Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Microstory 98: The Typist

Diego Villa was considered to be one of the most prolific writers in history. He basically did nothing with his time but write; starting out using a typewriter, and moving on to computers as they became available. For the last couple of years, the physical act of typing had become more difficult. A few months ago, he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which made his carpal tunnel syndrome practically permanent. It was heartbreaking for him to learn that he could no longer continue with the one constant in his life. He had plenty of money, so he didn’t need to work, but he felt useless throughout the day. His computer remained off most of the time, and he would spend hours trying to sleep off the depression. One day, he woke up from naptime with an amazing idea, and for a few seconds, he completely forgot his obstacle. But it quickly returned to his memory. The story would forever be stuck in his brain. Still, Diego couldn’t help but try.
He switched his machine on and just stared at the screen, with nothing better to do. After several minutes of this, a single letter appeared on the screen. What? He kept concentrating, and more letters followed. The more he tried, the faster the words appeared. The keyboard wasn’t moving, so he hadn’t somehow spontaneously developed telekinesis. No, this was all in his head. His brain had figured out how to trick his eyes into seeing something that wasn’t even there. Despite being certain that none of this was real, he sat there for hours, the sentences and a paragraphs streaming out at the speed of thought. Eventually, he stopped thinking of the individual words, and simply came up with the general plot developments. Entire pages blinked into existence instantly. His nose began to bleed and his head burned with pain, but he ignored it. He had to keep pretending. His final push. It was near midnight when he reached the final words of the greatest story he had ever told. Just before the last period could appear on screen, Diego fell over and died. His caretaker arrived the next day and discovered his body. She contacted the family, and within months, they had published Diego Villa’s final novel. It sold more copies than his other books combined.

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