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The Waiting Room

~ Chapter One

Writer’s Block In A Roomful of Blockheads

Example content imageDamn, ” Mort cursed beneath his breath, slamming the laptop closed, spinning his chair to face the wall behind him. His mind was a total blank, just as it had been since his arrival in this god-forsaken room.

He swiveled forward and looked around the place. It was circular in shape, shelves upon shelves of books lined the walls from floor to ceiling. There were chairs of different periods, from colonial to contemporary, from art deco to Victorian. Small round tables also filled the room.

There were four doors and one window. One door led to a single bedroom. The second door was the entrance to the only bathroom. The third led to a kitchen. The fourth door was the door they had all used at one time or another to come into the Waiting Room. But it could not be used to leave the room . Neither did the window open. Well, that was a lie. The door and window could open but only if he allowed it. Mort felt as if he were in purgatory.

Most of the seats were taken by those who had arrived before him; the rest meandered about almost mindlessly.

A wet bar beckoned him to have a drink, and soon he was standing side by side with the man he knew as Duke, competing shot for shot glasses of smooth, warm whiskey.

“You know,” Mort tried to point out, “If you helped write something, the quicker we could put an idea in his head, then the quicker we might get out of here.”

Duke gulped his fourth whiskey before whacking the empty glass to the bar, then jammed the remaining stub of his cigarette back into his mouth. The smoke from it was rancid, burning Mort’s nostrils. God, he thought, he was glad he didn’t smoke.

Duke gave Rainey a knowing glance then announced loudly, “I don’t write fiction, I report the facts! Now, get your damn ass back over to that freaking contraption of yours and start freaking writing!” The journalist slid from his stool, a new drink in one hand, waving the cigarette in the other as he stumbled his way to a far corner table.

“Music! We need some freaking music!” He clumsily turned in circles in search of his accordion, but not immediately finding it, plopped down in the nearest empty chair, the instrument temporarily forgotten.

“You want music?” Axel asked in his polite quiet way. “I can turn on the radio.” He got up from his chair to try to find a station.

“Forgetaboutit!” Came a grumbling New York City voice from the far side of the room. “Whenever we put the f--king radio on , Spencer zones out and we lose the f--king signal. Ain’t that right, Commander?”

The astronaut ignored the question.

Mort returned to his desk and opened the laptop, hoping for some inspiration.

F--k, he thought to himself, he didn’t know how long he could stand being cooped up in this s--t hole of a room with these guys who all seem to have s--t for brains. The only smart one in the room , beside himself was walking over to him on all four legs.

Mort watched as his faithful canine companion, Chico, found his way to his favorite corner chair, and with a quick jump, curled himself up for a nap, oblivious to the screwdriver protruding from the side of his head as if it were nothing but a large, blood-sucking tick.


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