Last Monday, I wrote a story that only had verbs and adjectives, called Read Run Inspired. People speculated what was happening in the comments and some got pretty close to what I had intended. Here is the full story, with nouns and prepositions and everything.
It was my New Year’s resolution this year to never have a full-time job again. That might seem risky but it wasn’t total suicide. The November before, an agent had gotten back to me about a novella I’d written. “Great,” he’d said. “Make it into a full-length novel and I think we’ll be in business.”
So I quit my job. I sold most of my furniture and moved into the back room of my friend Crazy Bob’s coffee shop, eating the bagels and baked good he couldn’t sell during the day. And I sat and drank free coffee and typed as fast as my jittery fingers could.
At least that was the plan. Maybe it was malnutrition or the pressure of having to produce a masterpiece, but everything I wrote sounded stupid. Crazy Bob was sympathetic but I could tell he thought I was stupid, and that’s something, coming from Crazy Bob. I wasn’t stupid, although I was afraid I might get scurvy by the end of the year if people didn’t stop buying all the lemon muffins.
I usually worked in the back where I wouldn’t take up table space, but one day I just kept writing and rewriting the same paragraph and went out front to get some sunlight and coffee. I sat there in an overstuffed chair and sipped my coffee, feeling my brain activity spark back into life.
I was feeling very cozy when a woman came in and walked straight at me. She was dressed like a mugger, or at least what one might be dressed like in a movie. She had a hand stuck in her pocket and it looked like she had a gun.
“Can I help you?” I asked, desperately hoping that I couldn’t.
“Give me all your gold dust,” she said. I didn’t know if this was a euphemism for money or a new kind of drug, but I just froze. She repeated it and moved a step closer.
I’m not a good one for crises. My body flips a fight-or-flight coin and I have no say in the matter. I yelled and threw my cup of coffee in her face. She screamed and fell down and I ran towards the door, leaving my laptop on the table.
“Wait, come back!” she shouted after me. I wasn’t going to fall for that trick. I kept sprinting. She stumbled out of the shop, still wiping coffee off her face, and promptly ran into a light pole. I heard the scream and looked back, still running. It was so comical that I laughed. I turned back around just in time for my nose to collide with the “S” on a stop sign. I shouted something that started with “S” but it wasn’t stop.
I kept running, limping even though it was my nose that was bleeding and apparently broken. The woman kept coming, cursing and shouting for me to stop. I was considering slowing down when I heard a gunshot, which convinced me not to. I was getting tired when I turned down an alley that was blocked by a truck at the far end. I stopped, trapped.
She came into view, scalded, bleeding, and holding a gun. I screamed like a little girl because no one gives out medals to the corpses that died with dignity. She stopped, caught her breath, then gave a little laugh.
“Are you done yet?” she asked.
“Uh, I guess.”
“You run really fast for an unemployed writer,” she said. I waited, not sure how to take that. “I’m Crazy Bob’s cousin,” she said.
I was confused so I just nodded. “He was worried about you,” she continued, “so he asked me to pretend to stick you up and ask for something bizarre, then just leave. He thought it would inspire you in your writing to have a real experience to write about. The gun’s not even real.” She put her hand over the muzzle and pulled the trigger. Sure enough, there was no hole in her hand.
“Are you crazy?” I was just about to begin an epic rant when I remembered whose cousin she was and thought it might not be a rhetorical question after all. I stood for a moment, trying to adjust my mind to not being mugged and murdered and then I started to laugh.
“Sorry about throwing coffee at you,” I said.
“Sorry about your nose.” We both laughed, then waved and limped our separate ways.
I went back and bandaged up my nose. It didn’t seem to be broken, just very sore. I got another cup of coffee and sat down again. The caffeine flowed through my brain and suddenly I started to write.
Thank you, Crazy Bob.