YAFF Muse–Tell Me a Story
YAFF Muse is a blog series featuring some YA Fiction Fanatics members. In this series, we’ll post original short stories created from an image meant to inspire our Muse. Hope you enjoy!
“Men are idiots and I had to hook up their king,” Jenny Wilson grumbled to herself as she made her way through the thick underbrush of the woods just outside of Coffin’s Point, Maine. Though she walked slowly. Jenny tripped more than once and uttered a string of obscenities following each missed step.
She blamed her unsteadiness on the flashlight which tried, unsuccessfully, to pierce the darkness around her. It never occurred to Jenny to blame the three hours she spent sitting on the edge of the docks behind The Old Salt bar (with her new found friend Jack Daniels) for her lack of balance. Besides, it hadn’t been for her stupid boyfriend, she wouldn’t have come into this hick town to drink in the first place. It was all his fault when you came right down to it. Okay, so maybe his and the pervy bartender who didn’t bother to card her. Still they were both men and men were idiots. Case closed. Okay so maybe the pervy bartender was kind of cute.
Cutting the bar guy some slack, Jenny swore at herself for ever listening to Steve. She should have known better than to believe that lame story about wanting to relax after the grueling finals they’d finished at school back in Boston. Oh how he’d gone on about how nice it would be for them to get away for awhile, to get back to basics and far away from computers and classes and pain in the butt cellphones.
Jenny grumbled. She should have known that “back to basics” and “just us” meant her. Steve, and his real true love–A freakin’ ancient typewriter!
Grumbling more, Jenny paused and shone the light to make sure she was on the crappy little path back to the cabin. She’d been taken in yet again by Steve’s smooth-as-silk voice, that sexy smile and those hazel eyes. Just a novella, he said. They’d spend their break in that little town his faculty advisor told me about. The atmosphere would be great. He’d be done writing in no time at all.
She tripped over a thick root and tumbled towards a giant rock. She groped for the fallen flashlight, she cursed herself for getting lost then cursed Steve under her breath. There were no giant rock formations in the clearing when she went towards town. “Son of a…” Jenny broke off as the flashlight’s beam illuminated the rock formation. She whimpered as she felt her full bladder empty itself down her leg.
* * *
Steve Casey snatched yet another piece of paper from his typewriter. He crushed it into a ball then deposited it on the floor with the others. He rubbed his aching eyes. This was ridiculous. At seventeen he’d written a full-length, bestseller on a cross country bus trip. At eighteen his next bestseller sold a million copies and now as his last official teenaged years dwindled to a close he couldn’t even write one lousy 20,000 word short story for an anthology. He sighed and pushed away the little steel typewriter. It was no use. He’d have to start all over tomorrow.
He went out onto the small front porch of the secluded house. He’d been here almost a week and still hadn’t been able lo write a single decent paragraph. Last Friday’s conversation with his agent echoed in his mind.
“I’m just a little burnt-out, Jim. I just did the new Deathstalker sequel and my course load this term–”
“I know it. Steve, and I wouldn’t push, but St. Martin’s is all over my ass. They want to get the Children of the Night antho out before that Barker-Koontz thing. They’ll take the story as long as you have it in by next Friday.”
Steve sighed again as he got up from the porch step. He’d promised to have the story, knowing all the while it was a lie. He’d never get it done, and he knew what-or who-was responsible for his giant, economy-sized case of writer’s block.
Though he hated to admit it. Steve knew that Jenny and her constant bitching for attention were killing his creativity and making his grades bomb. Most of his course work this year had been crap, pure and simple. It only barely passed because the TA who’d been grading was a fan. If he could only get rid of Jenny it would be different–get rid of her figuratively, of course.
Steve cocked his head to one side. What on earth was that noise? It was a strange scraping sound-and now a scream-Jenny’s scream. He ran towards the woods. The trees began to rustle violently. It was followed by the sound of snapping branches–or something.
At last he came upon the clearing and stood immobile when he saw the thing snatch Jenny’s lifeless, limp body in its giant stone claw.
Steve could only stare as the stone gargoyle or whatever the hell it was spread its cloak-like wings and rose into the sky. blocking out the rays of the full moon as it flew away. Steve looked back at the ground. All that was left of Jenny was a bloodstain that seeped quickly into the dirt like rain on parched earth. He stared at the ground for a long time. It was horrible. It was impossible. He had to be dreaming.
Finally, Steve turned and ran back to the cabin like a man possessed. He shoved aside the old typewriter then lunged at the suitcase in the corner to tear free the laptop he’d hidden away. The plot filled his mind, the images gruesome and an absolutely perfect.
Check out the other YAFFers participating in this series