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Writer's Block: A Story in Dialogue

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“Hello? Is anyone out there? Hello?”

“I’m here!... I’ up!"
“Ah… it’s you again.”
“What? You expected someone else? It’s always us.”
“Us? Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. No one ever said anything about ‘us.’ It’s just you, and me. No us.”
“Don’t be like that. I know you’re still disgruntled about not being chosen yet, but at least you’re not alone. You have me!”
“That’s very… comforting. I guess. Wait, where’d you hear that word? Disgrunt? Dismentled?”
“Disgruntled! It’s a new word I learned from The Writer when she left. It means angry or dissatisfied. Cool, huh?”
“Yeah, cool. So listen, have you worked on the escape plan at all yet? I’m not planning on staying here forever you know.”
“Oh...right. The escape plan. Uh, I kind of… forgot.”
“Figures. You can’t do anything right, can you? Here I am, doing all the work, and you go scampering off to the Right Brain, daydreaming, imagining your insipid little fantasies… Grow up, will you!”
“Well, I would help more if you weren’t so nasty about it. Why do you want to escape so bad anyway? I’m perfectly fine with waiting until the time comes.”
“Until the time comes? Until the time comes. You don’t understand, do you? We’re never going to be chosen. We’re going to be stuck here forever, with all the failures, the losers. We’re going to be stuck with all the reject characters from all the unfinished stories who are still hopefully waiting forever for The Writer to come and put them in a story. And it’s never going to happen. I’m sick and tired of waiting! I’m going to make the first move!”
“Make the first move…? Wait, what is that? What are you holding?”
“It’s a pen!” said Ryan. “If she’s not going to write us in, I’m going to write ourselves out!”
“Wait! You got yourself a name!”
“I did?”
“Yeah, you got yourself a-wait, never mind, she crossed it out.”
“Daniel!” Sarah said disapprovingly. “Get a hold of yourself!”
“Get a hold of myself?” he snapped. “That’s easy for you to say! You got a name and an adverb all to yourself! You’re hogging all the details!”
“But aren’t you the one writing?”
“Oh. Right. Uh… this is harder than I thought.”
“Let me try! I think I know a good way to get her attention!” Sarah took the pen and began writing, saying out loud, “Once upon a time, there was a kingdom far, far, away and there lived-”
“No! No no no no no. That has been done for ages now! What do you think you’re doing?!” cried Will, snatching the pen. “‘Once upon a time, there was a kingdom far, far, away’?” What do you think this is? Some sort of fairy tale? This is cliche and overdone! I don’t want to live in a story like this!”
Sarah pouted. “Well, what do you suggest then?”
“We need something attention grabbing, something that’ll make The Writer go ‘Wow, that’s a good idea.’ We need something new, something fresh, something real.” Will took the pen and began scribbling furiously. “Let’s see… how about a world where children are forced to fight in a tournament to the death as entertainment for the rich elites in a corrupt government?”
“Hasn’t that been done already? I’m pretty sure that’s the entire plot of The Hunger Games.”
“Uh, how about a fantasy world where an orphan child finds out that they’re the chosen one of a prophecy that requires them to go on magical adventures?”
“Boring and redundant,” said Sarah, making a face. “How many fantasy stories can be summarized like that? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions?”
“Well, what about a story about a person being forced to move to a new area, only to find out their new house is haunted? That’s not done already, is it?”
“Afraid not. That’s been done in horror since the beginning of time. Besides, The Writer doesn’t enjoy writing horror much anyway.”
“This is impossible!” said Will, throwing the pen in disgust. “All the good ideas are taken!”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “This is why I said we should wait. Good ideas come in time. You can’t force inspiration.”
“Well, I quit. I guess we can try again tomorrow.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.”
“Or maybe next week, I don’t know.”
Sarah shrugged. “Do whatever you want. I’m going to wait until The Writer is outside the house one day, and then I’ll go boom! Inspiration!”
“Yeah, uh, you go ahead and do that,” said Will, scratching his head absentmindedly. “I’m going to the bar. You want to come with?”
They walked along in silence, one that quickly grew uncomfortable, waiting to be broken. Will’s mouth was dry, and he desperately wanted to say something, anything, but Sarah broke his line of thought by blurting, “You know, it’s kind of fun.”
“What is?”
“Writing!” Seeing Will’s incredulous face, she added, “It’s kind of fun, making something else. Out here, I don’t have anything to myself, since everyone shares thoughts. But in writing, I can say anything. It’s liberating, you know?” She ran up ahead then circled back, putting her hands on her hips. “Don’t you agree?”
“Oh! Uh, y-yeah,” Will stuttered, his words becoming a jumbled mess. God, what’s happening to me?
Sarah paused and looked at him concernedly. “Are you okay? I’ve never seen you do that before.”
Will realized his face was heating up, turning a shade of pink. “It’s probably nothing. Maybe I’m just tired. I’m alright.”
Sarah looked at him for a bit before smiling and saying, “You know, it’s nice when you’re actually being civil to people. I like that.”
At that, Will’s face turned even redder, and he had to take a moment to stop and take deep breaths. He felt light headed. His heart was beating wildly. I never noticed it before, but she’s kind of cute when she’s not being annoying.
“We’re here,” said Sarah, pretending not to notice Will’s strange behaviour. She took Will’s hand, but he jerked away, saying, “You go on ahead. I’ll catch up.”
“Okay.” Sarah didn’t know why, but she felt a little disappointed. Why do I care about Will not coming with me at this exact moment? He said he’ll come a little after. Everything’s alright.
She opened the door and stepped inside, leaving Will alone.
Will sighed, and fell to the ground, sitting cross legged with the pen in his hand. He raked a hand through his hair and wrote three little words: I love you.

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