Morning sun woke me up as usual, but what was unusual about this day was that the pursuit began frantically rather than gradually. Usually distractions come gently. Megan, they whisper softly, check your email. Again. Consider baking a cake. Text someone. Edit- you have alot to edit. Clean the bathroom. Call your mother…
No, this morning the pursuit was not a gentle series of distractions. Not a moment after my eyes popped open, It was waiting, peering at me over the edge of the bed spiky-headed and red beady-eyed. I gasped, snagged my bathrobe, and bounded over its head in one fluid movement. I grabbed the top of the door frame, using it to swing myself onto my desk. I faced It, willing away the headrush that blinded me. It leapt at me, with its mouth open, full of sharp, crooked teeth. I stopped It with a vase of silk flowers. Not bashed over Its head, no. These monsters are stopped only directly in their foul mouths. I stuffed the vasefull of flowers into its fanged mouth and bolted out of the front door.
Down the street shoeless and robed I ran until I came to the intersection. Head to Farmer’s Market, I told myself, and lose him there! I skidded through some loose gravel on the corner and hit the passenger side door of a red car with my shoulder. Behind me, I heard it bounding and grunting. I began to run again, following the center yellow line down a row of cars waiting for a green light. “Get in!” called the girl in the car at the very end of the line. She threw open her door, I fell into the car, and she peeled out before I could get the door shut.
“What is this all about?” she said, steering deftly down a series of alleyways. “What are you running from?”
I was out of breath. “Take me to the Farmer’s Market. I can lose him there,” I managed to say. I reached into my pocket, relieved to find my notebook and a dull pencil. “I’m a writer,” I began to explain.
The helpful driver skidded around a corner and turned left to jump over a curb and through a grassy park. “I know,” said the driver. “That’s why I was in traffic. I was waiting for you.”
“You know?” I asked incredulously. “Here here here! Drop me off here!” I flung open the door, leaped out, and rolled down the hill. My heart fell when I heard Its scraping grunts behind me. Almost there.
It pursued me down the street lined with vendors’ carts. It was gaining on me, gaining gaining gaining so I hurdled over the honey cart headfirst onto a low hedge. Thankfully, my landing pad was soft. I recovered and began to run again; It was hot on my heels but slowed by the honey It was covered in. I ran and ran until I came to the patio in front of the coffee shop- I had made it!
I bounced onto the patio furniture and turned again to face it. I hurled coffee mugs and hit It squarely in the mouth seventeen times before it lay down, dizzy with the blows. You’re no writer, it said. Quiet your stories, this fluff, this worthlessness. This is so far from spiritual, so far from God, such a waste of time. Shame shame shame, you small and insignificant thing. Why would God waste such purspose on such a tiny creature. You think so much and your efforts are fruitless fruitless fruitless. Shame shame shame…
“Quiet, you vile Voice!” I shouted. “I have come to where I ought to and I will run no more!” I threw another coffee mug at it for good measure. It shattered on its face, silencing its accusations. “I will write what I ought to write. I will write about what I see. I will write about what God tells me; rest assured, He tells me things, vile Voice. I will write that other small creatures may be inspired to do as they were created. I will write that your lies might be combatted, vile Voice!” People were coming out of the coffee shop, seizing plates and glasses and coffee mugs to throw themselves.
“Tell your story,” they shouted in unison, “and we will read it!” They battled with me- artists and chemists and accountants and cooks and mothers and botanists and children, hurling available ammunition at the vile Voice with all their might. They battled not that only my voice might be heard, in my occupation as a writer, but that theirs might be heard as well. That sculptures might be sculpted; that formulas might be perfected; that numbers might be added; that dishes might make mouths water; that children might be raised; that plants might keep growing; that the world might be seen through fresh eyes; and that words may be written. They silenced the vile Voice with me that day, on the patio of that coffeeshop, with dishes upon dishes. Of course, the vile Voice will meet me again another day, armed with new lies, but this day, the day we rose up with dishes to fight for obedience to calling, the vile Voice was silenced.
And so I pulled out my notebook to write, “Once upon a time…” Another triumphant day.