I typed away furiously at the black keyboard before me. I glanced at the clock on my computer screen. One-hundred words to go, nine minutes left to enter. I focused on the task at hand, pushing all other thoughts aside and only caring about the story in front of me. I continued to type, my stream of consciousness flowing straight from my mind to the keys and subsequently on the computer.
There, I said to myself, finished. I looked at the clock again. Perfect. Three minutes left. I quickly switched to my internet browser and clicked on the Fast Reply box at the bottom of the screen. I quickly typed out my Member Name, the Theme, Word Count, and then copied and pasted my story from the Microsoft Word document and into the white box. No time for any formatting – not that it was allowed, anyway – so I gave it a quick once-over, spotted a single grammar mistake, fixed it, and then clicked the “Post” button.
The page loaded and there it was: my story entered into the contest with a minute left. I smiled to myself, proud that I accomplished my goal and entered in time, even if just barely.
I scrolled up the page, glancing at the other entries. Forty entries all together.
“Quite a good turnout, wasn’t it?” Andrew asked as he posted the new theme.
“Indeed. One down, eleven more to go.”
“Time to start on ‘Treasure’,” he said.
There it was. The next theme. Treasure. Already the wheels in my head began turning, thinking of a myriad of possibilities I could use for my story. I sat down and began writing, excited for the next theme.
…Five Days Later
Amor Omnia Vincit. I wracked my brain trying to think of a story idea for this theme. But nothing came. Only six themes into the contest and my inspiration was already dying. My writing seemed to get worse and worse with each story.
Not matter what I did, nothing came. Come on, I shouted inwardly. You can do this, you can do this, just focus. I sat there for a few minutes, head resting in my hands, probing my brain for answers, ideas. Something.
And then it hit me. The inspiration inside me flourished once again; an idea had popped into my brain. I opened up a blank Word document quickly, writing from my stream of consciousness, my fingers flowing across the keyboard. It was exhilarating, livening.
But that feeling didn’t last long.
…Twelve Days Later
There. Last one, I thought to myself after I had finished writing my entry for the twelfth theme. I drop my hands, exhausted. Relieved that the twelve days are over. My fingers are sore, my mind tired. But I know it’s over. I completed it all, entered every single theme. And now finally I can relax. A sense of pride filled me. I did it. I leaned back in my chair, propping my feet up on the desk, resting my head in my hands.
“Why are you laying back?” Andrew asked. “These were just the beginning. The warm-ups. Simply a preparation for the real contest. So get back to your computer and start typing. The BZPower Library Summer Olympics 2012 are about to begin.”
And that invigorated feeling hit me again as my passion consumed me. I was ready for the challenge. Ready to write.
Author’s Note: My segue into announcing the Library Summer Olympics on BZPower.com, after hosting the Flash Fiction Marathon. Definitely a fun contest!