He put down the pen.

There wasn't much left to write, he told himself. He scrunched up his eyes, considered stopping, then caught himself. He had to finish writing. Had to.

He picked up the pen.

The deep red ink sank smoothly into the paper, his quick, messy strokes making short work of the next paragraph, and the next. The nib scratched the paper furiously, then came to an abrupt stop. Curses.

He put down the pen.

Out of ink again. This might well be the last refill, he thought. He hoped. The candle flickered.

He picked up the knife.