Satire Fiction posted January 21, 2013


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A creative writing exercise goes bad.

A Creative Writing Exercise

by phild

My First Creative Writing Exercise

The edge of greatness, I wonder if this is how all of histories geniuses felt before they left their life of the ordinary and entered the stratosphere of immortality. I sit at my desk in my darkened home office. The glow of my laptop washes over me and the only other light in the room is a solitary candle; Boysenberry or something like that. It's not my candle it's my wife's, I'm just borrowing it.

I'm ready to start. For so long I've wanted to write, to let my creative juices flow and write the great American novel. I know I can do it. This on-line course in creative writing is just a formality, just a little something to get me started on the road to fame and fortune. The sixty-nine dollars I paid to take the course is a mere pittance compared to the wealth that awaits me.

I am great. My words flow as smoothly as a cool stream winding through a fertile imagination. See what I mean: it flows like sweet honey. Damn, I'm good.

The first assignment is to write a descriptive paragraph about a burning candle. Please, give me a challenge. My instructor will be mystified by my lofty prose. She'll read it over and over wondering if William Shakespeare has returned from the dead.

"William Shakespeare" I snicker, "My writing will be so good, I'll make William Shakespeare look like William Wonka!"

I wonder if the candle knows it is working with a genius, a man destined for greatness. The little candle flickers egging me on, begging me to start.

"Don't worry little fella, I'll let you lead the way through the tunnel of success."

My office is quiet; the only sound is the soft hum coming from my laptop. As my fingers hover over the keys, I wonder if this is how a young Beethoven felt as his fingers stood poised over the keys of his piano, knowing that with that one touch an explosion of greatness would result.

I tease the key, almost make it beg me to touch it, beg me to make it a part of history but before I can touch it, the door opens and my four year old son's silhouette stands in the doorway.

"Is it my birthday?" He asks eyeing the candle.

I jump to shield the candle that begins to falter from the disturbed air.

"No son it's not your birthday."

"It's my birthday. I want gifts, I want them now."

I steady the candle and come around the desk to comfort him

"It's not your birthday, daddy is doing something."

"I want gifts. My gifts. My gifts."

"Michael there are no gifts."

Before I can continue with my explanation, he kicks me in the shin with a well placed blow from a size four Sketcher and storms out of the room. I wonder if Poe had this problem as I shut the door and return to my desk, the computer waiting for me to begin.

Okay time to impress. Let's see, My Candle, as I sit in the dark...

The door bursts open again and I jump to protect my sacred candle and get ready to scold my son, but this silhouette isn't my five years old, but my wife, Deborah and our dog Buster.

"What are you doing?" She asks hands on her hips.

As I turn to face her she sees the candle.

"What are you doing with that?"

Before I can answer, her mind processes the dark, the candle, and driven by forty years of catholic upbringing, comes to a conclusion and screams.

"Satan, you're worshipping Satan!"

"No baby, no I'm doing a creative writing exercise."

"An exorcist, that's what you need! Oh Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I'm calling Father Frank!"

She storms out of the room with the barking dog in tow. I do the math, it's a fifteen minute drive from the church to our house, allow five minutes for Father to ask her "are you sure?", and another five to get together what he may need to bring. Twenty five minutes, that's plenty of time to finish and show her my work. She'll calm down once I reveal to her my masterpiece, my Mona Lisa of words, and then call off her brewing insanity.

Let's see, where did I leave off? "My candle, the flame flickers like the tongue of a ..."

The door swings open again, and I lunge to protect my candle, again.

My wife flips on the lights and screams, "The power of Christ compels you." and proceeds to slam her own personal 'Demon Be Gone Kit' onto my desk. With the snap of two latches, the top pops open and before I can react I'm hit in the face by a stream of what I can only imagine is Holy Water. The dispenser is like a demon fire extinguisher, spraying about twelve gallons of water on me as I try to protect my laptop and my candle at the same time.

"Honey, please stop."

"Don't talk to me you unholy spawn of Hell!" is followed by her reaching into her kit for God only knows what.

I'm totally consumed by protecting my candle and the beginning of a literary masterpiece on the screen of my laptop.

My wife is short, petite, and a former college gymnast which is why I am unable to react in time before she is around the desk and wailing on me with a crucifix. Like Sister Mary Discipline my second grade teacher and her ruler, Deborah proceeds to pound on my head with the crucifix.

Now understand when I say crucifix, I don't mean the little one that's on the end of a set of rosary beads, no I mean one that is large enough to actually crucify someone on. All I can think of is to protect my work as Deborah pounds on me like I was some type of religious pi


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