The cute blonde girl in her short shorts and a tank top was desperately running away from the masked killer that had been chasing her. She slipped onto the asphalt ripping the flesh off of her knees.
No, no, no. He hit the delete key on his computer and erased the words. This wasn’t right, he thought. Why does it always have to be a damsel-in-distress scenario in these horror-type scenarios? Only once answer always applies: Sex sells. He scrapped the entire idea and set out to write something different. Besides, his editor had advised him not to write another horror story to avoid being typed.
Back to keyboard he went. He started typing:
Clearly I remember picking on the boy, seemed a harmless little fuck. But we unleashed a lion. Gnashed his teeth and bit the recess lady’s breast. How could we forget?
Wait. No. That’s not right. Those are the lyrics to a Pearl Jam song. Again, he hit the delete key, wiping away the words. He fought hard to not write another story about death. Why did he keep going back to the same subject matter again and again? He chocked it up to it all boiling down to everyone has to deal with it at some point or another. There is no escaping it. No way around it. We all die and it’s something that we all have to do alone.
He came back to his computer desk with a turkey and cheese sandwich. He set it down next to his glass of Dr. Pepper and looked at the blank computer screen and then back at the turkey sandwich. He started pecking at the keys:
Jaerlja fm adfmxd lupuxvds foqa jfjaljv elkajld
Adjae a814ulz 21af mvcap af.zpea/ ajea0c a34
sdW IUOSu lkafe 94 lkji mv3 zlodn
He looked at his work and said, “What the fuck is this? Stupid computer broke. Should have bought a Mac.” It was then he realized that he placed his fingers on the wrong keys when typing. It had been a long while since he had taken typing class in high school, where he learned to rest his fingers on “home row”.
He started typing again:
The boy rode his bike down the long gravelly hill. Bump, bump, bump. He felt as if he was losing control of the bicycle. At that moment, his self-fulfilling prophecy came true. He hit a rock, crashed and fucked himself up royally. He looked down and saw a piece of bloody bone sticking out of his leg.
He re-reads what he wrote and realized he was heading down a familiar path: blood & guts and mayhem. He deleted what he wrote and took a bite of his sandwich. It was good, but not quite good enough.
He went back into the kitchen with sandwich in tow. He remembered seeing a commercial for Hellman’s mayonnaise where they made a grilled cheese sandwich using mayo instead of butter. He took the innards of the existing sandwich and placed them on a plate, while discarding the original once-bitten bread. He replaced it with two fresh slices and slathered on the mayonnaise. Remanufacturing the sandwiches’ innards he placed it back in the fry pan. He grilled it up, mayo-side down, until it turned golden brown.
He took the sandwich back to his computer desk. He stared at the blank screen and then looked down at the sandwich. Work can wait. He took a bite and thought to himself that the sandwich was definitely lacking that buttery burst from a normal grilled cheese sandwich but marveled at how the presence of turkey really elevated the whole grilled sandwich experience. He took another bite and at this point remembered a crucial fact that he had forgotten prior:
He doesn’t like mayonnaise.
Once again he headed back into the kitchen. He scraped some of the melted cheese off of one side of the bread and discarded that piece of bread into the trash. He grabbed a fork and started eating the turkey and cheese. He scraped at some of the bottom slice of bread, careful not to go to deeply as to eat the crusted mayonnaise part. He did this all over the sink and when he was finished, threw out the remaining portion of the bread. He then made a mental note that he needed to pick up more bread.
Back at the computer now, he started to Google ideas for a story. He clicked on his New York Times bookmark and started perusing the news. Most of the headlines were worse than any horror story he could ever come up with. He closed the tab and opened a new one. He went on Facebook and started looking over his friend’s recent posts. Food pictures, vacation posts, political discourse. Nothing was there that sparked an idea for him to start writing about. He fetched the remote and turned on his Smart TV. He selected Pandora Radio and then picked the Rage Against the Machine station. Bulls on Parade started playing. He had hoped it would begin with Killing in the Name Of, but knew it would play sooner or later on the channel. He began typing. He entered a different world.
He finished typing his last sentence and looked at the clock. He came to the realization that he had been working at his desk for the past four and a half hours. Uninterrupted. He went back to the beginning of his work and started editing. He wondered if the station played the song he wanted to hear earlier. After about 4 or 5 songs he shut out the outside world and became lost in the new world he was creating.
He looked back at the finished product with pride. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. His editor would definitely approve. It may not have had a perfect happy ending but at least nobody was slaughtered, maimed, or died during the course of the story. Nobody even walked away with a sniffle. His thoughts started drifting to his next project. What was it that he was going to write about next? Something with vampires and zombies. Definitely vampires and zombies.