The Writing Desk

So in continuation of more personal posts, I’m revealing to you a short story/fairy tale I wrote on 13/12/2010. It’s the first piece of creative writing I’ve attempted since Year 12 for my English Extension 2 major work, and the first of a series of more grown-up, unnamed fairy tales I wrote for someone. It was inspired by the below picture that I took in one of my absolute favourite places in the world – I’ll post about it in the future. I wrote it in one sitting so there are some mistakes and things I’d like to edit, but for now I’ll keep it as it is.

The previous posts have been photo-heavy and this one will be text-heavy, but I’ll try to make more balanced posts from now~

Hope you enjoy it and good night :3

The Writing Desk :

story1

Once upon forever, there was a tiny café in the back streets of a large city which was famous for writers of all sorts. There were many academies for script-writers, novelists, and all the like, and many cafés to relax and inspire them. This one café, however, was known only to the few who chanced across it and was drawn in to the cosy, warm and secretive atmosphere. In this tiny café was an old table which stood unused in one corner of the floor. This table was in truth a magical writing desk, and when first created it must have been a gorgeous thing, but over the years the white paint was peeling and legs rickety.

One winter evening a boy happened to get lost and discover the café. He was new to the city, aspiring to be a playwright, and was incurably shy. Because of this, he requested to sit in the corner at the old, white table. He felt safer as he looked at the walls surrounding him, and took out his brand new leather-bound notebook he had bought to record his playwright career. He admired the hand-made ornaments and paintings that decorated the walls, reflected on his journey to the city, and his future dreams, but he knew not what to write, where to begin. Even after his first thick hot chocolate and second berrymint tea, he had not a single idea and despaired, hating the blank lines of the notebook. He finally picked up his feather-quill ink pen to write his name, but as soon as his penned hand touched the wood of the desk, a plethora of characters, storylines, dialogue and cues rushed into his mind like a burst dam. Before he realised it, he was scribbling down words as fast as he could, trying to retain and organise as much of the ideas as possible. It was only when the owner of the café kindly told him it was past midnight, past closing time, that he was able to stop. He realised that he was panting and that his hand felt numb and achy at the same time.

‘How did that happen?’ the boy couldn`t stop thinking about it. After hours of experimenting and thinking, the boy concluded that the café must have a mysterious connection with his creative soul, and that he must go back the next day.

::

Though he set out for the café in the morning, it was nightfall when he stumbled across the door of the café. He sat again in the corner, and excitedly whipped out his notebook and pen. And again, like the previous night, a whirlwind of ideas channeled in to his mind, and then from his mind to his hand to the pen to the page. He thought he would somehow stop when he had finished the book, but to his shock he continued to write furiously on the walls! It was only when the café owner saw him and pleaded with him to stop was he able to.

‘This desk is magic, but needs to be controlled.’ he thought.

That night he read over the leather-bound notebook he had already finished. He had apparently written two plays about newborn dreams and daring journeys to fulfil them, and was captivated and thrilled by his writing. The words seemed to dance off the page and stir straight into his soul. The play he had written that day was about discovering a secret place, so wonderful and dreamy his heart ached to be part of it. He had a consuming desire to share his writing, so he did so the next day, distributing copies to the best known publishers and selling them for cheap in the peaceful parks of the city.

The feedback was incredible. Everyone wanted more, and everyone wanted him. In the foreign city of legendary writers, he had become a star overnight. The three plays were published instantly and casting for the play had begun, but his shyness was still as uncontrollable as ever and he sought refuge at the tiny café. He didn`t want anyone to discover the secret of the old white table, and so went each night wearing disguises.

::

As the weeks passed on, he discovered that the table would feel his daily mood or concerns, and inspire him accordingly. On nights he felt overwhelmed and lost, intricate mystery and thriller plays were composed, and on nights he reminisced of his home town and familiar faces, he would find melodramatic tear-spilling plays written on the lines. His fame as an amazing, uneducated and young playwright spread all over the known world, and as his fanbase grew, so did the number of bitter anti-fans.

‘We have studied for years at the best institutions and have gained no success or renown. Yet here is a child who came to this city like thousands of others and conjures up magical plays…I will not be a supporter.’ they muttered.

::

A year later, he had written almost 400 plays, and was finally won over to do a signing at the city`s biggest bookstore. He was still as shy as he was when he arrived to the city, and could not look at any of his fans in the eye as he signed and shook hands with them. But suddenly, as the next fan said, “I am so happy to finally meet you,” he could not help but look into her eyes. The moment he did, he fell in love with the young girl, who was also an aspiring playwright. They were seen later on darting through the winding back streets of the city and buying strawberries at the markets.

For the whole year since he had been in the city, the secret of his writing, the tiny café`s table, was well-kept and guarded. Not a single soul knew. But he wanted to share this secret with the girl, so he took her with him one starless night.

“I`ve always yearned for someone, a secret darling, to sit here beside me,” he said as they sat side by side at the table.

She smiled and kissed him. “This lonely cubicle, why is it so dear to you?”

When he had told her the story, she was in utter disbelief until she picked up a pen and touched the table. An instant rush of beautiful and heart-swelling plays of romance and betrayal tainted the walls until the boy spoke to her, and she stopped just as instantly. She now believed, and was heart-shattered as well as amazed this was true. The boy had told her because he wanted her help stealing it so that he would not have to come to the café each night to write like a madman. She refused and left, tears streaming, confused, empty.

::

It had been a whole week since the boy had seen his lover, his soulmate. She now knew almost his whole being, just as he knew almost her whole being, and he prayed she would not leave him with the secret he had disclosed to her. He went to her house, but was told she had moved out of the city some days ago, and didn`t take much with her. The shock and heartbreak numbed him to the core. He thought he might die from the aching and longing, but straightened himself enough to go to the tiny café. He would take advantage of these feelings and situation to write his most heart-wrenching and tearful and mysterious play at the white table.

But to his horror, the corner was empty – table missing, only the two chairs left. The owner had said a girl who came and saw the antique writing desk was enchanted by it and had bought it at a steep price. She had given him an address to drop off the table at, and the owner gave it to the boy who begged for his help.

The boy set off for the countryside address right away, and arrived at the cottage at sundown. Peering into the window, he saw her running her hands over the wood before pouring liquid onto it, and lighting a match. He burst inside and in his rage hit the girl`s head with the sturdy walking stick he was carrying. She crumpled to the floor, bleeding profusely, and the lit match was dropped onto the writing desk. It erupted into flames and the boy threw himself over the desk, trying to suffocate the fire, but sparks were lighting other pieces of furniture and the boy knew it was hopeless. As he was stumbling out, half blind from the smoke and agony, he spied a stack of notebooks near the door and grabbed them, leaving the body of the girl behind.

He watched for hours as the cottage burned and then simmered smoke, completely destroyed. He clutched the notebooks, unable to feel or comprehend what had just happened. He thought they would be full of writing, that the girl would have used them like he did at the table, but they were all but blank. In the bright, glorious moonlight the boy wrote his first true words into the notebook. He wrote until the sun came up, and hung himself next to the burned down cottage. The autobiography he had written was found and printed and became the most famous of the boy`s works, but was lost sometime between forever and now.

The End .

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