A writer struggles to get down words and one night has a dream.
| I sit alone in a bed made for two trying to write down a sentence. The words don’t come and I am continually frustrated. The pen sits motionless in my hand; the paper remains a dulled white. The blue lines taunt my wit and laugh at my uncreative mind. I watch the bugs crawl up the wall beside my bed. They come in from the open window across the room. I hear all their legs scratch the burdening white paint. The bugs’ unlucky friends are webbed in the corner under the base heater. Their bodies are crinkled and are a long time dead. I watch as the spider snatches its prey and devours it alive. Some bugs stop the climb up the wall, spread their wings, and fly back out the window. They too have more potential than I. My wings are cut short by this need to be great.
My greed wants to write a masterpiece but my mind is unable. The night grows colder and my mood becomes tense. The maroon curtains blow in the breeze. They are long and almost come halfway across the room. My bed lies in the corner, away from the door. A dresser is to the left and a nightstand to the right. Other than those furnishings, the room is blank, as with my thoughts.
I grow more frustrated as I can’t manage to think of anything. Just one word, just one thought would satisfy my hunger. I need to feel something, emotionally and physically to wake my dormant mind. I need that one night stand; that unfaithful sin. I yearn for one night of pure genius to get these words out of my thoughts and onto that paper. The words could leave the next morning without saying goodbye or staying for breakfast. I just need a kick start of some kind to wake this page.
My uneventful world is to blame for uneventful writing. I sit at home most every day and am unable to find friends or companionship. I must spend every waking minute of every day on this work. Determination must pay off in the end, they will see. I will write a masterpiece and become world renown. My fame will wash away my past and build an exciting new future. All those who laughed will feel guilt and mourn for their chance to be a celebrity. I need to write a few wrongs and change the past. Make the world see how cruel and evil society can be.
There must be something out there I think as I sink lower into my blankets and my thoughts. I must find inspiration from something other than myself. I turn my neck to each side and try to work out the kinks. I wish it were that easy when it comes to writing. Just turn the pages a few times and get started. But it’s not that simple. Everything I think of sounds crazy and absurd. I let the notebook fall slowly to the floor. It crashes down and the wind from its smack on the carpet sends the web up in the air. The pen soon fallows.
I walk calmly into the bathroom. My long robe flows along behind. I turn on the tub water and adjust the temperature. As the tub fills I stare at myself in the mirror. I can still hear the taunting from the other children on the playground. They have my notebook and rip every page from the bindings. They laugh and yell as they hack up my work. The brilliant words are thrown in the wind and on the ground. I stand helpless as the young teacher looks on. Some of the braver kids read the poems aloud which makes all the others laugh. Recess ends and so do the tears.
The robe slides smoothly across my bare shoulders and onto the floor. I tie up my hair high on my head and reach in just a toe to make sure the water is not too hot. Satisfied with the temperature, I sink low into the water. The level rises on the claw foot tub as I enter. The bubbles work themselves around my body and the steam ascends to the high ceiling. I sit and let the water do its work.
I think of this new estate bought with my parent’s will money. It is sixty acres of green, peace and quiet, and privacy. A three bedroom stone house built in the middle is where I spend many days. My new property is located thirty miles from any town which satisfies my need for distance from society. I never had the need to continue my education buy my parents persisted. A full ride offer was hard to refuse and so I chose a school far away. After six long years, I had a degree in writing from a prestigious university. Writing is my passion as well as my confinement. I am addicted and can’t get away.
My thoughts try to go back to the blank notebook in the bedroom. I must think of something to write. Everyone expects failure and will laugh if I don’t succeed. I need an opening sentence. I need an opening anything; a though, a paragraph, a page!
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents…” I mutter to myself trying to find inspiration. “Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way; best of times, worst of times,” I get frustrated and splash the water. There just wasn’t anything which would work. I must get creative! “Call me Ishmael!” I laugh out loud and wonder at my dullness. “If you really want to hear about it; I am a sick man…I am a spiteful man,” the water grows cold and I decide to get out.
My body is red from the heat of the water. I dry off with a plush towel. I mutter to myself, “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” I let my hair back down and slip on my satin robe. After grabbing a glass of water in the kitchen, I head back upstairs to that blank notebook.
Upon reaching the bedroom, I close the window as the wind has really picked up. I remove the robe and slide in between the flannel sheets. I pull the down comforter up around my neck. The notebook sits on the floor, next to it: a pen. I use the notebook to smash the last remaining bug on the wall. I bring the notebook up to the spare pillow as well as the pen. It sits next to me. Instead of a partner, I have this blank notebook.
I’m not sure how long I was asleep before the wind picked back up. The curtains fluttered up and a red figure remained in the middle of the room, at the foot of my bed. I rested my body on my elbows and struggled to see through the dark. There a figure did stand! He was tall and thin. His black pants and shirt were silhouetted in a red cape. I couldn’t make out details about his face and I squinted my eyes.
“Come closer imp, I can’t make you out.” I said to the figure. Upon hearing those words, the cape drifted across the floor and stood by my bed. I stared up into a dark face. Red eyes burned deep in the skull. They weren’t pure red though. They had black lines throughout them. They transfixed me and help me captive. This figure stood there letting me look him over. His hands were held out front and a spear like tail flickered on the floor behind him. Horns jetted out of the top of his head. His eyes held me deep and I couldn’t clear my mind. A deep voice filled the room.
“I have come to help you, child, if only you will help yourself. I feel your struggles and have lived with your pain. Give your troubles to me, girl, and you pen will forever flow with ink. Another page will never be left blank.” He paused for a second, standing there not two feet from my face; those red eyes penetrating my every thought and desire.
“Your ideas will be forever cherished throughout the world and no one will laugh at you again. If you join me, child, you won’t regret your sin.” He reached out a long pointy finger and touched my chin with a smooth fingernail. I couldn’t break the contact of his eyes. He scared me yet I felt free and innocent.
“Trust me, girl. I won’t ever let you down. Take this pen and never lose it. It will make you happy with all the love in the world. Fans will scream at your door. They will line up for book signings. Stick with me, child, and you won’t ever be alone.” He finished his sentence and stared me down. Those red eyes burned so deep.
I took the pen softly from his hands. His face lit up and a smile went across it from pointy ear to pointy ear. The pen was as red as his eyes, with the same burning power. The tip was sharp and the ink flowed from it like blood. Before it hit the bed, it evaporated into the air. When I looked back up, the figure was gone but his red eyes still burned my soul. I fell heavy onto the bed.
I awoke the next morning as the sun was breaking over the hill. I took a yawn and a big stretch. My hand felt something on the pillow next to me. I lay on my side and examined this new item. It was a pen of about eight inches. I’d never seen this pen before and wondered where it came from. Without much further thought, I walked to the window and shoved it open. The morning air was soft and smelled of rain. I stood by that window naked for a few minutes before finding my robe. I grabbed the pen and my notebook from the pillow and headed downstairs to the kitchen.
I set the notebook and pen on the counter and started some coffee. Before the coffee was ready, an idea came to mind. It was brilliant! The best I’d ever thought. Quickly, I went to jot it down in the notebook. I opened the front cover and found the pages were full of red writing! I flipped through every page. The notebook was full! The writing was amazing; some of the best I’d ever read. I looked at that red pen confused and curious. I had the notebook in my hands and flipped to the last page.
I threw down the notebook in horror. It sat half opened on the floor while I shrunk back in disgust. A tear fell from my eye. It had been true! I thought it just a dream but that man was in my room last night. The words did flow and that notebook got filled up. I had done it. I had exchanged part of my mind, my being, for words; for endless writing and world wide love. For on that last page confirmed it with two signatures. One mine and one simply signed “Devil.”
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