Story of the Writer, Chapter 224

A particularly unusual day. One of Bernard’s colleagues (twice removed, according to business line structure), known around the office simply as Jim, talked to Bernard for the first time.

“Hey, I don’t think we’ve met before! I’m Jim.”

“Hey; I’m Bernie.” Bernard tried to keep from making eye contact. He failed.

“What do you do, Bernie?” Jim asked, oh-so-brightly.

“Me? Oh, I just take requests and process them.”

Jim laughed. “No, you poor thing, I mean what do you do! Do you play any sports?”

“Oh, I’m a writer.”

“A writer! That’s fantastic! What do you write?”

“Uh, I dabble in this and that, bit of prose, some other stuff…”

“That’s so cool,” said Jim. “What are you writing at the moment?”

“I keep myself busy,” Bernard said; “I’m in the middle of working on a new story at the moment.” He snatched a glance at his watch and then dropped his most agitated expression. “Ah, I’ve got to get back to work! See you around, okay?”

“Sure! Keep me posted about the writing and stuff, I’d love to read some.”

Bernard hurried away.


Hours later, in 2.30am darkness at his computer, Bernard gazed hollowly at the monitor. He trawled slowly through story files and blog posts. He revisited his blog. His shoulders hunched.

The blog interface provided him with a cordial greeting: “It seems you haven’t written a post in over 200 days! Click here to get started.”

From the kitchen (through two closed doors and a long hallway), a set of well-kept kitchen knives whisper: “Bernard, Bernard, Bernard…”

Bernard snorts. “Like I’ll fall for that again.”



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