It's painful. I can't imagine a more disheartening sight than the blank page that sat before me, draining my will to go on like some kind of celestial leech, any sense of motivation and creativity slowly oozing out of my body as I wither and squirm.
I wonder to myself, what is it that I'm doing wrong? The room was perfect, the lights dimmed but not to a point where the desk wasn't visible. My writing desk was arranged so perfectly it was almost fetishistic, the book was precisely ten centimetres from every edge of this piece of fine, mahogany furniture, my ornate fountain pen rested to the left of it in a vertical position. The most important aspect of all was the mirror, its large, dark frame encompassed the piece of reflective glass that sat in the middle. The mirror was a tradition, as I sat on the old wooden stool staring into my own eyes, so empty and grey, the eyes that only a lifetime of disappointment could bring, and boy did they bring it.
The only source of illumination was an old lamp on the chest of drawers in the back of the room, it gave my ghostly visage an odd aura to it. My greasy, black hair hadn't been washed in days (After all, writing this damn book was far more important than trivial things like that.), my white pallor made me look like a corpse, and the messy hair draping down upon my face didn't help. I picked up my pen, grasping it between my forefinger and thumb, I slowly brought it down towards the paper, my mind drew blank once again, I gripped my pen more tightly than before, it was such a horrible experience having hundreds if not thousands of potentially award-winning ideas, but from brain to hand something is lost in translation.
Just when I thought a small flicker of inspiration entered my mind, a large dollop of ink dripped from the nib of my pen, and splattered onto the page "Dammit!" I angrily proclaimed as I tore the page out of my notebook, crumpled it in my hands and tossed it aside. This was where my life was going, a recurring dead end, one monumental kick in the groin after another. One benefit of tearing out this page was getting to see the previous one, the fiftieth page. For a brief period in my life I thought I was cursed, whenever I tried to write a book I would start off like a roaring tornado, but at page fifty I would grind to a halt, the writer's block set in and it would be like my creativity was encased in cement.
At first this book seemed like a great idea, the plot was spectacular if I do say so myself, but what really stood out were the characters I'd created, it was quite an ensemble cast, but five really stood out. There was William Murphy, the hero, Claudia Wilding, the love interest. The next were identical twins, Ryan and Frederick Watson. But I saved the best for last, the villain, Travis Fisher. He was everything you would ever desire in an antagonist, he was witty, dynamic and above all cruel. He was a manipulator, a chess master of sorts who could maneuver his way through the plot, making loose ends then just as easily cutting them.
This was what frustrated me most, I had committed my life to writing these stories and just when I reach my peak, bang, I stop. Truth be told, I hadn't left the house in the last four days, I hadn't even ventured past my front door. I had theorized that maybe the reason that I couldn't write is that I had the choice not to, I made a promise to myself yesterday that I wouldn't eat again until I got ten more pages, that isn't too much to ask is it?
I didn't have what you'd call a "real job." I wasn't particularly good with manual labour, and I wasn't what you call a people person, but I could write, that's all I could do, and from a young age I knew that's all I wanted to do, and if I couldn't, I wouldn't do anything else. I hadn't realised but I was clasping my pen so tightly it almost snapped in my hand, I released my grip and it slowly fell to the ground, it made a click clack as it hit my wooden floor. I then turned back to my desk and buried my head in my hands, I just didn't know what to do, what started out as such a brilliant idea had fizzled into a black hole.
I was being strangled by my own train of thought, being tied to the track waiting for a screaming locomotive to turn up and shred me. My deep contemplative state was broken by a noise, it was a click followed by a several rhythmic rat-a-tat-tats. It was unmistakably the sound of my letter box, after exhaling deeply I got up, I didn't have the enthusiasm to walk properly so I just shuffled along the ground towards my door, a thin ray of light perforated my curtains, I did my best to avoid it as I made my laborious journey.
Upon arrival at the door I saw the small pile of letters, I picked them up and flicked through. Junkmail, junkmail, charity, and a final letter, sealed in a brown envelope with "URGENT" stamped onto it with red ink, I discarded the other letters onto the floor as I trudged back, letter in hand and dark thoughts swimming through my mind. Sitting down on the decrepit stool didn't provide much comfort for me, I reached into one of the two drawers of my writing desk and produced my letter opener. It was a gift given to me by my grandfather about a month before he died, the oak handle made the curved, serrated blade even more shiny by contrast, I saw my own reflection on the formidable little knife.
I slid it into the gap between the fold and the main compartment, it slashed through the thin paper with ease and a satisfying shearing noise was made as it eviscerated the envelope. I allowed the now-hollow envelope to plunk to the ground as I unfolded the letter, when I saw the sender I shuddered, my hands shook and the letter opener fell to the floor. Whilst I won't bore you with the details of that dreaded letter, the heartbreaking summary was that I'd been behind on my bills, and tomorrow a man will come to my house and take it away from me, leaving me with nothing but the clothes on my back.
My lower lip quivered, this was a contingency I never prepared for, I wasn't sure how to react or even what I was feeling right now, I felt a tear slide down my cold cheek, followed by another, and another. I was weak, powerless, I had no money, no control and no influence over where my life was going, I envisioned myself dying as a tramp on a cold winter night, and nobody would even care. It was then when something snapped, perhaps a tiny fragment or maybe the whole thing, but regardless of what it was, everything changed.
I released that it wasn't my fault, it was their's. Those pathetic, unwritable characters led me down the road to oblivion, if they'd have complied i would have written the book, but no, they had other plans. If I was being evicted, stepped on and controlled, I wouldn't suffer alone. Maybe to you I'm nothing, but to them, I'm God. It was a realisation that sent of spike of pleasure through my body, an immeasurable sense of joy with no equal or comparison, it could only be described as pure euphoria.
I wasn't insignificant anymore, I was God now, and none of them could defy my will. I picked up my pen, smiling wildly as I brought it down onto the page. I'd punish all five of them, starting with little Miss Claudia, at first I was unsure of how I'd do it, but then like the most divine inspiration it came to me, she'd be leaving a party whilst it happened, happy but ever so slightly inebriated, once behind the wheel she'd veer out of control, and end up wrapping her bumper around a tree on an abandoned road, injured but still very much alive, just as I desired. Then another car would pull up, she would see a dark silhouette materialise out of the door like an angel of mercy, carrying a crowbar to prize open the door and save her, or that's what she thinks. In actual fact, the crowbar would descend on her like a hammer of divine judgement, shattering flesh and bone, skull and sinew, until she was left little more than a mangled corpse on the roadside.
Next of course were the twins, it would be appropriate that they accept there punishment together, after all, it would just be too cruel to keep them apart. Whilst venturing through an African safari, they're bitten by a snake, after a hopeless trudge through the desolate wasteland, they'd succumb, but not before insects and other detritus feeders feast on their festering flesh whilst they stare into each other's dead, glassy eyes. Live together, die together.
Next of course was William, dear old Bill would receive the news about his only love, in excruciating detail. After discovering this, what would be the point of carrying on? He'd fashion a noose from an extension cord and place a plastic bag over his head, after tying the rope to a fan and standing aloft on a stool, he was ready to end it all. He kicked the diminutive chair away, and after a short drop and a sudden stop, he was no more.
Finally, I was left with Travis. It was almost a shame to kill him, so in the end, I decided not to. He would encounter a rapist in an alleyway (One of the few people he could take the moral high ground against.), the rapist had finished his dirty work and dispatched his victim with a switch blade, Travis wrestled the blade out of the lowlife's hand and took it to the cretin's head and neck, again and again and again. As he mourned over the body of the victim, the police arrived, in a cruel state of role reversal they would believe he was the rapist, whom after killing the woman's sole defender, indulged in acts of rape, murder and presumably necrophilia. After a trial which made him a world reviled monster he was sent to prison for the remainder of his sad days, maybe he died, perhaps he killed himself too? who knows, an open ending was the greatest punishment.
There we had at, I had done God's work and those who had wronged me were now done too, with every stroke of my masterful hand I crafted their doom, the final testament to their life and horrible death spelled out over the pages, all their misery, pain and blood portrayed through the still-moist ink, it was glorious. As I placed my pen down on the table and looked up, I could hardly recognise myself, my calm and morose face had become a frantic wreck, and ear to ear smile branded my excited face as the contours of my skin which spelled out a combination of both joy and rage transformed me into an inhuman monster, and my grey eyes became vibrant and terrifying hives of mental activity.
The deed was done, and I had never felt so alive! Blood surged through my veins as I excitedly hyperventilated, eyes darting from side to side devouring the sights this mundane room had to offer. That rush, that buzz... was suddenly offset by a cold disappointment, there were no more characters to do in, no more fun to be had and no irritating lights that needed to be snuffed out, i was lone in a dark room staring into space.
My self pity wallowing was interrupted by a chime from my mellow doorbell, who could that be? I wasn't expecting company, maybe I should just ignore it. I turned around towards the book and smiled, an idea wafted across my mind, such a brilliant fantastic idea, maybe the fun wasn't over? Perhaps I could keeping playing this little game. I reached under my desk and firmly grasped the letter opener, I didn't want it to slide through my clammy hands. I was giddy with excitement and anticipation as I got up, concealing the miniature scimitar behind my back as I edged towards the door cautiously.
When I opened it I was greeted with a smile, a portly gentleman in overalls with an ID necklace. "I'm here to read the meter," he said politely. I returned a broad grin, "Sure, come on in, I was really hoping somebody would turn up around now," I said whilst opening the door wider to allow him entrance, he nodded in a friendly manner as he walked in, as silent as a mouse I closed the door behind him and clicked the lock.
Once this is done, I'm going to find an awful lot to write about...