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The Creative Process

Paperwork

In a city locked in space, stuck to a spinning marble, and rotating around a spewing giant of flame, an insurance salesman sharpened a wooden pencil to a precision point. He tapped the spear end of the pencil on his wooden desk and shuffled a stack of paper into a perfect tower. Tap, tap, tap. He took the top paper from the tower. Tap, tap, tap. He glanced at his analog watch and, at precisely 7:45 am on Tuesday, exploded into a thousand pieces.

The End of the World

Mrs. Garrison lived in apartment 331, on the floor above a strange recluse who wrote spy novels under the coincidental pen name, Eleanor Garrison. Of the dozens of novels the recluse had written, the best-selling was about the end of the world. Though it was critically panned – being described as a “boring slog wrapped in a wet towel” and “time that should’ve been used to clean out the gutters” – the book was completely and spectacularly accurate about the details regarding the end of the world. Unfortunately, the book was written in a style that made comprehending the precise details impossible. Last Tuesday, a reader having breakfast outdoors decoded the critical passage that read, “The woman in apartment 331 left her water on…”

The Goldfish

Five stories above the busy city street, a solitary shadow peers down from an open window surveying the splattered remains of a former Hollywood starlet. Police lights surrounded the onlookers with a red-and-blue disco as the roar of the crowd swelled to an indistinct choir or voices. A pair of sweating hands gripped the window sill. The voices in the hallway outside the fifth-story apartment grew louder. The door crunched in, splintering from its hinges. Dozens of police boots stormed across the fallen door and ground splinters into the carpet. The sweaty hands rose as the shadowy figure turned to face the intrusion. Flashlights split the room into geometric shapes. And, from across the room, a goldfish telepathically communicated with a murderer who had just pushed his wife from a five-story window. “Why’d you do that?” the goldfish asked.

One-Thirty-Third

What a person thinks about when he’s caught in the silent, frozen fraction of a second between one moment and the next says a lot about who he is. The insurance salesman thought about art. He stared blankly at an empty form and wondered at how paint scraped on canvas could elicit such powerful responses of feeling and thought. He wondered at how color, shape and form draw from some cavernous, primal depth within our souls. He thought about music, then dance, then poetry. In a seemingly timeless eon that stretched forward infinitely, the salesman drank deep from the well of collective, accumulated human emotion and intellect. When he was drunk on the bliss and sorrow of human consciousness, he slammed into the next moment, and exploded into a thousand pieces. In the next one-thirty-third of a second there was a sound like a bullfrog singing an aria. Then silence.

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