When Kelly woke up, she moaned and slowly opened her eyes, then quickly squeezed them shut again to block out the bright morning sun beaming through the large window. Her mouth was dry like cotton. She forced herself to get up and moved into the bathroom thankful she didn’t have a hangover. Once refreshed and dressed, Kelly walked into the kitchen and spotted the half-empty bottle on the table.
“Thanks for your help, buddy,” she smiled recalling her one-sided conversation with her reflection. She glanced at the mirror almost expecting to see her image still posed with a smug look on her face. She moved closer to the mirror and smiled. “I remember everything from last night and I meant what I said about letting Todd read it when it’s finished.”
Although she didn’t have a hangover, Kelly didn’t press her luck and settled for a small bowl of cereal. Thoughts of her actions and feelings over the past weeks infiltrated her mind and she shook her head, thinking how foolish she had been. Instead of hurrying to wash the dishes as soon a she finished the cereal, Kelly lingered at the table a while longer hoping some light would be shed on why she had acted as she had. The only thing that came to mind was that she had simply gotten over zealous with the story and somehow allowed it to take over her life.
With coffee mug in hand, she went into the bedroom and picked up all her notes and pages, then set about sorting them out on the bed. Once organized, she sat at her desk and read the last pages she had written. Nothing new came to mind so she closed her eyes and concentrated on clearing away all thoughts to allow her creative juices to flow. It didn’t take long for her imagination to kick in and, before long, she had five pages completed and only had to write the ending.
The ending, however, proved to be more difficult to write than she had first thought and no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t get the words to flow. After several failed attempts and completely frustrated, Kelly put the pen down and stared at the blank sheet of paper. Ten minutes later, she stood up, grabbed the mug and stepped into the kitchen to get more coffee.
Looking over her shoulder at the papers on the desk she said, “How could you do this to me? How could you let me get all the way to the end and then give me a brain fart? Aaaah! It’s not fair.”
Two painstaking hours passed and Kelly still didn’t have the ending she wanted to the story. Each time she thought she had it finished she would read it over and decide it wasn’t what she thought it would be. It wasn’t the ending the story called for. Somehow, she had lost the feeling for the story and decided to take a break and do some errands.
She stopped at a gas station, filled the tank and just as she was leaving, the phone rang. She quickly glanced at the screen and saw that it was from her friend Paula.
“Hi Paula!” she greeted cheerily.
“Hey kiddo, what are you up to? Haven’t heard from you in some time now?”
“I’m sorry Paula. I got so wrapped up in my writing I just lost track of time.”
“Another story? That’s fantastic! What’s it about?”
“Are you free for lunch?” Kelly asked, avoiding Paula’s question.
“Yeah, you want to come here or meet someplace?”
“How about Shirley’s Diner?”
“Sounds great,” Paula replied happily. “Meet you there in fifteen.”
“Great,” Kelly said and ended the call.
Twenty minutes later, Kelly entered Shirley’s Diner and spotted Paula in a booth on the right hand side toward the back of the restaurant.
“I ordered you a coffee,” Paula spoke up as soon as Kelly slid into the booth. “So tell me what the story’s about.”
“Hello to you too,” Kelly said as she raised the cup to her lips.
Paula laughed. “We said hello half an hour ago on the phone. Tell me about the story.”
Kelly set the cup down and looked straight into Paula’s eyes. “Okay. Before I do, let me tell you how the idea for the story came about and what has happened since then. You’re probably not going to believe it when I tell you; hell, I don’t believe it myself but it happened.”
Kelly proceeded to tell Paula the events that led up to her getting the idea for the story and then explained as best she could about the strange happenings afterwards and how she became so obsessed with the story that she couldn’t really eat or sleep restfully.
March 20, 2014