(originally posted September 24, 2009)
It’s happening again. At first I tried to ignore it; I wasn’t ready. But they will not be silenced.
There are voices in my head. Again. At first it’s just one, Marcy. She whispers enticingly, trying to get my attention. She keeps trying to tell me about herself – where she came from, where she’s going, what her hopes and dreams are. I put my hands over my ears, utterly ineffective when the voice is on the inside.
I guess she got frustrated at being ignored because she brought reinforcements. People come out of the woodwork trying to get me to pay attention. Next thing I know, her father is speaking up on her behalf. I didn’t even know she had a father! They trot out the three kids, maybe hoping for some “mom to mom” sympathy.
“Hey,” I shout, “I’m trying to take some time off.” I sit down with my copy of Elmore Leonard’s The Hot Kid and, defiantly, read the next chapter aloud. Does no good whatsoever. I throw the book across the room. Sorry Elmore.
“What do you want?” I demand. “What’s your deal?”
Suddenly Marcy and her gang of phantoms are silent.
“Well?” I ask again. “Tell me what you want.”
“I can’t,” she responds. “I have to show you. You have to come with us.”
I try to tell her that I need a break, that I want to read for pleasure for a change. She says I can bring my book along – she seems to approve of the choice – but tells me I won’t have a lot of freedom to read. It’s time, she tells me.
So I grab the book and head back to my office, resigned to my fate. It’s time to start another novel.