Wednesday, September 9, 2009

THE WELL (flash fiction)

Now and again, all writers go back to the well - that place they tap into where inspiration and dreams are born.

Like an assembly line in a jailhouse cafeteria, the well gave Hemingway his graceful brevity, it's where Dante Alighieri first drummed up that wretched descent and where Fitzgerald conjured his flights of fancy.

Edgar Allen went there frequently but one night after dipping his hand deep into that chasm of creativity, he came back with something not exactly suited for him and was perplexed.

Leaving, he passed William Sydney Porter, otherwise known as O. Henry, who didn't look exactly thrilled himself.

"I've got a collection of tales here," Poe said, "they're whimsical, optimistically charming and ironic. Useless to me."

"I have something quite disturbing," O. Henry replied, "a ghastly poem tracing a man's slow descent into madness. Let's trade..."

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