Friday Fictioneers: Being Claustrophobic


I’m not a drama-queen but I honestly can’t breathe right now. Why can’t people just move? Why do they have to stand here loitering?

“Can you get me some fish balls?” Mom said a minute before. Has it been a minute?

“Why can’t you get it yourself? It’s right there.” I pointed at the black banner.

She didn’t reply. It’s what she does, ordering me around like a dog.

I tilt my head skyward and suck in a gulp of air. Screw claustrophobia, screw anxiety, I can do this. I return to the crowd around me. Ugh, I hate Chinatown.

(100 Words)

For Friday Fictioneers

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24 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Being Claustrophobic

    1. Thank you. This story was kinda based on my life. I had bad claustrophobia and anxiety when I visited my hometown in China for the first time in more than 10 years. It’s what happens when one goes from the suburbia of Utah to the city of China in 20 hours. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is sad because I didn’t have claustrophobia when I was a child. It developed as I got older. Now, I can’t even stand crowds. Good thing I don’t live near big cities.


    1. I drew the characters from this story from my real life. This was something that happened quite some time ago when my mom and I visited the San Francisco Chinatown. I had such bad claustrophobia and still, my mom wanted me squeeze past the people in the store to get something for her.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yinglan,
    What a perfect character sketch of both the mother and daughter! I wonder if the mother even knows of her daughter’s claustrophobia, or even cares.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, these characters are actually based on me and my mom and no, I don’t think the mom cares at least that’s how my mom’s been treating me lately.


      1. I’m sorry. How frustrating that must be! For your sake, I’m hoping for the best and that things will improve. Being from an Asian family, I know this will take time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can sympathize. I get very tense in crowds, whether it’s foot traffic or a busy highway, and especially a downtown area with which I’m unfamiliar. Funny, I don’t mind elevators–unless theres barely room to breathe :). You did a great job of describing claustrophobia.

    Liked by 2 people

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