Short fiction from Henry Bladon

Just an Ordinary Experience

Magritte's Reckless Sleeper

The Reckless Sleeper 1928 Ren? Magritte 1898-1967 Purchased 1969

I knew I shouldn’t have told you my dream about the gravestone. As usual, you wanted to sound clever and said that the apple was a representation of my desire for wisdom, and that the hat was about my fear of power. The mirror was a little too obvious and I was disappointed in you. You can’t say ‘That’s about taking a look at yourself.’ You may as well have said it’s about introspection and searching the soul. I’ve come to expect more from our chats. The bird? Freedom, you stated, with no small amount of confidence. By this time, I was getting weary again. And I shouldn’t have mentioned the candle. That set you off on your usual path of criticism about religion; how you don’t trust it and that it is only there to control people. Stop worrying, it was just a candle.

Luckily, I forgot about the bow, so I didn’t have to listen to your suggestions about my childhood and whether I might have been teased because my mother bought me shoes with bows on and how that has created a subliminal block and led to psychic conflict.

That’s the trouble when you have friends who are psychoanalysts, you’re not allowed to have an ordinary experience. Call me reckless if you chose, but I like sleeping in my box with my red blanket. It’s the place I feel safest of all.

The Reckless Sleeper, by René Magritte (Belgium) 1928.

BIO: Henry Bladon is based in Somerset in the UK. He is a writer of short fiction and poetry and teaches creative writing for therapeutic purposes. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy, and a PhD in literature and creative writing. He frequently writes commentary about mental health issues and his literary work can be seen in O:JA&L, Tuck Magazine, Mercurial Stories, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among other places.