The Affair

Sleep was her drug, her anesthetic. Sometimes dreams slipped in, at times returning her to better days when her heart beat with delight, when he loved her and she loved him and their souls rose from their distant bodies and met secretly above the chaos—their thoughts woven in a constant embrace. She was every word that flowed through his fingers and the nectar that dripped from his pen. She lapped the juices he prepared for her and left the paper dry, and to him she wrote songs of the sweet blood that he nourished within her veins. They fed each other and dined insatiably until their eyes met in a swift climactic and terrifying moment that made them flee in fear of a single touch. Their desire would have consumed the both of them whole.

The relief of her unconsciousness was short and always preceded a painful awakening to a constricted airway and knife handles protruding from her chest. Every bone ached and cried for sleep to reclaim her. But more often than not, sleep evaded her, maliciously exposing her to an unending hell of a tortured mind left to the cruel devices of a long, dark night.

 

The Typewriter

The typewriter was old and heavy—a black metal beast. Its round keys stood tall and firm, annoyed and waiting to be punched. But the typebars were anxious, and the tape didn’t care. The paper glared, empty with promise, daring her to take the risk.

Type something.

She stared back at the paper, then down at the proud keys. The embossed letters on some of the caps were worn but still visible, while others looked like they’d never been touched. She was starting to think that none of them would be touched again, not by her, not tonight.

Type.

A small brief flame lit the cigarette as she sat back in her chair and exhaled the toxic fumes of that euphoric first drag. Cold vodka burned her lips, and the slow sizzle of red hot ash filled her senses as she sucked in another breath of smoke and tar. Her eyes squinted at the paper. Her fingers lightly, nervously, stroked the keys. And then they gave in.

–It was a dark and stormy night.

She sat back and took another drag. Another sip. Looked at the keys, and they looked back unflinchingly. She then pulled out the paper with a zzzuhp, crumpled it, and threw it to the floor, where it reunited with most of the members of its reem.

Another.

Snapped the bar shut. Committed. Imprisoned.

The sound of rushing fingers punching on heavy keys could be heard from the adjacent room. A high pitched ding followed by a shuuhmp repeated again and again, disrupting her. Agitating her. Those fingers were beating her by a mile of strung words.

They were winning.

You just gonna let that other machine beat you, you piece of shit typewriter?

tick     tick     tick     click

yes

She lifted the heavy metal piece of shit typewriter and flung it out of the window. She then settled back into her chair and lit another cigarette. A sinister grin slowly rose as she exhaled that euphoric first drag of smoke and tar.

And the sound of keys punching furiously in the other room was, for one glorious second, blotted out by the crash of a soulless hunk of black metal against the concrete below.