Sunday, July 15, 2012

The addiction

For this week's writing assignment for the Literary+ group, we were to address "writer's addiction." I'd originally thought to write about my love of coffee, but when I sat down to write, what you see below is what came off my fingertips. While not addressing a writerly addiction, per se, this is an apt metaphor for my relationship with writing. 288 words.

Light vanished along the edges of my vision, caught in the toxic space of conscious and unconscious. Aware, yet pushed back into the deep shadows where secrets scatter like rats before a scrapyard dog.

I fell. Fell into the abyss that lurks in the depths of the human soul; that place only glimpsed in dreams where the harbingers of strife and destruction, overcoming and conquering, delve willingly. I struggled briefly, but with desperate breath taken in heaving gasps, I cautiously reached out with open eyes to see that which should not be seen. I grasped the stuff of imagination and molded it with callous hands and a critical mind for pleasure or, perhaps more accurately, release.

Struggling with vice and wretched, crippling doubt, I surrendered it to the fires of hell. Waiting. Waiting until the formless shape captured heat to glowing. I peered into that brilliant pit and my eyes melted away as the pieces began to also melt away. Hot liquid tears poured down my face and I yanked it from hell’s fiery clutches. I stared at it resting in my burnt hands, so vivid and stirring.

My soul cried out in a sort of bereaved agony while I placed it on the anvil of my heart and pounded it with all my might. Tiny embers flew and snapped, biting and tearing. Little hunks of flesh sizzled away; I pounded still. I couldn’t stop until the vision transferred to that tangible treasure, sharp as any blade crafted. Steam and froth boiled up to quench the fire. I leaned on the trough. My sweat turning the water to brine.

“Why do you do it?”

I didn’t move. I stared down with blinded eyes. “I don’t know anything else.”

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