Sunday, June 15, 2008


The evening was awash with crashes of thunder and bright bolts of lightning. The man, nervous and disjointed, sat behind his typewriter staring into the blankness as candles flickered in the little breeze that wisped through the corridor into the writing room. The man felt empty; he was lost, vast, and displaced with nothing to fill the void. He had to write, he had to put words on paper, and he had to do it now: he had a deadline. But, no matter how hard he thought, how hard he fought, how hard he tried to gather his ideas... nothing worked. He sat poised, his fingers hovering in anticipation over the keys, but there they hung; as though lifeless worms drying slowly in the August sun after a rain storm forced them to the sidewalks. He breathed, shallowly and monotonously, never flinching, never moving, except the rapid darting of his eyes ever searching in vain for something, anything to assist him in his task.

More rumbles from the wicked sky tore across the living heavens and sent pulsing spots of yellow and red arcing to the earth. The man turned his head so quickly he caught his breath in his throat. Something was behind him in the complete emptiness; something let a footfall tramp the dusty stone floor hard enough for the man to notice. Something was here in the room with him and that something had a heavy, gurgling breath. The man shuddered and coyly spat a stuttered greeting into the cavernous space beyond the reach of the faltering candle light. The response was a low, guttural thrum that vaguely, yet convincingly, reminded the man of hunger pains.

Quickly, and without a thought to betray him, the man began pounding the typewriter keys with a ferocity unbound. He rapped out line after line, sentence after sentence, and systematically shoved the carriage back to true each time the chime rung. Page after filled page flew from the roller, perspiration beaded and ran from the man's furrowed brow. And slowly, as the approaching thing released another beastly gurgle, the man could feel its impending approach inch away back into the inky nothingness. The man continued unabated with his rap-tapping of the letters, the ting and return of the roller carriage, and the stack of completed story grew ever taller.

Finally, as the cramps lanced jolts of pain through the mans aching fingers, he removed the final piece of the puzzle from the typewriter's top. He was done. The sounds no longer hunted him from the shadows. And now, as a six-inch high pile of pages stood triumphantly before him, the man sighed in relief. But, no matter how close he felt, he watched, just as always, as page after paged vanished into the ether. The low feeling of impossibility and worthlessness grew in his gut like nausea. And soon, the ordeal would begin anew.

The End

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