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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Inspirational · #1556033
No one becomes an author over night.
         Alysia’s fingers hovered over the keyboard, poised to take flight across the keys. The story she planned to write would become a classic in its time, everyone from preschoolers to graduate students were going to read it and recognize it for its genius. Critics would make Alysia the author of the year. They would compare her to greats like Dickens and Orwell. Oprah would want interviews with her. She would get a Nobel Prize in Literature, and be automatically accepted into the Writer’s Guild. And after that a movie deal! By unanimous vote she would get the Bram Stoker award. Clint Eastwood would clamor for her autograph. Her story would set the literary world on it’s ear.

         This story would be the perfect story: pulling at the heartstrings of people hard enough to elicit sorrowful weeping but still be dancing along the edge narrowly avoiding the cute, cuddly and disgusting pit of sentimentality. Long-held ideals would be washed away by her story; nations and religions would rise from this story alone. Governments would beg Alysia to become their leader, which she, of course, would magnanimously refuse. Alysia’s story - full of intrigue, romance, and an unparalleled commentary on human nature would surge with its raw power. Today, the greatest story ever written was going to come to life. With a mighty inhalation of breath, Alysia’s fingers began to dance wildly along the keyboard, each stroke like that of a brilliant composer. Feverishly, she typed. Each brilliant thought transformed into words that were harmonious in the ears yet demanding on the soul.

         Sitting back prepared to survey the first line, that first amazing line that would set the tone for the rest of the piece, Alysia glanced at the screen. “That’s not what I wrote…” Alysia whispered, still too stunned to speak any louder.  On the screen, the most pathetic sentence appeared.

         “There once was a cat; it was old, nearly toothless, and dying.”

         Looking back at her once mighty and powerful fingers in terror, Alysia knew in that moment that her hands had not made the unspeakable mistake, surely the keyboard was possessed. Her opening read: “The once mighty cat stumbled to a halt at my feet. Patches of fur were missing, one eye hung from the socket and the cat’s left ear was missing completely. Along his too skinny side his ribs rippled like a shark just under the surface of the sea. When he opened his great jaws in fury, hissing at me like I was demon spawn, I noticed he had but one sharp fang.”

         Alysia stared at the monitor, the cursor blinked in mockery, as if saying “This is the crap you write? I have seen great novels written, ones that you couldn’t even imagine!” She highlighted the pathetic sentence to put it out of its misery and replace it with the lines she had intended to write. Rehearsing her lines in her mind, Alysia set about finishing the greatest story ever written. After correcting her appalling failed attempt, Alysia sat back to admire her work. When suddenly in her head her professor’s voice began criticizing her work.

         So what? This story is about a mangy cat…what’s so great about that? I want to know where exactly the patches of fur are missing, is there a patch missing on its ass, or right beneath the throat? And how do ribs ripple? And if you’ve ever seen a shark swimming in the ocean you’d know that they don’t make ripples. Don’t use so many polysyllabic words. The tooth wouldn’t be called a “fang” it should be referenced as one of the carnassials. I want to know what is so special about this cat. I want it to live only on rooftops and be afraid of the ground. Once that is established I want you to emphasize the relationship between the cat and Eleanor Roosevelt. Secondly, you didn’t include my requirement of showing how the “God Particle,” or “Dark Matter” explains the mass of the universe. If you remember I told you to show this using the images of a rubber band and a manhole cover. On and on the voice went, slamming her masterpiece like a tsunami on a South Indian beach. Alysia’s face twisted into a crestfallen mask as she closed the laptop. 

         Alysia stood up from the desk and pulled a coloring book from her Easter Basket:  “Who cares that I’m nearly twenty…I still like getting Easter Baskets from my momma.” Alysia began coloring one of the pages leaving no blanks spots. Pulling a brown crayon from her crayon box Alysia began coloring the rabbit on the page.

         Brown really? You can’t be more original than that? I want the bunny to be gray with black tipped ears…
© Copyright 2009 Kate Miles (kmiles at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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