Thursday, September 15, 2011

Third Person Thursday: What Deadline?

Somewhere, lost amongst the random household maintenance projects that could no longer wait, the sudden pressing need to clear out space in his garage for that long dreamt of woodshop and the countless other minor projects that could have waited, hid Kyle’s concern over meeting the deadline.

It was one of those times when a brain seems to purposely and independently work against its host body.  A few projects fought their way to the top of his priority list and refused to go away.  Once Kyle started on them, his brain felt good.  The deadline no longer loomed.

“It feels good to forget,” it must have thought.

Kyle’s brain desired to further procrastinate and welcomed each new distraction with open arms.  His brain compelled him to write that letter he had never sent to his uncle.  After all, there was still a full week to get the story done (Shh, don’t tell Kyle).  Next came the reorganization of his CD collection.  So what if the entire catalog was already on his iPod.  The story wasn’t due for another four days and without a single idea of what to write, maybe such activities could provide inspiration.  With only two days left, drinks with his long lost college buddies seemed to Kyle’s brain like the perfect way to spend what could have been a productive evening.

When his brain allowed Kyle to open his eyes on Thursday morning…ok, afternoon, the story due by midnight, it must have felt guilty.  It had wallowed in inactivity for an entire crucial week, allowing Kyle’s body to go here and there without focus on what really mattered.

That might have been why it released the sudden kick of adrenaline into Kyle’s body.  Or, it may have been the realization that lazy brains inevitably come around to, that those stories about being kept in jars until another, more ideal host body becomes available, are just that, stories.  A brain needs a body and a body needs food and shelter and money to provide all those things to the floppy shell it is housed within.

Regardless the reason, Kyle shot into an upright position in bed, quickly scrubbed away the crust that prevented his right eye form opening and looked at his alarm clock.

3:00 PM

Frantically, he went to his computer, opened the word processing program and promptly stared at the empty white page for three hours.  Eventually, he gave himself an hour to get coffee, greasy food and a shower then tried again.

He needed a story of some kind. His mind raced.  He tried to think of the simplest form of a story he could think of.  Something that could spew out of his brain with a minimal amount of effort.  If his editor didn’t use his story this week, so be it.  He just had to submit something to save face.

Kyle typed, “Once upon a time,” and hoped that the rest would write itself.

What he hadn’t anticipated was where his brain would take him.  He deleted all the words but one, gave it a lower case letter and began to write what he would eventually send his disappointed editor.

It began, “There once was a man from Kentucky…”

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