Dead Words

The page bends, then crumples, breaking shape and losing form between my palms. Boiling beyond reason, it’s kept hidden from sight behind my mask.

I’m tired, worn down by the effort. Time after time, it ends the same way. With an empty pool, filled only with limitless potential, desecrated when I pour myself into it and my still water becomes stagnant.
Keep your pen moving, before it creates a dark puddle of ink. Create, or you will die. Whether you think before, during, or after, every word committed to the page is the death of infinite others. How can I write when all I am doing is killing stories?

I flatten the page on my desk. Alex is watching me from the corner of his eye, I wonder what thoughts he hasn’t voiced. The air conditioned breeze caresses the back of my palms, raising my flesh as a carpet of bumps chase the shivers to my heart.
Looking down at my page, the creases where it buckled under the pressure make it ugly, but give it character. I like it more now, it’s less forbidding. But I still hate what I’ve written, not what I wanted it to be, the words are too… pretentious, vulgar, vague, blunt, flowery, bland.
Do I start again? Or keep this going. They say the artist is their harshest critic, but perhaps this is just bad. I can hear Alex’s pen scratch the page, he’s a good write, maybe not a great write. I wonder what he’s writing about, maybe he hates his story as much as I hate mine. Probably not, Alex never gives a shit about his writing, when he writes a terrible story it becomes a joke he can laugh at. Not that many of his stories are terrible, you have to envy that confidence.

I look up at the clock, twenty minutes left. The glacial drooping of the hour hand, the clock might be melting as its pulled towards the three. I imagine time flying past the frozen clock, the pain peeling and crumbling away. The wood aging, being overrun by plants and the shifting seasons.

A flurry of scratches behind me, Maria’s found something. Dependable Maria, I might not worry so much about not finishing if she’d missed a single deadline herself. That line about puddles of ink, that’s what she told me when I asked how she did it.
Just write, the rest will work itself out. You’ll find what you’re looking for on the page after you’ve written it out. I suppose it’s just that easy for her. She is a good writer, I wish I could write like her, pour a story onto the page like a flurry of blows. She’s like a lion tamer, making language obey and perform for her.
Whatever she’s writing, I can’t wait to read it. I really liked her last one.

My page is still blank. The blue guiding lines and creased depressions conjure the image of a living thing, an old thing with thick blue veins running beneath the skin. The words I’ve already like regrets branded to it’s flesh.
Perhaps a story about an old thing, something weary and broken. I think I could channel the feeling of tired, despair at this stage. But what would the story be about? If I just vomit words, where does the meaning come from? Art should have meaning.


That a bit lofty. Don’t get ahead of yourself, just because they put a toilet in a museum. They’ll never write Harry Potter on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, after all. Imagine, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein at eighteen.
I look around the classroom for Mary Shelley. I mean, it’s possible. I forgot to pack my own lunch this morning. That’s probably why I can’t think of anything to write, I slept badly and I’m hungry.

Not that I can ever finish a story when I’m not starving, though.

Not much longer now, little less than ten minutes. What have I been doing all this time? Half a paragraph that hasn’t committed to anything. I guess I kind of like that though, it could still be anything.
An epic Fantasy adventure, or a gritty dystopian sci-fi, I could go realistic and write a story about a kid in school struggling with real issues, or take that same kid into a thrilling murder mystery. When I close my eyes I can see how each of those stories goes, it’s beautiful to watch as every possibility curls out and blooms into something incredible. It’s my favourite part about writing.

The bit right before you write anything.

That’s it, I’m going to write something. The bell rings. My heart skips a beat, and I spit out a couple of thoughts onto the page and pack away my stuff. I’m the last to leave as the suns warm glow shines in through the window, I stop to look out.
The bittersweet image spirals into a picture in my head. I don’t know what the picture is of, but I’m sure it’ll make a great story. I’m excited now, I’m sure I’ll be able to write it down as soon as I get home.

At least, after I’ve had something to eat.

A short one about frustrations while making something, the feelings that others have it more together than you, and that nothing comes out right. While in this, it’s a creative writing exercise during school, I think it works for any kind of story, assignment, or work.

Hope you enjoy it,

Featured Art Credit:

Author: Zairron

I'm writing to build a habit, practice, and be creative.

2 thoughts on “Dead Words”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: