30 Stories in 30 Days #14 – “Bottomless Pit”
When Mike returned to the apartment with the groceries, he found his fiancée Sue glaring at her computer screen. He took in the scene for a few seconds, then went and put the groceries away. When he returned to the living room, he stood behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. “You’re glaring again,” he said.
Sue sighed and stated, “I had another idea for my alien invasion story.”
Mike smiled. “Let me guess, it’s now a trilogy.”
“No. Well, when I first had the idea, I thought it would turn into a trilogy, but after thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I realized that it would work even better as a pentalogy.”
He kissed her on the top of her head and said, “Well then, you’d better get writing.”
She swiveled around in her chair and said, “This was just supposed to be a short story, maybe four or five thousand words. Something I could hammer out in a couple of weeks. It’s eight thousand words already, and it’s just the beginning of the first book in a pentalogy.”
“As I said, you’d better get writing.”
Sue glared at him.
“What?” he asked. “You’re a writer and you now have a project you can work on for years. I’d feel jealous if I didn’t have my own multiyear projects.”
“But I already have projects I had hoped to keep me busy for years. This was just a simple idea that has grown way beyond what I thought it would.”
Mike smiled, but before he could say anything, Sue pointed her finger at him and stated, “If you say I’d better get writing one more time, I’ll smack you.”
Mike’s grin grew and he said, “Then I will just say you should increase the number of words you produce.”
Sue groaned, stood up, and went and sat on the couch.
Mike sat next to her and put his arm around her. “What’s the matter?”
“Besides you?” Sue chuckled. “Between work, and sleep, and other stuff, I can only write for about an hour a day. Which is good, because after about an hour my fingers get tired or something.” She raised her hands and wiggled her fingers. “I start making stupid typing errors and I just become frustrated.”
Letting her hands fall, she added, “Yes, I’m a writer. I produce words. It’s just, I wanted to produce words for all these other stories to finish them. If I really start on this pentalogy, it will be like a monster eating up all of my words for the foreseeable future.”
Mike kissed her temple. “You’ll produce other words for those stories.”
“But it will never be enough.”
They were silent for a moment, then Mike asked, “This new project, would it be a good story?”
Sue raised an eyebrow. “Are you saying something about my writing?”
“No, no. It’s … what’s the opposite of triage?”
“You know, doctors treat those in the worst condition first. What I’m suggesting, is you find the best project, your best story, and just work on that one first.”
Sue groaned. “Yes, I know that’s basic writing advice, but it still sucks. All of my stories are … just fantastic-”
Mike laughed, though it was cut short by an elbow. Rubbing his chest he said, “What do you think are in all those notebooks of mine? Oh, no, you’re the only writer who’s ever had more ideas than they could write. Should we have a pity party for you?”
Sue narrowed her eyes. “You know, if I stopped having sex with my annoying fiancé, that would free up more time for me to write.”
“Now, let’s not do anything hasty.”
Sue kissed Mike and laid her head on his chest. “Why can’t they just invent something to suck the ideas out of my head and put them onto paper.”
Mike chuckled. “As long as politicians don’t use it to blow ideas into your head, that would be okay.”
They were silent for several seconds, then Sue said, “I hate you.”
“What?” Mike asked with a laugh.
Sue turned around and grabbed the front of his shirt. She pretended to bounce him against the couch several times. Smiling, she asked, “Why did you have to give me another idea for a story.”
“I did it to myself as well.”
Sue stopped and put her head back on his chest. “Why didn’t anyone tell us that writing would be a bottomless pit of ideas?”
“They were too busy writing.” After a moment, Mike patted her shoulder and asked, “Would you have it any other way?”
Author’s note: more Mike and Sue stories can be found here.