She plopped down into the swivel rocker near the window and glanced out at the dreary overcast sky; a perfect reflection of how she felt. There was no sense reprimanding herself for having been so careless as it wouldn’t serve any purpose to do so being the damage was already done. Her eyes drifted to the folder once again and the same question came to mind that had come over and over and over again since she had sat down to write the story two weeks before. (“Why had she been so compelled to write such a story and so driven to finish it so quickly?”) The same as with all the other times, she had no answer other than the speculation that maybe she had somehow become possessed; something she didn’t subscribe to at all, yet somehow felt just that way at times. Whatever the reason for her compulsion to write the story, it was imperative that she completely destroy it when it was done. Under no circumstances could she allow anyone to read it, especially Todd.
Kelly closed her eyes and thought of Todd. A steady stream of tears coursed down her cheeks. She lay back and wished with all her heart that she could go back in time to before the compulsion to write the story began. Pulling herself from the chair, she made her way to the bed and crawled into the center of it. She turned on her side, strangling the folder against her, and curled up into a fetal position.
The sound of the door opening and closing and the lock being turned caught her attention and she knew Todd wouldn’t be back that night. She cried long hard tears. As darkness crept into the room, her tears ceased and she took deep slow breaths to relax. It wasn’t long before another set of questions invaded her thoughts. (“Why didn’t she throw the story away once she realized the consequences that would befall the reader? Why was she so insanely driven to finish it even now? Why wasn’t she strong enough to resist it?”). Of course, there were no answers or at least none that satisfied her.
Mulling it over in her mind, Kelly tried desperately to think of a solution to her dilemma. She bolted upright, the folder flying from her hands scattering pages and notes across the floor. Panic gripped her tightly until she felt as though she couldn’t breathe. Without a second glance at the papers strewn about the floor, Kelly jumped up from the bed and started pacing back and forth.
“Oh my God,” she cried out to the darkness. “What if it can’t be destroyed?”
The thought was so crippling it buckled her knees and she fell to the floor. She pulled herself to the bed and slowly stood up. Frightened as she had never been before, Kelly moved to the wall and flipped the switch, thankful for the light that instantly flooded the room. She then went into the other rooms and turned on all the lights. That done, she went to the kitchen cupboards to look for the small jar of coffee she kept there for times like this.
Behind a large mixing bowl, she discovered an unopened bottle of Hennessey. She didn’t normally drink alcohol but this was just what she needed to calm her nerves. She snatched the bottle, grabbed a cup, sat at the table and poured a healthy portion of liquor into the cup.
Halfway through the bottle, Kelly noticed her reflection in the hallway mirror and laughed loudly. Continuing to look at her reflection, she said, “Are you happy now I’ve gone insane?” She laughed again and took another mouthful of liquor.
“This is stupid. It’s a story Kelly. A damn story! It’s nothing but words on a paper. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
She stood up and unsteadily walked toward the mirror. Pointing her finger at her likeness she said, “You scared the wits out of me; you know that? You wrote the story and you would never hurt anyone, so there can’t be anything wrong with it. Are you paying attention to me? You better, because if you don’t you’re going to lose Todd forever and I’ll never forgive you. You hear me? I said I’ll never forgive you if you cause me to lose Todd.”
She emptied the glass and feeling wobbly, leaned against the opposite wall, then smiled. “Don’t look so smug. I’m the one who figured it out, not you. And for your information, it doesn’t matter why I felt obsessed to finish it because that just shows I have a deep passion when I have a good story to write.”
Feeling better, Kelly pushed herself from the wall and took a step toward the table. She half-turned to look into the mirror again. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I’m letting Todd read the story as soon as I finish it. How do you like those apples? I know I’m drunk but I’m still letting him read it.”
She made her way into the bedroom and flopped down on the bed. Moments later, she passed out and didn’t wake up until late the next morning.(continued)
Chelle Munroe© March 20, 2014