The steady drip of candle wax pools onto the wooden desk, each hot tear eroding the fine gloss of the oaken surface. The flickering tip of the candle illuminates the man's face, his fine features creased into lines of concentration as he focuses on his task.
entrenched in your wondrous beauty/
He is creating something beautiful.
No, really - he is.
The lines are crossed through yet again, and in an uncharacteristic show of impatience, the yellowed paper is swiftly crumpled into a ball and thrown dramatically to the floor. (*No good! They're not the right words!*)
Glasses are removed by trembling hands, a handkerchief extracted from a breast pocket and he polishes it furiously against the thin glass. Maybe if he rubs them hard enough then some mythical Jinn of the Arabian Nights will arise and grant his heart's desire. Oh how dearly he wishes that would happen. One wish is all that he would need. One wish and the world would make just *that* much more sense, would have more meaning to his sheltered existence. One wish to relieve the endless craving he has to devour the universe deep within his mind and then carefully expel it in tiny little chunks. Piece by piece he could take every thought and feeling he ever had and pin them down for an eternity
He. Wants. To. Write.
He wants it so badly, it burns. Not just to 'write' - to print words on a page - this is what any literate man could do, but to take a word - a syllable even - and shape it. Create words that fall into sentences, that fall into sonnets or paragraphs. Words that *mean* something. Words that touch people, make them gasp out loud in wonder, or bask in unadulterated grief. Something to provoke a reaction. But most of all, he wants to write about love.
It is the ultimate challenge, to capture such a powerful emotion, as if one were ensnaring a rare and exotic butterfly. Always elusive to him, he flails with his metaphorical net, struggling as each word dodges him easily, almost mocking him for daring to touch such an exquisite creature.
So many thoughts and feelings flutter around him, so many that he feels deep within himself, but when he tries to pluck one from it's perch he can never quite reach. He always stretches for the highest goal, the most pure of thought, but time and time again he is thwarted. So instead, he takes what he can get. The common words, the meaningless platitudes that spring so easily from his lips. He neatly writes them out with his poet's quill, ready to alter them later on, hoping that inspiration will soon lead to his very own literary revolution.
A dictionary is of no use to him. It has no life. The descriptions must be fresh, unused in such a way that only he can see them and put them to proper use. Using other books like this feels like cheating. If he really wants to write then he must be original. For he is writing from the depths of *his* soul - no-one else's.
He has been sitting, waiting for divine intervention for many years now to no avail. Every night, wherever he may be - a social gathering, but most likely at home, he takes time to forget his surroundings and simply write. His muse is long departed by now, but still he tries. He knows that he must have it in him, somewhere.
He has to have this talent lurking in the recesses of his spirit, waiting to emerge. He *has* to, don't you see? Because if - and God forbid - he didn't, then it would all be a waste. A pointless aspiration that could never be fulfilled. Most men are addicted to alcohol, cards, or women (and some all three), but with him, his vice is words. He has to have them, even if they are not his own. He had to posses them somehow, and so he reads, and he tries to learn the habits of these extraordinary creatures. There must be some sequence somewhere, a pattern he had not yet noticed. A way to becoming a True Writer... maybe even a Poet. He'll read and try to learn, but he will not copy. His one rule that he has not knowingly broken, but would be so temptingly easy to do so.
And so he waits.
Waits for the eventual blossoming of his talent.
Waits for nearly nine years now.
Waits because he knows that soon he will get what he truly deserves - something or someone who will unleash his true passion. It is close now, he can feel it. Now all he has to do is to survive until *it* comes. He can write meaningless words, secure in the knowledge of his eventual rise towards apotheosis. He had faith. He smiles in relief. Yes. That is what he has. Faith.
The sound of worn boots hitting stone alerts him to her presence, and his sable covered head quickly flicks up to meet her loving gaze.
"William? Are you alright, my child? Supper's nearly ready."
He nods, awkwardly clustering together the numerous pages filed with his delicate script, and shoves them into the desk drawer.
"Yes mother. I'll be up in a moment."
She smiles, not unkindly, and points towards an untamed scrap of crumpled paper that has fallen to the ground.
"What have you been writing, love?"
"Nothing," he says with a meaningful gaze, rising towards her ever-open arms.