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On the coffee table in front of her sits a loaded pistol. It lies on its side, with the nose turned outward and away from where she is sitting. She sits down on the floor with her chest up close to the table, her back is straight and her legs are folded. She has perfect posture. A college ruled notebook sits next to the gun, with a ballpoint pen atop it. With the cap off, the pen itself, awaits a thought to drive her hand down to pick it up. The page it sits atop is blank. It stares up at her, intimidating her and breaking down her being.

What the notebook and the pen represent to her is meaning itself. Her own private search to make something out of the nothing which she has been thrust into without any say in the matter, angers her, and writing has been the outlet by which she has found only pieces of what she considers to be a satisfying reality. Still looking under every rock that she can, she understands that without this search, she herself will embody nothing but a shell any longer. As an empty vessel without direction or the energy to move in any manner whatsoever, all that she will have is that one choice left to humans who are not already dead.

This, of course, is where the pistol comes into question. As the pistol itself was not an aspect of her daily writing pattern until recently, she still holds suspicion in regards to it. She wonders if, unlike her own current imagination, the pistol itself will come through on its supposed promise. The pistol is meant to fire a projectile at a particular target. When upon entering the target in question, the projectile fired from the pistol is supposed to tear through and destroy the innards of whatever exists in its path. Already, this seems sketchy to her, as so many factors could get in the way of this prime directive.

She herself was a writer, however, a writer, by definition, is one who is engaged in writing. If one is not writing, then one is not a writer.

So, we should believe that she thinks herself a charlatan of sorts. In her “heyday,” however long an objective viewer would give her, this still lasted comparatively less time than for others who had been given the same cultural advantages, holding the same kind of luck as she had in those ever-so-important formative years.

Still, the fact remains that she has been sitting here, on the floor, for a matter of hours now, and nothing has come to her. She wonders if it is because of the amount of time that she has been concentrating on nothing else but writing, which, ironically has stifled that very precious process.

The only variable in this situation is the pistol. As she has sat in this exact same place for nights on end, tonight is the first night in which the pistol has been thrown into the mix.

The pistol seems to have a life of its own, as it is the pistol which now holds all the cards in this endeavor. If the “writer” sitting there on her living room floor does not in fact deliver this evening, then the unwritten agreement between this young woman who once was defined as something (but whom no longer is), must end her life with the pistol.

Focusing her stare now on a specific blemish that she has found by scanning random parts of her sky-blue wall, she drifts off into something that she probably would call meditation. Her eyes are not closed, but memories flash past her peripheral as if she strapped in front of an old news reel just flapping again and again.

Her life, she considers, has led to this point. This most certainly is a transition into some new realm in which she will be ever stronger than she has been prior, or in fact, she will perish. She sees this as a hurdle that must be jumped. She must put the pen to the paper and she must produce an idea which she can run with. She needs to run as she did when she was in high school. As she did when she was on the track team (where her impeccable 400 meter time was known throughout the region) and no one from any of the surrounding counties could beat her. She needs for her legs to move again, but in her mind---she needs all this, and she needs it quick, because the pistol continues to stare back at here and it is getting late.

After twirling the pen in her right hand for some time now, she places it down on the table and then proceeds to pick up the pistol. She turns it over in the light of the lamp behind her---it reflects the light beautifully, the cold steel forming a paradox wherein it sucks in light which is devoured by the bottomless black and at the same time it reflects it as she moves the gun to and fro. What a perfect instrument to be ended by, she feels. Pulling the hammer back slowly, she hears the cylinder move, even though she is not paying direct attention to it. Instead, she has gone back to focusing on that place in the wall, which holds a blemish.

She seems to remember that back in her college days, wasn’t it she who was filled with life? Does she need three spirits from some Dickensian realm to come visit her, in order to drive home the idea that she once had passion for something? Didn’t she care about the world around her once? Didn’t she provide her own self with a less insular way of regarding human life before this incident, this block? Still now, all her friends from college have moved on---she no longer has contact with them. For all she knows, they have all become human Pez-dispensers, popping out little brats to fulfill the american dream which she knows is a downright lie---and she didn’t have to become a baby-factory in order to figure that one out. Still, she has no excuse in regards to why she feels that this life now reads like a VCR manual---or rather, a DVD player manual (and even that is outdated).

Fear invades her, taking an even more abstract assumption. She now wonders if that blemish on the wall actually holds more character than she does in staring at it. She objectifies the inanimate stain and yet in that same thought, she ponders it, while understanding that she is taking time away from solving her own problems, instead to side-track into something that is clearly even more frivolous than the stuffy of some pop paper-mache action-figure like Lady Gaga, who unlike the blemish, will be here today and gone tomorrow. Certainly, she can count on the stain being there when she wakes in the morning. Unless she takes action to paint over it, or firstly, attempts to clean it off the wall herself, it will remain. It will remain, and as far as she is concerned, it will exist, being far more interesting than she is herself. She cannot pin-point the origin of the stain. She has no idea what brought it to that place, whenever it came to be, and that interests her beyond any comprehension.

This little stain means more to her now, in the moment, than anything that has come before and anything that will come after, because it in and of itself, keeps her from placing the barrel of the pistol in her mouth and pulling the trigger. Though she still holds the pistol, with the hammer cocked, she is unaware of the hand that grips it. Her arm now numb, she has lost all sense that it may very well be sticking out straight and aiming at the blemish itself, or that it may be bent, holding the edge of the barrel to her own temple. The blemish has her in a trance.

Finally all the thoughts that were rambling in her head before she found the blemish, have disappeared. The overall weight of the pistol has begun to bear down on her hand, her arm, and now her shoulder---she deduces that she must be holding it out straight, rather than to her temple, or simply while it is laid down on the table or in her lap. Her eyes move down and to the left of the blemish that she still focuses on, and it is then that she can make out the image of the gun in her periphery.

With a new consciousness, she raises her left hand, which now pulsates with an energy that she cannot place her thumb on from whence it came, but she is happy that it is there. Her left hand meets her right in a fresh unison, and together, the index fingers wrap round the trigger.

Commanding all life now upon the decisive manner of her will & her will alone, she pulls the trigger, repeatedly. She destroys the blemish on the wall, which she only moments ago had determined was more interesting than herself. She erases all evidence of it. After unloading the cylinder of bullets on the blemish, she moves the pistol to her nose and inhales the smoke. Under her breath she whispers, “sweet victory.”

The writer places the pistol back down on the table at her left, and picks up her pen with her right hand. With it, she begins to write this very story.

She is alive once again.



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Comments

The following comments are for "The Block"
by delapruch

block
how dare that pompous blemish on the wall stare at me!
some of these thoughts are familiar, causes one to ponder. and i think you found a cure for writer's block, although i don't think i will ever try your method ;-) enjoyed this very much.

( Posted by: cmsmuse [Member] On: May 31, 2011 )

on the block
@cmsmuse. thanks a lot for reading! i think we all have our ways of dealing with bumps in the road : )

( Posted by: delapruch [Member] On: June 1, 2011 )

the block
Loved this. Eloquently written with a good ending too.
Sandra

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: June 2, 2011 )

The Block
I really loved this story, you hooked me in the first couple of sentences and kept me until the end. I'm really becoming a fan of your short stories!

I loved it so much I featured it in the "best of" section of my Musings article for the month of May.

Just wanted you to know that I plugging away for ya!

Much Love,

Dave

( Posted by: HeRoCoMpleX [Member] On: June 5, 2011 )

Thanks Dave!
@ HeRoCoMpleX. Thanks for reading, Dave, and even more thanks for the plug! Glad you liked it : )

( Posted by: delapruch [Member] On: June 5, 2011 )





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