Friday, April 30, 2010

Writing Resolution 5


An unbelievably fat woman dressed as Princess Leia gave me a magic ballpoint pen not too long ago.

I was at a writing expo, so I didn't ask her why she was in costume (or why she chose the bikini instead of . . . any other outfit the Princess wore), but I assumed she was promoting something. The pen didn't have any text on it, just looked like your run-of-the-mill Bic-type ballpoint. She told me it was magic when she handed it to me, and I didn't believe her, otherwise I would've started using it sooner.

One afternoon a couple of months later, I grabbed the pen from my backpack, and jotted down some notes for a presentation at work, and they turned out to be truly inspired. I got a promotion out of that. And the next time I used the pen, I wrote--almost without thinking--a wondrous short story for my nephew about a child who sleepwalks and wakes up in a fairy land where everything you ever dreamed you could be came true. I entered it into the Writers of the Future contest and was a finalist, and it was run on the Starship Sofa podcast.

I remembered how I'd gotten the pen, at that boring little writing expo at the airport Hilton, and put two and two together.

From then on, I only used the magic pen to write things that were important. I needed to parcel it out. A second short story (even better than the first) came next, and I started on a novel. It felt like the best thing I'd ever written, and I found myself feeling spent and exhilarated, like I'd just run a marathon or had sex with dark-haired twins.

My sister came over on Sunday, dropping off her four year old while she went to see the CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST remake with her latest boyfriend. I turned on the television for the lad, then went into the bathroom to dump and shave. He must have gone into the study and taken the magic pen while I was in there. I paid him no mind since my nephew likes to draw, and didn't even think about it until he came into the laundry room to tell me his pen didn't work anymore and he needed another one. I bounded up the stairs, two by two, knowing somehow which pen he had been talking about.

All the power had been wasted. I stopped just inside the living room and saw the magic pen abandoned on the floor, all out of ink and depressingly pale, like a dead fish left in the sun.

Rage filled me. I probably would have murdered the child, but I stopped when I saw the boy's artwork. There were seven amazing portraits of members of my family, done in the masterpiece style of a young Rembrandt scattered about the table.

My nephew asked me again if I had another pen for one more drawing. Of the cat.


Abbie said...

That was hilarious! Last line was perfect.

Rish Outfield said...

Of course, it was going to be the dog, but I changed it due to my feelings about kitties.

Lizanne said...

I really really like this story.

More, please.