Saturday, December 4, 2010

Soul Sucking

Kim pushed her short fringe back and adjusted her head set.  She stared again at the stark text on the screen. “I got nothing Laurie. What on earth was that writer on about with that sentence?”
“ And with that dialogue we might as well reset it as a space opera instead of down town New York crime novel.”
“ok so we’ve got ‘Marion turned facing the wind, long tresses whipping her face.  She stared blankly and cursed her foolishness……”
They groaned in unison. Kim’s fingers flashed over the keyboard. “Hows that line now I’ve adjusted it? I don’t like the word foolishness. Who the hell uses that any longer?”
“I feel like I am on the set of Lord of the Rings.”
They giggled across continents.
“I hate cursing.”
Kim deleted the offending words and allowed Laurie to continue to read out the text, stopping every so often to interject with punctuation or alterations on words or phrases. She clicked on a document to the side of her screen and read the title again, her fingers poised to add the next few words.
“Now she does a high kick and decapitated the guy? What the?  Firstly, thats going into my WTF file.  Since when did Marion have super spy, karate moves?”
Shunted back to the task at hand, Kim reluctantly minimised the page. Editing this novel had sounded pretty glamorous a month ago. Late night skype sessions with her co-editor based in the US, fuelled with coffee or bottles of cheap wine was beginning to wear thin on the glamour title. Six weeks ago, she’d been able to get an article or story down in good shape in one sitting. Her characters and ideas had flowed to the point of interrupting her in the shower or at social engagements where she’d suddenly scramble of a napkin to capture a thought or series of dialogue. The lure of the page to write had always been strong with her. But now...... 
“Kim what do you think about that sentence?”
Kim shook her head and focused. “It isn’t particularly strong. But getting past the structure  Marion’s motivation is piss poor, paper thin.”
Laurie agreed and the curser on the screen moved, new words appearing on the live editing tool they utilised to co-edit the manuscript.
Kim couldn’t remember why she had agreed to be an editor on the project. Not only had she never undertaken something as vast as this, but she felt her skills weren’t up to the responsibly of taking someoneles work and commenting or changing it. Bubbling to the surface were always her fears on what the writer would think of her personally or professionally when the edits were sent back.
“Now this part here, why would she want to do that?  Its incongruent.”
Kim had to agree. She could feel every scrap of creativity being sucked away with each line of trashy text she edited.
“Hey Laurie, I’ll need to call it a night. I’ve got appointments tomorrow morning early that I need to be sparky for.”
Instead of shutting her computer down, Kim closed her emails and internet connection. She replaced her headset with earphones and cranked up the volume on her ipod.

The breath caught in her throat as her fingers hesitated over the keyboard. There were no ideas, no voices in her head begging for their story to be told. Was she too late? A tiny picture formed in her minds eye and without hesitation, Kims fingers darted over the keyboard. 
She grinned.. She was back.

Story inspired by the [Fiction Friday] prompt at Write Anything ( Prompt - Use your response to  this song (We want your Soul) as inspiration for this weeks flash.)

and submitted to JM Strother’s #FridayFlash  via Twitter

This story will be recorded and posted up for Spoken Sunday via Audio Boo


John Wiswell said...

"They giggled across continents" is a delightful line, succinct for such an amazing luxury and technological marvel. The typos threw me off, though they are honest to the way people 'speak' into Instant Messages. Second-to-last paragraph, though, is the noun "breathe" in Australia?

Regardless, thanks for sharing! I didn't feel any soul sucking. I was a little enchanted.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Would I be right in thinking this is a little personal?!

Excellent work though.

Lara Dunning said...

I liked the complications this story invoked and use of modern technology to help move the story forward. Not sure if you meant to have someone else as one word or not? Had a very realistic quality to it.