The Downside of Loving the Written Word

April 28, 2009
“So I’m going to die?” He asked, perched on the edge of my bed as I sat at the computer.
“I’m a writer Luke.” I said calmly. “It’s what I do. Don’t take it personally.”
“Don’t take it personally?” he asked, his voice rising. Oh no, that’s not what I wanted. Luke mad might scar me mentally; he was, after all, my first born character, my best friend. Luke Samuels was loyal and strong, pensive and intelligent. He was a hunter of the supernatural, a father, and a husband; he was everything I’d ever made him, and what he was…well he was just the best.
“How can I not take it personally?” He snapped, already on his feet, angry.
“Sit down.” I called, trying to not show emotion. “Or I’ll do a re-write and crash your car.” Luke sat down immediately; jesus, anything for that car.
But it was a nice car; he deserved to drive the best, and when I’d been writing it, the Ford Bullitt had been one hell of a car. Not that it wasn’t now, it still was.
Luke was the kind of guy who treated his car like it was a member of his family, and threats to the Bullitt…well it would make him do anything. “Actually,” I said, and smirked. “I might just give it to a hobo.” Luke grimaced.
“That’s not funny Nic.”
“Neither is you being here.” I snapped, and moved away from the computer, hands shaking as they left the keyboard. “But obviously asthma and mental chatter wasn’t enough. I had to actually visualize my characters talking to me…” Luke watched me as I crossed the room and knelt before the mirror on the wall, applying make-up. “What a shallow attempt at a normal life…” I murmured, blinking as I applied mascara. “Thanks a lot big guy…” I said, and stared up at the ceiling. “Thanks a ton.”
I swore when I accidentally stabbed myself in the eye with the mascara brush.
“I still don’t understand why I have to die.” Luke whispered from behind me. I looked up into the mirror, wiping away mascara from my face and eye.
“because.” I murmured, looking down. I couldn’t tell if I was crying because he was sad, or because I’d just stabbed myself in the eye. Either way, the situation sucked. I left the mascara alone and went with the eye liner, I couldn’t screw that up. When I was done, I put on some skin colored eye-shadow.
I like comfortable, plainness.
“You’re not real Luke.” I told him, and got up, turning around. I’d run my hands through my short hair, messing it up a little bit. That’s how it was supposed to be- short, spikey, messy. “You’re the main character in a story I’m trying to tell. That’s it. You don’t exist.”
“Don’t you wish.” He said, and laughed darkly.
Oh wow, the way he laughed. Normally I would have described it as a deep chuckled, and explained the way he smiled cheerfully, and ran a hand through his thick hair self conscious of what he was thinking…but this…This wasn’t every Luke-like, he’d never…
“You wish we’d be just a figment of your imagination,” he continued on. “You wish that the car I drive, the gun I shoot, would never pass you on the street, you’d never see it in a store, or face to face…But the truth is, Nic, that we’re real.”
“We’re so real.” Came a light voice, and Oliver was standing on his right, smirking that crooked half grin. A scar, long and broad, ran from the top of his brow, down to the tip of his mouth on the right side, it even punctured his eye.
I knew this. I knew that he had a hard time focusing his eye, and shot mainly with his left.
Just like I would know he weighed one fifty, and was six three, though he could bench press two sixty.
“We’re real enough that we sit with you at Orchestra concerts and calm you down, right?” Richelle asked, stepping forward out of nothing to become Luke’s left shadow. “We’re real enough that we make you laugh when you cry at night, and we make you strong when you feel like you’re all alone.”
“I am alone.” I whispered, and she shook her head slowly.
“You’re never alone, not when we’re here.” Richelle told me.
God, I wanted to believe her, I wanted to know that she was right, I wanted to relish in the fact that Luke Samuels, Oliver Stokes, and Richelle Carmichael were real, badass people…But I knew that they weren’t.
“But I am!” I shouted, moving away from them. “I am so alone because you’re not real! You’re about as real as Pamela Anderson’s boobs! I’m bonkers, I’ve pretty much figured that out- last week I went to school dressed as a KISS member!”
“What’s wrong with KISS?” Luke asked, offended.
“IT WAS COLOR WARS!” I yelled, growing red in the face. “I was dressed in leather and white face make-up while other kids were wearing their class colors!”
“That’s not that bad…” Richelle murmured.
“I spent five hours on the computer yesterday,” I hissed, stepping back to face them, voice low. “You know what I was doing?” I baited, and they just stood there. “I was creating false e-mail accounts in your name, giving you myspaces, picking out music for your profiles, uploading your pictures. I spent fifteen minutes creating the dialogue of a fake conversation that I sent back and forth between you and Oliver! That’s wrong, that’s so wrong.” I took a deep breath. “You’re not real, and I act as if you are, I created you to be a fictional character, and I know that’s all you are, even if you try to convince me otherwise.”

Join the Discussion

This article has 104 comments. Post your own now!

NimWallaceThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 26, 2016 at 9:51 pm
Really nice piece! I feel the same way about my own characters, especially my first ones. Keep up the good work!
RationalIdealist said...
Apr. 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm
Ah, characters...
MarieAntoinette2014 said...
Jan. 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm
Ha. I like this. Very interesting, you have to wonder what our characters would have to say.
MistyVenture said...
Nov. 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm
This was amazing. That is exactly how I feel when I write about my characters, that they are in the same room there with me saying, "Come on, hurry up and tell me what I'm doing next will ya?". This was brilliant, you took how I felt about writing right out and pasted it on paper. Good work, five stars!
Red546 said...
Nov. 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm
Brilliant... just... brilliant. I have no other words. Well done!
CammyS said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:58 am
Great work! You made me feel like those characters were actually alive.
CammyS said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:58 am
Great work! You made me feel like those characters were actually alive.
MedievalMaiden said...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 9:21 am
This is completely the way I feel when I get really involved with one of my stories. I love this story!!!
iLoonyLuna said...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 7:50 am
This is so dead-on!!!! I know that I feel this way all the time, and my friend is an avid writer and would totally relate to this!!! Favorite!
RedheadAtHeart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Can you say MINDBLOWN?

This, I think, is what writing is all about. You have a topic that so many of us writers can relate to. You give it a completely original spin. It's exactly what goes on inside all of our heads and we don't recognize it one bit. This is what storytelling is all about.

So congratulations on perfecting the art of storytelling. I have read very few pieces as beautifully done as this one.

AlexEvansTM said...
Jun. 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm
AMAZING ORIGINAL STORYLINE! Please read my chapters of War of The World when they're up.
JakeDamon said...
Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:39 am
Absolutely BRILLIANT. Bravo!
creatologist said...
Mar. 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm
This story is amazing! You've managed to describe the feeling of your character's coming alive absolutely perfectly! I talk to my characters constantly, they really do become your friends once you get to know them. LOL If I don't write for a while, they'll even get annoyed with me, saying they want to get out of the sticky situation I put them in! Again, you captured this PERFECTLY! It's always been something I did, but could never really describe. I'm going to read Part Two now!
CoreyVernot This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm
This is amazing! The way you are able to develop your characters (including yourself) so well while maintaining brevity is really nice. I also love the clever dialogue.
TerraRocks said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 11:50 am
i really liked this story, it reminds me of the writer in Nim's Island
SamsBiggestFan said...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 12:16 am
Nice work!
Genya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm
The end was awesome. It's like she/he has a mental disorder or something... Wait, do they?
NicAliceF replied...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 12:47 am
Hahahahaha, no I do not. Or at least not that I know of! :)
Bballstar98 said...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm
Woah...that's so cool! I like the idea of your characters talking to you. But that seems like it would get kinda annoying...
BriBriluvhorses said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 6:59 am
I loved it! It reminded me of the movie Stranger Than Fiction. Good job!
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