Doubt | Teen Ink


September 13, 2015
By Axel000 PLATINUM, Battle Creek, Michigan
Axel000 PLATINUM, Battle Creek, Michigan
26 articles 6 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.' ~Albert Einstein

Plip.  Plip.  Plip.

Every droplet that struck the ever-growing puddle in the corner of the room drew her attention away from her computer screen, away from the endless stream of words that had somehow come before her.  How long had she been laboring at this story, this book that always hovered at the edge of her mind but that never seemed quite right?  How long had she known what she wanted to write, but had been unable to articulate it, even here on this screen before none but her her own judgment?

Plip.  Plip.  Plip.

With a frustrated sigh, she shoved back her chair and stood, pacing into the kitchen and back again.  On her third time around, she shoved her fingers through her hair with a sharp inhalation, going completely still with her hands to her head and her eyes squeezed shut.  She let out a breath; slowly, so slowly that it would hardly have rustled the fluff of a dandelion.

Plip.  Plip.  Plip.

Maybe she was simply unable to complete this project.  Maybe she lacked the skill that it required and in her lacking she could not share this idea in a way that would intrigue her audiences and it would never be spread in the way she longed for it to be.  Could it be that she would never even get it done and it would stay there, stuck inside the suffocating screen of her computer forever, unsaid and unheard?

Plip.  Plip.  Plip.

She plopped back into the chair, slumping over the back like a discarded shirt.  The bones were there; she could see them in the words on the screen as easily as if it were an X-Ray and the story were a person.  In some ways it was, at least to her.  It was her constant companion, her brainchild, and her unexplored love; so why then could she not progress it, let it grow into what could be something wonderful and unique?  Was it simply not meant to be?

Plip.  Plip.  Plip.

Her mind yielded nothing to her questions.  It stared back at her with a face of stone, giving no comfort to her doubt.  She sat up slowly, opening her eyes with care and letting them roam each letter on the screen before her.  Maybe if she tweaked a little here, made the character go there…  But no, still they were stuck, gazing up at her with expectant eyes and refusing to make the decisions that would progress them through their quest.

Plip.  Plip.

So now they stood, waiting for her nudge that would set them into motion, open up their next actions to them and allow them to continue as before, with her watching over them only to introduce new challenges and changes to their fictional lives.  They would live as they saw fit until they got caught up again, and she would simply have to open that hidden door to let them continue on, unhindered once more.  Well, if only that were simple.  If only she could find that blasted door.


Yet…  Wait!  What was that shimmer there in the corner?  Was it… could it be?  Yes!  The door, now found, sat expectantly as though it had been so obvious all along.  It stood ready to open and let the story spill on past it, but surely it realized how difficult it had been, in concealing itself from her for so long.  She shook her head incredulously.  Well, it was there now, and that was what mattered.  Her doubts melted away like chocolate under the sun and as her characters marched on, once more freed from the shackles of writers-block. 

She hardly even noticed that the dripping water had stopped.

The author's comments:

The idea sprang from a quote from Ernest Hemingway; "Do not worry.  You have always written before and will write now.  All you have to do write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence you know. (In discussing how he started new stories)"  From there, I decided to focus the story around some of my own truths; specifically, how writers-block feels to me and the independence of my characters.

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