The writer’s hand slammed down onto the bedside nightstand, triggering a shocking wave of pain throughout his ulnar nerve. It was too early. And there was too much to do. Of course, he didn’t have work, but still there was an entire list “do’s” prepared by his wife that took priority. While massaging the outside of his hand he found and followed the hand responsible for relocating his alarm clock, up to the face of his new friend-emy, R’em.
R’em smiled cockily, “Rise and shine mate!”. He tossed the alarm clock over his shoulder and presented a cup of coffee to the writer.
The writer accepted the gift without hesitation. He was now entering the third week of living with R’em, the Shadow. He had the habitual ability of appearing from seemingly nowhere and ruining any attempts of relaxing that the Writer made. R’em’s demands were simple: the Writer had to write the story. Point. Blank. Period. There was no room for excuses or lolligagging in R’em’s presence.
The first day had been the worse:
The writer had been focusing on other, smaller projects and had returned to his brainchild, only to grace it with two paragraphs, before he decided to retire for the night. A mistake. As the writer neared the door he was snatched into a deep headlock. The glint of a dagger flirted with his eyes as the assailant pulled him back towards the center of the room. The Writer tried kicking and fighting the attacker off, but his old limbs were no match for the youth.
With no other option of restraint coming to mind, R’em was forced to deliver a right cross to the Writer’s cheek. With the old timer unconscious he pulled him into the wheeled chair and laid his limp arms across the desk and typewriter. R’em took the twine from the man’s own shoes and used them to tie the Writer’s legs to the base of the chair. And then…he waited….
After four hours of agony, R’em agreed to release the Writer from the chair. He’d given one chapter to the world R’em called home so he took it as a small victory.
The writer cried out in disgust as the Shadow Warrior cut through his shoestrings with the dagger. “You couldn’t untie your own knot….”
R’em chuckled and looked down at the pile of strings as if he didn’t know of his own handiwork, “S’pose I coulda…yeah…”.
The Writer through his hands out in defeat. He was long overdue for a trip to the bathroom — with his capturer finally showing pity, he did not want to waste any time bickering about the shoestrings.
When the writer returned R’em was gone. He soon found out that the friend of shadows had not gone far…
“Shall we get started then…”, R’em stretched his arms out and grunted loudly.
“I can’t…not yet…”, the writer massaged the back of his own neck and swung his legs off the bed. “I’ve got so mu—“
“Cut the yard, water the flowers, water the garden, trim the hedges, wash the pup, wash the car…”, R’em cleated his throat and pulled a scroll from his waist belt. He unraveled it revealing its obscene length, it easily shielded his entire midsection from neck to belt line. “Change the oil in the car, do the—look mate I gotta be honest wit ya —“ he rubbed his chin, the parchment unraveling even further as his hand went for his face. It unrolled and bounced across the floor, over the Writer’s boots and out of the bedroom door. “Oops…”.
They both looked up with amusement in their eyes when heard the hardwood scratches of the ever-annoying cat down stairs. Presumably, it was scrambling away from the still unraveling scroll. “Just how long is that thing?!”, the Writer laughed a bit.
“That’s the giant pro’lem now i’nt it Mate….it just goes on and on and on and on…” R’em started to thump the long list with each ‘on’ he retorted. “It’s never ending; this honey-do list or whatever you’ve named it…”
The Writer pondered R’em’s words for a time. “You’re a terrible influence you know that…”. He got off the bed, stepped over the scroll and began dressing for his day of yard duties.
R’em shook the long page furiously; his tantrum culminated in his proceeding to tear the scroll into small pieces. He left the room mumbling under his breath and ripping the document to shreds.
It felt as if the sun had a personal vendetta against him. His yard did not have the luxury of tree given shade; cutting the yard in the summer months for the Writer was a 10,000-square foot chore of being baked alive. It didn’t help matters to periodically spot the hovering R’em. He waved at and mimicked the Writer in jest, laughing so loud the chuckles could be heard over the mowers engine. With sweat matting his shirt to his back and pouring down his face he reached down for the bottle of water he had placed in his cargo pocket. It was missing. He let the mower’s lever go, quieting the machine and looked back on the strip of grass he’d just cut.
“Thirsty?” R’em slid out of nowhere to beside the Writer.
“MOTH—“, the Writer cursed from being startled. He snatched the bottle from R’em’s grasp.
“Whooooo…”, R’em flapped his own collar, giving himself air, false concern bent at his brow and wrinkled his nose as he stared up. He used a hand as a sun visor. “Hot one today…well, well…I’ll leave you to it.”
Water splashed all over the writer as he stumbled forward from R’em smacking his back. The warriors hand made a wet, sticking sound against his sweat soaked t-shirt as well.
When the Writer had finished he took a much needed seat in the garage. He didn’t want to move, the ninety-degree-day had sucked every ounce of energy from his body. He melted back in the lawn chair and tried to metaphysically conjure an ice cold beer into his hands. Needless to say either he was no sorcerer or telepathic conjuration wasn’t a thing. He drifted off to sleep.
Before the sleep could fully take hold he felt the tapping at his leg. It was as annoying as it was consistent. He opened one eye and immediately shut it forcefully when he saw R’em standing over him.
That was all R’em needed. “Up we go!!”, he hoisted the writer up and out of the chair. Carrying him all the through the house, up the stairs and into the Writer’s office with the ease of a professional warrior. “Okay…make me proud…”, he sneered.
Being thrown into the leather bound chair wasn’t anything new at this point. Two weeks with R’em would be enough to desensitize the toughest men of pain. The Writer took the flinging like the rag doll he was being tossed around as. His hands found his chin immediately as he stared at the blank page…
The Writer let out a long sigh….then the page began to come to life….
Saving his hand the pain, he didn’t even try to turn off the alarm clock as it blared. It was stopped momentarily after by his new warrior roommate anyways.
R’em chuckled. “Ah mate…”He chuckled progressively louder until he had the Writer’s attention. “Me mate, me mate….”. He stopped laughing just long enough to hold out the pages before his eyes, as if he was taken aback by what he’d read. Then he started to chuckle again. “Ah mate….”
“What is R’em….”, the Writer groaned, still pulling the sleep from his mind. “You’re clearly bothered…”
“Bothered….”, R’em leaned his head back with a braggart smile and struck the pages a few times with the backside of his fingers.
“Okay…well if you don’t wanna talk about, I’m gonna go brush my tee—“
“A bloody torture dungeon, mate?!?!”, R’em crumbled the papers and leaned in so that he was only a few centimeters from touching noses with the writer. Eye to eye, trying to pour the fury from his own eyes into the soul of the Writer’s.
“Here we go…”, the Writer brushed him off and started to get out of bed. “Did you read it all…you do get rescued y’know…”
“Who are you talking to?”, the Writer’s wife asked as she too began to wake up.
When the Writer turned back around R’em was gone. “Ah…no one honey. Just thinking out loud…”
Copyright © 2020 Kacy Gilbert (Writing as Remontz)
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