“Rob are you in there?” shouted Steve, knocking on his flatmate’s bedroom door.
He pressed his ear to the door to listen for sounds of life. Over the past few weeks Rob had lived like a hermit, rarely venturing outside of his room. It was all to do with the book Rob was writing.
Silence. Steve knocked again.
As he was about to turn away from the door he heard the scrape of a chair, a groan, followed by some shuffling footsteps. The door opened and Rob stuck his face through the gap.
“Rob you look awful mate!” exclaimed Steve staring in horror at Rob’s chalk white face, the purple rings circling his blood shot eyes and his knotted mass of black frizzy hair.
“Thanks for the compliment” sniffed Rob.
“Have you finished writing your book yet?” asked Steve.
Rob sighed. “No I am struggling with the ending. I have been wrestling with it for eight hours straight”.
“Its only the ending of a book Rob!” sighed Steve, shaking his head with disapproval.
“Yea I know, it’s important I get it right” said Rob.
“You need to get a life mate!”
Rob rolled his eyes.
“You need a break” said Steve staring at his flat mate.
“I have to finish it but I have lost all my inspiration” groaned Rob hanging onto the door, as though he was about to collapse.
“Look there is a new fair in town and the rumour is that its a special fairground for writers” announced Steve. “Why don’t you come and show me what its like to be a writer?”
Rob chewed on his thumb nail and grimaced. “Really? I can’t see that sort of fair being enjoyable. Being a writer is really hard” he said.
“Oh come on!” exclaimed Steve. “Please don’t tell me being a writer is hard when all you do is drink a vat of coffee, chew the end of your pencil and stick a few words down on paper” he said with a smirk.
Rob sighed loudly.
An hour later Steve and Rob entered through the golden gates of the ‘Writer’s Fairground’.
“Wow” exclaimed Steve looking around. Their eyes were met with an array of twinkling lights, colourful fairground rides and vibrant stalls. Their ears were filled with sounds of fairgoers laughing, shouting and the thunderous rumble from rides.
“Right lets go on the first ride” said an excitable Steve reading his fairground programme. “It’s called ‘New Idea Madness’ and apparently it’s awesome!”
“Oh dear” grumbled Rob looking towards the ride which consisted of a load of spinning chairs.
Five minutes later the two friends staggered off ‘New Idea Madness’.
Steve stared at Rob. “Is that what it’s like for a writer with a new idea?” he asked, taking Rob by surprise with his sudden interest in being a writer.
“Pretty much” said Rob. “When you get a new idea for a book it gives you a literary buzz which hits you so hard your world starts to spin!”
Steve wiped his brow and grimaced. “I feel all churned up now ” he said rubbing his stomach.
Rob smiled whilst Steve went back to his programme.
“The next ride is called ‘First Draft Hell’ and it’s a roller coaster!” announced Steve.
“Are you sure about this?” asked Rob following his friend towards the ride.
Ten minutes later the two friends clambered off the roller coaster ride with wide eyes and white faces.
“That was hell!” exclaimed Steve. “I didn’t think it was going to end. Those highs and lows were really dramatic!”
Rob nodded at his friend.
“Is that what it’s like putting a first draft together?” asked Steve with an uncomfortable look on his face.
“Writing the first draft feels just like that ride. One minute you are euphoric as you believe you are writing pure literary gold and the next minute you are in the depths of writer depression as the draft sounds like a pile of literary wrong” said Rob.
Steve pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed his sweaty brow. “I feel like a shadow of my former self after that first draft experience!” he exclaimed looking to Rob for reassurance.
Rob patted him on the shoulder. “Welcome to my writer world!”
“The next ride is called ‘Feedback Fear’ and according to this it’s really scary” said Steve looking in the direction of the sinister black building which housed the ride.
Eight minutes later the two friends climbed off the ride.
Steve stood trembling outside the ride exit. “That was so scary Rob, riding about in darkness with those strange spooky faces shouting stuff at us!”
Rob grinned. “That ride was just like getting feedback. You don’t know what your reviewers are going to say, so you are pretty much in darkness. Then they start giving feedback on your draft which is really scary.”
Steve shuddered and returned back to his programme. “Right the next ride is called “Editing Rotation” and its over there” he said pointing to a gigantic wheel.
Rob groaned at the sight of the ride. He hated editing at the best of times and didn’t fancy going on a fairground ride dedicated to it.
Ten minutes later Rob helped Steve stagger away from the ride.
“Oh that was awful Rob” whined Steve. “I didn’t think it was going to stop, it kept going round and round!”
Rob smiled before saying “editing can make you feel like you are attached to a giant wheel that won’t stop turning. You keep going over the same stuff again and again. I thought the ride did a good job”.
Steve took a bottle of water from his pocket, unscrewed the top and drank deeply.
“Are you feeling alright?” asked Rob staring at his pale faced flat mate.
“I am ok, I never thought being a writer could be so demanding!” groaned Steve, placing his head into his hands.
Rob smiled to himself. “Come on Steve, the best is yet to come. Lets hit the ‘Publishing Nightmare’ ride. He lifted Steve out of his seat and pointed in the direction of the biggest rollercoaster they had ever seen.
“That looks really big” said Steve. “I feel scared just thinking about it”.
“That’s just how you feel when you send your draft off to publishers” laughed Rob.
Nine minutes later they both emerged from the ride looking shell shocked.
Steve collapsed onto the grass. “That was so frightening. It was such a nerve wracking ride!”
Rob sighed loudly. “It was very accurate with the fear factor. Sending your stuff off to a publisher is pretty scary”.
Steve checked his programme. “We haven’t been on the ‘Procrastination Wonder’ ride he said looking at Rob.
“I can think of other things to do than go on that ride” said Rob grimacing at the death defying ride.
Steve stood up and placed a hand on Rob’s shoulder. “I am sorry about what I said earlier. Tonight has shown me that being a writer is not easy and I shouldn’t take the make fun of you!” he said.
Rob grinned and playfully punched Steve on the shoulder. “I forgive you. Listen lets grab some food and a coffee in ‘Writer’s Corner’ and I will run the ending of my book past you”.
Steve’s face lit up. “You have thought of an ending to your book?”
“Yep!” exclaimed Rob. “The Writer’s Fairground has given me some much needed inspiration”.
These blog battles or short story contests are run by the amazing Rachael Ritchey.
If you think you are tough enough please join us.
This week’s word is ride
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/96526303@N00/3208161696″>Carosel</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>