Short Story: The Black Cloud
The black cloud had hovered over him for years. Sometimes barely noticeable, sometimes so heavy he couldn’t breathe, but always there.
He called it different things at different times. Anxiety, fear, disappointment, frustration. They were really just different expressions of the same root: cripplingly high expectations of himself and of everything.
Knowing what the cloud was helped, but it also didn’t. No matter how he tried to let go and focus on the good things, the cloud devoured his happy memories, leaving only sad tatters behind.
That didn’t stop them from trying.
His friends and family showered him with praise and comfort, and sometimes comfortable silence. The black cloud took them all eventually, but sometimes, even it couldn’t devour everything, and he could spend some happy moments where the black cloud was worlds away.
Genre: slice of life