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The Writer's Plague Short Story

The Writer's Plague Short Story

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Published by Catherine Rose
This is a short story about what happens when a writer becomes so consumed with their writing.
This is a short story about what happens when a writer becomes so consumed with their writing.

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Published by: Catherine Rose on Jan 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Writer’s PlagueThe year is 1976. Maggie Lox is sitting in the living room of her London townhouse as she typeseagerly without blinking on her old fashioned typewriter that looks as if it came straight out of ThomasJefferson’s study. The townhouse, which Maggie shares with her best friend Charlotte, more oftenreferred to as Char, is quite elaborate, quite so, that it reminds visitors of the Queen’s living quarters. Thetownhouse is complete with marble floors, a fireplace, drapery and pieces of artwork from Monet to VanGogh to Georgia O’ Keefe. Both Maggie and Char state Monet’s water lilies to be among their favorite pieces of work. Of course, there are many other pieces of art throughout the townhouse because Maggiehas always had an interest in art and painting, especially working with watercolors, something that she picked up in form school, and Char, has always been an avid art collector, often traveling all over theworld to meet and discover new artists, and collect intricate pieces of work, from clay designs, to paintings with watercolor and charcoal, to murals, and abstract work. The townhouse even includes thesunroom, and on nice days, Maggie often spends hours in the sunroom jotting down notes to herself andtrying to get her creative juices flowing; meanwhile, Char spends her time in the sunroom trying to get atan and brainstorm the next place that she wants to travel to in order to find artwork with a story behind it.Maggie and Char have been friends since form school at London’s Downe House. There mutualinterest in the arts is what sparked there interest in becoming friends. While other kids were taking a break from their studies, Maggie and Char were often writing stories, sharing stories, admiring art, or acting in plays. In fact, the only difference between them was their age. Char was older than Maggie byfive years. This age gap made a huge difference in the way they were viewed as friends as well as the waythat they saw each other. Char appeared, at times to be more like an older sister to Maggie. She alwayskept Maggie’s best interest in mind and was always looking after Maggie to make sure that she was okayand making good decisions. To Maggie, Charlotte often offered the best advice and was full of wisdom.Char was somebody that Maggie could always look up to and depend on. And something about Char’slarge glasses frames just made her seem a little bit smarter than the next person.
Maggie Lox is a young, beautiful author that has skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom and has thisnatural glow about her. Her hair as dark as the night, and her eyes, a golden brown, have the tendency toshimmer in the sun. At age 36, Maggie has managed to publish 22 short stories in various literarymagazines, 5 books of poetry, and 17 novels, her 18
, currently in the process of being written. Her first poem was officially published in her schools newspaper back when she was in sixth form. It was just after her parents had been divorced and she needed an outlet. She had written about the trials and tribulations’that resulted between she and her parents and how her whole life had changed after the divorce. The poemlooked at the things that we should appreciate in life and the things that we should just let go of. It was atruly inspirational poem that ended up winning her the school’s Saturn Award for best piece of poetry, aswell as Britain’s Favorite up and coming artist award.Maggie had been writing for as long as she could remember. It was always her outlet. When shewas bullied as a child, she often poured her heart out into short stories and poetry. And even more thanthat, she always enjoyed looking back on all of the papers, both for school and for personal amusementthat she had written over the years; she was able to see her growth as an artist and learn what she could doto improve. She had always been a perfectionist, in school and in her personal life. She would write papers for class, but somehow they were never good enough. She would rewrite her papers, and then havefriends and family edit them, yet somehow, they still did not meet her satisfaction. She would hit thedrawing board again, but often times would see no progress, and would quite frequently get discouragedor lose sight of her goal. From a distance, many people would say that she would sometimes becomeobsessed with her writing and perfection. She always found herself trying to top herself.However, now at age 36, writing her 18
novel and preparing to have it published, Maggie is asfocused as ever. That’s the thing about having many of your novels successful. They are always beingcompared and contrasted. Maggie constantly finds herself needing to top herself. She needs to write anew novel that is better than the previous one. She needs to strike a chord with people and catch her 
 publisher’s attention. She is under constant scrutiny and constant pressure to come up with somethingnew and original, creative and inventive.As Maggie sits in the living room of her townhouse, typing away at her type writer, there is aknock on the connecting doorway and Char enters, carrying a tower of tea time snacks in her left handand struggling to carry the tea kettle in the other. As she enters, Maggie barely looks up from her work asChar says in a quaint British accent, “Good afternoon, mate. How’s it going?” Maggie’s only responsewas a shrug as Char maneuvered her way over to an adjacent table in which to set the tea time snacks andthe tea kettle down on. As she does so, she then asks Maggie, “Maggs, have you been at this all this time?The writing I mean. When I left you last night, you were still in the same position. You should be careful.You wouldn’t want to end up with carpel tunnel now, would you?” Maggie sighs as if frustrated by thecomment and then pauses from her typing and says, “you of all people should know, that true artwork,can never be completed.” Char glares at Maggie with a glossy look in her eyes as if she is pondering thewords that have just floated out of her mouth. Char then says, “how about you take a break? Just for now.Come! Let’s eat these tea time snacks that I have so graciously prepared. And the tea, I had it flown allthe way in from China.” Maggie laughs and then comments, “you did not.” Char then responds, “no, Ididn’t. I’m just joking. I purchased the tea from Fortnum and Mason. And yes, I might have stolen someof their ideas when I created this whole plethora of treats and delicacies.”Maggie carefully pulls herself away from her writing as she stands up and heads to a chair near the table in which all of the snacks are laid out on. She tries to avoid crumpled up pieces of paper thathave bits and pieces of her current novel written all over it and notes jotted down on each side. “What dowe have here?” Maggie asks anxiously as she wets her lips. Char responds, “a plain scone, a blueberryscone and an orange scone with clotted cream and raspberry preserves. We also have mini macrons: pistachio, vanilla, hazelnut, apple and dark chocolate. Not to mention a selection of fruits and cheeses andan assortment of mini cakes, including the classic sponge cake. Oh, and let’s not forget the sorbet to

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