‘You’ll feel better if you write something.’
The words haunted him, pricking at his conscience, turning a never ending clock round and round.
He hadn’t written a word for nearly eight years. Not even a text message.
Long ago, he’d been prolific of course. The sentences had flowed out of him like a tumultuous river. Sometimes he couldn’t keep up with the words, and sometimes he didn’t even know where they came from.
Then it happened.
His logic told him that the best way to get past it would be to write about it, but logic wasn’t strong enough to kick through the barricade.
He wanted to write. He needed to write. It was so much a part of him that not doing it might as well be not breathing.
And yet …
Years passed. They faded into the ether, never to be thought of again. The words never came. The virus of it began to spread, and soon, he wasn’t even speaking words, and within months, he wasn’t even thinking words.
It was just instinct now. Eat. Drink. Sleep. Eat. Drink. Sleep. Interspersed with farting.
His friends drifted away, his family vanished. All that was left was him, and his writing desk, now covered in an inch thick layer of dust. Under the soft grey cloud, there might have been a keyboard, there might have been a pen, but there wasn’t any words.
One day, as the sun began to set on his fading life, he levered himself from the armchair, and walked slowly, precariously, to the desk. Something had stirred inside. He slumped his frail frame into the chair, smiling, as it hugged him the way it always used to.
With a slow sweep of the arm, he stroked the dust to the floor. It fell as a single entity, revealing a long-forgotten writing pad next to his favourite fountain pen. He picked the pen up, feeling it in his fingers. It felt just as he remembered, even if his bony digits had changed beyond recognition.
He enjoyed the first scratch, shivering with pleasure, as the ink soaked into the thick paper, and he left his mark.
And then the words came. He couldn’t stop them.
“Dear Sirs, I am writing to complain about your so-called …”