Welcome Visitor: Login to the siteJoin the site

The Writer

Short story By: Km2

This is about a man, who sacrifices everything for his craft. His friends, his family, even his health. He cares not about anything other than the task at hand, currently, in front of him. No matter the cost. This is for Mrs. Bradbury's contest where the theme is: A Sacrifice for Passion. This was a hard one for me and I'm still not too sure how I feel about it.

Submitted:Jun 14, 2013    Reads: 103    Comments: 32    Likes: 11   

He sits at his desk, fresh blotter and newly sharpened number 2 pencils in front of him.

Just beginning to write his latest story. For he'd been having a bad case of writer's block here recently.

That appeared to be over now, as the pencil found its way into his hand almost by magic.

Perhaps even more magically, once started, it took off like a light. Having a mind of its own. Just scribbling and scrawling across page after page, almost as if another was controlling it. Some other person, or being, using his hand to put their words on the paper - conveying their thoughts. It seemed strange to him, but he never worried about it either. Sometimes things just came to him without him even realizing it, and he was just the vessel through which it came.

The pencil almost beginning to smoke now, moving so fast, the lead tip grinding down to a nub.

He tosses it away, momentarilly, grabbing another one fresh from the stack. The leaflets beginning to pile and stack up, by his side.

Taking a deep breath, relaxing for a moment. Then wiping the sweat from his forehead with his hand, flinging it to the floor. It was hot up here on the second level.

Then right back to the grindstone, unable to stop or break until he was done. Or, it was done. Done with his hand, finished all it had to say for the time being or the evening. Finished with making him write, whatever it wanted him to write and for whatever reasons.

At first it made him quite uncomfortable, but soon after, he eventually just gave in and went with the flow. I mean, they're just stories after all.

What could be the harm, right?

He certainly couldn't think of a single one. So it eventually just crept its way to the back recesses of his mind. Where one tends to put such things.

His family certainly saw the harm in it. Not that they knew anything about his hand "possessions" as he was writing. He'd probably be locked up in the Shady Acres Mental Institution, if they did. Or had any clue about that.

For his family worries greatly about him, always, now. They worry he is slipping into a pit of despair that he may never be able to crawl out of. One too deep to even be helped out of by a friendly, outstretched hand. They all had tried.

For he had fallen too far down, into the quicksand that would not let go. Would never let him crawl his way back to the surface. Back into the light of day.

They have seen him digress back into the very thing he feared most. A man who just hides and runs from his family, or anyone who cares or desperately tries to help or save him from himself. He cares not, really.

Looking up from his work:

"Why the fuck should I care..." He trails off to the empty room.

No answer came.

He wipes his forehead again, and takes a deep swig off his glass of sweet tea. It just wasn't cutting it, though.

Lord it was hot in here.

Right back to his work, the pencil jotting this way and that. The tip of his tongue poking slightly from a corner of his mouth. Eyes locked in total, complete, concentration.

The lead snapped on his pencil, causing him to throw it aside with a grunt. Quickly grabbing yet another replacement. Continuing right where he left, never missing a beat.

Before he knew it, the entire blotter was used up and stacked up right in front of him. A few pencils strewn about the room. He was finished... for the night, anyhow.

He quickly stood on unsure legs, leaning way back, stretching his arms up over his head. A part sigh-part yawn escaping him, vibrating its way through the room.

Not being able to remember a time when he didn't hurt, both inside and out. Physically and Mentally. Bodily and Emotionally.

Fragile and frazzled.

Now he decides he could go for a quick drink. Walking himself over to his bar, pouring himself a stiff drink of Remy Martin. Instantly downing it and filling it again, this time, just a little more full.

Moseying back over to his seat, he plops down in it, nearly spilling his drink.

"Dammit, get ahold of yourself."

Still no answer, other then him taking another long drink. Smacking his lips, afterwards.

Hardly even feeling the effects of the alcohol, anymore. It becoming second nature to him. Normal.

More normal than normal. Sobriety is just sickening. The very thought of it made him want to take yet another drink. So he did.

He was swimming in it.

Never feeling or experiencing things one often does while in "the drink", anymore. No slurring of speech, no stumbling or swerving, no vomitting, no passing out or blacking out, no hangovers...

"God, I haven't had a hangover in I don't know how many years..."

This time a loud thump from under the floor was his reply, hardly making him even flinch.

Only: "Hmmm..." Right as he finished his tall glass of cognac.

Still not appearing - or acting - drunk, other than his eyes. They were glazed over and foggy. Clearly out of his gord, way out past left field.

Just then, he got the hiccups.

Hating the hiccups so much, making him so infuriated, he begins throwing every pencil close at hand all about the room. Quickly running out of them, making him even madder, he picks up the empty glass he'd just been drinking out of; pitching it across the room.

It shattering in a shower of shards and chips, tinkling about here and there on the floor where they were landing.

He sits there staring, all the pieces twinkling back at him, looking him dead in the eyes.

Pondering, wonderingly, his whole life through.

Just as tears begin flowing from his long-dry sockets, the noise comes again.


This time louder and seeming to come from right below where he was, directly below the table where he was sitting.

Again it comes.

"What do you want!" He wails through leaky eyes.

Then, nothing.

Only whimpering coming from just himself.

Slowly gaining his composure back, sitting up straight and wiping his nose on his sleeve with a sniffle. He begins to notice the papers he's written, starting to flutter.

Though there aren't any windows open, nor is the air conditioner on. He reaches out and grabs the top page just as the rustling ceases.

"My word."

Putting the page up to his face, all the color drains out of it leaving him white as a ghost. Nearly making him faint, luckily he'd been sitting down or he just might have.

For every page was exactly the same, every last paper, every last sentence, every last word. And they said:

Good-bye cruel world. The pain is just too much, anymore, too unbearable to live with. I have tried my best to make it work, but in the end, just wasn't strong enough. I know that the pain will be gone now, I just hate knowing all the pain and heartbreak I've left behind. But I also wonder, if anyone would actually even care and truthfully miss me. Or, more likely, just be glad to be rid of this nuisance. I also wonder how long it will take somebody to find me. For, does anybody even know I'm really here... about to end it all. I wish all the best to all my loved ones, but now is my time. I must check out. Bon Voyage into the great world beyond. Now I must go. I don't wish this suffering on anyone else. Good-bye, forever.

He swallowed hard, struggling, as he sat the paper back on the stack right as the thump came again. Making him nearly topple the whole pile over.

Too scared to go downstairs, to see what it just might be. Scared for the death of him, of what he might find.

Almost sure that he'd find himself hanging there from the rafters, swinging away. A foot hitting the wall every so often or a shoe dropping, landing hard on the wooden floor...

No, he wouldn't be putting himself through that.

So instead, he just went about the room picking up all the pencils he could find and sharpened them; one by one. Then grabbing a fresh pad of paper, heading for his workspace in a daze.

Sitting down with a dreamy look upon his face, he picked up a newly-sharpened pencil and touched it to the piece of paper. Praying it would do the trick... hoping it would do its job...

Waiting for it to go to work.


| Email this story Email this Short story | Add to reading list


About | News | Contact | Your Account | TheNextBigWriter | Self Publishing | Advertise

© 2013 TheNextBigWriter, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Policy.