Kelly didn’t exactly understand how it worked. Perhaps she had magical qualities passed down from her grandmother. Maybe it was the silk scarf she always wore while writing. The one she bought from a psychic in San Francisco.
All she knew was, as she wrote about fictional characters they literally appeared in her home.
One week into beginning her first book, the characters sat at her 8-place dining room table. They possessed literal mass. When they shifted in a chair it creaked. They drank from the glasses of lemonade Kelly served them…without leaking. Their bodies possessed no distinction of color, being merely gray 3-D silhouettes, each a character cutout with sharply defined outlines but no details.
Kelly began writing late in life. An empty nester, whose husband passed on eight years before, she needed something to fill her empty, lonely days. When she began writing for a writing challenge to post in her blog, she realized what the alchemy of her writing could produce.
She sat looking at her gray characters over the “YOU CAN DO IT!” stickers on her laptop. Eight months into her foray with writing the novelty of physically appearing characters had worn off. It was a blessing to actually see her first novel’s characters, but a curse to see how bland they were. She sipped at her coffee cup imprinted with “World’s Greatest Mom,” which had lipstick stains that never seemed to go away. She stared at the occasionally moving characters and wondered why they lacked any life. Turning back to her beaten and chipped laptop, she began looking up articles on writing.
At 3:18AM, with half a bottle of White Zin beside her, she stared at an article entitled, “The Value of a Wart.” With a smile, she began writing again in earnest. Her characters needed distinctive, interesting features to give them life and depth.
She awoke with her head on the table, her cheek in a puddle of drool. In the chair beside her, Jackie “Stinker” Henretty (druggie teen, Chapter 6) had tied a pink Hello Kitty rubber band around her arm. She held a spoon over a Death Angels candle in one hand, and a syringe in the other.
“What the…?” shrieked Kelly. “In MY house?”
“What?” Jackie rolled her eyes. “Chillax!”
“How’s it going, Sweetie,” said Auntie Pinion on Kelly’s left. The surrogate mother of character Ted Mullover leaned over the dining room table. The 57-year old’s chartreuse ribbons bounced in her hair and her polka dot mini-dress was more appropriate to a fourteen-year old. Worse, as she bent over, Ted Mullover (psychotic murderer, Chapter 3) grinned behind Pinion. He unzipped his stained jeans, lifted her dress, and began thrusting away. Auntie Pinion’s manic smile never changed during the penetration. “What happens next? Tell me!”
“Stop that!” shouted Kelly. “He’s…he’s…”
Auntie Pinion waved dispassionately. “Oh don’t mind him. He just wants attention.”
“So give him a cookie!”
Kelly watched an enormous cloud of flour billow out the kitchen door. She could hear the two gay lovers, Terry and Leslie, giggling inside. She stomped to the door, then stopped just outside it. Remembering the scene she’d written in Chapter 12, she knew she should never witness it.
Holding her ears to block out the chattering characters, she ran into the living room and flopped on the couch.
“Rough day?” said a mellow voice.
Sitting beside the couch, Dina Giambetti smiled warmly. The psychologist (introduced in Chapter 14) would provide the final clue that helped catch the murderer. Her floral print dress draped elegantly and blue eyes gazed sympathetically at Kelly. She toyed with the turquoise and bloodstone beads at her neck.
“They’re out of control!” groaned Kelly.
“You wrote them.”
“Yeah, but what do I do now?”
“Haven’t you noticed the characters disappear after you publish?”
“Yeah, but this is a novel. It’ll take months to finish!”
Dina smiled. “Well. You need one level-headed character to ride herd on the others.”
“Right! I’ll just write in…”
Dina winked and patted Kelly’s hand. “You already wrote me.”
Three months after bidding Dina a tearful and grateful goodbye, Kelly began writing another book. This time, Winston (Butler from Chapter 1) placed Earl Grey tea beside her after serving a gourmet meal. The house was clean and the clothing washed. “Will there be anything else Madam?” he said in a smooth English accent.
She’d started writing with Winston this time. He knew how to run a household.
Kelly sighed happily. It was going to be A Beautiful Day.
I couldn’t find the original article “The Value of A Wart” but in the link above and here, there’s a very good synopsis. I highly recommend it to aspiring writers. https://lynleystace.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/writing-advice-watch-for-warts/
Grammar Ghoul Press’ amazing writing challenge, Mutant 750 returns this week with another set of prompts. The word prompt is: Cutout. The media prompt is “A Beautiful Day” by U2. Look here for more stories based upon the prompts: http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-28/