Okay, writers out there, let me know… has this happened to you?
In between everything else required in this existence, when I have a free moment, I sit down with pen or pencil in hand… or perhaps typing at the computer… waiting for something.
Or at the very least, entertaining. (Click the links for further info…)
I revisited our Mr. Mangrove recently.
And this is how it went:
The old man snickered. “Thought ya’ had me, din’ ya?”
“Excuse me?” The nurse leaned in. “Oh, he mus’ be getting’ close. Poor dear!”
“Ain’t talkin’ to you, you ol’ biddy!”
“WELL! Mr. Mangrove! No need for that!’ The nurse huffed aloud.
“Oh… git over yerself woman… I’m talkin’ ta HER.”
“Oh.” The nurse was sure she understood. She patted his hand gingerly. “Yessir, they do come’n visit now an’agin… at the end… don’t they…”
“No you crazy bitch! She’d been here all along.” He all but spat out the remaining words. “She jes’ didn’ know it yet.”
“Well, I’m just a bit confused sir. Ye’r just tellin’ me about your younger days. Thought I was gettin’ a good story.”
Mr. Mangrove chuckled. “Hook. Line. And Sinker.” He winked, the gleam in his eye going somewhere past the nurse. She turned to make sure no one was there. His focus so intent… so resolute.
“Mr. Mangrove.” The nurse scoffed and straightened herself in her chair. “Now yer’ jus’ messin’ with me.” She laughed awkwardly. “Jes’ tryin’ to scare me.”
“You?!” Mr. Mangrove snorted. “I’m tryin’ to scare HER. For some dang reason, she jes’ keeps on’ writtin’ an’ writtin’…”
“Ah hah…” Mr. Mangrove smiled.
“What?” The nurse looked behind her to be sure no one was there… she was beginning to get a little bit scared.
“She’s a’ startin’ to realize…”
THE WRITER PAUSED.
“Yes, yes it is… Can we jes’ get on with this sose I kin die already?”
“You really are talking to ME?” The writer turned… scanning the empty office… the hairs on the back of the neck signaling something peculiar about to happen…
“Who else’d I be talkin’ to?”
“Um… the nurse?”
“pah! She’s bout as real as that unicorn standin’ next to ya’!”
“…but, there’s no…”
“Hah! Madeya’ look!”
“Okay then… Mr. Mangrove… since we’re talking…”
“Well, what’s the STORY?”
“How the hell should I know?”
“Well, it is YOUR STORY, sir…”
“No ma’am… It’s YOURS.”
And that’s how the old bastard ended it…
This interaction, in-and-of-itself, would not have concerned me… except, well…
I was going through some old journals after writing the last entry of Mr. Mangrove’s story. And, lo and behold… it seems… Mr. Mangrove is a recurring character.
This was written in 2006:
… We were in a room. The name was an anagram. It was from a puzzle book.
I went to the room… once I solved the puzzle…
And there was an old man with a nurse.
He said he’d been waiting for the cruise to start.
But everyone was sick.
The nurse jumped ship. She was infected.
In the end, everyone on the ship was infected.
I was the only one still well.
This discovery of an 11 year old journal entry would not have yielded much interest, except, well, where the hell did he come from in the first place?
So… What to do with the wily Mr. Mangrove?