Like a Bad Penny

It was nearly midnight at the writing cabin. Lisa* was recharging in the front office while she surfed the internet.

I was tired from a day of mushroom hunting. It’s fun, but more bending down than I’m used to. I sat in my easy chair and pondered over Lukeman’s The First Five Pages, and King’s On Writing. I nearly fell asleep when Lisa came rushing into my office. She had her B.A.G (Big Assed Gun) and I bolted awake.

“Can’t you hear that? She asked.

“No, but your hearing is better than mine. What’s it sound like?”

“Like someone tap tap tapping on the office door.”

“It’s a little late, anything else?”

“Nothing more.” She put a hand on her hip and said, “There’s some pretty scary stuff in your forest, maybe you ought to listen.”

I painfully pushed myself out of my chair and wandered into the hallway. The lights were on in the front office, so I eased into the paranormal writing room. The furniture was covered with white sheets, but I wasn’t staying. This is the room with the enchanted window. It showed an image of Poe weeping over a painting of his lost Lenore.

I flinched and hissed inward as Lisa pressed into my back. “It could be space Nazis, zombies, or Captain Crunch with your imagination,” she said.

“Let’s just listen,” I whispered. I pressed my ear to the image of Lenore’s painting, and I heard it. Tap Tap Tap. “Maybe it’s a woodpecker,” I turned toward Lisa. “I hate woodpeckers. They can do a number on log cabins.”

She gently wrapped a hand around my mouth and slowly shook her head.

Tap Tap Tap. Louder this time, and right on the sill of the enchanted window.

I looked at Lisa and whispered, “Infrared?” She took a step back and looked all around the window, then the walls nearby.

“Nothing,” she whispered, “definitely zombies.”

“We need to look. Ready?” Lisa nodded and raised her B.A.G up near her ear. I eased the enchanted window open. Even the image of Poe turned and looked outside.

A breeze rustled the willows in the meadow, and I heard a distant whistling sound. It grew closer, like an incoming missile.

Lisa pushed the window open wide, and grabbed me. She jerked me out of the opening and pressed me against the log wall.

A black shadow whooshed into the room and stopped on the head of the stone gargoyle. Lisa lowered her B.A.G. and let me loose. She walked over to the wishbone shaped switch and turned on the lights.

Doubt** the raven! sat on the gargoyle and pecked at its stony horns.

“So, um, did you have a nice vacation?” I asked.

Doubt narrowed his eyes, and stared directly into mine. If looks could kill, and all that. He only said one word, “Nevermore.”

* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot, and once her story ended she didn’t have much to do, so she went to work for me.

** Doubt is a raven. He was a gift from my Muse and is supposed to help me somehow, but I haven’t really figured it out.

Note #1: Lisa and I sealed Doubt in a bucket and shipped him to Florida last week. I wanted to send him to Timbuktu, because that’s what Bugs Bunny would have done. He wound up at S. K. Nicholls’ house and bothered her about her latest manuscript. You can read about it at My Brand of Genius. Thanks Susan, this was fun.

Note #2: Get over it Edgar. I’d rather have a hot robot girl and a writing cabin than a lost love.


Filed under Muse

11 responses to “Like a Bad Penny

  1. “Nevermore.” That silly raven. He seemed to be having lots of fun while he was here. (Except maybe that one time when I used him to dust the furniture.) All that dancing around on his perch. I was going to do a video until he started seriously dissing my words.


  2. Cool! Either a wood pecker or a zombie, lol! –Made me laugh!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great episode, Craig. Lisa and Doubt are awesome characters. And ‘My Brand of Genius’ has a new follower.


  4. I like this! Great pacing, good writing, and leaves me wanting more. Well done!


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