Leaning back in his black leather office chair, Mike folded his left arm around his midsection in support of his right arm he used to pinch the corners of his eyes. His eyelids were heavy from staring at the ominous blank white page on his laptop. Rubbing his hand down the right side of his face, Mike let out a frustrated sigh. The author leaned forward to pick up his favorite coffee mug, a black mug in the shape of Darth Vader when he realized that he had finished his coffee hours ago.
Spinning his legs from underneath his desk, Mike got up from his expensive office chair to walk to the window behind him. He needed some sort of inspiration and he needed it quickly. The sun was starting to set, providing a beautiful orange backdrop sky to his flower-filled backyard. Mike noticed a wheelbarrow was left out of his shed by the bed of wildflowers his wife loved. He made a mental note to speak to his groundskeeper in the morning.
Mike pulled out his cellphone from his pocket, scrolling through to see what he had missed during his unproductive writing session. He texted his wife, Anna, requesting she sends more coffee as soon as possible. He knew he really couldn’t afford the distraction, but in the few hours they were apart he missed seeing her smile.
His cell phone rang as his office door was opened by Anna. She walked in, tiptoeing quietly. Anna kept her curly brown hair short which suited her soft face. Mike looked down at his phone, the caller ID displayed the name Tony Urbal. He hung his head, realizing he had to take the call from his agent. He turned his back to his wife as she picked up his coffee mug to face the window again and answered the call.
“Miiiiike, it’s Tony,” the annoying voice came through the cell phone speaker. “What’s the news on Bitterline 2.0? Your fans are anxiously waiting for the release date on this. I would love to give them an update. And I’m not going to lie, the publisher also is inquiring the status of their investment. They are hoping to be able to release this sequel on the twentieth anniversary of the original book launch. Gosh, has it been 20 years?”
Mike closed his eyes before speaking. “Tony, it’s not going so well. I’ve been staring at a blank screen for a month now. I haven’t written a damn word of it.” He turned back around, walking back to his desk. Sitting back down in his chair, he turned again to look at the glowing white page. “I can’t even write the stupid title. I feel as if Bitterline’s characters are refusing to come out of retirement.”
“You’re an extremely talented and successful author,” he heard Tony lecturing. “I’m sure this isn’t anything to be worried about. We can figure this out together.”
Together, Mike thought to himself. Other than taking a percentage of the profits made on his hard work, he couldn’t think of one thing Tony has done to help him write his novels. Anger rolled up from his stomach to display redness on his cheeks. “How can you help?” The usual soft-spoken author regretted the sharpness in his tone instantly. A fresh cup of coffee was set down on his desk. Mike looked up to see Anna retreating to the door without a word. “This is more than just writer’s block.”
“Sounds to me like you just need a change of scenery. I’ll have Rebecca book you a cabin in Vermont for a few months.”
“What’s that going to do for me? I’m just fine writing from home. It’s worked for me for 20 years now. Why would I need to change?” Mike ran his fingers down the round handle of his coffee mug.
“Trust me, Mike. I’m the expert here,” Tony said through the phone. Mike couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “I’ll have all the arrangements sent over to you by tomorrow afternoon. So, start packing your bags. You leave by Friday.”
Mike hung up his cellphone without another word. He slid it on the top of his glossy oak desk. Looking back at his laptop screen, he leaned over with a smile.
“The End,” he typed before closing the laptop. He got up from his chair, walking to his opened office door. “Honey, we’re going to Vermont,” he called out.