A New Frenemy



I got an early start at the writing cabin. I pushed the gyro copter onto the elevator and went in through the basement, like I always do.

Lisa was already in the lobby with her pet rabbit. Today she had a trunk and a small suitcase.

“What’s going on, Lisa?”

“If you’re not writing my sequel, I might as well stay out here. I like my little house in town, but I’m already spending all my time here anyway. Besides, you don’t live here.”

I wrapped a hand around my beard and stalled. “I, um. I guess that would be okay.”

“It’s an imaginary cabin where you play with your imaginary friends. I need you to imagine a nice bedroom with a bath upstairs. And a closet, a walk in closet. And wifi, and lots of plug ins so I can keep my batteries charged. And I want one of those fancy computers like you wrote for Dr. Pennington.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard, I guess. I came here to work on my manuscript though.”

“And I don’t want to interfere with that. You usually burn out by noon anyway. I’ll fix you some lunch and you can scribble me off a few paragraphs.”

“Deal. Now let me get started.” I went into my office and fired up my iPad. I shut the door when I heard, “Oh Bunny, it’s going to be so beautiful, blah, blah, blah…

Words flowed this morning. I managed nearly two thousand of them. I stopped for some research and scribbled some notes on a little pad I keep by my desk. I’d work the details in later.

UPS showed up with a bronze tree in a beautiful oak base. “Where do you want it, Pal?”

Lisa said, “Lorelei just texted. It goes in your office.”

I held the door for him and he placed it in the corner by the window.

I grabbed a fresh coffee and sat back down. Lorelei came strutting through my door. She had on a red cloak with a white fur trim, the huge hood was pulled over her head. Her brown leather boots covered her jeans up to her knees. That’s just Lorelei, she’s always very stylish. It was what she brought with her that was disturbing.

A huge raven perched on her shoulder. It was anthracite black and at least twenty percent bigger than any raven I’d ever seen. He had long pointed feathers under his bill, like a short beard. “There you go, baby,” she pointed at the bronze tree.

The raven flew across my office and landed on the tree. He pecked at my log wall like he was a building inspector.

“Hi, um, Lorelei. What’s going on here?”

“I brought him back from Mt. Olympus. You need him.” She took a bottle of Smart Water from her purse and folded one of the bronze leaves into a dish. She filled it up, and poured some seeds and nuts into another one.

“Yeah, Merry Christmas and all, but I don’t think I need a pet. Besides, Bunny is moving in with Lisa.”

“Bunny won’t improve your writing. The bird’s name is Doubt.”

“What am I supposed to do with him? I don’t need one of Odin’s cast offs.”

“Wrong pantheon, nice try. For now, look at him. Acknowledge that he exists. When you understand that lesson, he’ll teach you another.”

Doubt flew over to my desk and stole my pen. He banged it against one of his bronze branches.

“I can’t write if I can’t jot down notes. And just listen to that racket.”

“Maybe you’re finished then. Or it could just be an excuse.”

“I don’t get it?”

“People invent excuses when they doubt themselves.”

I held up a finger and said, “Ah, I get it. You think I’ve been doubting myself. Or maybe you think I need to doubt myself more. Damn it, now I’m doubting myself.” I walked to the window and opened it, “You ever heard the expression, ‘Doubt flew right out the window’?”

Doubt glared at me. Kaw Kaw.

Lorelei said, “Looks like he wants to stay.”

I opened my drawer and took out another pen. I held it towards Lorelei and said, “Ha!”

“You’ve just taken a baby step to overcoming Doubt. He has many more lessons to teach. You’ll improve your characters, your choice of words, many things. You said you tend to see every wart on everything you’ve ever created. When you overcome Doubt, you’ll start ignoring those parts and seeing the good parts for what they really are.”

She stood up and placed another log in my fireplace. “I’m always around, and I’ll show up when you need me. Right now, there’s a sale on Jimmy Choos, gotta go.”

Lisa was listening at the door. “Can I come too? I love shoes.” She turned toward me, “Can you watch Bunny for awhile? And keep him away from that bird, he doesn’t like him. Don’t forget to write me some garage space too, I don’t like it when my motorcycle gets covered with snow.”

Lorelei said, “Sure, we can take my Beemer. I’ll have her back in time for you to get home. Ta.” She flicked her wrist and they left.

I was tempted to overcome Doubt with a piece of firewood, and write Lisa a cave to live in. But hey, nearly 2000 words today.

Kaw, Kaw!

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