Writer's Block

Writer's Block

A Story by Cole Spire
"

My first attempt at a suspensful story. I hope you enjoy this short story.

"

Writer’s Block
By Matthew S. Van Hove

Eric Stater cracked his knuckles as he sat down in front of his old fashion type writer. He was getting close to the deadline that his publisher had placed on his newest manuscript. Eric wasn’t a sci-fi writer or even an action writer. He was a novelist that specialized in real life dramas. He looked at the newspaper every day for inspiration, and he was just starting to complete his newest work. Most people would call Eric Stater a “purist” but he just liked writing the genre that he was most comfortable in.

The first few clicks of the old fashioned typewriter sounded and announced to his whole house that he was working and not to be disturbed. It wasn’t that hard for Eric to get distracted and he hated that about himself. So he moved himself and the rest of his family out into the rural area of Carson City. It wasn’t that hard for the fact that Carson City may have been the state capital of Nevada, yet housed only about forty five thousand people. No matter where you went, it could be considered rural, aside from the area with the casinos.

Half way into his first paragraph, Eric’s cell phone rang. It was his wife’s ring tone and he desperately wanted to keep writing, but knowing she would be upset that he didn’t answer, his picked it up and hit the button to connect the call.

“Hello?”

“Eric?” His wife asked.

“Who else would it be?” he answered back.

“We hit some traffic on the way home. The boys and I should be home a little late.”

“Ok, no problem, I am just in my study.”

“Ok, I love you Eric.” she said cheerfully.

“Love you too dear.” Eric hung up the phone.

He started typing away again, as the idea’s for his newest novel flew from his mind. Anyone watching him would have gasped at the speed his fingers moved, many had wondered how he could type so fast and such and old machine without destroying it. He would always laugh it off and muse about how the older typewriters were made better than any of the new laptops or personal computers that he had been forced into getting.

One laptop in particular that the publisher had obtained for him broke within a week. Eric’s keystrokes were so rough on the new laptop that they just started popping off the keyboard like jumping beans. His publisher tried to get him a PC after that, and that particular machine met a worse fate. When Eric would get into a writing zone, he could write for days without stopping for sleep, and sometimes even food. This particular computer had the unfortunate task of being the target of that abuse.

Eric had started on a Friday, at around ten in the morning, and didn’t finish his session until well into Tuesday night. The hard drive gave out before Eric did. The computer froze and there was actual smoke that started to pour from one of the vents. The whole manuscript was lost, since Eric hadn’t taken any time to save. That had been the fifth computer Eric had broken, and it seemed to be the last straw for his publisher because they refused to buy him a new one. That was fine by Eric’s account; he didn’t like typing on the stupid things anyway.

The door downstairs finally opened and he heard the sound of his rambunctious twin boys could be heard arguing about something. He merely chuckled to himself and continued writing. He heard his wife come up the stairs of their spacious two story four bedroom home and knocked on his door. He didn’t answer, but then again she knew he wouldn’t. His wife walked up behind him and leaned down to look that his latest page.

“Looks like another drama that will capture the hearts of the masses my dear.” she said sweetly.

Once again Eric didn’t answer. His family knew how he got when he was in a zone. The world could crumble down around him and he would never even know. Eric was focused on his newest romantic drama. It was a tear jerker to say the least. The basis was simple; a man loses his family in a horrific car crash and he is the only one to survive, the novel was about how he learned to cope with the loss and even find new love in a new city.

Eric was going to throw a huge twist in the end of the novel though, one that would throw his normal readers for a loop. Not only would the new woman his main character was head over heels about be related to his deceased wife, but it would be her twin sister that no one but her mother knew about. He smirked to himself as the realization of this twist could upset a few people. It wasn’t his normal endings where the world seemed to right itself once again in his characters lives. Instead it would throw open a whole new world of questions that he planned to answer in a sequel. Something else that he had never done before.

“Maternal twins seem more believable. No one would buy that she had to have reconstructive surgery.” he said to himself.

Eric had stopped typing for a few minutes and noticed that house seemed quiet. That wasn’t too strange, his wife could have taken his boys outside to burn off the perpetual energy they always seemed to have. So, given that he had the house to himself again, Eric started to type out more pages to his newest manuscript. He was like a machine, barely hearing anything around him until his eyes blurred in weariness. He didn’t know how long he had been writing, but it was suddenly dark out.

He stretched and decided he would take a quick break to get something to eat and rest his eyes. The house was dark as he walked down stairs, but again this was normal. He looked at the clock above the window in his kitchen to see that it was well past midnight. He opened the fridge to see what he had waiting for him and found a small turkey sandwich waiting with all the extras, mayonnaise, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, even some bacon to add to the already unhealthy meal. The only thing it was really missing was a bit of mustard. He looked around the fridge to find that they were all out so he closed the door and wrote it on the small note pad that was on the refrigerator door.

He moved to his pantry and popped open the door to look inside for some chips that would go great with his sandwich. As soon as he popped his head inside he wished he hadn’t. Something had gone bad and he could smell the mold eating away at what ever it was. He would go through the pantry and find out what it was after he was done writing. He grabbed his favorite bag of chips and walked back up to his study.

After eating the sandwich and enjoying it fully, he cracked his knuckles once again and began to write. As he was just about to make his main character attempt suicide, something flashed out of the corner of his eye. He looked over his shoulder only to see nothing. Eric shook it off as just being tired and went back to the scene he was trying to finish.

Just as he was about to finish the second page of the scene there was a second burst of light from the opposite side of the room. This time though it looked like someone had help up a flashlight to his eye rather than a quick burst like before. He could swear the light had taken form.

Once again shaking it off, thinking how crazy it sounded, he continued to write. It was about an hour later that the flash returned, and this time Eric was sure he saw it move. Not just move, but walk toward him. He snapped his head around to catch a glimpse of what it was but only saw empty room.

“You’re losing it Eric.” He said to himself as he looked back at his typewriter. “It is just your eyes telling you that they are tired.”

The voice in the back of his head was desperately trying to tell him he needed to finish, that a break was the wrong thing to take. His deadline was in two days and he still had thirty or so pages that he had to write. It wasn’t like him to be late, and his publishers actually banked on him for that reason. He was reliable and responsible. Eric didn’t want to listen to that tiny voice, but he did anyway.
So he began to type away again. He didn’t know how long he had been typing this time, but he saw the flash more clearly this time. He was even able to tell where it came from. Eric whirled around in his chair and looked at the source. It was the electrical outlet, he was certain that he had seen something come from the electrical outlet on the wall. It was large, about the size of an adult, and shining like it was full of electricity.

“Who’s there?” he heard himself asking the empty room.

After a few seconds of silence Eric shook his head and returned to his typewriter. He normally didn’t like reviewing his work until he was finished; with the older machine it was easier to edit his work that way. He continued to pound even harder on the keys, making sure he was concentrating on his manuscript. He swore to himself that he would ignore the flashes of light this time. He wouldn’t get distracted by tricks his eyes were playing on him. He had work he had to get done, and he would do it because this is what he needed to do.

Sure enough, only after a few sentences, the flash came again. This time, Eric ignored it just like he had promised himself he would. He continued to type as fast as his fingers would allow him to. The spark of light happened again and again as if trying to get his attention.

Finally after what seemed like forever, Eric allowed himself to be distracted by the continual flashes of light. He turned at each flash trying to see what it was, maybe a short in the wiring, or even a faulty plug. It would be something he would have to call an electrician for in the morning.

The flashing lights seemed to be teasing Eric as they disappeared every time he turned his head. It was frustrating more than anything, and it was starting to make Eric feel as if he was cracking up. He had stopped pounding on his typewriter and turned his chair to face the electrical outlet. He stared at the small plug for what seemed like hours. He was waiting for something, anything to spark again, to show him that he wasn’t crazy.

After more than a few hours of staring, Eric concluded that he was indeed going a little crazy. He had just been staring at a plug for the better part of four hours when he could have been writing. Nothing had happened in the time he had been staring at the tiny plug, and he figured nothing would happen. He decided he would talk to his wife first thing in the morning. Tell her what was going on, she was always good at reassuring him that he wasn’t cracking up when he would pull his all-niters.

Eric slowly turned his chair back toward the keyboard, his eyes still watching the outlet as if something was going to happen. When nothing did he settled back in and placed his hands on the keys to his old time machine. He blinked a few times and tried to remember where he had left off, not really wanting to re-read his page he had just finished. He shook his head and sighed reaching for his last page and picked it up. As he brought it closer to his eyes the flash of light seemed to light up the room. It made Eric squint and put the page down.

He turned towards the light; it hadn’t vanished this time, and shielded his eyes. The light was bright and blinding but it was so fantastic he couldn’t turn away. He felt like he needed to continue to stare at its glory. The light faded and he blinked a few more times. The light had taken shape, a solid form, and it was one he couldn’t believe.

It was the form of his wife.

Two smaller flashes exploded from the outlet and he saw his two twin boys standing next to their mother. Eric slapped his hand to his forehead, this was impossible! He was definitely going bonkers now. His mind had become so tired he was hallucinating. He had never had this happen before and the feeling he was getting was simply that he didn’t want it to happen again.

I’ll close my eyes and they’ll be gone. This is just a hallucination, a trick my mind is playing on me. Eric thought as he shut his eyes tightly. He wished he could open them and see the empty room again, hear the silence of his home and be reassured that he wasn’t going completely crazy. Yet when he opened his eyes they were still there, standing in front of him and staring at him as if wanting to say something.

His wife looked as if she was speaking to him but he couldn’t quite hear what she was saying. She would move her mouth and then point to the typewriter, and each time she seemed to get more and more agitated. It had happened before, not the hallucinations, but the argument about his typewriter and the fact that he would shut everything out when he would begin to write.

“I-I can’t hear you.” he dared to say to the silent form of his wife.

She just motioned faster and seemed to be getting angry at him for not understanding. With a final huff, his wife pointed to the stack of pages that were piled next to his typewriter. She seemed to scream something that he couldn’t hear and then pointed at him.

Eric looked from his wife to the pages and then back. “You want me to look at my manuscript?”

The specter of his wife nodded and seemed to calm down.

Eric took a deep breath and frowned as he picked up the top page and turned it over so he could see it. His eyes widened in horror as he saw what was written. It wasn’t his novel, it wasn’t anything he had ever remembered typing. He turned the next page over and saw the same thing; it was on every page he had written since he had started. He was breathing hard as he threw the papers aside and stood up.

“No! It’s not true!” he shouted as he stormed down stairs.

Eric threw open the refrigerator door and gasped as he saw that there was nothing inside it but packages of turkey. He closed the door and looked up to see his note pad sitting on the door was covered with “Need Mustard” all over it. He pulled open the pantry and pulled the small cord that turned the light on and saw stacks upon stacks of bread. Some half finished others green and molding, and some brand new. Eric felt his heart pounding in his chest as he almost leapt up the stairs to the master bedroom. Nearly breaking the door down as he pushed it open, he saw what he had been dreading the whole time. The room was vacant, covered in cobwebs and looked as if it hadn’t been lived in for a very long time.

He didn’t want to, but he had to see his boy’s room. He slowly crept down the hall of his home, suddenly feeling as if it was alien to him in every way. He pushed open the door to his children’s shared room and felt the tears well up in his eyes. It was just as vacant as the master bedroom. He moved back into his study and found the three ghost like forms of his family still standing there. He didn’t know what to say, he didn’t know what to feel, all he could do was slump down into his chair and look at the scattered papers all along the floor. Each page reading the same thing over and over again.

“My name is Eric Stater and I killed my family. I buried them in the backyard. May God have mercy on my soul. I died for my work, and so did they.”

Eric sat back and looked up. His cry of anguish echoed in the silent house as he saw the dangling feet accompanied by a body; his body, hanging from the ceiling.

© 2008 Cole Spire


Author's Note

Cole Spire
if you see any errors, please feel free to point them out and i will fix them. Other than that enjoy.

My Review

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Featured Review

Good god...wow. That ending really made me feel like looking over my shoulder. Great man. I'm glad I read this...and more so glad that I left my light on while reading this.

Great ending though...has a really cool psychologically tampered feel to it.

My only suggestion is to develop some details more so. Some times it felt like details were barely mentioned when, if examined more, they could also build and add to the story itself.

Great job man.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

At first, I was like "did he become a part of his own story or what?" Like maybe he sat there so long he only imagined his family or something. But he actually killed them? That's crazy!! I really really liked this story! It messes with my mind. Or was his writers block blocking the fact that he killed his family?? That makes sense! This is a kind of ramble, so let me say again how much I loved it! Thanks for recommending it :)

Posted 12 Years Ago


I did enjoy it. I would say that during the middle, where you have tried to maintain the suspense with the flashing lights (Orbs I guess) it perhaps goes on a little too long and you could doubtlessly refine it. That said, if you have no plans for it, I enjoyed the time reading it and wouldn't bother to change anything. I loved the twists at the end although it would be far easier to imagine him living and then the vision be left to the readers creativity, whereas in your piece we have to imagine the characters as ghosts, which isn't a problem, just a difference. I was rather expecting the Eric to be more distressed at realizing he killed his family but assume he wasn't because he was so screwed up emotionally?

It reminds me of the film called 'Number 23' where the main character has retrograde amnesia. So yes, thanks, It was good to read.

Just a couple of things I noticed:

his picked it up and hit the button to connect the call.
someone had help up

Kind regards,
Solst

Posted 12 Years Ago


I did enjoy it. I would say that during the middle, where you have tried to maintain the suspense with the flashing lights (Orbs I guess) it perhaps goes on a little too long and you could doubtlessly refine it. That said, if you have no plans for it, I enjoyed the time reading it and wouldn't bother to change anything. I loved the twists at the end although it would be far easier to imagine him living and then the vision be left to the readers creativity, whereas in your piece we have to imagine the characters as ghosts, which isn't a problem, just a difference. I was rather expecting the Eric to be more distressed at realizing he killed his family but assume he wasn't because he was so screwed up emotionally?

It reminds me of the film called 'Number 23' where the main character has retrograde amnesia. So yes, thanks, It was good to read.

Just a couple of things I noticed:

his picked it up and hit the button to connect the call.
someone had help up

Kind regards,
Solst

Posted 12 Years Ago


Wow. What an ending. I didn't see it coming. I never felt a thing. I did think he might have went crazy, but wow. Soooooooooo, how's your family, Cole? Y'all alright? Just hoping y'all alright! Shout out to the family!

Great write...creepy as hell...but good.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Good god...wow. That ending really made me feel like looking over my shoulder. Great man. I'm glad I read this...and more so glad that I left my light on while reading this.

Great ending though...has a really cool psychologically tampered feel to it.

My only suggestion is to develop some details more so. Some times it felt like details were barely mentioned when, if examined more, they could also build and add to the story itself.

Great job man.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ha ha ha ha ha, that was a pretty awesome ending. Unfortunately it escapes me why it would be titled "Writers Block". I found a few things I would fix. Just small things where you could have cut down the sentence to make it flow better. A few words that I would recommend changing to help the flow as well. I'll leave notes.

Coincidentally, I posted a piece just the other day of the same title. Hundreds of miles away and still on the same wave length. Crazy.

Good short story though. I enjoyed it very much.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This story is bewitching, discriptive, fascinating, and very calligraphic. Great write, and I would love to read more.

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 16, 2008

Author

Cole Spire
Cole Spire

Holloween Town, NV



About
"Being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life." -Hank Moody Those are words so true that it is scarey! Aloha! My name is Cole Spire. Colstainous Spirion to be exact but mos.. more..

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