As much as he had hoped the granola would spark his creativity, it seemed to be in vain. A few minutes earlier, his fingers in paralysis over the keyboard, The Writer had decided upon a course of action guaranteed to banish even the most daunting case of writer's block.
"Protein!" He had bounded from the chair as if it was white-hot and scooted for the kitchen. "Protein and fiber!"
A moment later, armed with two packets of Mixed Berry Granola Clusters, The Writer stalked back into The Writing Lair, determined to release his angst, like a torrent, upon the empty page.
"The dwarf ran into the swamp," he wrote. Pausing for another cluster, he looked over his work. Not Joyce, by any means, but at least something other than that damned blinking cursor was now on the page.
"The dwarf, hmmmm. Must be more descriptive."
"The small dwarf ran into the swamp."
"The tall dwarf ran into the swamp."
"Contradictory? Or maybe just tall for a dwarf? Will the reader understand my intent? Ah...!"
"The bearded dwarf ran into the swamp."
"Now I'm rolling. But why is the bearded dwarf running into the swamp? Restless Leg Syndrome? Hives? Perhaps being pursued by an angry dwarf mother-in-law? Again, redundant. Curses!"
A few moments of thought and chomping ensued, then...
"Having recently discovered that his pants were on fire, the bearded dwarf ran into the swamp."
The Writer appraised his work. "Now that's something of which even Joyce may have been proud. First the discovery, then the reaction. We have conflict, action and reaction, and (dare I say) the makings of a plot. Must expand on the swamp a bit, however. Must lure the reader into my setting."
"Having recently discovered that his pants were on fire, the bearded dwarf ran into the swamp, which was wet, dark, scary, full of slimy creatures, and about 15 miles southwest of Tallahassee."
"Takes care of that," The Writer said, infinitely pleased with himself. "Now if I can just keep the momentum rolling as I ratchet up the suspense and introduce the antagonist."
"The bearded dwarf, who was named Stubs, soon lost his way in the wet, dark, and scary swamp. Suddenly and without warning, there was a rustling sound that came from a nearby stand of bull rushes that was only about three feet away."
The Writer sat back and mopped his brow. "When this is made into a movie, it'll definitely be PG-13 for intense scenarios."
The reeds parted and the antagonist strolled into the open, startling Stubs into a fart.
"Who are you? What are you doing here? What is your connection to the story? Did you know that you're standing on quicksand?" Stubs demanded.
"My name is Tony and I am here to antagonize you. No, I did not realize that I'm standing on quicksand, but now that you have mentioned it, I shall move aside. Better?"
The Writer smirked. Not only was that some snappy dialogue right there, but he had almost summed up the antagonist in one quick paragraph. All that was left was to make the reader truly understand how dangerous this character was. There would definitely be a bidding war for this manuscript.
"Much," said Stubs. "You can see by my kind warning to you, the enemy, that I am the hero of this story. I stand for all that is right and good. You represent all the crappy qualities that exist in the world."
"One year you spent the entire Christmas season telling children that Santa's home melted due to global warming. You married an Irish girl just so you could divorce her on Saint Patrick's Day."
"I also watch slasher movies so I can cheer for the killer," Tony interjected. "And I like rap music."
"See, you are truly evil," Stubs replied, "but I am here to put an end to your evil ways."
Tony laughed evilly. "Hevil hevil hevil. What are you going to do? Sic your beard on me?"
"Close," Stubs said. "Except I happen to know of something that makes you quiver in fear. Something that will make you helpless with terror, so that I may drag you to justice."
"Ha! There is no such thing."
"Ah, but there is," Stubs said, his calm maddening. "I shall..."
The Writer reached in vain for another handful of granola. What was this? How could he finish this piece without...phooey. He didn't need any multi-grain new age crap to make him write. He was a Writer, dammit, and nothing could stop him when he was in the zone!
The dwarf smirked and walked to... [delete, delete] "I shall have your head," Stubs declared. "You shall hang from the tallest yard arm in the jungle." [delete, delete] "My minions will cook you upon a spit and season you with cinnamon, with just a hint of basil." [delete, delete]
"Honey? Are you okay?"
The Writer looked up from the keyboard to find his wife standing in the doorway, a look of concern on her face. "What?"
"I heard you scream in agony. I thought something might be wrong."
"It's nothing," said The Writer, quickly mopping up his tears before they shorted out the laptop. "We're just...out of granola."