A/N: hey all! Please read the other two parts to completely understand who Writer’s Block is, also known as WB
Part 1: https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/htcc92/
Part 2: https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/icnhfb/
Large shoutout to Dhwani Jain and Guadalupe Telcontar for helping me find inspiration to continue this series!
Out the window, forests rolled by like the billowing clouds above.
“Hey, that sounds rather nice,” Clay mused to himself. “Maybe this road trip wasn’t such a bad idea. I’ll just take what I see around me and translate it into my own words. Isn’t that what all writers do?”
Clay drew up his pencil and continued his story.
Pines, maples, and aspens swayed together in the breeze, peacefully as…
“Oh darn it,” Clay muttered.
“What’s the matter, son?” Dad asked from the front seat.
“Well, dad, I’m feeling a little uninspired about my story. I don’t know where I want it to go from here,” Clay said as he locked eyes with his dad in the rear-view mirror.
“Well, Clay, every great writer must go through these phases. We like to call them ‘writer’s block’. You’ll work through it,” Dad said with a wink.
Clay nodded and went back to thinking.
Suddenly, a figure appeared in the backseat of their car. His hood was long and his eyes were lost in the shadow of the fabric.
“What in the world…” Clay said shakily.
“Shh! You’ll give me away! Be quiet!” the stranger hissed.
“Clay, what is it now?” Mom asked as she glanced into the back seat.
“Uh… nothin’. I think I mistook a gray squirrel for a wolf. Silly me.”
Satisfied with his answer, Mom turned back around as if she couldn’t see the stranger.
“Who are you?” Clay whispered to the man.
“My friends call me WB, which stands for Writer’s Block. How’s it goin’? Your father up there summoned me, and now I get to hang out with you and block out all creativity. How fun for you! We’re gonna have a blast!” He turned to look out the window at the passing forest.
“Hey! That’s not fair! You can’t just block my thoughts out!” Clay stated, squirming in his seat.
“Well then,” WB said, “Try to continue your story and see how that goes for you.” He crossed his cloaked arms over his chest, and waited for Clay to accept his dare.
“Hmph.” Selecting his pencil thoughtfully, Clay looked back out the window. The pines, maples and aspens were dwindling as they slowly faded into farmland.
Dying all around me, the forest transforms into acres of gardens.
In the other seat, Clay could tell that WB was sneering under his dark hood.
Feeling defeated, and under WB’s scrutinizing gaze, Clay erased the sentence immediately. Writer’s Block was the winner of Clay’s story, and WB wore a sly grin to prove that he knew it.
“See? I told you so! Ha! You can’t do anything good with me around! Welcome to Writer’s Block, Clay!” While WB had his own little dance party, Clay sat puzzled at what to do next. He tapped his pencil on the windowsill of the car.
“I wish WB could pack up and leave,” he muttered to himself.
“What’s that, Clay?” his dad asked.
“Nothin’, dad, just thinking. Dad? Is the back seat empty?” Clay asked eagerly.
Glancing up in the rear-view mirror, his dad replied, “Yes, son, it looks pretty empty to me. Why do you ask?”
“No reason.” Clay sunk down in his seat
“Hehe, sorry buddy, but I’m only visible to you. I’m here to stay. On the bright side, you do have a very nice car.” WB pursed to roll down the automatic window with enough energy to make a puppy jealous.
Scowling, Clay knew that this was going to be one long road trip as long as WB was around.
WB may have been blocking Clay’s creative thoughts, but WB certainly didn’t block out his own. For the whole 5 hour road-trip, WB single-handedly named every single animal or plant he saw.
“…and that one over there seems to be a Populus tremuloides, otherwise known as a quaking aspen.”
“WB, just stop! It’s been a long 5 hours. Can’t you just leave me alone?” Clay moaned.
“Not gonna happen, buddy ol’ pal! The only way I can leave you is if you get inspired, but I’m purposely here to keep that inspiration away from you, so there! Mwhaha! You have fallen into the trap of WB like so many others before you!” WB sneered and cackled like a mad man, and perhaps he was.
Clay drowned WB out and went down his own trail of thought.
So his enemy is inspiration…now how to get inspired…? I suppose that I can write about him. I sure do have plenty of ideas about him…
“I don’t know about you, Clay, but I’m in my element up here. Something about that fresh country air.” WB glanced over at Clay when he heard no response.
“Whatcha thinking about?” WB asked.
Clay smiled at his new thought.
“Just thinking about what I’m gonna title my story.”
“Story? What story? You aren’t supposed to get ideas like that! With you getting big ideas, where do you think I belong now?” His panic was slightly humorous to Clay.
“WB, I hereby pronounce you unnecessary, for I have inspiration!”
“But- how could I have failed my job so horribly? It’s not fair, Clay, it’s not fair!”
“WB, just pack up and leave!” Clay shouted loudly. In that very instant, WB dissipated like smoke, gone as quickly as he came.
“Clay, honey, who is WB?” his parents asked in near unison.
“He’s something that you don’t want to mess with and boy am I glad that he’s gone!”