November 24, 2004
From Confessions of a Writer, a collection
of my short stories (2004). Persian
The writer, sitting behind his desk for hours, tires.
He looks at the
and to walks toward his bed. The roaring wind rattles the window
panes. He narrows his eyes as he gets up and thinks autumn
is not his favorite season.
He hears a human voice, but no one is there in the room but him.
He peers through the window into the darkness and sees nothing
but his reflection. Terrified and puzzled, he searches each corner
of his small room asking, "Is anyone there?" He hears
nothing but the tree branches scratching the window and the loud
whistle of the wind. He takes steps toward his bed in the corner
when he hears the voice again
"I am here."
"Where?" he asks, wheezing. "I don't
see anyone here."
"You wrote me, therefore I am. I sound like a philosopher,
I like that."
The writer looks at the clock on the wall. Its three hours past
midnight. He runs his fingers through his hair with confusion, "I
must get more sleep." With a disbelieving smile, he again
walks toward his bed.
"You have not lost your sanity, I am Jacob."
"I don't know any Jacob."
"You do. You know me better I know myself. We are related."
The writer desperately pleads, "Where are you?"
"Don't pretend you don't know me and don't
hurt my feelings by ignoring someone who has done so much for you.
How many lives should I take to prove my friendship? We are blood
buddies. You write the plot and I carry it out flawlessly. This
is the most deep and lasting of relationships."
"I am going nuts. Only a lunatic argues with the character
of his own book let alone with the most demented one of all."
"Help me escape or get rid of me forever, I am worried."
"Your future will be as it was in previous stories. You
get away without a trace. Everything will be fine. You live. You
live in the hearts and minds of my readers, in the darkest labyrinth
of their souls."
"I used to do it without fear, without remorse. I had
no hate. I did it just for the pleasure of doing it. Do you remember
the old couple I killed for less than a hundred dollars? Money
I didn't even need. My only enjoyment was to see them suffer,
to see them beg for their lives. But something has changed. Now
my hands shake. This is the end. If I get caught, I won't
have any excuse."
"That's why you won't get caught. That's
the beauty of you. If you kill for a reason, you leave a trace
and eventually get caught. The idea is not to have a reason. That's
how you survive. Be terrified of being scared. Don't you
see? You are as innocent as your victims. That's how I created
you. No one understands you but everyone relates to you. That's
who you are."
"But you don't understand."
"I understand you. You suffer from a pain down deep in
your soul. From a disease that more or less everyone has and constantly
denies. That's why the readers relate to you. You make sense in
the darkness of their soul. If you were normal, police would have
captured you by now. There must be no pattern in your work. All
of your cases are still open in four states because you are unique.
But that's not the end of it yet. You will live forever.
Your future works will astonish everyone."
"But I am losing my touch, I get emotional. Last time
I was terrified seeing blood on my hands. I'm becoming fucking
normal. I am scared."
"I must go to sleep now and you don't worry, as
long as you are who you are, you will do fine. Just be yourself."
"That's my problem, I am too good to be in your
books, and I am real. That's why everything you write comes
"Yes sir, you are real. Don't ever doubt that. This
is the art of writing; I made you so real even you don't
think you are in the book. I created you. I gave you life, I gave
you meaning, you are an anti-hero and you will live. But now I
wish I had given you a little more common sense. Leave me alone,
I need to sleep."
"Remember Julia? Julia who was found dead in the New Hampshire
woods three years ago? I am talking about the same innocent looking
waitress who worked in the Red Castle restaurant. Do you remember
the day I ordered a hamburger and told her that her innocence would
get her in trouble one day? Guess how many times her beautiful
and innocent face was cut when they found her body? Everything
that happened to her was exactly as you wrote in your book. Police
had no trace of the killer and no clue of the killer's motive.
But you and I know what happened.
"Two months later you wrote about Carlos. The FBI is still
wondering why a boxing champion like Carlos did not defend himself.
His hands were free at the time of murder. No marks of any kind
were found on his wrists when his body was found. It looked like
he cooperated with the killer!
The shocking news of his mysterious murder was in the papers
for months all across the country. His horrific death took away
the sense of security of everyone in New York. No one felt safe
anymore. Finally, a couple of years later it was announced that
the cops had arrested a suspect and as he attempted to escape he
was shot dead. That was the best they could do to put people's
mind at rest. What a big lie. But we know what really happened.
A few weeks later, the news of disappearance of a little girl
named Amanda cane was out, police picked up a man in a neighborhood
where who was allegedly trying to lure a little boy in his car.
This poor bastard had been in jail three times for petty theft
charges. His criminal record spoke for itself. And he didn't
have an honest face to help him in the court. They said they had
found victim's hair in his car. And that was that. Who better
than him could pay for a crime he didn't commit? His entire
case in the court didn't last more than a couple of days.
The jury found him guilty in less than one hour and three weeks
later he sat in the electric chair. Case closed. The people's
minds were at rest.
The writer checks the newspaper archives on the Internet and
discovers that both of the murder plots he wrote were carried out
precisely as he depicted them. The details from police and reporters' investigations
exactly matched what he had written in his stories. His unpublished
stories. The times and places of the crimes were identical. Even
the names of the victims were the same. The only things that didn't
match with his writings were speculations and theories of the FBI
regarding the killer's motives and where about. And those
were exactly what he had not written.
As Jacob said two innocent men had been executed in two states
for the crimes they had not committed.
The writer rushes to the shelf where containing manuscripts of
his unpublished work. They were all there intact. He rubs his temples
with his two index fingers and walks back and forth a few steps.
He then lights a cigarette and as he deeply inhales the smoke he
looks at his hands and says to Jacob, "Your hand must not
shake! This is the secret of your success. This is the only way
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