Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2312812-The-Devil
Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Mythology · #2312812
An inspiring author is plagued by self-imposed demons until the truth enlightens her.
Author: John Petermeier
Prompt Line: Special Birthday Prompt for Sophy - 998 Words
Title: The Devil

          "Do I start now? I do? Hello, my name is Mary, and my world was destroyed."
          Clearing throat.
          "You'll have to forgive me; I am not my usual self right now. People once told me I had a talent for creating life in my writing. I know they were just being kind because they felt sorry for me. As you can see, I am overweight, have glasses, ratty hair, and difficulty keeping eye contact with anyone. I guess that's it."
          "Go on? Do I have to? Ok."
          "Growing up, I went to church but wasn't very religious. That was for people who felt a connection with the Higher Power. I never felt worthy enough to even be in the building. I tried to get into it by praying, reading the Holy books, and talking to whomever I could. I don't think I belonged there.
          "Before my mom died, she made me promise I would join an online writer's group. I didn't want to, but I promised her. She was always my biggest supporter. After I joined, some people made comments that they liked my writing. I didn't believe them because I had to pay a membership fee, and I know they had to say something pleasant."
          "Allow me to tell you what one person from the writer's group said about my writing. He went by the name of Bapothem-downunder. I trusted him because he is a published writer. He was so convincing when he told me my writing was horrible. He told me about my writing, and It was so bad that I had to take writing classes because I didn't know how to write. I cried for a week. I couldn't bring myself to log back in. If he thought so, everyone else must have thought so, too. I vowed to stop writing because I wasn't as good as I thought. According to him, I should never have picked up a pencil in the first place. With this decision, I became trapped in my own worst nightmare."
          "During this time of my life, my mom died of ovarian cancer. I was unable to function. I was entrapped in the mental prison I created in my head. I couldn't do anything. I was incapable of completing even the simplest of sentences, let alone a chapter."
          Everyone in the group was silent. Some kept their heads down, while others looked at Mary in disbelief. The group leader, Regina, gave everyone a moment to gather their thoughts before she spoke in a controlled, calming voice, "Thank you, Mary, for sharing with us for the first time tonight. We all appreciate the effort and struggle it took you to express these thoughts. While we normally have a question period after each Sharing Time, as this is Mary's first time, we will forego this exercise for tonight."
          "It's all right, Regina. I can answer a few questions. Everyone has been so friendly to me while I was inpatient and now in Partial. I don't mind, just for tonight."
          "Mary, that is very kind of you to allow questions. We will stop when you feel you have answered enough of them getting too stressful. We will start with Amie and work our way around the circle. If you do not wish to ask, you know the rules: say pass. Use common sense. If you wouldn't want someone to ask you the question, don't ask Mary. Amie?
          Leaning forward in her chair, "You write all them books? How many books you write in all? What kind of person can read them?"
          "I have written over twenty novels in all. I have written mostly romance stories for junior and senior high school-age readers. I have written short stories for older readers, but I prefer the young adult reader much more because I love the excitement they bring to reading my work. It is a wonderful feeling I will never forget." Mary answered with a slight smile for the first time that night.
         The following two participants skipped their turns, though the latter wanted to join the discussion. Regina made a note of that in her notebook.
         "Hi Mary, I'm Roxanne. I don't have a question, just a compliment. I am not sure if you remember me. I was in your Literary Science Research class. We even teamed up. I had long black hair and no facial tattoos at the time. You gave me one of your history fiction romance trilogies as a gift for helping you with the research paper. I read them four times already and discovered something new each time. I love them. I keep looking for your name on the Top Ten New Author's Lists. The so-called author from the website doesn't know what he is saying. He wants to drag you down to him because you are better than him, which scares him."
          After saying this, Roxanne got up, approached Mary, and asked, "May I hug you?"
          As soon as Roxanne asked this, Mary burst into tears. No one has hugged her since her mother's funeral. Mary sobbed until her body wracked with spasms. Roxanne gently began to hug Mary. Soon, Regina placed her arms around Roxanne and Mary in a tight embrace.
          At the end of the night, everyone was emotionally drained in a very positive way. As people walked out, Michael, who didn't speak in large group, walked up to Mary, smiling timidly.
          "Mary, He is proud you figured out how to win."
          "Who is the 'He' you are referring to?"
          Michael looked up and said, "Him'.
          "I am sorry, I am not sure I believe in . ."
          "Your mother wanted me to tell you these exact words, I'm proud of you, Princess."
          Mary froze. Her mother called her Princess only when they were alone and no one else knew of her nickname. Mary looked for Michael but only found a copy of the first book she had ever written, with the handwritten message to her mother.

© Copyright 2024 J.R. PETE (jtpete86 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2312812-The-Devil