Today is the official start of National Novel Writing Month. My trauma counselling course ended yesterday and the wife and I are spending the weekend at our in-laws (both her parents and my dad and stepmom live in the same town, yet we met 1500km away and only after my folks had already been living there for three years), so I probably won’t get much writing done. But today I’m sitting next to the pool with the laptop and am planning to make a decent go of it before the wife joins me here this afternoon.
In the meantime, may your NaNoWriMo not be characterised by moments such as this…
Chasing the Muse
You stare at the blank page on the screen, fingers resting on the home keys. You type a sentence, two, three. You read them. You read them again. You roll your eyes. No one’s ever going to want to read that. Two clicks and your words are wiped off the page.
You notice the pointer slowly move down the page towards the Chrome icon in the taskbar. No! You do not need to look at pictures of funny cats right now. No, no videos either. And you’ve blocked Facebook, remember? Your wife’s not giving you the password until you finish this chapter. You have some way to go. You’ve been sitting here an hour and have nothing to show for it.
You reach for the hand-crafted quill pen you father brought you from Venice. You stroke the feather over your lips, delighting in the soft touch of the barbs on the sensitive skin. Hang on, you’re writing fantasy, not a 50 Shades rip-off. You snap out of it and put the pen away.
You reach for your replica longsword instead. You grip the hilt firmly and pull the blade from the scabbard. Your heart gives an excited flutter. Sure, the pen is mightier than the sword, but damn, these things are awesome. You close your eyes and you’re standing on a battlefield. Your ears ring with the clash of sword on shield and the drumbeat of hooves. You hear a scream to your left and turn to see a man’s skull split in two by an axe. Your nostrils flare at the smell of mud and blood.
You see a rider approaching. You know he’s looking for you. He spots you and charges. You stand and wait for him, gripping your sword with both hands. He swings his blade in a wide arc, trying to cut you down, but you’re expecting that. At the last moment you roll across in front of his horse, gaining your feet and cutting at his leg as he passes. You feel the blade hit home and he cries out in pain. He swings his mount around for another charge. You raise your sword, ready.
You are jolted back to reality as the phone rings. You glance at the caller ID and press the mute button. You’re somewhat surprised at the sword in your hands. How’d that get there? You put it down and look at the still-blank screen. Maybe a walk will help…
Copyright © 2013 Herman Kok
P.S. In case you were wondering, yes, that’s my Venetian quill pen and blunt stainless steel replica bastard sword with plastic scabbard and no, you can’t have them!