Monday, December 7, 2015

Demons of the Writing Mind by Patricia A. Guthrie

Demons of the Writing Mind came in MY mind when I was competing in short story contests. This was exactly how I felt while writing a short story. A magazine in the early 2000's published it. I thought I'd share. Maybe someone else feels the same way. 

Demons of the Writing Mind
By Patricia A. Guthrie 

            Lucille stood on the Dunes looking over the peacefulness and tranquility of Lake Michigan.  It was hot and Lucille did not feel either peaceful or tranquil.  She was on the run.
            A couple of lovers walked hand in hand.  They noticed her and walked away looking for a more secluded spot. She smiled.  This was one place the police wouldn’t think to look, and, if they did?  So what!  She’d throw herself over before they were within one hundred yards.  She knew that was what would happen anyway.
            “Crap!” I said, not at all ladylike.  “What the devil would a woman really feel like, if she had just killed her husband and was about to pitch herself over a cliff?”  I stamped my foot and walked into the kitchen, deciding to do the dishes from last night.  “Demons, my foot!”  I slammed the Corelle dish, a little too hard on the counter, and it broke.  “Damn!”
            “Okay, here goes.  Brain!  Get in gear!”

            She knew she couldn’t have taken any more abuse. Every afternoon, he’d stop for a “quick one.”  The “quick one” usually turned into a “long one” and George couldn’t handle his liquor.  Usually, glassy eyed, he came home and picked a fight.  The fight turned into a slamming match.  She had the black eyes and bruised arms as proof.

            “I wonder how that feels?” I punched my arm and winced.  Do writers really need to live the experiences of their characters?  God!  I hope not!  I got up and went into the bedroom to make my bed.  My mind keep floating back and forth-back and forth:  clean the house, mow the lawn, write, study my grammar, train the dogs, write, do my lesson plans for school, write, read a GOOD book, write. I continued my thousand word short story.

            The previous evening, George had been blind drunk.  His demons didn’t even bother picking a fight.  They went directly for the baseball bat. Lucille tripped him and as he cursed, she hit him over the head at least ten times.

            “Good for her, the lousy. . . .  Well, maybe not ten times, and, would he still be cursing after the first blow?  Shoot, time to feed the dogs.”  I got up and poured Nutri-Max (not intended as a commercial) into their bowls.

            It had been strange sleeping in her bed alone with George lying dead downstairs.  An experience, she wouldn’t want to repeat.  She wouldn’t need to repeat.  Her mind corrected the error.  By nightfall she, too, would be dead.  Would she have to spend eternity with George?

            “God!  I hope not. How is she going to get out of this?”  So far, I had some four hundred words in my story.  I had demons in my soul, too.  They consisted of a thousand word short story once a week.  I had two more hours to complete my assignment and desperately needed a Diet Cream Soda.

            It was now approaching noon.  Lucille wished she had brought out her Sunblock 24 as the sun beat down.  She. . . .

            I realized that it was I that needed the Sunblock 24.  Though it was fast approaching sunset, the sun was setting directly into the kitchen window and causing little flashing demons of light on my monitor.  I had trouble reading the screen through the glare.
            “Grocery shopping!  I have to go grocery shopping!” Those mind demons again.

            Lucille opened the picnic basket and spread her lunch out on the elegant lace table cloth that she and George received for their last anniversary.

            Would she really have the presence of mind to make a picnic lunch?  Good God!  My lawn needs mowing!  Oh jeez, only six hundred words!  How am I going to get her out of this?

            The lunch having been properly consumed

            Sounds like a bad Nineteen-Century Victorian Romance novel.  Speaking of romance, how about a love interest?

            The evening sun went down in a final blaze of glory as Lucille realized her final evening on earth.  It was a wonderful send-off.  The colors of peaches, oranges, yellows all mingled with violets and blues and clouds flickered their steely, grey tones adding to the collage.  She thought it might rain.

            Speaking of rain, did I shut my bedroom windows?  The glare in the monitor suddenly disappeared and I heard a crack of thunder.  How appropriate! Only a half hour left until six o’clock and the change of topics!

            She looked down onto the beach.  It had to be hundreds of feet below and the rocks would make sure of her quick death.
              What was that sound?  She turned and looked down the path which led back into the  forest preserves. It was the sound of a motor. She trembled. They found her. They would charge her with murder and put her on trial. She would be executed.  Death wouldn’t be so bad, but to spend the next ten years waiting for it, she couldn’t take that.

            “Alex, I wonder what it would feel like to spend the next ten years on Death Row?”  Alex is my blue-merle collie.  He yawned and I looked at the clock. Five minutes to go.

            “Wait, Lucille.”
            That voice. It was (What would his name be? Alex. That’s it!)  It was Alex. The man she should have married!
            “Don’t!  Lucille, we know what happened! Your neighbor saw him through the open door. She knows it was self-defense!”
            She stood, mesmerized, by the sound of his voice. Then, without a word, they ran to each other and stood, locked in an embrace for a very long time.

            “Whew!  Got her out of that one!  How many words?  No!  It’s over eleven hundred.  Two minutes left.  Jeez, what am I going to remove?”  For the next minute, I deleted words.
            “Finally!  Exactly nine hundred ninety-nine!  Now, press ‘select all’, ‘copy’ and (Hm!  Hurry UP America On-Line)  Okay! Got it!  ‘Paste!’  Now hit ‘submit’----okay! Got it!”

            That was before I discovered the typos!

                                                                       The End









No comments: