From Nothing, Something

The blank page went on, seemingly forever. He took a deep breath and began to write.

It went slowly, word by word. A trudge through nothingness. Occasionally, there were busts of speed that filled the void but they seldom lasted long. Day and night passed but had little impact on the unfilled pages.

After what felt like a long time (though time had little meaning anymore), he rested. Quiet reigned for now as he poured himself a drink.

Rough going, eh?” he heard in his head.

Yeah, you could say that,” he replied.



Neat or straight?”


Cool, cool.”

They sat in silence for a while.

So,” began the voice in his head, “What happens next?”

More drinking,” he said as he poured himself another.

Okay… But what about the story?”

I’ve no God damned idea.”

That can’t be true!”

He poured more bourbon down his throat.

Seems like.”

Slow down there boss!”


Because you can’t finish this if you’re drunk.”

I’m okay with that.”

That’s not true.”

What do you know?”

If it were true, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

He thought about this and sighed.


So, what happens next?” the voice in his head asked again.

He looked out on the empty pages that lay before him and shook his head.

All I see is nothing.”

I mean, isn’t that always true?” asked the voice inside his head.

No! Sometimes I see what’s ahead.”

But not now?”

Not now.”

They both paused again.

What does Lana want?” asked the voice inside his head.

If I knew that,” the snipped, “we wouldn’t be having this discussion!”

What does Terry want?”

He took another sip of bourbon and replied, “I refer you to my previous comment.”

Can I ask you some questions?”

More than you already have?”




So Terry and Lana are in love, correct?”

Yes. Well, they think they’re in love.”

Right. Right. So they’re moving into together.”


But Lana is wondering if it’s a mistake.”


And Terry is convinced he’s found his perfect person.”


Which one is right?”

I don’t know.”

You created them. If anyone knows, it’s you.”

It’s not that black and white.”

So they’re both right?”

No, not really.”

Are they both wrong?”


What kind of story is this?” asked the voice inside his head.

It’s a love story. I think.”

So there’s a happy ending?”


Don’t love stories have happy endings?”

A lot of them do.”

But not this one?”

I don’t think so.”

Does that make you sad?”

No. They’re not real.”

They’re real to you.”

He said nothing.

So what happens to Lana and Terry?” asked the voice inside his head.

They are happy.”


For a while.”


Then, they fight. Which isn’t a big deal, they’ve had fights before.”

Right, makes sense.”

Things change after that.”

What things?”

Little things. Stupid things. That’s how it always starts.”

I can see that.”

Now she wonders if this was all a mistake. He tries to make things better, but it just makes things worse.”

That’s sad for them.”

Yeah, yeah it is.”

But pretty good news for you.”

No, it isn’t!”

You know how to fill up the void. You do know what happens next.”

He almost protested. But the voice inside his head was right. Looking out on this expanse of blank white, he saw nothingness coalesce.

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