WRITERS BLOCK TIMES TWO~A Short Story
In Amy’s office the air felt stagnant. She was feeling very sluggish herself. It was a small office with an ample window to the back of her chair that let oodles of light in, but no fresh air. When Amy first moved into the office it had looked extremely dull, until she filled it with what she called her happy items. She couldn’t live without a picture of her cat Aldo, nor her Konk shell she brought back from Hawaii. Amy had a bookshelf filled with books that took up all of one wall. She used the books not only as references but also for inspiration. On another wall Amy had posters of animals and fish to inspire her writing which was appropriate for her job; being she was a writer for Rhode Island’s Fish and Wildlife monthly magazine, as well as any other writing project that ended up in her in box.
Maybe because the air was so stuffy or maybe because she couldn’t sleep last night; in any case Amy just couldn’t seem to come up with the words to write the article on the sightings of mountain lions in the Rhode Island area. Yes it was writer’s block Amy had. She seemed to have it bad and a lot more often lately. Her concentration seemed to be off recently and it did dawn on Amy it could be because she hadn’t taken a vacation in over a year to refresh her mind. A vacation what a marvel idea! Amy found herself day dreaming on what type of vacation she would take? When Amy looked up at the clock that hung over her office door she noticed it was already lunch time and she had not done one bit of work on the mountain lion article. Amy thought to herself “That’s it!” “I need a break!” “I am going to schedule a vacation right after lunch.”
Amy was good for her word. Now it was a week later and she was all packed for her mountain retreat in New Hampshire.
She had her little hatchback HONDA filled to the brim with groceries, clothing, her lap top, and extra blankets. She had a five hour trip ahead of her so she stopped at her hometowns coffee shop to get two cups of coffee and two Boston cream donuts for the trip, and than she was on her way listening to her latest SEAL CD along the way.
Before Amy knew it she was rounding the bend to her intended location. There it was a big old white farm house with a white picket fence in the middle of what seemed like no where. In plain sight yards behind the house were a dozen or so white cottages lined up with little fancy baby blue shutters. Amy walked in through the door that was clearly marked “OFFICE” and noticed a white haired elderly man sitting behind a desk that certainly was old enough to belong to another century. The man introduced himself by the name Jed Bingham and he and his wife Nellie owned and operated the cottages. Mr. Bingham had on a plaid short sleeved shirt covered mostly by bibbed farmer jeans. He was a friendly calm sort of man and smiled as he talked. He had Amy sign in and than proceeded to fill her in on the cottage she was to be staying in. Cottage number nine and Mr. Bingham called lucky nine. Mr. Bingham also gave Amy a brief speech on the surrounding area and told her behind the cottages were an overabundance of blue berry bushes that she was welcome to help herself to.
Yup inside lucky number nine it was adorable. There was a living space with a sleeper couch, a braided rug, and an old fashioned rocking chair as you first walked in. The room was divided by a quaint little dinning table before you walked into the most divine quaint kitchen area that was accessorized with an old kitchen sink, gas stove, and a little pot bellied wood stove. There were the cutest gingham red checkered curtains on all the windows. After taking all that room in visually Amy noticed the door to a small bath room and a door leading to a bedroom. The bedroom was not too big but it was sufficient with a beautiful quilt on the bed; which was a charming brass bed. There was a tiny closet and a bureau with drawers, and this room had another braided with blue tones rug. Amy instinctively opened up the one window in the bedroom to let some fresh air in. She could not help but marvel how the light blue pastel sheer curtains danced with the breeze that came blowing in. Amy set to work unpacking her car and organizing all her belongings in her lucky nine cottage.
It was five o’clock and the sun was now low so shade permeated around the cottages. Amy thought this would be a good time to pick some blueberries. She saw the cutest little painted bucket sitting on one of the end tables that had the word painted on it “BLUEBERRIES” . Amy assumed that was the special bucket she was to use to collect the succulent fruit in. At one end of the cottages she saw the path that lead to the blue berry area. There were so many blueberries Amy didn’t know where to start, but eventually she did and before long her bucket was full. She couldn’t wait to try the round blue fruit. Amy took out a little striped ceramic bowl, put some blueberries in it, poured some milk in to it, and sprinkled some sugar on top, and took her first spoonful. They were delicious!
It was nearing seven o’clock now and Mr. Bingham Amy could see was out in his back yard starting the fire he said he burned every night, so the cottage neighbors could gather around, chat and get to know each other in the fire light. Already there was a couple that had set up their lawn chairs in front of the fire and were conversing with Mr. and Mrs. Bingham. Mrs. Bingham almost looked just like Mr. Bingham only her hair was a curly white and she wore a cotton dress with little white sneakers. Amy decided to grab her lawn chair and join the crowd. Before long there were at least ten people sitting in lawn chairs around the fire talking away. Amy met many friendly people. Everyone seemed nice. There was even one man who was renting out a cottage for the whole summer so he could work on his new book he was writing. This was Benjamin Broth and he seemed like a delightful man who appeared to be close in age to Amy.
Benjamin Broth, “Ben” as he wanted to be called had the same color sandy blonde hair as Amy. In contrast to Ben Amy’s hair was long and flowing where as Ben’s was cut short. As Amy stood about five foot eight she estimated in her head that Ben was at least six foot three. Ben had on tan cargo shorts with a black tee shirt and deck shoes. Amy couldn’t help but notice Ben looking her physique up and down when they first met. Amy did think she looked pretty good with her pink tank top and short jean shorts on. As Amy continued to talk with Ben she found out that he too was suffering from writers block and they both found that quite a coincidence. It was around ten o’clock when the fire started to die out and people started to return to their own cabins. This had been a very delightful night to say the least Amy thought as she returned to her own cottage “lucky number nine”.
Breakfast for Amy was a bowl of cereal with blueberries strewn on the top. This day Amy was going to see a fish hatchery that was just down the road. She had never seen a fish hatchery before so this would be a new experience for Amy. There were long rectangular cement pools of fish every where of different sizes. There was a vending machine that you could for a quarter get a handful of pellets to feed the fish. It was amazing to see the fish school for the food thrown in. Enjoying the fish Amy took a couple of hours before she decided to leave and make herself some lunch. As she went to enter her lucky nine cottage she noticed one red rose stuck in the door handle with a note attached.
The note said;
“A ROSE FOR A ROSE. YOU MY LOVELY LADY, I FIND THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE GARDEN. WILL YOU CONSIDER DINNING WITH ME TONIGHT? IF YOU WISH IT TO BE SO, PLEASE MEET ME AT MY COTTAGE AT SIX O’CLOCK. I PROMISE YOU WILL HAVE YOUR TASTE BUDS TANTALIZED!
YOUR NEW FRIEND, BEN
P.S. I AM IN CABIN LUCKY NUMBER SIX.”
A big smile appeared on Amy’s face as she reread the note and unconsciously smelled the rose. She hadn’t for a long time felt such excitement move through her! Blushing she went into her cottage.
Six o’clock on the dot and Amy was at Ben’s cottage. Ben met her at the door. Inside his cottage he had candles burning every where it seemed. He poured Amy a nice glass of wine and served shrimp cocktail before dinner. Barry White was playing in the back ground gently as they dined on grilled salmon, salad, rice, and garlic bread. After dinner Ben and Amy had a more intimate conversation than they did the night before. As eight o’clock rolled around they decided to join in the night’s camp fire for some camaraderie with the other cottage folk. Time went by fast, before they knew it the fire was dying down and it was after ten o’clock. Ben walked Amy to her cottage and they discussed plans to have together for the next day. When the plans were settled Ben bent down to Amy’s lips and gave her a exceptional sweet kiss.
As Amy shut her lucky nine cottage door, she felt beat red and elated at the same time! Everything seemed to be happening so fast! Amy could not deny the extreme emotions she was feeling! There were different sensations of passion that could not be ignored! That is not over looked until, Amy heard a commotion at the back door of her cottage! She lit the outside light and looked out all around but she could see nothing. Amy thought to herself; “it must have been some sort of animal?” Soon Amy was comfortably sound asleep in her beautiful brass bed.
Nine thirty in the morning and the happy new couple was off for the day of sight seeing and fun! Amy and Ben’s first stop was the upper falls where they saw the most picturesque sights. Soon they found themselves at the lower falls where with only bathing suits on they refreshed themselves in the cool water, and basked themselves on the rocks from the bright sun. Next was lunch out at a near by off the road dinner. Afterward they found themselves at the “Carter’s Bear Show” where they viewed the tricks of many local captured bears that had been expertly trained. It was an exciting and funny show to say the least.
Returning home to the cottages was a pleasant ride, both Amy and Ben had a full amusing day and they were ready to go relax in their separate cabins before dinner time. Although relax Amy couldn’t because she was so thrilled with the enchanting day she had with Ben! Amy’s mind was reeling with enthusiasm! Now all of a sudden she felt the urge to write! And write she did! The Rhode Island Mountain Lion article was done before she knew it, and she thought it was one of her better stories she ever wrote! That evening she ate dinner alone, but met with Ben and the other cottage people at the usual campfire spot for another leisurely interesting evening. While talking to Ben that night she gave him the news that her writers block had been broken, and told him of the article she wrote. Ben was flabbergasted because he too announced he had wrote some chapters towards his new book, feeling like his writers block was gone too! Neither admitted to each other through spoken words, but both knew that meeting each other had spurred feelings deep within themselves that easily unlocked their writers block.
Once again Ben walked Amy to her door and gave her this time a very passionate kiss. This kiss had taken Amy’s breath away and she felt like she was whirling as she shut the door for the night. However the feeling didn’t last that long because Amy thought she heard someone trying to get into her back door of the cottage! Amy’s heart seemed to stop as she was silent trying to determine who it was? Finally it stopped and Amy took courage and again checked outback for what could had been the cause, but found no one and nothing.
The next few days of her vacation Amy spent mostly with Ben. The couple was becoming rapidly zealous in their feelings for each other. Both felt they were lucky and blessed to had met, and made plans to continue their relationship even after their stays at their lucky cottages. Even in her gusto for Ben and their time together; Amy did mention her fear of what ever was happening at her cottage’s back door. Ben did become concerned and insisted that evening when they came back from the campfire to go into Amy’s cottage and check things out.
That night the air seemed still. The stars did show brightly as well as the moon. Amy reached for the door handle of her cottage as Ben stood quietly by. Both had an aware keenness and maybe intuitiveness that something was awry before they heard that first bang inside Amy’s cottage! The door was open now and they had stepped into the lit living area in which Amy had left on a light that revealed something very disturbing! Something almost unbelievable! Neither Amy nor Ben could believe their eyes as they stood there stunned! Shock had seemed to freeze them in time! However this was no time to be crazed with fear! Both Amy and Ben realized they had to do practical maneuvers to get themselves out of this predicament!
Motionless both lovers stood. One wrong move could make it disastrous.
It was Ben who slowly and gently grabbed on to Amy’s shoulders with both his hands. Calmly he smoothly started moving Amy backwards towards the door way. Coolly and methodically Ben backed both of them out the door as peacefully as possible, than he slammed the door shut! Both the lovers just stood there now catching their breath. What an ordeal and now they realized it still might not be over! One they could still be in danger because of the back door which meant they needed to get to safety! And two they needed to tell someone that would know how to handle the situation! Both Amy and Ben started walking briskly towards where Mr. Bingham who was standing tending the now smoldering fire. Simultaneously both Amy and Ben reached Mr. Bingham and found themselves saying one word as they practically hyperventilated and shouted it out! It was the word “BEAR!”
Both pointed to Amy’s cottage and were able to get out the next three words “INSIDE THE COTTAGE!”
Mr. Bingham being an old pro with the wildlife eased the couple down. Gradually as Amy and Ben relaxed a bit they both watched Mr. Bingham go grab an old broom he had leaning against the house and walk towards Amy’s cottage. With the cottage door open Amy and Ben could hear the forceful yelling of Mr. Bingham and saw the culprit bear take off in the back woods!
Well Amy and Ben were rightly so; a little shook up still when Mr. Bingham walked back to them with a wee bit of a smirk on his face. Apparently the bear had broken in the back door of the cottage and was helping himself to Amy’s food supply. Needless to say Amy slept that night on Ben’s couch for fear the bear would return.
The next day was Amy’s last day of vacation. She took a good chunk of that day packing up her belongings. Amy took what she needed for the rest of her time to stay at Ben’s cottage still in fear the bear would return.
That evening was the last campfire Amy had to spend before she drove back to her Rhode Island home. That night’s time in front of the fire seemed to go too rapidly. Amy and Ben both felt a tiny bit of melancholy. Neither Amy nor Ben wanted to say goodbye. It was the smoldering of the camp fire that seemed to bring a tear to Amy’s eye. It was Ben that recalled in his head the words “Day is done” “All is done” “All is Nye”.
My dear readers all is not done. You will be happy to know that this certainly was not the last time Amy and Ben sat in front of Mr. and Mrs. Bingham’s cottage campfires. As it turned out for the rest of the summer Amy drove for long weekends to visit Ben in New Hampshire until he relocated back to his Connecticut home. For the next half of year Amy and Ben took turns visiting each other. The following summer they had the most beautiful marriage ceremony in front of Mr. and Mrs. Bingham’s camp fire and spent a summer honeymoon in the “lucky six cottage”.
Also readers if you are interested to know Amy and Ben Broth now reside in Rhode Island together with their only child Collin.
Amy is still working for the Rhode Island Fish and Wildlife division. Ben is a renowned author of endless books. It is still true that occasionally both Amy and Ben suffer from writers block, but they now know just what to do about it. They just take a little adventure together usually to the same New Hampshire cottages and “Walla!” Their writers block disappears!
Lisa J. Warner