Holy crap I got one done!!! 😀 Eventually this will get packaged with The Shiny, Redshirts, and Muse Interrupted. This is a continuation of that mini-flash series;
Editor In Chains
©2013 Necia Phoenix
Author sat back in her chair staring at the stack of papers in front of her. Done! Finally! The project was done! She blinked rapidly, fighting a surge of tears. It was powerful, it was heartbreaking at times. It was DONE. She pushed away from the desk, still cluttered with research, notes, several decks of playing cards, and a half filled Sudoku chart. She looked around, frowning. She needed to tell someone.
“IE! Where are you?” IE, Internal Editor. The creature which both helped and hindered her writing. She frowned looking around. Where had it gotten to?
There was a muffled sound, from somewhere behind her. She blinked remembering the swift struggle and grinned.
“Oh I forgot about that.”
She made her way to a stack of plastic bins, gripped one of the handles and pulled it aside. Big blue bins full of books and possibly some plotbunnies. Author was a bit wary about going through the bins. Plotbunnies were frighteningly resilient. Even if years had gone by, give them air, a touch of water and they were as frisky and bouncy as when she’d stuffed them, squirming and fighting, into the bins. Behind the bins was a door. Padlocked, chained, with a couple of wooden beams nailed to the frame.
“You still in there IE?”
The muffled noise sounded louder but she still couldn’t quite make it out. IE would be mad. No, not mad furious. At least until she shoved the manuscript into its hands. Then it would do what it did best. Shred it. She suppressed a shudder. It had to be done, to get it ready for the grand sendoff, but still…
She picked up the crowbar hanging next to the door and began prying the beams from across the doorway. It took time, more time than she thought it should have. She fumbled for her keys to unlock the several padlocks. One dropped to the ground with a clatter, the chain made an odd swishing noise as it too dropping in a pile to the floor. She got to the final lock turned it and pulled the door open.
The trunk was sitting in the middle of a cold room, damp and lightless. It moved every now and then, the lid rattling as IE pushed it from inside.
“How you doing in there?”
“You shouldn’t be so angry, you deserved to be put in there.” Author said, kneeling down and fiddled with the combination lock.
Author shook her head. How could someone so bound put so much meaning into mmmph?
“Oh stop it.” Author muttered, letting the first padlock drop. The lid rattled violently. “You weren’t letting me finish my book, you know. Every little thing, every little word, you wanted me to agonize over it. Our cast isn’t going to live that long, you know. I had two redshirts die of old age waiting for you to make up your mind about that one scene. Old age!” She opened the lid, looking down at the bound and gagged IE who was glaring daggers out of its eyes. “Who has ever heard of a Redshirt dying of old age? I had to finish it.”
“Of course it’s not perfect, that’s what editing is for. But I’ll never be able to edit it if you don’t shut up and let me finish it!” She untied IE and helped it out of the trunk. It tore off the gag and glared.
“It probably sucks, you know. It’ll be riddled with problems, plot-holes and…”
“Well now that it is done you can go over it and red-pen it.” She stood up and motioned the open door. “But I have other projects to work on, you are going to cooperate this time. You got that?”
IE glared at her, not saying anything.
“Okay. You want to get back into the box?” Author lifted up the gag. “I can put you back.”
“Then agree.” Author crouched, eye to eye with IE. “I am the boss. It is MY story and you are a figment of my imagination. Either behave or you’ll be boxed and replaced.” She pointed to the bricked up wall in the back of the room. “Like that one was.”
IE’s nose flared but it nodded. “Fine.”
Author handed IE the red crayon. “The manuscript is sitting on the desk, all ready for your inspection.”
IE nodded, toddled out of the room, muttering under its breath. Author heard a muffled whimper behind her and glanced towards the bricked up door. She shrugged, turned, and walked from the room. That one wouldn’t let her get beyond the opening sentence. And it wouldn’t listen when she told it to knock it off.
She took a deep breath, it was time to find Muse. Author frowned. Muse had been awfully quiet. Her office would be packed to the brim with plotbunnies.
She closed the door, glanced towards the desk, and IE who was hunched over with the manuscript. She grinned. IE would be busy for a bit, she could start the selection process for the next project. She chuckled under her breath. Chaining the Internal Editor up while finishing the project had been the best idea she’d ever had. Now to talk with Muse about the next manuscript! She skipped down the hallway towards Muse’s station, dodging a couple dark blue plotbunnies. Yes, life was certainly looking up!
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 😀
For other Flash Fiction pieces you can check out my buddy S.E. Batt’s offering over here. Or Lazette Gifford’s piece over here. And for a list of participants click over here.