Term Paper Blues

It was a dark and stormy night…

No, that sounds terrible. I think I’ve read it before somewhere.

Night – stormy and dark you are.

Dammit, that’s just the Yoda version.

How do I start this story? I have the words in my head but they won’t come out onto the paper. Writers have to do this better than me. I bet they just open up their brains and it just plops out with ease. Otherwise, how does Stephen King sneeze out a book a day? It’s insanity… or magic…

I’ve been having problems with this story for quite some time. The paper is due on Monday, and I just can’t seem to get it started. No matter how hard I try, the words stick on the first sentence. I’ve tried plotting, not plotting, writing randomness, asking for help, word prompts, everything. I’m just not smart enough I guess.

I think I’ve found the answer though. Yesterday, I went to a metaphysical shop downtown and picked up this super cool box. It’s shiny steel with opal colored buttons all over it. It’s super light for what it’s made out of, which was really interesting. I was told it was full of ideas, and that’s why it was so light. I guess ideas don’t weigh much. The chick at the store promised me it would work. I tried to pry it apart with a fork, but it wouldn’t open. The sides look like puzzle pieces, so it has to come open somehow.

Look, I’m holding it right now and my thumbs are on two buttons. Maybe if I just think of what I want to write it will work. Hey, this just might work.

The winds howled and the rain pelted the tin roof. Tree branches swayed in an angry dance, threatening to crush anyone who crossed their path. The distant city lights glowed orange behind the clouds, casting an ethereal light upon the wet streets. It was time.

Oh, now that was pretty awesome, right? Now I’m getting somewhere.

Wonder what would happen if I pressed this button…

Seems like there’s a light inside. I pressed another button, and the light got brighter but nothing happened. I don’t feel anything different either. I guess that one piece was a fluke. I’ll just pitch it on the bed and leave it alone. Maybe I can find the receipt and return it. I’d rather have the new Lady Gaga CD instead. Screw schoolwork.

This doesn’t seem to be helping my writing at all though. Piece of crap. I bet that chick just wanted it out of her store or got some serious commission off it. I haven’t had any more thoughts.

Now the stupid thing is hissing. Hmm…

A tall, lanky man stumbled out of the bar clinching something in his hand. He held it close while being whipped about by the winds. The rain hit his face and he pulled his fedora down over his eyes so he could see where he walked. A gust blew him into the brick wall, and he stood there, waiting for this moment to pass. Pulling his trench coat closer around him, he huddled against the wall, clutching the object in his hand as if it were his lifeline.

Holy crap! That didn’t suck! Okay, okay. I’ll give the box another chance.

Maybe if I pick it up it will stop hissing. That’s pretty annoying.

Hey, here’s another switch on the bottom I didn’t see at first. I wonder what would happen if I flicked it.

Some kind of red ooze is coming out of the bottom. Gross. This thing must be broken. Now I really have to find the receipt. This seriously looks like blood. What the hell is going on? It won’t stop spewing this stuff all over me, all over the bedspread. My mom will kill me when I send my laundry home. And it’s starting to hurt my hand. I just can’t let it go. Wait, my arm’s turning black! Oh no! What is this?

There’s a frickin’ squid tentacle coming out of this thing! I’m going crazy! This can’t be for real. I take it back. I don’t want to cheat. I don’t want to use these gross ideas. I don’t care how cool they sound on paper… if I could just breathe… if… if…

The lanky man upturned his face toward the raging sky. He held his hands outstretched toward the falling rain, the object clenched in his right fist.

A steel box, with opal buttons reflecting in the flashes of lightning.

“My time has come,” he said, laughing. “I shall live again.”

A gargantuan tentacle reached down from the sky and lifted the man from the streets, and without fear, he was carried away out of the rain to a small dorm room on the other side of town. 


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