Story Time

Today’s writing prompt:

You discover while writing a story one day that everything you write seems to be coming true.

I sat and stared at the screen. The cursor flashed at me. My mind raced. I took a deep breath. I started to type. At first I just wrote about the fact that I was sitting in front of the computer trying to think of something to write. Then I unlimbered my imagination and wrote that there was a knock on the door. It would be a beautiful woman, a stranger with long black hair and sky blue eyes. As I typed the sentence, I heard a knock on the front door.

I got up and answered the door. There was a beautiful woman with long black hair and blue eyes. That was surprising enough. Then she said, “Are you Timothy Roth?”

“Yes, how did you know that?” I asked. She smiled and my heart melted.

“I was given your address. I wasn’t sure I had the right door.”

“Of course. Come in. What can I do for you?” I was a little bit amused with myself that I had assumed some psychic phenomena when the actual explanation was so mundane.

“Thank you,” she said and came in. I closed the door behind her and gestured that she should go into the living room. “I’m here to ask a favor of you. We have a mutual acquaintance. Elizabeth Morgan. Oh, my name is Lilly Montgomery.” She smiled again. I smiled back.

“Liz is a very old friend of mine. If she referred you to me, that carries a lot of weight. What is the favor?”

“I want you to write a story about me. A story of discovery and wonder. A story of a quest. I leave the details entirely up to you. You can do whatever you want with the story when it’s finished. I only want a copy for myself, no other rights to it than to read it. I’ll pay you whatever you think is fair for your time.” She was looking down at the coffee table as she talked but as she finished, she looked up and looked me right in the eyes.

“I think we can work something out. Can I get you something to drink? Some tea perhaps?”

“No, you’re very kind, but I have to go home and pack. I am leaving for a trip for two weeks early tomorrow morning. Do you think you might be able to have my story when I get back?” She smiled that beautiful smile again.

“Yes, I think I can. I’ll write you the story and then you can pay me whatever you think it’s worth.” After all, if it was as good as I expected it might be, I could sell it and more than make up for the time required to write it.

“You are too kind,” she said and got up to leave.

I shook her slender, delicate hand and said, “Have a good trip Ms. Montgomery.”

“Oh, you must call me Lilly. If you’re going to write my story we must surely be on a first name basis.” She smiled.

“Okay, Lilly. How do I get in touch with you?”

“I’m afraid I will be out of contact while I’m traveling. Here is the number of my assistant. She can help you if you have any questions or need anything. I’ll call you when I get back.”

I escorted her to the door and watched as she got in the black limousine parked at the curb. She had a uniformed driver and everything. This was definitely interesting.

I went back to my office and sat down at my computer. I recorded the events that had just transpired and then I projected myself into Lilly’s future. I imagined her getting up the next day and taking a limo to the airport. She flew first class to Prague.

I imagined that she was an art dealer and was investigating the discovery of a missing painting by a renaissance master. Her associate explained that he could show her the painting but only at his clients residence. The story flowed from my finger tips effortlessly. I made sure that she made good use of her beguiling smile.

She met the associate at an eighteenth century estate in an exclusive neighborhood in Prague and the painting was everything that he had promised. She made an offer for it on the spot. The owner said that he would have to consider the offer for a day or two. She agreed.

She decided to see the sites of Prague while she waited for her answer. She spent the next two days visiting museums and sampling the best of Prague’s cuisine. She was even able to get tickets to the opera. Finally she got a phone call from the associate. The offer had been accepted. She was to meet with the client at the offices of her associate to draw up a contract and make arrangements for the sale.

I had been working on the story for a week. I  had spared no detail in my descriptions of Lilly’s adventures thus far. I decided to call my friend, Liz and find out what she could tell me about Lilly. I wanted to see if maybe I could tailor the rest of the story to her personality a little bit.

The phone rang quite a long time. I was about to hang up when she answered. “This is Liz.”

“Hello, Liz. It’s Tim. I got a visit last week from a Lilly Montgomery. She said you referred her to me. I  have to thank you for that.”

“Oh, Lilly. She’s the daughter of Jack Montgomery. He’s an editor at my publisher. She’s an art student, I think. She wanted to meet you. She said she was going on a trip. To Europe somewhere. What did she want?”

“She asked me to write a story for her. She said she would pay me and I could keep the rights to publish the story. As beautiful as she is, I would have written her a story for free. I told her I’d write her story and she could pay me whatever she thought it was worth.”

“That doesn’t sound like you. You must be pretty smitten.”

“I guess so. It just happened so strangely. I had just written about a dark haired, blue eyed woman knocking on the door and then there was a knock on the door. It enchanted me, I suppose.”

“Ah, always a sucker for a mystery, I see. Well good luck with the story.”

“I’ve already written a good bit of it. I was just wanting to try to tailor it to her personality. Can you tell me anything about her? You said she was going to Europe. Do you know where or why?”

“I think she said she was going to Prague, or maybe Berlin. I don’t really know her that well. She used to come in to the office with Jack in the summer and sit drawing in the corner. Sorry but that’s all I’ve got.”

“Thanks. Tell Joe hi for me. I’ll take you both to dinner and tell you how this worked out.”

“That sounds good, Tim. Bye.” We hung up and I went back to writing. I decided to add a little bit of adventure to the story. I wrote about her meeting a handsome young man at the associates office. The young man was named Henry. He asked her out to lunch. They discovered they were both painters that made their living dealing art. He asked her how long she was going to be in Prague. She told him she would be there for another week.

The week went by in a whirlwind. He took her to see all the sites. They spent one afternoon drawing the animals at the zoo. He showed her the Astronomical Clock on the old town city hall. They visited so many museums and churches and historical buildings she could barely remember them all.

Then, on the night before she was to fly home, Henry took her out to the finest restaurant in town. Then they walked back through the mild early summer night to her hotel. He asked her if she would be coming back to Prague any time soon. She said she didn’t know. It all depended on whether she had another client that needed her services in Prague. He said he hoped they would see each other again. He asked her to keep in touch.

The next morning she flew back to New York. She was exhausted when she arrived. She went straight home and to bed. She slept for eighteen hours. When she woke up it was noon. She got up and took a shower and got dressed. She was about to head out to her office when there was a knock on the door.

It was Henry. He had wangled an appointment to the New York office of his firm. It was for six months initially but there was a chance they would extend it. She was ecstatic. She told him that she had to go to work and then she had a meeting that evening. She would be able to see him afterwards for a late supper around eight.

I looked down at what I had written. My phone rang. It was Lilly. “Have you finished my story?” she asked.

“Almost. I will be done by this evening.” I replied.

“Can I come by to get it around six?” she asked.

“That will be fine. Can I offer you dinner?”

“No, I have a dinner engagement at eight. I met this man named Henry on my trip. We’re having dinner.”

I was excited and I was sad. Had I written this story or had it written me? Was there any correlation or just coincidence? Who can say. The world is a mysterious place. Perhaps Lilly would tell me how much more of her story had come to pass.

Tomorrow’s writing prompt:

You discover that you can fly. No one else can fly, only you. What do you do? How do people treat you?

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.