For a list of the writing prompts I share, please see my Writing Prompt page :)
Oh But To Finish
Corine sat on the creaky wooden chair, her fingers flying over the keyboard to keep up with the thoughts streaming in her mind. Words became sentences, which then became paragraphs, which morphed into coherent thoughts, arguments, and ideas. Images of characters began forming next to her, dancing in the sparkling dust illuminated by sunbeams that filtered into the room from the small gray window set into the top of the wall.
She had it this time, she knew it. This story would work. Page after page evolved from her mind, through her fingers and onto the screen in front of her. Corrine’s brow furrowed in concentration, her eyes alight with inspiration and ideas, completely unaware of her thoughts taking form around her.
For a while, the silent forms twirled about in a mockery of ballet, motes of dust spinning off into dark corners, characters leaping and flying then bowing out to make room for new ones. But the more Corrine wrote, the larger they grew and as hours passed, they found themselves bumping into each other, knocking into the wood paneling and even jostling the single light-bulb hanging from the ceiling causing it to sputter and flicker.
Corrine did not look up. Too caught up in the world she was creating, she was oblivious to anything but the constant movement of her fingers and the words appearing on the screen.
The largest form, a sea captain of sorts had had enough. There were now several sailors, a puffed up petticoat laden young woman who could barely breath in her corset, a dashing young rogue who carried a dagger like a badge of honor, and a ten year old cabin boy who looked like he’d not only been formed from the dust, but had lived under the desk for the entirety of his young life. There was no more breathing room, let alone room to dance with the young woman.
The captain stalked over to the keyboard and sat on it. “Young woman, enough I say!”
Corinne stared at him for a moment then continued typing before the current thought flitted away, her fingers moving right through him. He was only made of dust motes. And while mildly inconvenient to type through, she could still manage it. She licked her lips, “You are not going to stop me, I’m going to finish this one!”
The dust-ruffled petticoats came over to join the captain, and the young woman peered over Corinne’s shoulder and looked at the screen. “I’m sure it’s a lovely story, dear, but I there’s no room to dance.” A faint whiff of rose perfume hit Corinne’s senses and she redoubled her efforts, sure that she had it right this time.
Tip tap tappety tap. The characters grew and grew, filling the little room as more and more new characters also begin forming. The sun was going down, the light was beginning to fade, and so the dust in the air was less visible, but no less grumpy.
The characters argued, bickered, shoved each other against the walls to make room to breathe. The roguish fellow tried to steal a kiss from the young woman, but there simply wasn’t room for more than an awkward shove and an inappropriate placement of hands that resulted in a slap and a blush.
The sea captain tried again. “Stop, I say. This is madness. We cannot leave, we can do nothing but sit in this room and grow.”
She shook her head, “It will be fine if I can finish this. I just need to finish.”
The little cabin boy decided to make himself useful. He tugged on the black fuse-cord that ran from the wall up to the top of the desk. There was an initial resistance as the machine up top refused to move, followed by a shower of sparks from the wall outlet before his fingers passed through the cord. That was not only interesting, but promising as well. Sparks were always good, they reminded him of cannonball fuses. And there was definitely an enemy they were needing to aim the cannons at. He pulled out his little fish-knife. It did nothing but pass through the cord, leaving a film of dust in its wake.
Every time Corinne moved her feet, it was uncomfortable at best for the boy. But he’d been written the way he’d been written. Resourceful and helpful, if overlooked and ignored. He began to gather dust, to pull it to himself. At first he just looked more dirty. But then some of the sailors who were swearing up a storm in the corner began to get smaller as their motes began flowing to the little cabin boy. Everyone was getting smaller, which meant for less grumbling in the room, and even less comfort for the young man concentrating so very hard on his fish-knife. He didn’t hear the maiden’s laugh, the captain’s asking her to dance again, or the brawl between the sailors and the rogue. He only knew that with just a little more effort, his knife and fingers would do more than just move the cord slightly.
The figures in the room shrunk some more. Some began praising Corinne, telling her she was doing well and to keep writing what she was writing, as they were now much more comfortable, thank you. Corinne didn’t hear them. She was nearly finished with the final battle scene, oblivious to anything around her. And then there were sparks and a flash from under the desk, followed by the smell of burnt ozone and dust.
Corinne screamed, “Nooo!!!” She stood up from her seat, elbowed her way out of the room and slammed the door behind her, locking it. Sobbing, she cried “I’ll never finish a novel, ever!” She walked back to the main living area of the house, passing by closed door after closed door, ignoring the thumps and bumps from each room.
The dirty cabin boy peeked his head out from under the desk, hiding his fish-knife back in his belt, and wondered how else he could be useful to his captain.