A Literary Imagination

Another blank page.

What was she supposed to do now? This time there was no safety net of an outline. All Glenna could see was that blank whiteness spreading down the page from the end of the sentence where she stood wondering what would happen next.

It wasn’t much of a sentence, barely setting out her name and that she was female. She hoped she was human this time.

He’d been experimenting with writing niche erotica… again.

Last time she had been an alien female with a insatiable appetite – for some reason – for human males. In Glenna’s experience if such an alien travelled the vast interstellar distances just to hook up with human males they were going to be very disappointed with that wasted journey.

Unless – of course – alien females also had a passion for beer and football.

After all, they were alien. Perhaps there were females of some species somewhere in the – possibly – infinite universe who found the intricacies of the offside rule worthy of long and meticulous debate.

Anyway, standing here at the top of the page wasn’t getting Glenna any deeper into the story.

She wondered what the writer was doing. She hoped he wasn’t doing the thing that stopped him from writing the alien erotica last time. Him stopping writing at least once every chapter, so he could do… do that was not very endearing. Especially when he did it while she was trapped on the mattress planet by that monster with all the tentacles and an over-active libido.

Glenna shuddered.

She’d had to shower – twice – at the end of that chapter, and not just to wash all traces of the alien slime out of her hair.

No, there’d better not be any alien sex maniac monsters waiting further down the page. Any hint of spaceships and laser pistols in the next paragraph and she’d jump over the margin.

She was a protagonist, yes… but she had standards.

Although, to be honest, not very high standards, or she wouldn’t have hooked up with this writer.

Oh, he’d had promise at the beginning. She thought she could even – a few years down the line – star in the central role in some minor literary masterpiece. That is, if he could stop doing that every chapter or two long enough to win a literary prize.

But somewhere among all the rejections and poor sales he’d become disillusioned. Now he just wrote any old toss, formula thrillers, erotica, even romance all under a myriad pen names, and self-published them to an almost universal lack of interest from the reading public.

She’d even stumbled across a few ideas about quitting writing altogether, back in that now almost empty part of his mind where the ideas for the stories came from.

She remembered how it used to be there, all those ideas, great themes, wonderful plots, characters she could grow into, fully inhabit and realise….

Now they were all gone.

Only that monster with the tentacles remained, oozing slime all over the bare floorboards of what had once had the potential to be a great literary imagination.

Still, Glenna thought, as she pulled on the thigh length black leather boots she found in the next paragraph, the erotica does pay the bills.

She cracked her whip and strode off into the rest of the story.


Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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