Writer's Block

I tore the piece of paper from the notepad, and threw it alongside the others that were already lying on the floor.

Rubbish, that's what I was writing these days. I had a gift…and people knew it even when I was young. I had never taken it for granted, and instead kept working hard at it to better myself, and better myself I had. My first book was published when I was 28, and things never looked back for me. Never won the Pulitzer or anything, but then again, those kinds of works were never my area of interest. I wrote thrillers – murder mysteries and whodunits – and I loved my job. Three published books later, I was a pretty well known name, with books selling in the millions. Everything was going well till this disaster struck – a bloody writer's block.

Sure, we get over it. Eventually. It's the eventually bit that got to me. Deadlines weren't an issue, I took my time with my books, and the publishers were all kind enough to allow me some leeway as long as the time involved never blew out of proportion.

But I had also spent 3 months without as much as writing a single page. It was good at first – writer's prerogative, I said. Never write something till you are completely happy with it. But the days turned to weeks, and then the first month, and then this.

I lay my head down on the table in frustration, letting out a huge sigh. Bloody hell.

It was then that the doorbell rang, and I raised my head in surprise. I lived in a cottage about 3 miles outside of Pensicola, the nearest town and proud home to thirteen thousand odd citizens. I liked it here. The solitary location helped me get my peace and quiet whenever I was working on a book, and I would often come here – sometimes when I felt I needed to get away from my life in NY, sometimes when I was working on a book such as now, and sometimes, well, sometimes just for the heck of it.

I opened the door, and in front of me stood this woman….well, I wouldn't exactly call her beautiful, but I suppose you could say she wasn't bad looking. Late 20s, black hair, she had the whole I-am-from-the-city-and-lost-on-my-way-to-this-small-town look going, with the sunglasses, smart dark blue business suit, skirt that went till her knees. Yup, she definitely wasn't bad looking.

"Hi! I hope I am not bothering you or anything. You see, I am on my way to Pensicola, and well, I asked for directions at this gas station, and the guy there told me about this short cut, and even thought it wasn't on the map or anything…."

"You are lost."

"Well, I suppose I am. But I know I am close by, so maybe if you just point me out in the right direction, I will be out of your hair in no time." And with that she looked at me expectantly.

I looked behind her and saw a black and shiny 2006 Cadillac DTS seemingly facing the wrong direct from where Pensicola should be.

"Well, you definitely took a wrong turn somewhere. Pensicola is pretty much 3 miles down that way (I pointed it out), where you seem to be coming from."

"Oh…..Gosh, I feel so stupid……so all I have to do is go straight, is it?"

"Yeah, straight should do the trick. I am guessing you got onto this road from this off beaten track someway down to the right…"

"Yeah, that's the one!! Hey, thanks, er, Mr….."

"Call me Ed."

"Well, thanks, Ed. It was good to meet you. I am Carolyn…."

"Carolyn, huh? I am thinking about writing a book with a character called Carolyn."

"A book? So you are a writer?"

"Well, yes, yes I am."

"Well, I don't get the time to read too many books…."

"That's ok, I understand. Not too many people do these days."

She gave a half-apologetic smile. "Well, thanks again, I should be off now. I am supposed to go see my dad in town, and it's meant to be a surprise, it's his birthday today, you see."

"Well, I am sure he will be very happy to see you."

"Yeah….well, bye then!!" and with that she put the sunglasses back on and started walking back to her car. Having made up my mind on what I was about to do, I was about to call out to her when she turned around and asked, "So, this Carolyn character, from the book you are writing, what's her character about?"

I quietly smiled at her and replied back, "She's the murder victim."

As I got back from her, I sat at my desk, sweating. Her belongings were spread on my table. I went through her purse and found her work ID card….fancy investment banker, well, that explains the car outside. What else…….credit cards…….small notes…….driving license……..pictures……well, what do we have here?!

There was a picture of her with a guy in his 30s, with 2 kids. Hmm….

I quickly grabbed my notepad and started jotting down points……..

"Woman in her 20s

City woman

Married, loving husband, 2 kids

Lost on route to small town

Stops at an abandoned cottage, asks directions

Murdered by the lone resident…."

Naser Chowdhury