Before the Blank Page



On entering the room, you see a figure resting face down on the table. There is blood. Clutched tight in one hand is a crumpled piece of paper.


It reads:


Here again, I sit before the blank page, wrestling the demons of my own disquiet.


What should I say?


What could I say that would hold meaning?


Enough to command attention, to carry worth, sense beyond syllables. To build my desires and reach that oh-so coveted next chapter. Why should anyone care?


As the thunder claps overhead and the rains begin to pour, even a staunch resolve, a well-meaning heart, grit and determination is no protection from the abyss.


Thoughts, ideas, stories flutter in the winds of the mind while the others, they seem so natural. So at home in lands I have always known, yet fear to tread.



Is it Fear? Are you the demon who grips me now? Clamping shut my throat with taloned fingers. Dripping. Venomous. Monstrous, gloating, devilish beast belched from the bowels of despair.


Why should they care? What worth holds my words? Is it wrong to favour the quiet? Can I live these dreams without losing myself?


Such are the questions I face before the blank page.


To write, or not to write. But more than that. To feel. To be vulnerable, honest and open.


To share.


Against other demons I stand a gladiator, scoring stacking victories with nought but a scratch. So what makes you different?


If I study you long enough, I will find your weakness. I will overcome you.


But time. How do you know she's on your side? Is she even real at all?


It may not be this day or even the next. As I sit before the blank page, I wonder if the barriers are too many, the demands too great, the distractions too valuable and enticing with their promise of pleasure and baths of golden treasure.


Do the ends justify the means?


Can this reality ever be mine? Or was it always?


Truly, I am grateful that the light of the silver lining shall always shine. Hope haunts every darkened hall, building her strength for the battles to come, and love surrounds me even where shadows claim conquest of us all.


As warmth floods life back into these weary limbs, I know the challenge is real, the path before me clear, defined.



Pick up your sword.


Your shield.


Brace yourself with a weather eye on the horizon, a clarity of purpose and truth that there are ears for every voice born of a good heart.


Against this armour, mine beats for what I believe in.


Let them come, the demons, as I sit before the blank page, shield high, sword drawn.


Are your demons like mine?


Let them come.

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© 2020 by Luke Dalton