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The Writer

He sat, hunched, over the blank sheet of paper, a pen poised over it. He had been sitting there for hours but, no great stroke of inspiration came to him. One could see his mind working desperately through his unfocussed eyes. Yet it only drew blanks.

A parade of people marched across his mind’s eye. Some he knew intimately, others had passed by him on the street. He searched desperately among them, looking for a face that could spark the fire of his imagination. He tried, in vain, to fit their characters into a story. He began writing, only to stop after half a page as the fire sputtered out.

The events of his life played out like a reel in front of him. He hunted for a memory worth writing about. Right from his childhood, to the day that was coming to a rapid end, he analyzed them; looking for something, anything, that might interest people. A scene he could mold and dramatize. He caught hold of a thread, clinging to it for dear life, and began to write. The thread held for a page before he crumpled it and threw it into the bin.

He delved deeper into his psyche. He saw excerpts from works he had read. They usually greeted him as an old friend, but today they possessed an air of unmistakable hostility. Words and phrases jumped out at him teasing, taunting, abusing him; asserting their dominance over him. He tried to push them away, to gain some measure of control over them. They retreated temporarily, only to return with his own writings, finished and unfinished.

Battered and bruised by their assault, he crept deeper into his mind, following the one golden ray of light that shone through the molesting shadows. He followed it blindly, as a hungry dog might when offered a scrap of meat. And there in the deepest recesses of his mind he came upon a precipice. He peered into its endless depths and saw the source of light deep below him.

It was a point of no return. The shadows behind him changed color. They beseeched him not to take the leap, that they were all he needed; only fools ever made the jump. He could see himself picking out ideas, passages and sentences from the vast array of shadows before him; merging and shaping them into a work of his own. He could see people loving it, for it was made out of something they already loved.

 The thought sickened him.

He laughed a hollow, maniacal laugh that scared him more than it did the shadows. He turned away from the cliff, looked mockingly at his tormentors, spread his arms and, fell backwards into the unknown. 
He soared through the abyss at an alarming rate. He could see the light getting closer, almost blinding him. And then he was encompassed by it.

Every fiber of his body ached with ecstasy. He was flying in the light, his body screaming with joy. He laughed with a visceral happiness, the likes of which he had never known. He could feel the light pouring into every crevice of his mind, obliterating the shadows. He had found something he had never truly tried to. He had found himself.

He opened his eyes with a jolt. They were focused and, possessed a new gleam within them. He caressed the paper with his pen and wrote like he had never written before. The words he formed were not listless and dead. 
They were alive with the fire of his soul. He wrote, “He sat, hunched, over a blank sheet of paper, a pen poised over it…..”