By Sonya Rhen
Michael was sitting at his computer. He was staring at the blank screen. Where to start? It was a dark and stormy night popped into his head. Then he pictured Snoopy on his dog house sitting at his typewriter. That wouldn’t do.
Ann came in behind him. She ran her fingers through his hair. Michael felt a shiver run up his spine at her touch.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m trying to write,” Michael answered without looking up at her. “I don’t have a lot of time.”
“Am I bothering you?” Ann asked coyly.
Michael breathed out heavily through his nose. He didn’t want to be rude, but he was anxious to get some writing in this evening.
“What are you writing about?” she asked, when he didn’t answer.
“I guess that’s the trouble.” Michael ran his fingers through his brown hair, straightening the tufts that Ann had ruffled.
“You should write about Vampires,” Ann suggested, “or zombies.”
“They’ve been done to death,” Michael couldn’t help saying.
Ann groaned. Then she smiled broadly. “You could write about me.”
“Me!” Ann repeated.
“That’s crazy.” Michael stabbed at the keyboard. He typed “Title” and under it he typed “by Michael Jameson”.
“That’s not much of a title,” she read over his shoulder.
“I haven’t thought of one yet.”
“What’s so crazy about it?”
Michael picked up the cup of coffee sitting on the desk next to his computer. He took a sip while he tried to remember her previous train of thought. “Nothing, I guess.”
“Is that coffee?” Ann looked at the cup closely. “You’ll be up all night.”
Michael raised his eyebrows at her.
“Whatever,” she continued, “I still think you should write about me. I’ve always wanted to be in a book. Maybe you could call it Ann of White Picket Fences?”
He thought about the picket fence that ran along the front face of the house. They were not great gardeners. It was overgrown with bushes and vines. He shook his head, “You don’t spell your name with an ‘e’. I don’t think it would work.”
Michael felt Ann swirling the hair on top of his head with her finger. It triggered that spot in the middle of his back. He squirmed.
She whispered in his ear, “I could help you brainstorm. I could be a foreign spy on a top secret mission, ‘Tell me all your secrets, darling.’”
He chuckled at her Natasha Fatale impression. A glance out the window told him that the sun was setting. He looked anxiously at the clock on the computer. “It’s really nice of you to offer to help, but…”
“Why won’t you write about me?” Ann insisted. “I’m fun and interesting. I’d make a great character in your book. You never write about me.”
He looked at her pouty face and sighed. “I’ll dedicate the book to you.”
He wanted to write something exciting, maybe a mystery or thriller. He’d need a tough character. Thoughts of Dashiell Hammett or Mickey Spillane ran through his head. Ann just didn’t fit in that picture.
“You’ve never been anywhere foreign,” Michael reminded her. He felt like holding down a key, any key, on the keyboard, just so he wouldn’t see all that blank space on the page.
“It’s fiction,” Ann said, “I could be whatever you wrote me to be. It could be a present. Our anniversary is coming up.”
Michael didn’t even notice the crinkles in his forehead forming at that suggestion. He gave a non-committal, “Hm.”
“A ghost story!” Ann breathed with excitement.
“Ghosts are so trite,” Michael said without thinking.
“Oh!,” Ann exclaimed.
Michael felt a stab of regret at the sound of her voice. He was going to pay for that remark for a long time. He turned in time to see her form vanish through the closed office door.
He turned back to the computer in front of him, even though he knew it would be too late. He frowned down at the long hard nails and furry hands that hovered uselessly over the keyboard.
“Stupid full moon.”
About The Author
Sonya Rhen is an author of science fiction, poetry and other fiction books. She was born, raised and still resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. She also shares her home with two dogs, two cats and a lonely catfish.
She tries to add humor to her writing whenever she can. “Space Tripping With the Shredded Orphans” is her debut novel and the first book in her ‘Shredded Orphans’ series. For more information, visit Sonya’s website at http://sonyarhen.wordpress.com