F   I   C   T   I   O   N 


On a fine summer afternoon he stood out on the precipice overlooking the vast and empty ocean. He stared out for a long time, immobile, then returned to his car and drove away. Back in town he sat at the cafe, his notebook open before him and his pen in hand. He stared at his notebook for a long time, then left.

In his room as the sun began to set, he lay on his bed. He stared up at the bare lightbulb for a long time, and fell asleep. He woke up in the middle of the night and opened a book. He stared at a page for a long time, then closed the book and went back to sleep.

The next day, he went back out to the cliffs overlooking the ocean. He opened up his notebook and thumbed through all the pages, which were blank. He then put the notebook down on the grassy earth, stood again and walked forward and off the cliff.

He awoke, broken, immobilized by tubes and catheters, and in pain. The doctors said he was very lucky to be alive. A few days later they brought in a bag with his belongings. The nurse took out his notebook and handed it to him. “I didn’t mean to, but I took a look inside, and the writing is beautiful. Your whole life is in there. I bet you’re happy we found this.”

He achingly took the notebook and opened it. The pages were still blank. He looked up at the nurse, managed a smile, and closed his eyes.