Andrew stared at the screen. The blinking cursor hung in the air mocking him. Blink. Blink. Blink. He ran his hand over his smooth chin in frustration. There must be something! His agent was waiting impatiently. If he hadn’t lied and said he was nearly finished with his next book he wouldn’t be in this position. Sweat trickled into his eye burning it.
‘Tea?’ his wife Dolores shouted through the door.
‘No!’ Stupid bitch – if she didn’t keep interrupting him maybe he could get his book finished, he thought totally unreasonably. Blink! Blink! He balled his fists into his eyes and cursed. Maybe tomorrow would be better.
By 3 the next afternoon he had:
“Eerie mists pulled at Sacha’s wispy hair. She walked through the graveyard as quietly as she could. Walking around it her journey was too long and she was tired, looking forward to her bed. At first the footsteps were faint and she couldn’t tell if they were coming towards her or moving away. Suddenly out of the mist came…”
And that was it! Nothing more. What? A ghost? A zombie. A bloody hand?
Andrew almost screamed in frustration. He had to get this done and he couldn’t decide on an antagonist. He searched antagonist on FindIT.com – they suggested everything from where to get laid to a big-toothed girl saying “your next holiday is in Belize!’. Dammit that was no help!
‘Lunch is ready.’ Andrew threw a book at the study door.
Dolores opened it tearing the book’s cover before he could stop her. ‘What was that?’ He glared at her until she backed out slowly, her eyes wide. Dolores was used to him being sullen and petulant when writing but she hoped that he would finish soon, it was all getting too much. Not that she would ever say so. Andrew could be fierce when writing. As he hit “The End” he changed, often twirling her around and opening a bottle of bubbly. She longed for the end of this book.
‘How’s the writing going?”
Andrew just shook his head, taking a bite. His brows knitted like two mating caterpillars. ‘Not well.’ Dolores sighed inwardly, more bad behavior coming. She finished and cleared the dishes.
Blink! Blink! Andrew typed up 3 pages of a ghost-type antagonist. But when he came to who the ghost was and why it attacked her he was stumped again. He screamed silently frustrated, knowing that if he screamed out loud Dolores would come running and he COULD NOT deal with her now. He punched himself in the side of the head repeatedly berating himself verbally and physically. He went to bed feeling useless and struggled to fall asleep.
The next day would go better, right? The screen blinked at him. He hit “Backspace” with one finger repeatedly as hard as he could until the ghost was erased. What now brown cow? He said aloud.
‘You talking to me?’ Dolores said.
‘NO!’ he screamed in frustration in his own mind, slowly unravelling, slowly feeling more and more desperate. He tried several other threads but they all fizzled out to nothing. His anger reached boiling point.
Unfortunately Dolores chose this moment to stick her head in the door and ask if he wanted tea.
‘TEA? TEA?’ Shocked at the viciousness directed at her for no reason, her mouth made a perfect “0”. He slowly got up and walked towards her. Lifting his hands he fixed them around her throat throttling her, all his anger pouring through them.
‘TEA?’ he screamed into her face, spittle flecked her now purple face as she tried to breathe. She struggled to pull his hands off, starting with the pinky fingers as her father had showed her as a little girl. Her strength faded and her sight darkened. She couldn’t believe he was doing this to her. Dolores tried to swear or spit or kick but he was a madman.
The last thing she saw before passing on was the mating caterpillars, darkness descended. Andrew held onto her lifeless body until his arms started to shake with the effort and he dropped her.
He staggered back to his chair, shaking and shocked. He stared at his dead wife for a long time. His breathing returned to normal, the sweat dried and he turned to his PC.
“… out of the mist came an old woman. Sasha wasn’t scared at first, then she saw the hand shaped bruises on a neck so wrinkled, it looked like a scarf. A purple tongue stuck out of her mouth and her eyes bulged and bloody searched Sasha’s face. ‘Where is he?’ the old woman said in a reed-thin voice. Sasha stood dead still.
“Where is my husband you stupid bitch?’ Sasha’s mouth worked but nothing came out terror had stolen her voice.”
Andrew wrote and wrote through the night and into the next day, stopping only to pee and get water. Finally exhausted, spent, starving and stinking he finished. It was his finest work yet. Pride swelled in his chest and he turned to tell Dolores. Her dead eyes stared up at him. He remembered.
He walked to the hall and picked up the phone.
‘9-1-1? Someone has killed my wife.’ He said into the phone, his lips trembled and that’s how they found him. In a sniveling ball on the hall floor, talking to himself. Snot dripped from his chin onto his dirty shirt.
“The Ghost in the Graveyard” was his first and only best-seller.