Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Once Upon A Time

(Is it a requirement for people trying to write to write about trying to write? Anyway, here's my effort. The first line is, of course, from the novel "Paul Clifford", published in 1830 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It reappeared in my mind, firstly through one of the PerplexCity puzzle cards and secondly from reading about Peanuts. It was running around in my head and I thought it would be a good idea to get it out and captured on paper before it caused too much trouble. Now I just need to get rid of "It is a truth universally acknowledged..." :-) )

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

He looked at the line, running it through again in his head.

"Sounds familiar", he thought. Then, shaking his head, he pulled the sheet from the typewriter, balled it up and threw it over his shoulder in the direction of the bin. He heard it bounce off the wall and land on the pile next to the bin.

"Stormy and dark, the night was..", he typed quickly. This sheet also quickly joined it's predecessor on the pile; "great", he thought, "makes me sound like Yoda."

He folded his fingers into a cradle and rested his chin, gazing at the the fresh sheet of A4 in the typewriter.

"Why are you taunting me today?", he muttered. He raised a finger, poised over a key, then let it drop, slowly. His fingertip rested on the smooth surface of the key, while he tried to make up his mind whether to type the letter or not.

"How about...?", he said to himself, then began to type. His fingers flew over the keys, the typewriter clattering as it tried to keep up with the speed at which his thoughts tumbled from his mind. The smile on his face grew wider, his relief palpable at having been able to finally tap into that bit of his brain where the story had been hiding.

A fresh sheet already! His fingers danced madly as he filled the emptiness with ink. The world seemed to blur around him, now there was nothing he was aware of aside from the typewriter and his thoughts.

The world fell away as reality gave way to the universe spilling from his thoughts. The characters he had been thinking about, and developing over and over in his mind, sprang to life, drawing breath through the words tumbling onto the sheet of paper.

Another sheet was fed in and the staccato clattering of the keys resumed, but slower this time. Halfway down, he faltered and stopped, the creative flow coming to a halt. He sat back, despondent.

A few minutes passed, then he sighed, added the few pages to the growing pile beside the typewriter and stood up. A yawn and a stretch pounced, catching him by surprise.

"Time for fresh air", he thought, and left the room.

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