Author : Helstrom

The blank page seems to stare at me – it always does. It’s an anachronism. I am of an older generation of writers. I like the feel of keys submitting to my fingertips, the facsimile of a sheet of paper presented on a luminescent screen. It is the only light in the room now. On the desk, a full glass of scotch, and a threateningly empty bottle beside it. Smoke curling up from the ashtray. The little wooden Komodo dragon I bought in Indonesia once.

A bit further off, more anachronisms. Books, lined up sternly on a set of shelves. I don’t have mine for nostalgic flair, I actually read the damn things. Something about the touch of paper, the smell of ink, the actual turning of a page. Writers are supposed to be like that, I guess. I’m not that much older, really, that’s bullshit. I just like the taste of it – “an older generation of writers”.

I think about the tens of thousands of words I have committed to this blank page, only to be erased and forgotten forever. Times like these, I wish I could call them back somehow. There must have been something good in there. Something I could salvage now. Jesus Christ, anything to get this blank page to fill up. Blank pages seem to fill up by themselves once you get them started – getting them started being the trick, of course.

Chasey stirs on the bed, the dim blue of the screen shining on her curves. Chasey? Stacy? Maybe she’s called Charlie, even. It’ll be short for Charlotte but I’ve always been a sucker for girls with boys’ names. Like Charlie or Sam or Alex. There might be some bi-curiosity in that. Given the night we just had, though, I think Charlie would beg to differ. Maybe I should write something about her.

A few words come out but they’re pretty vulgar. Not bad, per sé, but more like something you would start off a racy novel with. The kind they sell at gas stations. The cursor backs over them quickly. I’ll hang myself before I start writing dreck like that. Or at least I’ll stop paying the rent.

I light up another and take a sip of scotch, which I know I’ll regret once the glass is empty and the bottle gives out nothing but fumes. Charlie mumbles in her sleep and rolls over, two soft blue crescents highlighting her butt. I turn away and stare back at the blank page again, hoping it wi—

— Getting back in your own head is a little disorienting at first, but you get used to it —

“Hey man,” I say, tossing the chip on the counter, “What soft shit you call this?”

“You wanted something long.” Says the dude.

“Yeah, something long-time. Fuck is this?”

“It’s good stuff. Don’t worry, has sex too.”

“Right, just after I write the great American novel? Give me something else.”


The dude takes the chip back, hands me another from the regular box. I slip it in and right before it starts, I notice he’s tapping at an antique laptop. Idio—

—I’m on a circular bed, must be at least ten feet across. Mirrors on the ceiling, pink champagne on ice. Two Asian girls in platform heels, nothing else, walking up to me. This is better.

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