Nine Inch Nails – Closer

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“Help me…” I groaned; no one was around to care. I sat at a table outside the library, but with the way the story I was working on was violating me, I may as well have been bent over.

Up to then, writing had been an escape, the blank page an oasis, but now my refuge was desert dry and produced as many useful fruits. My pen was full of ink, page margins stacked with doodles, and I even had half an idea of where I wanted the story go; I was out of excuses, patience, but still, the words refused to come.

It couldn’t be my fault, a writer is the solution for a story, the only reason a narrative can exist to begin with; could it be I’d picked the wrong protagonist? The plot was standard for me, filled with disaster, and in an effort to get past the writer’s block I’d built the character’s scaffold out of the best parts of myself: all my humor minus the hidden insecurities, the character could get to caring deeply without forgetting what was important in the first place, my looks without the scars and a smile with all real teeth

I threw my pen – why would I want to terrorize the ideal version of myself?

Now the doodles seemed to mock me, didn’t matter they were poorly drawn because the castle surrounded by a moat with its drawbridge up had Monty Python frenchmen inside, their laughs vivid; they’d known all along. FUCK that made me mad, I crinkled the paper between my fingers, pulled to rip-

“You an Olympian?”

I stopped, looked up confused into the face of a stranger that looked a bit like me; he had my pen in his hand. “Did I hit you?”

“Nah,” He flipped a chair around so its back faced me then leaned his chin on the bar, “But if you would’ve, might’ve impaled me. You got some power.”

He rolled the pen to me across the table, I slapped my hand to stop it. “Yeah, I threw it with the same arm I beat my dick with.” Why’d I say that?

The guy didn’t share my questioning attitude, actually smiled at the joke. “You’re wicked, what’s your name man?” He asked with a smile defined by a chipped front tooth.

I told him. “What do you do?” I asked.

“Little of this and that, I’m a designer really. Some say artist but my drawing skills aren’t Da Vinci or anything.”

I gave him back my pen along with a sheet of paper. “Show me.”

While he sketched something clicked. “I haven’t seen you around before.”

He shrugged as the dragon he drew above my castle took shape, “This is one of those refillable ones, you a writer or something?” The inky fire he drew in 2 seconds was better than anything I’d ever made with that pen. “I only ask ‘cause I am too.”

“Maybe you can help me with this story then.”

He twirled my pen once, twice, around and through his fingers before resting the butt-end on paper, point up. “You haven’t even st-”

I grabbed the back of his head with both of my hands, shoved with everything I had; he stopped moving when there was no more eye for my pen to pierce. Blood leaked all over my paper; I shook his skull until the patterns were perfect.

The End

Read more Symphonic Literature

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