I wrote this little tale for a critique group meeting. After searching for something to write, my eyes fell on my old typewriter. Ah ha! I could write a haunted typewriter tale. But, no. It's been done and done well by masters of horror. I could, however, write one with my own spin. So what follows is my take on the haunted typewriter story. Hope you enjoy this tale of a typewriter inhabited by a dead soul with a sense of humor...
The Perils of an Antique Typewriter
Tuesday (Mac Journal)
Tomorrow’s the day I get to pick up the old typewriter from the repair shop! It was a bargain on e-bay. I paid fifty bucks for a beat-up beauty from 1888. At least, that’s the date on the metal plate barely hanging on the front of it. The repairman’s been working on it for a couple of weeks and it’s finally finished! Tomorrow, I’m going to start working on my next horror novel. It’s the sixth one based in merry old England of Jack the Ripper days and I’ve been getting e-mails from fans for months asking when the next one’s coming out. Life is good!
Wednesday morning (Mac Journal)
My newly restored Bar-Lock is sitting on my desk with my computer. It looks like a black mechanical spider next to my sleek Mac. I know it’s crazy to write a novel on a typewriter, especially an antique one, but I think I can really immerse myself in the period this way. Can’t wait to start writing about the evil lurking in the dark alleys of London!
First paragraph (Bar Lock)
He watched from the shadow, lamplight a dull flicker on the cobblestone street as the carriage picked up the young woman he had been following. The disappointment at losing his prey at the last minute…
Oh, how I love the meadow in the morning!
The delicate filigree of yellow and white arrayed in splendor
above and through the towering green grasses that part
as I wander through golden bolts of sunlight.
(What the hell? I’ll just keep going…)
The echo of his boots resounded on the stone walls of the damp, narrow alley as…
The cherry lips of my love smile as she rises from slumber
her golden hair a nimbus of curls that slip through my fingers
Ah love, I doth live to see you awaken in
the cool chill of morning.
Thou art my world.
Wednesday afternoon (Mac Journal)
I’m not quite sure what the problem is with typing my novel on this typewriter. I keep trying to type the novel and when I look up, it’s spouting poetry. POETRY! I DON’T WRITE POETRY! I write gritty horror novels. I just don’t understand. I’m taking a break. I called Jessie and I’m heading out for a beer. Maybe tomorrow my fingers, or this typewriter, will cooperate.
Thursday morning (Mac Journal)
I’ve been sitting here studying the Bar Lock while sipping my steaming coffee. The smell rising from the mug makes everything seem normal. Even the Bar Lock. It sits there on my desk, ivory keys gleaming, metal framework reflecting the bright morning sun pouring through the office window. Next to it, paper sits in a neat stack and my newly sharpened pencils fill the lopsided pot from my niece’s last art class. I’ve had three cups as I debate whether to try again. I just can’t figure out what’s going on.
Tuesday morning (Bar lock)
The fiend towered above his victim, her tattered, dirty blue skirt spread on the pavement crushed beneath his knees. He wished she were still conscious. It was so much more interesting when they were….
There once was a fine lady from Paris
Whose mirror claimed she was the fairest
Her hair in curls rose above
with two sparrows and a dove
‘til the cat leapt and she fell off a terrace.
(Oh my god!)
…aware of what they were about to experience. The
There once was a man from London
who tried to eat a whole hot cross bun
but it broke in two
and fell on his shoe
and the poor, hungry man left a’grumblin’.
Thursday morning (Mac Journal):
I can’t do it. I can’t write on that damn machine! Now it’s limericks. LIMERICKS! There are NO limericks in horror stories. NONE. It’s NOT DONE! I know I’ve got a prescription for valium in the kitchen. Where the hell is it??
Thursday afternoon (Mac Journal)
Ok. Much calmer now. I must have been dreaming or something. Did I write that stuff myself? Did the Bar Lock do it? Am I going nuts? Is it me or the machine? I’m going to try the Bar Lock one more time. If it does it again, it’s going to just sit there or maybe I’ll put some flowers in it or maybe I’ll just take it down to the pawn shop before it infects the Mac with whatever’s going on.
Thursday afternoon (Bar Lock)
His hands covered with blood, he stood up from his evil handiwork and…
There once was a man from Nantucket..