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The Future of Chapter Three


Daniel W. Kneip


Funny how I find time to do everything else in a day but write. I swore this weekend would be spent negotiating chapter three. Harley finds the gun. Leonna scrambles for the border, three loose chickens in her trunk. Mr. Balm wrestles his way out of the wheelchair and down the hall.

Do you know how ridiculous it all seems? I think I know what horror Iíve now gotten myself into and would rather live out the fantasy of writing than actually be doing it.

For example, yesterday I had a million excuses not to write. Today, nothing short of a million and one.

The sun edged its way into the sky over my apartment. These rain clouds have persisted for weeks, finally breaking. Becky asked me what Iíd been up to. She hadnít seen me all weekend. I lied and said I went to the shoreline to volunteer my time and strength to fill sandbags.

What nonsense. Why do I do it? Iím not even embarrassed for the lie. It was easy. But Iím a writer. Lying is what I do.

ďThe dark tornado funneled and touched down mightily, ripping through the shed, chewing a path of destruction.Ē

What tornado? There is no tornado. Itís a lie. Itís a trick. Itís story, a view of it hard to grasp. Make-believe.

Harley finds the gun stashed in the most curious place: the toaster oven.  What gun and who the hell is Harley? God, if I know.

My writing is shit now. Look what Iíve done. Iíve captured idiotic people in ridiculous scenarios. Iím really at the point where Iíve got no more lies to tell. The storyteller that once brewed here, I think, is gone.

Bastards come knocking on my door and ringing on my telephone, ďWhereís the pages? Can we get the pages?Ē

Never thought Iíd say it: I've lost my touch.

I slept till noon today. Only got up because I got to thinking about food and the ballgame on television. I didnít even brush my teeth all day.  Couldnít even fit it into my schedule Ė too busy, avoiding writing. What a shame.

Game ran till two, I did some light house keeping till three, spent countless minutes staring out my peephole at the family living across from me. Thereís a fat Mexican family that lives there and they had a bunch of their fat friends over for who knows what, but probably dinner.

Super nice people though. Sheís a cleaner and he drives a truck, I think he said some sort of disposal truck for the city. Oh, if I only cared.  At first, I thought they were interesting only to later realize I was merely using their company for filler. Why write when I can be out yucking it up with the neighbors?

He offered me a shot of tequila, can you believe it? Very nice man.  Opened a brand new bottle and poured me a shot. Extremely hospitable, the both of them.

To think that I was only amusing them to keep from writing. Hmm..

Okay, so Iím rotten. I have no friends. I have no life. Everything happens outside these damn, yellowing walls and I would be lucky to be a part of it if only my writing didnít hold me back.

I made supper, watched a movie. Had a nap. Actually, I curled up with a pad of paper and a pen and soon fell asleep thinking about why in the world Leonna had three chickens in her trunk.

Honestly, I think Iím thinking too hard. Though when I woke up, I found scribbled, nearly indistinguishable, on the tablet these words: bladder infection.

Not sure where that came from. One possible thought process - Leonna stops the car on the side of the desert road, aching to relieve herself.  The most annoying clucking echoing through the car. Wincing, she hurries over to a bush. There is no traffic and she wouldnít care if there was.  She squats and pees, barely, and it burns horribly.

Plot point.

Just one more problem for the woman. I know she dies in the end. Leading up to that point should be fun, but is it?

What happened to the fun? The formula is so worn and ragged, it kills me to even consider following the dramatic guidelines. No, not on this one.  I'm committed to thinking it up as I go along. It's an exercise.

All I know is Leonna dies in the end. Hell, I might kill her in chapter five. Bleed to death. She deserves it for the nightmare sheís put those chickens through!

Oh well. Maybe Iíll write it next weekend. The forecast calls for rain, so Iíll have a good reason to stay indoors and focus on my negotiations.  I just hope the neighbors keep quiet.

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