Hey all, Dani here.
Two of my new friends from WordPress and Instagram (@emotionaly.inconstant and @thesarahdoughty) have set up a writing prompt challenge for the month of May, and I have decided to see if I can do it. I’m going to try to have a post up every day, but I make no promises. The challenge is basically to use a book title as a prompt for a creative response, whether that is a story, a poem, or even a photograph. You can either create something based on the book itself or just use the title as inspiration for something else.
As soon as I saw the list of titles, I had an immediate spark of an idea for day one, and I actually think it’s pretty good. So, let me know what you think, and if you participate as well, let me know so I can check out your creative projects.
Day 1 is: Ink Heart
She said she needed to write and I let her walk away. I wanted to tell her to wait. I even started to reach out and stop her. Leaving our conversation unresolved felt wrong but she had to write. It was something I had known for years. When she felt that urge to put pen to paper then there was no stopping her. In fact her writing was the reason we met.
But she couldn’t write with anyone around, and certainly not with someone watching. The loft had become her space and I respected her creative privacy. I had to. Disrupting her would mean no more words, no more poems, no more stories. And I couldn’t bear that thought.
I loved the depth of her writing, the feelings that built up with each line until I was overcome, unable to completely comprehend their scope and breadth. Her words were magic. And magicians, true magicians, never revealed the secrets of how they accomplished such a feat.
I had to let her be, let her get the words on the page. Then maybe we could both understand how it had gone wrong so fast, how we had fallen apart. There had been no warning of it. Or maybe I was blind to the symptoms.
She had spent more time with her notebooks lately. Our normal movie nights were abandoned as the muse struck and she ran away to capture the words before they vanished.
She hadn’t shared much with me these past few weeks. All she said was that they weren’t ready. I was still her first reader, or so I believed.
Perhaps I actually had heard her crying the other day. I hadn’t bothered to ask her about it. She had been in the loft, writing. Still I could have asked her after, made sure she was okay. I didn’t.
Then tonight, our conversation…our argument, really. I pushed too hard. I just wanted to share in her writing. I only wanted to know her better. Her words resonated better on paper than in conversation.
But she had pushed back. Nothing was shareable yet. That’s what she kept saying. She had shared unfinished work before. I hadn’t minded. They were still beautiful. I recognized their potential. Not this time. Instead of agreeing she had run away, retreating to the loft.
I couldn’t take this waiting around. Solitude does not help an anxious mind. We needed to talk so I slowly made my way up the stairs. This one time I couldn’t stay away. I had to invade her privacy, just so we could clear the air.
It was an open loft, no doors to bar entry. I merely stood on the landing, eyes fixated on the corner where her desk stood. But she wasn’t facing the desk. No, if she looked up she would probably see me but she was too focused on what was in front of her.
She sat there with a gaping hole in her chest. In her hands was a lump the size of a softball but was instead coal black. The lump moved, thumping, and each movement sent drops of inky black squirting out. They fell to the notebook that lay in her lap, where they skittered along the page. As this happened she wept.
I saw, and thought I understood. Shifting back, I started to turn around. The creaking of the stairs caught her attention and her gaze shifted from the inky heart in her hands to my face.
Two more tears slid down her cheeks and then she was gone, leaving a giant puddle of ink over the chair and floor.