Edgar Allen Poe waited dejectedly in front of his computer. It was hard enough looking like the famously depressed author. To also be an author and have the exact same name spelled incorrectly? It was a curse. He was sure he would have had a very merry soul indeed — perhaps he would have written comedy — had he not had to correct people constantly and try to live up to his almost-namesake’s reputation. As it was, all he could do was stare at the blank screen and wait for words to appear (maybe Edgar Allan Poe would feel guilty for ruining his life and would send him some surplus thoughts from beyond the grave …).
But no words ever appeared. Edgar Allan Poe was a selfish bastard.
“Am I a writer?” Edgar Allen Poe asked himself, because at this point in the story there was no one to talk to but himself. He understood this was called a monologue, a legitimate literary device. As no one else was listening who might become alarmed at a man talking to himself, he continued.
“Am I? Really? I mean, that other Poe had short stories and poems and such. What do I have? A blank screen. Am I a writer when there are no words?”
At that moment, there came a sharp knock on the door.
“Who could that be?” he asked himself. “Oh! Whoever is outside the door might hear me if I ask myself questions out loud.” He switched to an internal monologue.
“Who could that be?” he thought. “Whew! That’s better. The character outside my door can’t hear this, and I can think whatever I like. Bananas. Aardvark. Solipsism. This is fun, but that’s enough of that. I should probably think about what’s happening around me now and move the story along. Hmm. I wonder who that is at my door because I haven’t invited anyone to visit. In fact, I chose to be a writer so I wouldn’t have visitors. I’m much more comfortable observing from a distance far enough away from others that it doesn’t leave me in danger of actually having to speak to them. Hmm.”
Edgar Allen Poe knew he was going to have to speak to whomever it was and tell whoever it was to go away. Whomever? Whoever? Which was it?
“Grammatical rules,” he thought in frustration, shaking his head.
Another knock came at the door, this time with a voice.
Edgar Allen Poe froze, and not just because he had to keep the radiator turned off since heating the apartment was too expensive in his current financial situation. A voice! He was going to have to do something drastic. It was no longer time to worry about grammar — someone else could deal with that during editing. It was time for action.
He tipped himself over from the headstand he had been doing in his chair and walked awkwardly to the door.
“Whoever is at the door will think I’ve been drinking. Whomever …?”
A rush of blood from his head as a result of his sudden uprightness nearly made him pass out along the way. Grammatical rules didn’t help.
“Coming!” he called. “I mean …to the door! Coming to the door, yes! Um, …”
He reached the nondescript door and turned the handle of some sort.
“I’ll have to add more and better detail about my apartment in the next installment,” Edgar Allen Poe thought to himself as he opened the door.
* * *
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