Writer’s Digest has come through for this blog a number of times via weekly writing prompts. Last week, though, it went the extra mile by releasing The Writing Prompt Boot Camp on a pdf. Two weeks worth of writing prompts.
So for the next two weeks or so I hope to be running through the prompts for the amusement of all. Okay, for my amusement. If something important pops up (or at least interesting) I will forestall the prompt for a day or so.
Today’s prompt is as follows: Breaking Up With Writer’s Block. It’s time for you and Writer’s Block to part ways. Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block, starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me …”
I’m playing a little fast and loose with this one, assuming the prompt more guideline than hard fast rule. Thus the first words aren’t the first words here. At least, not of my flash of fiction based on the prompt…
Here we are. The study of the Writer. Looks the part. Lots of bookcases crammed with books. A couple of file cabinets standing guard around a fair-sized desk. A brand new computer sits on his desk. Looks like he is doing well. No doubt it has all the bells and whistles a Writer needs to function. And maybe more than that.
By appearances he is doing well. Were we to wish it (and I do not) we could look through the rest of the house. On the surface we would see success. we would see happiness. we would see everything we think prosperous people have, or thinking that they might want. Perhaps even we would be envious.
We should not be.
In his bedroom there is a dresser. A big one. Once it held clothes enough for two. Now, though. Now I would not be surprise to find only enough clothes for one. His wife has been gone for a half-year and is not likely to ever be back.
Downstairs is a liquor cabinet. From what I hear, it was fully stocked once. That, like his marriage, was ago. Now what he drinks he keeps in the fridge. It’s cheap and dirty. Just like him, the Writer thinks.
This is all surmises. We could go and check if we wished. No one can see us this way, not unless we wish it. I have no wish to learn the truth. The piece of paper on the desk gives me pause.
It sits next to the key board. On it are words, some handwritten in the scrawl of a man almost sober.
This is the majority of what is written:
Dear Writer’s Block,
It’s not you, it’s me
[A field of white waits between this and the rest of the writing.]
God damn you.
Sort of droll, is it not? The Writer smiled when he wrote it last night. I know. I was there. I saw. It was not a pleasant smile, but it was not a nasty one either. It was the first one he had had in a long, long time, and there was some hope to it. A light before the break of dawn.
If only that was the only thing written on the page. If only I had seen it before he did.
As I implied, there is more written on that page. This handwriting is almost the same as the first, only harder. Fiercer. In some places it tears the page.
The message is short, but all too like daggers in the gut:
I will never leave you.
He did not write this. I insist that this is true. The Writer did not write this.
Yet the Writer thinks he did. He saw it this morning, sober, eyes wide. He saw, he read, he went downstairs and has not yet return.
He is still in the house. Where I do not know. The basement. The garage. The kitchen. I do not know.
I do not know the Writer’s story here. I do not know who did the second writing or why. I can guess the intent, but I do not know.
We could find out where he is. We could find out what he does, what he plans. It would be easy. But I will not go.
I fear the ending of this story.
Yet here I will wait as you go on to the next. Here I will wait and hope the ending changes. Hope that it has not already taken place…