Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Wrath of the Writer

Shirley Porter was an obsessive writer, and her worst tick was a psychotic inability to handle anyone reading anything she’d written until it was done. The characters needed to be developed and the dialogue polished, the prose made immaculate before it could be understood. If she printed something out in the library she would hover over the tray to block errant glances from critically observing a stray sentence. She password protected her PC, bolted the tower to the desk and locked all her papers in the drawers of her desk.

When Shirley suspected a houseguest of sneaking a look at her new manuscript she fretted, and when she reviewed the manuscript and found a typo he might have read, she went berserk. She cornered him in the kitchen and interrogated him with a butter knife.

His promises of not seeing it didn’t relieve her. They merely made her suspicious of all her friends.

Really, she had no idea who was trustworthy. How many had actually seen early drafts of her work without admitting it? How many would silently judge her in the future?

So Shirley tested them.

She placed copies of her latest short story in every room of her house and left them untended. She didn’t mention them. She left them unattended and often walked out of a room, leaving a friend or two alone with those perfectly normal copies.

Perfectly normal copies laced with perfectly normal cyanide.

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