The constant clicking and clacking of the keyboard echoed throughout the room. It was the only noise to reach her eardrums—the only noise that she had heard for days, for weeks…had it been months already? Years?
Her fingers ached so badly that they nearly cramped, but she couldn’t stop. She couldn’t even stop to wipe the sweat off her brow as it started to drip into her eyes; all she could do was hope to blink the drops away.
She could feel it hovering over her head, the tip of the sword. Every time that she stopped for the briefest of moments, even to consider a plot point or a character’s reaction, the sword inched closer and closer to her skull. It was very near to penetration now. The last time she had moved a centimeter to adjust her seating position, she had felt warm, sticky blood trickle down her head and neck.
The story was a disaster. The characters were flat, the plot had no conflict, and the themes…there were no themes to speak of.
Piece of shit romance. Not even good romance, but something that you’d expect to find in some ten-cent bin. But this is what they wanted, and she couldn’t stray. She couldn’t imagine what would happen to her if she dared to stray from their outline.
Dear God, this chapter…it just wasn’t going to work. It made no sense for the characters, and it had no place in the plot. If only she could have some time to think, to reimagine the outline a bit, maybe she could make this manuscript readable…
She flinched as she felt the sword drop down half a centimeter.
She typed crap. She typed gobbledygook. She backspaced, restarted, and typed crap all over again. Anything to keep the clicking and clacking of the keyboard going. Anything to keep the sword out of her head.
She wasn’t sure which was driving her closer to insanity: the voice in her head, the cold steel against her scalp, or the echoing keyboard that constantly reminded her of her isolation. She hadn’t heard another human’s voice outside of her mind in longer than she could remember. Even the characters she was writing had lost their distinct voices days ago.
She hesitated, wanting just a momentary reprieve from the cramping hands and the click-clacking. A sharp pain pierced the skin on the top of her head, and she could feel blood running down the side of her head.
Instinctively, she resumed her typing.
Yet a part of her could not help thinking that that was not so bad.
She continued to type, nothing but a stream of consciousness:
“That didn’t hurt so bad. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much for it to go all the way in. Why should I keep typing, anyway? They don’t control me. They don’t own me. I don’t need to write if I don’t want to. I don’t need to write what I don’t want to. This charade has gone on long enough. All I need to do is sto—“
The clicking and the clacking of the keyboard came to a halt. It was soon replaced by the minute grinding of gears and the crunching of bone. Finally, a thud filled the empty room.
There the ghostwriter sat, slumped back in the velvet armchair that had become her prison. A sword protruded from her skull, stretching up towards the ceiling. Blood flowed from her wound, down her body, and across the floor, towards the oak desk that held the computer stained crimson with the ghostwriter’s fingerprints.
Over a sound system, a voice on a loop continually boomed, Keep typing.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives