Once upon a time
There was a teller of tales
Who lived all alone
His home a tower
Brightly lit and well-furnished
And chock full of books
Though given no name
He thinks of himself as “Scribe”
This name makes him smile
The Scribe is the source
Of stories across the land
Both past and future
All writers know him
Though they may be unaware
Of his influence
From him come ideas
Sent to writers old and new
On the wings of dreams
Bent over his desk
Quill in hand and ink nearby
The Scribe weaves stories
The stories we know
Myths, fables, classics, and more
Come straight from his pen
From Aesop to Grimm
To Chekhov, Wilde, and the Bard
And writers for screen
The Scribe is their muse
All who put pen to paper
He has inspired
He asks not for praise
Wants no cite, credit, or nod
He just loves to write
Then one faithful day
As he scribbled a new yarn
His peace was disturbed
The knocking below
Rattling the walls of his home
Puzzled was the Scribe
Being no longer alone
Made him feel nervous
The knock came again
And Scribe had no other choice
Except to answer
He set down his quill
His thoughts broken by the knocks
And went down the stairs
Scribe opened the door
And found there a man who asked
“Hi, could you help me?”
Forgive me dear reader, I hope you won’t be adverse, if I tell the rest of my tale in a different sort of verse.
Japan would be proud, and I enjoyed the haiku, but I’m afraid it’s not something I can continue to do.
Between word count and deadline, haiku won’t be enough. I am disappointed, but this week has been rough.
After thirty stories unchosen, I was feeling burnt out, but lucky for me, the Scribe assuaged my doubts.
He sent me an idea, while I laid in my bed. Now it’s up to me to get it out of my head.
Forgive the pause, I’ve not meant to be rude.
I will finish the story. End of interlude.
“Hi, could you help me?” asked the man in the door. Then he dropped to his knees and bowed his head to the floor.
“I’ve come a long way, journeyed far to your tower, to beg you to give me just a smidge of your power.”
“I’m a writer, you see,” said the man who had knocked, “but for the last several weeks, I’ve been completely blocked."
"My style of prose is beloved and my first novel brought me fame. Since then my mind has gotten weak, my words have gone lame.”
The Scribe bent down and pulled the man off his knees. Then he brought him inside and made him some tea.
The Scribe took a box of cookies down from a shelf. He sat across from the man and said, “Tell me about yourself.”
“Where to begin?” the man asked perplexed. Then he described the problem with which he was vexed.
I used to retell stories, fairy tales and such. Eventually my editor said it had become a crutch.
Admittedly, my sales had declined. My literary voice needed to be realigned.
I set out to write something original, unique. After thinking and thinking, an idea came in a blink.
I wrote constantly, for nearly five days straight. Never before had I achieved such a rate.
It was like my fingers were running a race, dashing across the keyboard at a furious pace.
At last I finished my first fantasy epic, my characters were strong, my prose was poetic.
The novel impressed fans, critics, and skeptics. They all said the book was electric!
From the moment it was published, my book flew off the shelves. People clamored for it like they couldn’t help themselves.
As if overnight, I became a household name. There was talk of a movie deal and even a video game.
It was then that things took a turn for the worse. My newfound fame went from blessing to curse.
Everyone called for a sequel or my next masterpiece. It was then my enthusiasm began to decrease.
As I’ve told you already, inspiration has run dry. I can’t think of a new idea, no matter how hard I try.
My publisher wanted a sample, but I had nothing to show. I was up a creek with no way to row.
I became very depressed and started to wallow, so I went out for a drink, wanting to drown my sorrow.
I was sitting at a bar, slouched low on my stool, when I was bumped by a guy I at first took for a fool.
The guy sat down and ordered a beer, before turning to me with a scowl and a sneer.
I don’t know what compelled me to do so, but as we both sat there, I poured out my soul.
He absently listened while sipping his ale, by the time I finished, I assumed he would bail.
Instead he laughed and said he understood. What he said next quickly lightened my mood.
The guy told me about you, oh great Scribe. He said you were the god of writers, the chief of our tribe.
On a bar napkin, the guy drew me a map, and said you could help me with my handicap.
I set out at once, filled with hope and unafraid, determined to find your tower and ask you for aid.
As the man had been speaking, the Scribe sat silently, nodding along and sipping his tea.
When the man finished talking, he uttered a sigh, before looking to see how the Scribe would reply.
The Scribe said nothing at first, then a smile appeared on his lips. At last the Scribe said, “Why don’t you write about this?”
It was such a brilliant idea, the man began to weep, then with a yawn, he fell fast asleep.
As is often the case when things aren’t as they seem, the man awoke to find it had all been a dream.
Upon jolting awake, he sat up in bed, as the dream he’d just had replayed in his head.
Thanking the Scribe for the great revelation, the man ran to his computer with renewed motivation.
The man started to type, once again a storyteller, excited to write another bestseller.
I thank you for reading, dear judges and friends. It is time for this story to come to an end.
I wish you all well and send you good vibes. Should you ever feel stuck, just seek out the Scribe.