Writer's Block

Submitted into Contest #136 in response to: Write about a character giving something one last shot.... view prompt


Drama Fantasy Funny

Jimmy tosses his sweaty orange socks on the floor next to the bed. It had NOT been a good day. When he found the old typewriter at the yard sale he knew he had to buy it. True, the letters were all but worn off, but he loved the smell of it. And, miraculously the carriage still moved. He tried to write for a little while, but nothing worked. Now, he was restless, so restless. Why couldn't his mind just slow down?

Crumpled papers litter the floor, making an odd pattern. Jimmy unscrews a burnt out light bulb and throws it across the room in total frustration. He is not aware that new blisters are forming on his fingers. He just wants to create a story. Jimmy makes a silly face in the mirror as he starts talking to himself, just like he does every time he loses confidence in his writing.

"Where are the words? Come on now, I need words. I have a deadline. My agent is losing patience with me. He says I need a book soon. I have one more chance. I have one more book inside my brain. Focus, Jimmy, you can do this!"

But the words did not come forth. He even went so far as to type random sentences just to get his right brain to spark some kind of "aha" moment. It only resulted in just that. Random sentences. "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." He typed that sentence at least one hundred times.

"Writers Block"! , a strange muffled voice from the corner of the room?

"What the hell?"

"Onward! I must keep trying. This is my one last shot. I cannot keep deluding myself that I am a writer. My last book is now rotting away inside some random bargain bin at Walmart. Who do I think I am anyway? I am just good at littering my floor with crumbled papers. I should buy a basket so I could practice my hook shot with my crumbled writing career."

"Writer's Block!"

"Oh why do I keep trying? I am going to bed. Let the papers marinate on the floor and maybe the papers can write a story! Does that even make sense? Maybe the quick brown fox will come up with an idea. That isn't even funny!"

The night, dark and forever, seems to haunt Jimmy 's dreams, as he tosses and turns in the old springy four-poster bed. It used to be his parents old bed that he inherited and he wouldn't part with it for all the world. He lay on his back just staring at the old Smith-Corona and just wondering all the words and ideas that have been created by those who laid their fingers on the faded keys. He pulls aside the covers and turns on the light.

No use trying to sleep.

"Did I really think I was going to sleep, to dream? That's a laugh. I breathe in deeply and all I smell is yesterday's beef stew rotting in the garbage. My eyes see only darkness. My ears hear the dogs barking and the echo of neighbors chatting. I need to clean the house. All my dreams of being a writer are self deluding. I have the mindset of a child and the foresight of a human being living in hope that someone won't snore at my words. I haven't been out of the house in weeks, I forgot to brush my teeth and all I have in the refrigerator is old peanut butter and moldy bread. I need go start living again or else I will be the moldy one!"

He had something to say on paper and it needed to be said now.

He walks over to the desk drawer and opens it quietly.

Parrot stirs in his cage in the corner

"Writer's Block! Write something funny ! You bore me."

"Bawk!" , cried Parrot.

"Bah! What do you know, Parrot? The only thing you got on me

is your lifespan! But I don't exist inside a cage, do I ?"

Look at me, arguing with a Parrot!

"Writer's Block! Can't write a word. Maybe I should be an artist. Just put a clean page in my cage and I will see what I can create. Art! That's what. All I need is some colors and my feet. I will make millions for all the kooks that like "interpretive art"."

Parrot thrusts his leg sideways in a defiant cheer and marches around his cage. The crazy bird keeps planting "seeds of doubt" in Jimmy's brain and taunting him with no mercy.

"Just a few claw prints. Why not give it a go, Jimmy? Or maybe, Jimmy, I could be a stripper. I am a parrot. I have feathers and I am cuter than you can ever dream of being. Just put on some music and I will make the money for you Jimmy. I bet you a dollar I can even beat your deadline your agent made for you. Jimmy, you can't even write a sentence without having an anxiety attack! You have....

"Writer's Block!" Parrot fell over laughing and crying...

"Oh, shut up Parrot, Maybe I will sell you to the circus, if you think you are so talented."

Jimmy threw a cloth over the Parrot's cage.

"Writer's Block!" , the Parrot blared out from under the cloth.


Jimmy sat over the the desk and started to type. The blank page unnerves him and he tries to focus. He closes his eyes and imagines a cozy cottage in the woods. The image becomes almost clear and his fingers were starting to type a story.

Then suddenly, the ribbon ripped and the keys stick together.

"Damn! Stupid ribbon !Why did I buy this piece of junk at the yard sale? I have this great idea but the typewriter keys keep getting stuck!"

"I guess you better think of a new career Jimmy.", Parrot cries out from under the cloth. But don't be a stripper...I already have that covered. Besides you are BORING! Bawk!! "

"Writer's block, is that what you say, Parrot?", Jimmy inquires as he opens a drawer to his writing desk and starts to rummage around.

"Here's the key! The key to my gun case!"

"What you want to open that for?", Parrot said nervously.

"Well, Parrot, as a matter of fact, you are in the opening scene of my new story!"

"Really? What kind of story, Jimmy?"

"Let's just say, it starts out with a ..


March 06, 2022 02:48

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Alicia Bone
22:46 Mar 15, 2022

I loved the back and forth between Jimmy and the parrot. I didn’t see it as dark at all and loved the humor and wordplay.


23:58 Mar 15, 2022

Thank you so much for reading my story, Alicia! I like the banter between Jimmy and the Parrot too!! :)


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Colin Strivelli
14:35 Mar 06, 2022

So the ending of this got dark real quick, but that's okay because I often can have twisted humor, so that sort of grim gallows ending is actually quite amusing to quite amusing to tastes like mine. Frankly, the parrot character as a whole was quite entertaining and easily the star of the show here. And I applaud your the creativity of using the parrot to represent the internal struggle and voices all authors go through, "squawking" back at us, as it were, planting seeds of doubt and making us question why we can't accomplish something or ...


16:13 Mar 06, 2022

Thank you for reading my story. I will do some cleaning up on the second half and make the sentences neater. Yes the parrot is quite a brat, isn't he? Have a nice day!


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