The One Day That The Shit Hit The Fan
Original story © AD 1992 by James Justin. Online version © 2002.

This is how not to answer the in-class assignment: Where does your inspiration for writing come from?
And yes, this was what I actually wrote for a 20-minute in-class assignment in a first-year college English course.

The wind will blow slowly, and nobody will seem to care. My casket will be lowered into the dirt, my body a sacrifice to the worms. There will be no tears; no pain. The few people that will bother to show up will bear witness to a miracle, but will not realize it. The fires of Hell will tug at my tormented soul, and the merciful Heaven will not hear my cry of despair. My very soul will then lurch and rage, consuming the world around it in white hot anger, the flames of eternal damnation feeding it until....
I honestly have no idea where my inspiration for writing comes from.1 The material that I write comes from my personal experiences, such as programming, sacrificing cats to the Calculus God, or drawing pentagrams on black marble with my brother's blood while the full moon bathes my sin in a mystical glow of unbridled Satanic power as the souls of the dead lurch in their graves. However, the inspiration to write, the obsession that drives my soul to put thoughts that no mortal should ever comprehend to paper, immortalized forever, originates deeper in my fractured mind, where the untamed fires of my passions and hidden desires lie. Here, the world of reality and memory is twisted, burned in the crucible of my soul, until a spark of creativity emerges.2 Then, I am driven like a beast, starved and tortured to madness, released upon a victim, driven by his screams and agony, to write and cause the fires of my soul to be burned onto the page.




The professor's comments:
1Actually, it sounds like you know exactly where it comes from.
2Here, the inexpressable expressed.


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