By D.M. Woolston
My body landed with an audible thud onto the floor of the Rare Books room in the New York Public Library. Heads turned and I became embarrassed at losing control of the large stack of books in my possession. They plopped to the floor along with my fall. Each one I required in the hopes of completing my long overdue doctorate in Ancient History.
As I lay there sprawled on the carpeted floor, I caught a glimpse of something metallic. Its shiny point protruded ever so slightly from beneath one of the mile-high book cases. Glistening and sleek in design, the object was simply a modern ink pen. Quickly I slipped it into my overcoat and returned to an upright position.
Back in my small apartment on 5th avenue, I took up the pen and began writing. It felt quite hot to the touch. Words spewed forth in a torrent of storytelling, the likes I had never written. Nothing could describe my fervor. The only proof being the words now etched in the pages before me.
At first I assured myself the discovery of this tool was quite by accident, caused by a lifelong issue with my inherent loss of balance, but days later I had a new theory. The object was no ordinary item. I wholly believe it came from another place, a place no mind can comprehend in common terms. Much in the same way a person cannot truly understand the enormity of the distance required to reach the dark heart at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.
Upon completion of several manuscripts within merely four straight days of writing, the instrument fell from my hand and rattled to a smoldering halt on my scratched wooden desktop. What tales I spun! There would be no more dry and academic writing for me. Then at the height of unbridled creation, a horrific incident occurred. My writing hand seized and contorted from overuse. Fingers twisting into tangled knots, accompanied by excruciating pain. Like a motor revved into high r.p.m with no gears engaged, my fantastic writing career imploded in place.
Weeks of therapy failed to bring relief, so just before dawn I made the toughest decision of my life and headed down to the water’s edge in Central Park. Pulling the wretched device from my overcoat, I launched it with all the strength my weak arms could muster. The object followed a smooth trajectory until landing atop the water, curiously floating on what appeared to be a small and continuous wave. Swaying for a moment on the watery surface like a great ship, the pointed end tipped up toward the sky until becoming perfectly vertical, then a pause. Finally, it began a slow-motion sinking into the dark waters below. Muse, angel, or devil; it returned from whence it came.
I never finished my doctorate. I choose to write fiction now. The stories, they find me no matter where. One late evening, after the eventual recovery of my twisted hand, I returned home to notice a strange and most definite glow emanating from my computer keyboard. It appeared strangely unlike it had the night before, glistening and sleek in design. My fingers paused ever so slightly over the home keys. Finding them quite hot to the touch, I smiled and began to type.