Ohlone College
Creative Writing Stories

Page 5
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            "I guess."

            "Cigarette?" He proffered up one between his thumb and index.

            "No. I don't smoke."

            "Too bad, you should."

So we sat in our booths, and I let the sweet Menthol fill my booth, fill the cavities within my soma, immerse my alveoli, relax my nerves. I didn't want to think about my next story. I just wanted to relax. I think I fell asleep for just a minute, because I was floating amongst a sea (soup) of clouds and stars.

            "You know, I hear some people can triplethink."

So I was reminded where I was.

            "I don't think that's possible."

            "Who knows what's really possible." And he winked at me. "Who knows if a zucchini does or doesn't think? Who knows if there's a god or not? Who knows why we do anything at all." Wink, wink, followed by a plume of Menthol.  

So that bit troubled me a bit. Not the winking, but what he said.

            "What's the matter, earthling?"

It didn't get the chance to be answered.  

The bell rung, and the room was suddenly full of clamor, so I held my tongue, for a little while.

Countless hands artfully danced across the keys of the typewriters, yet my own were merely dillydallying across the board.

You better start writing, I told myself.

Yeah, I better, I admitted. Thoughts of the faceless voids flooded my mind.

So I tried, but it wasn't coming out. My mind was constipated, and I eyed the empty tray, which was the outbox in my mind ever more vehemently. Finally, a little envelope appeared in the tray. I unwrapped it with my faculty, and stared hard, drank up every bit of what was blotted on there. It said this:

          Mr. Fred,

We regretfully inform you, that the doublethink function in your brain has been disabled. This is because the creativity department is having some technical difficulties. Please seek assistance.

So I think I panicked, and then I did something very desperate. I asked the man beside me a question, the one that was on my mind, the one that had taken residence in the creativity department of my mind.  

           "What?" He looked at me for a while, gave me a hard, blank stare. "Oh, you're serious." So I asked him the question again, and my fingers, and ears, and mouth became directly wired to my thoughts.


            "Why do we write?"

            "There are a couple reasons, I guess."

            "Like what?"

            "To be remembered. To record history. To service people."

            "That's it?"

            "Yeah. Plus or minus a few. Some things may coincide."

            "Tell me something."


           "Do I write because I like it, or because I want to be remembered?"

            "I think you like writing."

            "You know, I don't think I even know myself anymore. I started writing because I enjoyed writing intrigues and making notes about all the beautiful things in this little world, but after I joined I could never turn it into anything that anyone wanted to read. I mean, the minute I started writing something, I hated it."

            "So you don't service people. So what. And that's to say, we don't all service the same people."

            "Still...I'm such a bad writer. I thought I was good. But...I just suck."

            "You're still here aren't you? I wouldn't say you're that bad. Certainly better than me. All I write about are vegetables. It takes a special kind of skill to write about people, and it certainly takes a special kind of perseverance to finish a story. Say earthling, why'd you stop writing?"

            "Oh god, I'm a fraud!"

Ding. The whole world seemed to freeze; the whole world seemed to shift their focus toward me.