The mere fact that she was awake right now could be easily considered abnormal. Everyone who knew her would not hesitate to tell you that she favoured going to sleep early and waking up with the sun, texting her friends at 5 am that was normal. She knew that she was the most creative and productive in the mornings but today something about the thin sliver of moonlight making its way through the cracks of her blinds and the clock chiming to announce 3 AM made her wake up. The witching hour so the people said. A sane person would simply roll over and go back to sleep but she didn’t belong to that particular sort. So, with a slight and peculiar bounce to her step she got up but stilled immediately pondering on the bizarre situation she has found herself in. You see she was a superstitious and quite spiritual woman, she believed that everything happened for a reason, so there had to be some explanation as to why she was awake. A quick rummage in her own mind did not bring much explanation but she did feel a slight tug in the direction of her neatly organized work desk. The desk was nothing special, white and long slab of wood– the sorts you could find at a local Ikea. On top of the dull piece of furniture, there was a full assortment of coloured pens and sticky notes, a couple of well-loved books and notepads and a few mugs half-filled with some kind of herbal tea she favoured that particular week. The woman was a writer, maybe her friends would not call her that exactly, she never published anything besides a – quite nice but short – poem she wrote during her high school years but even though she lacked the official qualifications to obtain the title she did posses all the other characteristics of albeit a tortured but well-seasoned writer. She remembered the first text she’s ever wrote; she was seven years old and her mother got mad at her for the mess she’s made while playing in her room. Skipping all of the obvious ways to apologize to her mother she instead decided to write her a letter in purple crayon, saying sorry and describing in extensive detail what she is going to do in order to make it up to her. Oh, what blissful days they were. But let’s not get distracted from the main story.
The woman in all her dishevelled glory walked up to the desk and sat down in the old and squeaky office chair that desperately needed some repairs, both cosmetic and mechanical ones. The floral material that covered the seat was torn from constant stretching and picking and leaning back into the chair would be ill-advised to say the least. She started taking in her surroundings and how different her space looked in the middle of the night, the desk was situated in front of a large window, bad decision on her end considering her deliberate tendency to lose focus but the view of her garden was a pleasant distraction in the times of writer’s block. Looking through the window she admired the perfect roundness of a full moon, the silver glow scattered across some unkept rose bushes. “This could be a beginning of a fantasy novel,” she thought as she always did when she paid enough attention to details. The last time she had a similar thought she was at the grocery store and a star-shaped pastry looked exactly like something that could be served at a dinner of an extravagant elf king for some kind of solstice celebration. She thought that this was what she was awake for, observation and imminent inspiration but as she thought long and hard about a potential story she came back up empty-handed. In moments like these, she wondered if she had what it takes to ever finish a story or if she even had anything to say. As quickly as the insecurity popped up she pushed it back remembering the words of her aunt ‘If you didn’t have a story to share you would have stopped writing ages ago’ her aunt always gave good advice – excluding the one about mixing tequila with wine.
The next thing she brought her attention to were the stars, then the apple tree she planted a year ago and then to the bowl of water she left out for the stray cat she so affectionately called Bambi. Her head was still empty and devoid of ideas. With a heavy sigh, she considered going back to bed but something kept her glued to the chair. Then she looked down at the sticker-covered silver rectangle that was her laptop, considering the lack of ideas she opened it up and clicked on the power button, the machine came to life with a soft hum and a blinding blue light that made her squint for a second. She was welcomed with a picture from one of her most recent trips that made up her background and a half-finished poem she didn’t feel like completely discarding. She looked it over once but quickly decided that this also was not the reason she was awake. So she opened a fresh document, changed the default settings to her usual ones and hovered her hands over the keyboard. Still nothing, but she was determined to write something so opening an internet window she typed in ‘random word generator’ and pressed enter, she choose the first one that popped up but the word ‘trash’ didn’t sound appealing and inspiring. Ready to give up she begun mindlessly browsing the internet until she came upon a post that intrigued her, there was a contest hosted by one of her favourite authors. The post went as follows ‘Ellen Michaels the author of ‘Mist and Prosperity’ is hosting a young writer contest. The author of a winning fantasy short story will have the privilege to work with Mrs Michaels herself and a contract with Hermes Publishing that will allow them to publish and distribute their debut novel.’ The woman smiled softly; she was right. She was not awake for no reason this was her opportunity. A window of opportunity if you will.