Shadows or Stop Drinking So Much Vodka?

by Teodor

Shadows of my mind

It was a bleak and gloomy day. No light invaded the young man's office. He was starring blank and calm into his cold black coffee. The whole day everything had gone wrong. He had had a fight with his editor, had had a fight with his wife. He'd really had a bad day. Everything just sucked. He decided to go home. It was really late and he felt really tired.

Outside it was raining heavily, it was cold and windy. "Perfect" he thought. "Just perfect." He took cover for his car. "Finally, my last refuge." But as if that day wasn't enough the engine refused to start. "Dammit" he said. "You know my day would not have been complete without this". He felt like crying, he felt like kicking someone. "Darn anyway, I'll walk home. It's not far. And nobody died from a little rain. I'll light a cigarette, he thought. He took a cigarette out of his waistcoat pocket and took his lighter too. That cigarette looked so tempting now. A nice, good cigarette on the way home. But the wonderful cigar wouldn't get lit. "Oh come on, it's wet. Should have taken my raincoat. Well".

He finally reached the sanctuary of his home. "Hmm, nice and warm and cosy. I'll take a bath and maybe I'll even write some. Definitely the bath and the whiskey glass were welcome. He sat down at his typewriter eager to start writing. He stretched his hands and long fingers, ready to type on the old machine.

But minutes and hours came and went by and still, he had no ideas. "I can't believe this. What have I done wrong to deserve this? Ok, that's it for today. It's clearly this day is cursed or something. I'm gonna go to sleep." As he went to his bed, suddenly he heard a powerful knock on his door. "What? Who could be at this hour" he wondered. Another knock on his door.

"Okay, okay, I'm coming, the man said in a loud strong voice." He opened his door and saw a young man very elegantly and stylishly dressed, though his face, that cadaverous look shocked the man. "Who are you?" the writer asked. "I am coming from your publisher, Mr Marshall, with a very important business. May I come in?" the man asked. "Oh, from Mr. Marshall (what does that old geezer want now) ok, come in sure. Are you ill? You don't look too good." The man shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. I don't feel good either". "So, what's the problem?' the writer inquired. "Well, it's no problem. I just have something to show you. Where is your living room?" the young man asked. "My living room? Why?" the writer asked startled. "Don't worry, I just need your living room" the young man replied. "Oh, well, it's down the hall to the right" the writer muttered.

The man took off his coat and headed to the living room. A minute later he came out an asked for the writer. His face was changed, no more that pale look. He was different. "Come in, I have to show you something". The writer looked at the young man, stood there for a second and followed him. As he entered the living room, he was dazzled. About 50 men and women, all categories, all shapes and sizes, rich, poor, princes, beggars, drunkards, intellectuals, wenches, high classed ladies were just standing there talking to each other. "Whaat"whoo..what is this ? Who are these people?" The man asked. "What are you all doing in my living room? Did you bring all these people here?" he asked furious. "Just calm down, sir. These are all people you know" the young man replied. "Are you out of your mind? I've never seen these people in my life. And I don't know you and I shouldn't have let you in." the writer angrily pointed his finger to the young man. "But, sir, Mr. Marshall knows these people". "Oh, does he? How come I don't and he does, and they are all IN MY BLOODY LIVING ROOM!

Out of the crowd, a man came next to the young student. He wore some rags and he reeked alcohol. He looked at the writer, and then he turned to the student. "I told you this wouldn't work Red! It won't! He is too caught up in his miserable life, he has forgotten us."

The writer looked at him and yelled "Who the hell are you, you bloody drunkard? I've never seen you in my life!" The drunkard looked at him calmly and replied "Drunkard? Yes indeed, but you made me the man I am and"" The young man everybody was calling Red interrupted him and asked the writer "Sir, are you sure, you don't know us? My name is Red, I was a student, a bright one I might add, had a great future ahead of me, had a family and I had a girl. You destroyed all of that and decided to murder me brutally." The writer remained speechless. He could feel his blood boiling in his veins. He wanted to cry and he wanted to scream. What was happening? Was he drunk, was he dreaming? Who are these people? "Look Red, or whatever your name is, I think you are looking for somebody else." Suddenly, a woman with terrible clothes and terrible look approached him. "Remember me, Mr. Reading? I'm Lizzy, just like Red here, a great future ahead, a good life, from a successful student you decided to turn me into a miserable, horrible prostitute. At the end, beaten, raped, and murdered. I have to thank you for my wonderful story" The writer felt like thunderstruck. Then he understood "It...It can't be...I know you, I know all of you"I don't think it's possible" it can't be". "Yes, it is." A child said, taking Mr. Reding's hand. "We are all characters from your books. You recognize us all, don't you? Everyone's life was ruined Mr. R. You ruined it!"" "But...but, you don't even exist. You are al just figments of my imagination" said Reading. "Yes, we are, but we are also part of your life"and you are making our lives miserable, because you are miserable, and you are miserable because you are making our lives miserable. All the misery and dejection in your books became a part of your life. All these people here suffered a lot. Because you suffer. We all came here tonight because we are a part of you and we don't want to see you wasting your life away. I am the only character that has not been yet affected. I am your latest character. I am the child within you"make something beautiful with my life and make something beautiful with your life too. You still have the chance."

Tears poured down the writer's face. He kneed and hugged the child. "I am so sorry, he said. I didn't realize I'd made everyone suffer. But it's true"I did. Now I see it. I only saw suffering and misery in this world, and I thought this will impress my readers. But it cost me my happiness. I remember you Red. A bright student, just like me in my younger days. You could have been such a great man. And you Lizzy, and you Jack, you were all such great characters at the beginning. I wanted to put in my books the suffering I felt. I couldn't see. But now I understand. There is too much pain in this world. I should not stain my books with it. It's enough pain and misery out there. Books should touch your heart and inspire you and not bring sadness in your soul. But now I understand that and I promise now I shall start writing about all the beautiful things in our lives. """"and..and"(looking like he's ready to hurl) And I SHOULD STOP DRINKING SO MUCH VODKA AT NIGHT !

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