now forever inside of me.

I don’t know if anyone else has this mind.

Holly is talking to me and I’m listening but there’s two things on the circle mind at the moment and it makes it hard to concentrate. One is that I don’t know if I locked the door – I’m pretty sure I did but I can’t remember so if I can’t remember how could I? – and the second one is something so intrusive I don’t want to even think about it but it’s hard when it’s on the tracks and if it falls into the abyss it’ll become part of me.

And I don’t want it to become part of me.


Shit. I missed it. I missed it, I missed it, I missed it so I will have to ask her to repeat herself and she’s going to think I never listen and I feel a third thing push its way on to the circle.

‘Sorry,’ I say, trying to smile. ‘I spaced out there.’

‘That’s fine,’ Holly says and she smiles but I don’t think it’s her usual smile. It doesn’t reach her eyes and looks a little strained and she peers at her computer screen which could have been a reaction to an email popping up but might also be because she thinks what a waste of time it is talking to me.

Did I lock the door?

‘I was just asking if you’re coming to the pub after work?’ she asks, starting to type a reply to whoever emailed. I wonder if it is someone in the office and I wonder if it is about me. I look around. Peter opposite is looking at me and smiles – or laughs – but everyone else is either on the phone or staring at their computer or talking to someone else.

‘I can’t,’ I say, turning to my own computer. ‘I’m busy tonight.’

Holly makes a disappointed noise. ‘You never come out with us! Honestly, one day Rudi I’ll get you out for a drink and we’ll have the best night ever. Alright?’

‘Alright,’ I say, smiling. It’s better to create disappointment than be the disappointment. ‘Maybe next week?’

‘I’ll hold you to that,’ she says, standing up. ‘Tea?’

I nod.

Did I lock the door?

It falls.

Pushed off by the paranoia of everyone around me hating me.

I feel it hiccup, derail and fall.

I feel it being swallowed up by the abyss.

I remember what the doctor said.

A symptom.

Just a symptom.

Can control it.

Trying to remember everything I need to do when one falls.

But I can’t.

I stand up.

I walk over to my boss.

And I ask if I can take my lunch hour now.

She looks at her watch and nods.

I leave and then I begin my two mile walk to check if I locked the door.

I’m ashamed.

I’m disappointed.

The circle in my brain takes these feelings and begins their journey around the circle.

A pure circle.

A pure O.

Tom Spencer is a UK based writer, fond of YA Fiction and Horror with work published in Axon and Vortex: Literary Magazine. When he's not scribbling away at future projects, he's at home enjoying a cup of tea with his wonderful wife and two Cacti.

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