The Writer: Chapter 1

The only thing that is worth remembering, and worth remembering over and over again, is that in this world, under all and any circumstance, nothing ever happens.

My name is Jonathan Fisher and I can stare at the sun longer than anyone else on this planet. Longer than you. And I am afraid you are not going to like me.

Most of the time I’m just a ghost, a shadow riding in the back seat of a bus, a whisper travelling across a Universe only ten miles wide. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the first event I can recall with an almost morbid precision took place on my twenty third birthday. That was the day we buried my father.

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The Writer: Prologue

There’s this neat trick they do in television, especially in hour long TV dramas. It’s called a teaser and its sole purpose is to make you want more. It usually ends with a cliffhanger just so you don’t change the channel when that lengthy commercial break starts.

Sometimes the teaser is a glimpse of a scene close to the end of that episode. This is how I’m going to begin my story – with a short scene close to the end.

I guess the first thing you should know is where this scene is taking place. 

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[short story] koi no yokan

He walks into the waiting room, sees all the other patients eagerly waiting to be called into the doctor’s office. They all nod in that peculiar manner; they are here because of necessity, rather than choice. He sits on the only available chair and takes out his cell phone. It’s so warm inside that he has to struggle not to yawn.

But then he looks up and notices her.

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[short story] basorexia

All he was aware of was her. He was aware of her face, of the dress she wore, the distance between them. In this gap, in all the words that he had yet to say to her, was the promise of a great life. His heart was beating slowly but hard. He had never felt so sure of himself, so bewildered by the ease of what he was about to do.

A friend once asked him, “How does she make you feel?”

“She reminds me of winter,” he said.

“You hate winter. You hate the cold,” this friend replied.

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Instead of Killing Myself, I Wrote a Story

The very surreal feeling of wanting to end your life, especially in the loud chaos of a bustling city — a city with people and lights and billboards and cars chasing one another all day and night, headed for nowhere in particular.

The burning sensation that crawls up and down your skin as you contemplate not having to hold the world on your shoulders anymore.

The chaos, the commotion, all these perfect strangers. Motion, commotion. Emotion.

I wanted to kill myself, but instead, I sat down to write:

I keep a small revolver tucked under my pillow. Every morning, I wake up and grab the little device and turn it on all sides. I inspect it as if its power of destruction could be easily comprehended.

Sometimes I press the barrel to my right temple. My index finger curled around the trigger, I close my eyes and count to ten. Of course, the gun’s never loaded.

Nevertheless, it makes you think.

You see, this is the only power we have. True freedom, as I like to say, comes from the realization that you can kill yourself any time you want.

Sunlight slipping through the heavy curtains, casting red dots on the walls, I can feel my blood boiling inside my body. My heart beats like a fist inside my chest; the metallic coolness of the gun infects my skin.

Loaded or not, it doesn’t matter.

I’m ready to pull the trigger. I want to see God and ask Him a million questions. I press the gun to my chest and take a deep breath. “This is not my life.”

We all die and there’s nothing terrifying or great about it.

“This isn’t a life worth living.”

The gun pressed hard against my chest, right where the heart should be, I pull the trigger. That’s when I can open my eyes. That’s when I can smile. When I can feel alive just because I could’ve and yet I didn’t.

Every morning I wake up and die.

“True freedom, as I like to say, comes from the realization that you can kill yourself any time you want.”

My character’s name was Paul. A painter. An artist. The burden of his own creative genius, the pain of ideas and dreams and hopes turning to rust and stardust.

That’s why I called this story, Dream City. We often forget that nightmares are dreams too.

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