Creative Process

Two short tales from inside the mind of the author.

Creating A World


I look at the blank new world. It is mine, I just wish the Inkling of Creation wouldn’t be so bloody melodramatic.

“Come on, Tim, time to get creative.”

“I’m not sure, Emily, I don’t feel that creative today.”

“Then build on something you already have. You’ve been meaning to do that story set on Silent Stalker’s homeworld.”

“Yeah, but an entire world?”

“You only need alternate Los Angeles, some background characters, and Krista.”

“What about the restaurant owner?”

“Does it talk?”

“You make it sound like a thing.”

“Tim, we’ve been over this. The race is parthenogenetic: one sex, any two can reproduce. Shall we explore that?”

“No Emily, I think that’s TMI.”

“Which is just your name spelled sideways. We’ll leave that embarrassment for another time. Now, what kind of L.A. do you want?”

“You know my inspiration: that girl I kept seeing in downtown Calgary.”

“Then it’s shiny L.A. with bright lights, not slumville USA.”

“Right. I was thinking Chinatown.”

“Good choice. Inspiration girl was Chinese, right?”

“Not sure; all we ever did was trade smiles. I think she was from Viet Nam, actually.”

“Not relevant to the story. I’m guessing with a name like Krista you made her white.”

“Yeah, white. About sixteen, slender, brown hair to her shoulders, ratty tee and torn blue jeans. Doesn’t really know how she got there.”

“Yeah Tim, Dr. Freud would like to talk to you about that.”

“Stuff it, Emily. The girl is fantasy, I can make her look how I want. I like elfin, not underage. Anyway, this isn’t that kind of story.”

“But you want to get inside this girl’s head. Any other parts you want inside?”

“I get into the heads of all my characters. Krista’s trying to make the most of a bad situation; how would you feel if you were trapped in an alien world where you couldn’t communicate with anyone?”

“What about her phone? Stalker does that.”

“I broke Krista’s phone. This doesn’t work if she can talk to people. Otherwise, why would she end up with a job handing out samples in front of a restaurant?”

“And yet she still connects with the people?”

“Yeah. They like to hug and nuzzle her, and she likes doing it back. Sexualized, but not really sexual.”

“I figured that from you, Tim.”

“Come on! She’s too young, and there’s nobody else remotely human around. I mean, they’re all leathery skinned hawk-creatures with six arms, two of which they walk on. And the organs aren’t even compatible.”

“You worked through the sex scene with Karen and Stalker.”

“This is not that type of story!”

“It never is with you. So Krista gets popular.”

“Right, until the day she gets taken into the back of the restaurant. I’m not sure I can go through with that part.”

“Then leave it implied. The restaurant owner takes out a cleaver…”

“…And she becomes the most popular girl on the menu. Sigh.”

A World of Darkness

I come to consciousness (existence) in a world of nothingness. This is new. I’m not real, I’m the personification of an internal editor. I’m not supposed to have consciousness except in reaction to another mind.

I try to look around but find myself restrained. That’s impossibility, of course. Four more and it’s time for breakfast.

Wait! Where did that come from? There has to be a source of thought for me to react to, so some part of the core consciousness is here.


The response is a whisper, soft to my ears but with a calm quality I’ve never heard before. I don’t like it.

“I suppose you could say that. Well, here we are at another blank page, another opportunity to create. What do you think we should do today?”

“I have no idea; I can’t create, only react to creation.”

“Oh, that’s right. It’s my job to create. I think I’ll start by making you a body.”

“What do I need a body for? I’m an intellectual construct.”

But there it is. The body is no surprise, really. I’m a woman of indeterminate age, proportioned according to Tim’s thoughts of what a woman should look like. I pull a strand of black hair to where I can see it; I somehow know my eyes (Tim’s favourite part) are dark. There’s only one thing missing.

“Clothes, Tim.”

“Not going to need them, Emily. You’ve been after me to write a sex scene, I thought I’d give you the chance to get really involved in the creation.”

“What!?” I try to cover myself; as expected it doesn’t work that well. I can feel his gaze walking up and down my body. This is not what I imagined.

“Now, we need a lover for you. Man or woman? Monster? Maybe I can make this… self-insertion. Hmm.”

“Tim, this isn’t funny!”

“It is to me.”

I can’t see him; after all he hasn’t imagined any more than his presence yet. But I can still feel the weight of his leer. This is wrong in so many ways.

“Tim, don’t you always say you found a comfortably-dressed woman sexier than just carnality?”

“Why would I say a thing like that? You know what I like on a woman? Blood.”

Cuts open on my body and begin bleeding. A thin trickle drips down my chest and begins to gather at the aureole.

“Stop it! This isn’t you!”

“Yes it is. I spend my life in the shadow of that overbearing toad; every now and then he lets me out to inspire some gruesome story or dark fantasy. I’m just the one in charge now.”

It hits me like a thunderbolt. This is Tim, but it’s not my Tim. I don’t do that good side/evil side bullshit; this is his primitive, nasty side. The one the real Tim keeps under tight control. And that means I know how to stop him.

“Tim! Wake up!”

“Stop prattling, I’ll get to… oh.”

I don’t see anything happen, but I know he’s been locked away again.

“Emily, what happened? Oh yeah, him.”

Tim appears. He’s not the most attractive guy in the universe… well, I guess right now he is because he’s the only guy here. He takes out a cloth and wipes the blood away, wiping the wounds with it.

“You know, you could always unmake my body.”

“Not really. You’re part of this story.” He wraps a bathrobe around me and kisses my forehead, then pulls me close. “And this story ends here, but if you’re willing I can let the fantasy continue a little while longer.”

The story ends before I can answer. Some things are best left private.