Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews


Near the sunken island, there is a downtown street that all but shuts down in the winter. One store, a bookstore, it stays open. Its windows are dusty, the books on display have been there for years, but it doesn't matter. This is the kind of place where you can enter at any time and breathe deeply. The place smells like books, dreams and hope. There's the faint scent of coffee and pipe tobacco lingering behind the fragrance of the books, much like the many layers of wine I'm told exist.

I'm not sure about the wine thing, by the way. The same goes for perfume. I like to think I have a pretty sensitive nose, but when it comes to top notes and base notes, I can't discern one from the other. Maybe my ability to describe odors has just fallen out of practice. To me, most things smell good or bad. The bookstore I mentioned above? That's a good smell. I remember that smell and can associate it with calm, a sense of ease.

The island that sinks every winter? The area around it smells of pine and moss. It's humid, so the scents are heavy. The lake itself is a quiet one, pretty still and serene. From time to time, boats will meander by the area with the branches peeking out from the water's surface.

You have to wonder if the underwater life gets excited to see the island every winter. It's like the ice rink that kids anxiously await opening, or Santa showing up at the mall. The fish could throw a small celebration, welcoming the island. I'd suggest they hang banners, but water does a number on paper - kelp, maybe. They could decorate with kelp.

While everything above the water is quieting down and going into hibernation, the life below the water is doing exactly the opposite. It reminds me of how water flushes down a toilet in opposite directions above and below the equator. Why do I know this? Why would that fact be important to anyone? Of course, now that I stop to think, I can't recall which direction the water flushes right now, so I'm going to have to go out of my way to pay attention next time I visit the bathroom.

Thanks, Sean, for the writing prompt tonight.