The blank page is my enemy. It is a fierce and terrible monster. Before I even attempt to attack, the monster taunts me. It mocks and ridicules me. It calls me a fool and a dreamer. I should back away and find an easier, simpler, less ambitious task to pursue. For I will fail, the monster tells me, I will fail if I dare to face it.
I weigh its advice. I consider its tempting taunts. But I know deep within me that I can slay this fiend. Raising my sword, I begin to thrust. Wait. I halt. Delete the few marks from the page. I recalculate my tactics, reconsider my words. Recomposed and confident, I proceed with my initial attack. My sword clashes with the monster's and slips through, knocking a chink into its armor. Bringing the sword back around again, I allow its momentum to carry me froward, strike after strike.
Progress is slow. The fight is laborious and tiresome. But every letter, every word, every sentence breaks its armor a little more. The monster cries out in anger and defiance. It tells me I can't continue. It's noticed my growing weariness and exhaustion. What if I run out of ideas? What if I simply cannot continue? It tells me to leave the battle for a rest. The monster will wait right here while I recoup and regain my strength. It knows, oh, this devious demon knows, that I will likely never return from such an interlude.
I look down at the monster. Its armor is nearly half gone. We both realize that if I persist the battle will shortly be mine. Its words are no longer confident taunts but pleas of desperation. I tighten the grip on my sword. Every swing connects and shatters the monster's armor a little more.
The cursor still blinks, but the page is no longer blank. It is full. The monster, however, is empty. It is empty of its energy, its insults, and its mockery. Raising my sword high, I swing it through the air with all my might, slicing through the monster's neck and lopping its head off for a final, definite victory.
I lower my sword and breathe heavily. Exhausted, but victorious, I smile as I gaze upon my accomplishment and the once blank page now filled with words. I have slain my foe. I have won.
The cursor drops to the next line and my worst fear is realized. The demon rises up, completely whole, completely armored, and completely empowered. The taunts of the blank page begin anew.
- Mitch Alfson
May 21, 2014