On one morning that was in no particular way different from other mornings, I sat at my desk in front of the window. I always thought it was important for a writer to have a good window. Maybe I thought inspiration would come with the breath of air, with the humming of trees, with the flutter of some creature’s wings. I often just sat there and waited, hoping a brilliant idea would wrestle itself into my stubborn head, a sudden force would take over my mind that didn’t want to come up with ideas anymore. I wouldn’t even have to do anything apart from letting the unknown magic do its job.
On that ordinary morning, I found myself thinking back to my first year of university.
I remembered the professor who taught Introduction to Literature in the first semester. Some character she was. I couldn’t describe her for you if I tried (and I wouldn’t try because – remember – I was done creating).
When the eccentric woman burst into the classroom, she was like that obscure force, like that energy that moves things somewhere within you, teases your rusted imagination and makes it work again.
I could see in other students’ faces that we all shared the impression that our new teacher had just landed from another planet. This wouldn’t be your conventional class in literature.
I thought her accent and the way she spoke were odd. But she had that air about her, you know. When she did speak, you listened.
She had that spark in her eye when she talked. You knew she was putting her whole heart into it.
The thing I admired about her the most was her ability to make up a gripping story on the spot. She knew exactly how to pick up our interest and how to keep us nearly holding our breaths in anticipation of the finale.
One day she asked if any of us was writing novels.
I didn’t raise my hand.
I did regret sometimes. I felt as if by not doing that I somehow let her down.
What is the point of this whole struggle if I don’t have the guts to admit that I’m doing what I’m doing?
And so. Here comes the part where I admit.
I am a murderer. A criminal that thrives on her power to create things and destroy them when she gets bored. A poacher on a hunt for fragile ideas; by killing them making sure they never get the chance to elaborate.
The drawer to my left is full of blood. Buried there are dozens of stories that I used to call ‘novels-in-process’. They never lived to see the light of day, extinguished by my egotistical and insecure self.
That one morning, in no way different from other mornings, my room suddenly stopped being an ordinary room. It became what it really is.
A crime scene. No one would believe the slaughter that takes place behind that door that belongs to that innocent girl, one who would always call for her mum when there was a fly in her room. The quiet girl who always sits in the back of the classroom and does nothing much but listen and observe.
That inconspicuous girl, who later brings what she’s heard and what she’s seen to life in the safety of her room, indulging in the torturous practice, allowing it to escalate… And then comes the final lethal cut.
I closed the window and pulled the curtains. I didn’t want the world to look. Why would a writer need a window? To risk that someone would be a witness of this madness?
No, I don’t write novels. I kill anything that holds the possibility of ever becoming something of value.
I should have raised my hand and pleaded guilty.
Would that make my literature professor proud? Would it get my name inscribed in gilt lettering?
Well, that escalated quickly. No idea where it came from. You’d better keep your stories and ideas safe, people. Can’t trust anyone these days, especially not yourself.
Also, I thought I would include one of this week’s Inspiration Monday prompts – Gilt and Regret in this piece, because (1) I miss contributing to the challenge, and (2) why not? It is awfully chaotic. But I seem to quite like chaos.