The next day disaster struck. Amy and Keith, who were so present the day before despite their murder of an innocent woman, were nowhere to be found. Alaina, of course, was on an extended vacation. Unfortunately, other visitors did make their way to Mia, and some very familiar ones at that.
The once-ugly man unzipped his costume and revealed his shiny locks and handsome outfit. He pranced around Mia, blowing dark bubbles in her direction and laughing with glee as they popped in her face.
“Stop it!” Mia yelled as another bubble, the biggest one yet, popped right in front of her face. “I’m trying to write here.”
Writer’s Block laughed. “Write?” he asked. “Oh, you won’t get any writing done here. Look around you.” Mia looked around. It was just her and Writer’s Block under the word tree. Other Wrimos passed with their bars of blue and green and purple. Mia noticed that some Wrimos still had lower word counts than she had, and they were still writing. Writer’s Block still wouldn’t leave Mia, choosing to blow more and more black bubbles in her direction.
Mia tried writing but wrote two sentences. She looked at him.
“Where’s your creativity now, Mia?” Writer’s Block asked. He cackled loudly.
“No,” Mia said, noticing that they were now alone. “You won’t get to attack me. I defeated you many times this month.”
“Oh, but I got the better of you some days,” Writer’s Block said, dancing around Mia and blowing more bubbles. “Remember when you didn’t write fore three days in a row? Or when you wrote only five hundred words for two days?”
Mia stared at Writer’s Block. Yes, it was true that she stopped writing for two days in a row. Everything Writer’s Block said was true. But–
“I beat you in the end,” Mia said.
Writer’s Block laughed. “Beat me?” Writer’s Block said, cackling. “Please. You only think you beat me because you sat down to write again. That’s just you pretending to think you beat me. You pathetic little twit.”
Mia stood up. Was Writer’s Block laughing at her? “No,” Mia said, this time more forcefully. “I beat you. I’ve already beaten you.”
“Please,” Writer’s Block said. “You just let your characters kill off someone with some silly traveling shovel of death and you want to say that you’ve beaten me. Maybe I should start haunting NaNoWriMo novelists more often. I just choose you because you’re special.”
“You mean you choose only me?”
Writer’s Block shook its head. “Oh no no no, you silly little girl,” Writer’s Block said. “Everyone who faces me sees what they want to see, just like with everything in life. In your case you see an unusually handsome man who just happens to be a bit evil. Kind of like real life devils.”
“But like I said, I’ve already beaten you. I’ve already written thirty-six thousand words,” Mia pointed out. She pondered showing Writer’s Block those words, and then thought against it. What if Writer’s Block destroyed those words? But then she decided that Writer’s Block couldn’t be that dangerous, and she held out her laptop. As predicted, Writer’s Block laughed, but the laugh was a bit forced.
“This? This is your writing?” Writer’s Block asked. “We’ll have to see what she says about that.”
Writer’s Block continued to blow bubbles around Mia as someone else appeared. A someone with a tight bun in her hair and wearing a white blouse and a plaid skirt. It was the same outfit Mia remembered her wearing the last time they had met.
Mia cringed, especially when she saw the large red pen in her hand. “Not you too!” Mia exclaimed. “What did I do to deserve you?”
Inner Editor smiled. “Did you see the last scene you wrote?” Inner Editor asked. “Killing the guy’s poor girlfriend? You’ve never even met her in the novel before. It makes no sense. Negative sense, even. You had no reason to do it except to get words in your novel. And the busty lesbian cabbage pirate ninjas. Let’s not get started on those.”
“You should get started on those,” Writer’s Block said. “I like you when you’re feisty.”
“Yes, but we’re not here to get feisty,” Inner Editor said. “Or at least I’m not.” She turned to Mia. “You can’t have those scenes in your novel, Mia. Think of what someone would think if they saw it on a bookshelf. Does anyone read about busty lesbian cabbage pirate ninjas?”
“Of course not,” Mia replied. “That’s why this is a first draft.”
Inner Editor laughed. If only Mia knew what she knew. “A first draft, you say?” Inner Editor asked. “A first draft?” Inner Editor grabbed Writer’s Block’s shoulders to keep herself from falling over with laughter. “Oh, my darling, you have a long way to go in order to learn what it’s really like to be a writer.” Inner Editor stopped laughing long enough to let go of Writer’s Block’s shoulders and walked toward Mia. Mia stopped typing and looked up at Inner Editor. “You have to learn to craft your words so they shine, shine just like that halo resting on top of your word counter. You have to learn to make your words create worlds in the reader’s minds. You have to–”
“Wait a minute,” Mia said, interrupting Inner Editor. “Have you ever written a book?”
Inner Editor looked offended. Of course she hadn’t written a book. Who would write a book when they had better things to do like correct other people’s grammar? She was about to say this when Mia kept going. “Because if you haven’t written a book, you don’t know how hard it is. You write really shitty prose, want to quit halfway through, pad your words, write shitty scenes that you know will be taken out but you need to keep going anyway, and then finally hit The End in some blaze of glory, even if the blaze of glory is just to eat more chocolate and go to sleep.”
Inner Editor interrupted Mia just before Mia was about to go on. “Now you’re stark raving mad,” Inner Editor said. “Haven’t you ever read a book, young lady?”
“Of course I’ve read a book,” Mia said. She was about to say that she went to college, but then she thought of how many complete books she read in college and thought against that. She had other things to do, like read for fun, during that time. “What else do you expect me to do with my spare time?”
“Not write, obviously,” Inner Editor said, pointing at Mia’s bag. “All rubbish, I tell you. You haven’t mastered the art of writing, young lady. And for that you’ll never become a great writer.”
Mia had had enough. She gathered her belongings and ran away from them, but the atmosphere of Writer’s Block and Inner Editor blocked her from getting away. Alaina, I need you, Mia thought. Word war forum, I need you. She tried to think of what to write next, but her mind blanked. Nothing came to mind as she thought of what to do.
Then her mind was taken back to a scene several days ago. She was sitting on a bench with a marathon runner, and the marathon runner gave her a pencil made of metal. Was it still there? Mia wondered. Well, if the traveling shovel of death was still there yesterday, surely the pencil still had to be there.
But it was harder and harder to think as Writer’s Block and Inner Editor closed in on her.
I will not quit, Mia thought to herself as she dug through her bag. I will not quit. I will reach fifty thousand. I can do it. She fumbled through her bag. Notebook. Another notebook. Chocolate. Her hand bumped against something metal. Success. She grabbed it from the bag and tried to stab Writer’s Block. Nothing. What was this thing supposed to do if it couldn’t kill people? she thought. Then she remembered that neither Alaina nor she could kill either one of them. The surroundings grew darker, and Mia noticed that it looked solid. Then she did the only thing she could think of to do and pierced a hole through the edge of the bubble that Writer’s Block was blowing.
Cliffhanger! What will happen to Mia? What will happen to Writer’s Block and Inner Editor? Is this the last we’ll see of them? Time will tell.
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