My entry into the Oct. 2009 Quotation Inspiration.
|Shadows from the mountains of books littering his desk danced contemptuously upon the walls in the candle light. Pen in hand, ready to unleash a torrent of images through words the minute an idea sparked in his synapses, he sat statuesque as if anticipating a starting gun. He had set the ambiance: Candles, check! Darkened corner of the library, check! Poured glass of blood-red Merlot, check! Phone disconnected, check! Mother Nature had done her part too, providing sheets of rain from the blackness of the night sky. The droplets streaking down the window panes glistened and seemed to burst in a prismatic spray as each bolt of lightening seemed to inch closer and closer to the old house as the night progressed.
So why could he not bring one idea to fruition? Not even ONE! This was not going to be as smooth of a process as he had hoped. It was going to be a long night.
“Perhaps some music”, he muttered barely audible over the pounding rain and seemingly endless rolling thunder. “But then what to play? Ah, forget it.” He resigned himself to sitting idly, determined that an idea would come. He could outwait his stubborn imagination.
His eyes began to slowly track away from the paper in front of him, and he found himself staring through the window. Careful to not change the poise of his head, he fixed his eyes on the nothingness beyond the glass. Inspiration had to come from somewhere; maybe focusing on nothing would expedite matters!
The wood surrounding the window frame began faintly glowing an iridescent blue. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew something was not right. His gaze fixed on the pulsating glow of the sill. What could cause that? His “inner librarian” began flipping through the card catalogue of his mind, frantically searching for possibilities. The glow seemed to bleed from the window panes onto the surrounding walls, shining brighter as it rapidly encompassed the wall entirely. He recognized his shadow on the adjacent wall.
An icy hand had grasped his heart as it became hard to breathe. Chills ran up his legs and down his arms. The pieces began to quickly fall into place. Someone was behind him! A multitude of thoughts ran through his mind in hundredths of a second: “Who would come here in this weather? I locked the door, right? How’d they get in? Was I expecting anyone? What kind of light is that?” Realizing he had questions with no satisfactory answers, he began to panic. He had to decide on a course of action…and quickly! He knew nobody else should be here, so obviously they were trespassing. It didn’t matter who or why; his self-preservation instincts were taking over now.
He spun around in his chair and lunged forward with a loud scream, hands outstretched, grasping at anything he could reach. The force of his cyclonic movement resulted in a thud on the wooden floor as he found himself lying on his back staring at the vaulted ceiling, bathed in a faint blue shimmer.
He tried to make sense of his current situation. “How in the hell…?” escaped his lips, cut off only by the realization that his intruder must still be in the room as he lay incapacitated and unprotected on the floor. Scrambling to his feet, he prepared to frantically scour the room for the prowler’s location. He clenched his hands into his tightest fists, adjusting his stance to take on any impending surprise attacks. Turning on the balls of his feet, he spun completely around and stopped suddenly. A bolt of lightening seemingly licked at the window, momentarily blinding him.
When his vision returned, darkness had retaken the room, save for the lone candle and occasional flash of lightening. Where was the glow? His head whipped left, then right, focusing onto recognizable features and objects about the room. His gaze scoured the ceiling as well as every inch of the floor. The chair lay on its side next to the desk, but nothing else of consequence attracted his attention. He returned the chair to its proper position while dutifully double-checking his peripheral vision for the slightest movement.
Dashing to the door, he peered across the loft beyond for any signs of motion. He flowed down the stairs like water, hoping to surprise the burglar once reaching the bottom. Light from the fireplace lit the single room sufficiently to see it in its entirety. He rushed manically to the door and double-checked the lock.
“Still locked!” he stated emphatically. He cycled the lock several times, trying the door each time to ensure functionality. His eyes raced from one spot in the room to the next, trying to work out possible solutions. Taking the stairs like hurdles, he flew back up to his study. A quick glance of the room confirmed his suspicions: nothing had changed in the past few seconds since he last checked.
An almost disappointed frown inched its way across his face. Now he almost wished he would find an intruder, just so he would have someone on which he could unleash his rage for this interruption of his…writing. He sat down in the chair and pulled himself up to the desk. Shadows fluttered across the walls in the candlelight. Lightening and thunder continued their cacophonous display.
He took several gulps from his glass. The painful burning of his dried lips was followed by agreeable tingling overtaking his body as the warm, thick liquid coursed through his body. Images of Frankenstein’s monster arising from the lab table emerged as he giggled maniacally.
Pen met paper in a frenzy as the ideas poured forth as blood from a fresh wound. One plot outline here, one character there…the pages abound with literary fragments! “Finally!” he proclaimed triumphantly. Masterpieces would be crafted tonight!
Suddenly, as if someone had doused him with ice water, he dropped the pen and hung his head. Prolific story outlines, rich character sketches, and devious conflicts littered the pages of his journal…but he had absolutely no idea what to do with any of it! None of his wonderful characters fit into any of his story ideas, and none of his stories had discernable endings! He had started something which he could inexplicably now not finish!
Pushing away from the desk, he got up and sulked over to the window…where he pined for another encounter with a new “intruder”…
Word Count: 1072