The forge glowed red hot, casting a hellish glow. Kira pulled her quenched metal from the oil bath. The piece blazed to life as residual oil ignited from the heat still encapsulated in the metal’s heart. Kira had beaten that heart into the piece, using a piece of hers as the model. She took a rasp and dragged it along the edge of the metal. The rasp danced and so did Kira’s heart. It was hard.
Later that evening she left the smithy behind and went in search of Pablo. She knew her parents would love to have her marry the boy, but Kira wasn’t happy about it. He was the baker’s boy, and while she thought he was cute he was a bit pudgy.
She found him entertaining his friends. She hung back watching him while nervously shifting her metal creation in her hands. That’s when she saw her opportunity. With a flick of her wrist, she sent the disc flying, cutting Cupid’s bow in half as the imp had been aiming at her.
Cupid’s look would have broken many a heart, but Kira smiled. She might still fall for the boy, but it would be under her terms.
When Glenda put the curse on Bill he just laughed it off. He was doomed to not be able to taste salt, ever. He could put the whole shaker right on his tongue, but nothing would happen.
Bill thought this was the lamest curse, but over time he found himself eating less and less. He didn’t bother going out to dinner anymore. There was never any joy in food. Other tastes faded into monotony.
His life devolved into the blandness he experienced eating. He went to ask forgiveness, but Glenda passed away weeks before.
All he could say was, “Blah.”
Claire wore many hats. She absolutely loved them, switching between them multiple times every day, but it was always the shoes that she was deathly afraid of. She could be mom, wife, daughter, confidant, friend, enemy, goddess, and demon, but when it came to shoes, well, then she felt she had to pretend to be someone else.
That’s why she decided one day to just go barefoot. It meant sometimes stepping on things the wrong way, freezing her toes, or just having her feet absolutely filthy, but they were always hers, and she could sleep well at night knowing that.
I’m like a broken clock, right twice a day. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. How did I know? The man’s fist changing the direction my chin had been pointing mere moments earlier was my first hint. Luckily my body is that of a trained warrior. Well one that had way too much vodka to drink, hadn’t seen combat in the last twelve years and spent half of that time eating fancy buttery French pastries for a living.
At least gravity didn’t fail me. I collapsed to Mother Earth’s embrace. I must have offended her as well since her arms were so hard and cold. I wanted to mourn this decline in our relationship when the aforementioned man decided to kick me in the gut. That was his big mistake. I had him right where I wanted him. I folded myself around that foot and introduced the caught appendage to the regurgitated contents of my lunch, which included an egg sandwich encased in a wonderfully flaky croissant dosed with a lemony hollandaise. It was so good going down, but not so much coming back the other way.
Still, that was enough to make the man yank his foot out and leave me alone. As I laid there in my own stomach juices I wondered how this could get worse. Then I snuffled.
Man, stomach acid and nostrils just don’t mix.
The darkness grabbed onto his words and crumpled them into tight rejected wads of failure. He typed with such a frenzy to keep ahead of the monster, but it was faster than his imagination, consuming all his ideas and dreams. It then had the nerve to regurgitate its partially digested remains onto the page.
He tried to rearrange the mess into something that hinted at his intentions, but he was not a forensic investigator. The work seemed dead. And to think he thought he was a writer.
He consoled himself. “Well, it’s a start.” He saved his work and shut down.
The sun beat down from on high as Melvin selected a very crooked stick from the pile. It fit how he felt that morning. He turned it this way and that before nodding and sitting on the old stump. The remains of the old oak tree fit his backside perfectly after a little wiggling to get comfortable.
He pulled out his eight-inch bowie knife and began to whittle. He prided himself that he could slowly peel away the bark from tip to stern with one long stroke, turning the piece of wood a little at a time. Soon the twig was naked. He threw it on top of the shavings in front of him and picked up the next stick, sizing it up before doing the ritual once again. The motions came quicker and more assured, the shakes that plagued him that morning seemingly evaporating under his meticulous gaze.
The sun waved goodbye as it lowered itself below the tree line. Mabel would be home soon, wondering what Melvin had been doing all day. He chuckled as he pulled out his Zippo and flicked it to life. Where he applied the fire the flame doubled, then tripled. Soon his labor from that day was ablaze in glory, a burnt offering to his troubled soul.
As for Mabel, he would just make up the usual story about fishing or some such this way she wouldn’t worry herself none. He put away his lighter, cleaned and sheathed his knife, and began to tunelessly whistle as he ambled home, the smoke swirling around him with its pleasing aroma.
And then there were no more words. All writing stopped and the world took a pensive breath. Soon the accusations flew. The right, left, and center blamed each other on their frivolous use of such a precious commodity. Large documents were written by scholars about the lack of words and what that meant for society. Talking heads spewed countless hours of drivel about the cataclysmic problem. Entire books were devoted to finding the solution to this disaster.
All hope was lost. Shut off the lights, it was time to just give up. There was nothing left to see hear.
She threw her pen down in disgust and went to bed, frustrated beyond belief.
The next day when she picked back up her pen the words spring out, and the world was saved. Millions lived, some of them died, but the words went onward.
So goes the life of a writer.