Friday, May 23, 2008

Fiction: Naked, She Wrote

Naked, she wrote.

She sat perched on a chair in the middle of her empty apartment like some ungainly harpy who had forgotten her siren song. Her computer stood, the bare glow of an ancient monitor illuminating the keyboard, touching the edge of an ashtray where eighteen cigarettes smoldered in the digital light.

Sometime in the middle of the night, she had decided that conservativism was to blame. So she stripped off her clothes one by one, scraps sodden with sweat against midnight, and deposited them in the space under the tiny table. There they waited impatiently, for they knew that she had to regain her sanity sometime.

She tapped the "L" key once, twice, and then held one finger to the strange tile of white, watching as the screen filled with a succession of meaningless letters. She shifted uncomfortably, finding no solace in a silence that pulled every drop of inspiration from her lips.

The sweat gathered on her forehead. Grim tears of salt cried at the roots of her hair and conspired to drip into the edge of her left eyelid. Her breath caught itself in the folds of her sternum; her heartbeat dropped twelve inches to the place where her stomach purred contentedly to itself, amazed at the sudden interruption.

Almost absently she slid a new cigarette out of her last pack, placed the dog-eared end into her mouth, and bit tightly into the tobacco-and-nicotine flavor. She flicked open her lighter and lit the other end, the flame heavy with the fleeting dust of dreams. A moment later, she blew an indifferent trail of smoke into the air.

Naked she wrote, her finger slowly tracing the pale outlines of words on the foreign letters. She pondered love and death and mystery and things better left unsaid, and felt the next chapter rise like a hard lump in her throat. She tapped in the shadows of the room, tapped small white tiles before the gaze of the ancient monitor, and tapped some more.

She rose, and folded both hands across the bridge of her nose, as though she were a witch who had finally caught the plumpest and tastiest of children to eat. She brought her face to the shimmering display before her, almost as though she would kiss the screen and tell it the most beautiful of lies.

And then her hand hovered over the Delete button as though she was a woman spurned. She considered it in a single moment of indecision, anxious thoughts flitting through her mind, seconds before she pushed a finger against it and held it there. She watched as the cursor stole through her words, taking everything like a thief and leaving nothing behind.

She dragged on the cigarette, feeling the ashes burn in their last moments of heat and passion, until the point where she scrubbed those sins among the others in the ashtray. She left them there, dog-eared and defeated, like a remnant of her previous life.

Naked she wrote, and in those last minutes she stared at the clean slate before her, and laughed. The night laughed with her, its mirth mixing with the acrid stains of cigarette smoke and its tears dripping with the strange smell of sweat against the cold air.

Naked she laughed, the words filling her mind against their better nature. On and on she went, knowing that her letters were finally protected against the cells of the strange white keys, and the prison of the empty screen.


kyutbabe said...

Liked this :)

Sean said...

Kyutbabe: Thanks. It's more an experiment in "white heat" writing, though. I'll leave it to you to imagine what the "trigger" phrase was. :)