Today I wrote for “Finish That Thought.” Enjoy Xavier’s little story, which all you writers out there should be able to relate too!
A “Dicken” of a Block
The policeman took off his hat as he said, “You should sit down, sir.”
Xavier stared at the sentence written on the lines in the journal. He crossed it out with his Uni-ball pen, and when that wasn’t enough he kept scratching until there was a black hole in the paper. He sighed, took another sip of his coffee and picked up Hard Times. He’d just immerse himself in a book—easier than writing, that’s for sure.
But that didn’t work. He set Hard Times back on top of his stack of Dickens, covering David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities.
Another sip of his coffee, and he held his pen to the paper but no words would come. Why couldn’t he just be like Dickens? His first lines always sounded unique and never spoiled the plot. Xavier knew the “policeman” line would make his readers think something terrible had happened, and wanted it to be mysterious—not give it all away at the very beginning. The only words that could follow a policeman saying, “Sit down,” were tragic. Words like, “I’m sorry sir, your fill-in-the-blank has died.” Not like Dickens’ famous line, “It was the best of time, it was the worst of times.” Oh yeah, well which was it? Good or bad? The line made the reader want to keep reading.
Xavier set down the pen and started cleaning up the living room. It was noon, and he wasn’t out of his pajamas. He’d read the key to success was getting up and getting ready for work every morning. After Zombie Killers ‘R Us had made him a tidy little profit, he’d gotten rid of all his suits and decided to put himself into writing full time. Although, his near instant success with Zombies had not translated to more words streaming from his now empty noggin.
He had on his flannel pajamas, which made him feel like he was wearing a security blanket, as he shuffled to the mailbox. He was surprised when he saw it. The return address in New York. The logo. It could only mean one thing, the agent had found a home for Killer Fairies.
He tossed the envelope on the kitchen table, without opening it, and paced around the kitchen. News that should have been exhilarating brought anxiety to his racing heart. Because it meant they’d want more, and the truth was Xavier hadn’t written anything in nearly four months.
He went into his closet leafing through clothes. He shed his Flash shirt, which had become a second skin to him, and threw on a button up shirt, leaving the top noose of a button undone. He found some khaki pants and slid into them. He grabbed his laptop and slid it into his briefcase.
If the words wouldn’t come at home, then he’d just go to where the words would come, he thought as he left the house traveling to destination unknown.