The Writer: Part 2

He looks back at the day he wrote his first story and smiles. The books they mock him, like pictures in his mind they come back. Here he was the best selling writer in America and yet, all he ever waited for was the next vision. Every word, every sentence was a new life, a new death.
The first ever story got published in the local newspaper thanks to his mom. She was so proud, they even framed the story. He still remembers the picture up on the refrigerator. The story was your average horror story, a couple stuck in the haunted house by the river, the same one he passed by everyday from school, the same one that stopped him in his tracks every evening.
He wrote of what he saw, his deepest darkest dream, it was no more a nightmare. In hindsight, he probably should have stopped. But it was his way out, his big leap out of this world.
The next day, the baby sitter had fallen desperately ill. The writer making the most of it, wrote the story of two young boys stuck all alone inside a house.
Now, alone in his white room, he wonders, where and when should he have stopped. At which dream, should his pen have said enough. He didn’t kill them, he tells himself. They were just coincidences. Only they were not.
His stories were famous, he was a prodigy. They called him King after the popular author. The writer wondered if he too had made a similar pact. There were no bullies in his life. All the beauty had finally dawned on him. His childhood was now exactly what he wanted it to be. Uneventful. No monsters, no scary voices in the night, parks were a joy ride. In the depths of his room, he poured out all his despair and he smiled to the world, everything was perfect.
His mom could tell, she always knew there was something great in him. So she saw nothing wrong in giving herself to him, like all mothers should.
It was only his sixteenth that messed it up a little. He smiles now wondering if it was love. Can an author love a story? Enough to make it come true. It was as if he knew she was his sixteenth story before he even met her.

That was Anna, everyone loved her even though she perhaps wasn’t the best looking in the room. Her fierceness just took everyone along in her storm. She was mad at everything and yet loved life. It was almost as if she knew no fear. Her story was real. The Writer still doesn’t know if his story came first or the night came after. He tells himself it doesn’t matter. Only it does. 

The Writer: Part 1

He had always been a scared child. Even before he had known of existence he had been scared of things. He assumed the worst when his father drove him to school. His mother protected him of all things evil for she knew there was something about him; something that bordered on greatness and glory. She had dreamt of the best things for him. And, fate as always obliged. Now, 30 years later, Writer thought how true his mother was when she saw all these things for him. He briefly smiled at the thought of his brother making fun of him. “A Wuss!” he would call him, “A pathetic little baby! Afraid of the dark! Afraid of everything!” What irked his brother the most was the friendly ear their mother used to give Writer. “You will never be like him.” she used to say.
Little by little the affections started seeming like a terrible curse to Writer. Every time his mother would take his side, the punishment would reach him in the dead of the night. He still recalls the ugly dark and jeering face of his brother in the middle of the night. The smile widened. How afraid he had been! How terribly afraid of the dark!

“They….will…catch…you!” his brother chided. “They will catch the little Writer and KILL HIM!” The fear paralyzed him. When you are ten, you believe everything your brother says. Writer remembered the days he would hurry under the bed hoping his brother would leave him alone. He began to hate his mother for inflicting the pain of her affection on him.
Years passed under this torture, Writer still afraid of everything wrote of the beauty he was missing. That one day he wouldn’t be scared of roaming the nights and actually embrace the moonlight. He wrote of the thrill of riding the bikes in the parks like other children. He wondered what it would be like to not be afraid of falling. He wondered would his world have been different had he not been scared of making friends in the neighborhood.
Life had dealt him a tough hand, he told himself. Why else would his hands shiver at the mere thought of stopping somewhere on the way from school?
But nothing stays; everything is taken away by time. One fateful walk in the park changed everything for him. The day had gone well, as far as good days go really. His brother hadn’t found the right moment to pick on him; his bus had broken down so he was in fact walking in the park with his schoolmates. He was almost close to enjoying the fine view of the nature that had evaded him for so many of the days.
Suddenly, it seemed like the voices of laughter around him were gone. “You are still afraid. Aren’t you?” someone whispered. “Still afraid of the dark?” he asked. It was his brother’s voice. Only it wasn’t his brother speaking the words. How could he? He was miles away at his football game! “Come with me to the woods and you will never be afraid. All you have to do is ask. Imagine! A life full of power! The power to instill fear in those who scare you! The power to overrule the ones with the jeering dark faces! All you have to do is…write! Spread the word, the stories of the darkness you see! The darkness their minds seek. Come with me and you will be the fearless and the great!”
The writer wondered, could this be real or maybe his forlorn mind conjuring up another spell to cast him off his fears? But the more he thought more he got convinced of the deal. It was almost as if the voice could read his mind! It could tell what he was seeking. The power to make others feel the fear he would feel. The power to spread stories of horror and mystery.

He heaved a long sigh and asked, “What do I have to do?” “Nothing!”, The voice said. “Just write what you see.”
That night, tucked away in his tiny room, he waited in the darkness for his brother’s voice.  The room came alive in the night, emptiness turning it red. With a bated sigh, he picked up his pen and without a thought began his journey.

****

Waiting for a bad dream

No blood work
no incredulous screams
my life is a canvas
tearing off at its seams

it ends before it begins
in an empty box
I have already been in there
already ran out my clock

no tragic death
no loose ends
I hope for sorrow
for my joy’s misery never ends

when the imaginary knife
plunges through my fake veins
I pretend I have my life
well within my reigns

No broken heart 
that meets an end
with only the pen and paper
my imaginary friends

As a new night shuts in
brings a bad dream
and I wake up with a tired smile
for sometimes pain is better than it seems

Of writing a nightmare…

I had a nightmare. Which is a worse kind of speech than I had a dream, but the point is, I have been having these nightmares and turning them into stories almost all my life. Which brings me to how we write stories, why do we write them? Why do we write AT ALL? Writers all around the world have a weird sense of non-artist-ness about them, they don’t paint beautiful pictures or sing songs or dance, they write. They just put down on paper what most people think and that’s that. Beauty, its basic definition for a writer, is just what he/she writes on a scrap of paper.  
There is a very thin line for most writers between reality and fiction which is why it seems only real to write about dreams and nightmares and what we see. I remember reading the Finkler Question and telling myself I’m a lot like one of the main characters in the book Treslove, who almost always was waiting for something tragic to happen in life. I have been waiting that wait.
A life which is a little too uneventful is no perfection for a writer’s life. Hence, the nightmares, they are my subconscious’ way of feeling the exhilaration, of a tragedy. Unlike a lot of “artists”, I have had too many things that have gone right for me. A less than perfect yet uneventful childhood, a more eventful but less tragic youth, so I wait. I wait for fortune to bring me a misfortune. Meanwhile, my mind brings about unrealities in front of me, plays the truth of death and helps me write about lives full of lies.
But when eventually the lines blur, between reality and fiction, that’s when my masterpiece would present itself (or so I think). Virginia Woolf was right; a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
So this is me waiting, wanting and hoping for a tragedy, until then my dreams would stalk me until I pen them down.