I’m in my head a lot. That’s why I took it when I had the opportunity to work from home as a freelance writer. I can be home and work at my own pace and on my own time. It’s not that I’m anti-social. I love my family and friends but have difficulty interacting with others outside of them. That’s why I decided to merge my passions, being alone and writing on my computer. I am not going to lie, it was good at first. My clients told me I had a unique style of writing that they’d never seen before. But that ended up being my downfall. “It wasn’t what we were imagining,” the clients started to say when I submitted my work. I’ve always had this problem where I need validation to believe in myself, especially regarding my writing, so the comments were less than helpful to my self-esteem. I worked paycheck to paycheck, but it was no longer cutting it. I started to lose faith in myself until one fateful day.
It was a cold December night. I was swaddled in my electric blanket and my flannel pajamas. I had my sweet-smelling Christmas candle burning on my bedside table. I was scrolling through Reddit on my laptop, wishing for something to take my mind off my life. It very clearly wasn’t working when I went to the search bar to look up “failed writer.” I saw the same old stuff every time I searched it, which was quite a few times as of late. I tossed my opened laptop to the foot of my bed and let out a loud yell. I was so stressed and unsure these days. I just wanted to disappear. I got out of my cacoon and walked to my fridge, pouring myself a large glass of water. I have been significantly dehydrated the past few days. Hydrating hasn’t been one of my top priorities lately.
I walked carefully back to my bed, ensuring not to spill the water. I gently set it down next to my candle and climbed back into bed. I reached down for my laptop and placed it back on my lap. Oddly a Reddit post was open; I know for a fact it was not there when I left. I just shrugged it off. It must have been clicked when I tossed my laptop aside. The post itself was average. It was a couple of sentences long, with a link at the bottom. The post said, “having trouble writing? This new writing browser, ‘wish writer,’ will help you with all your writing troubles.” Now, as your average computer nerd, I am well aware of the dangers of clicking on random links. But I had an odd feeling about this. It felt like I needed to click it. So with clenched teeth and closed eyes, I clicked it. I was praying that I wouldn’t be met with a pop-up virus when I reopened my eyes. But I knew in the back of my head that it was most likely what I would see. But, to my honest surprise, I was met with a blank white screen with a blinking cursor. It looked like any old writing browser like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. The only difference was there was nothing at the top of the page. I couldn’t change my font or alter the size of it. My heart sank when I realized I couldn’t view the search bar at the top of my screen. I could not leave the page or see anything but the white screen.
I sat back and took a deep breath; why was my life so horrible? I started by clicking the power button on the upper right corner of my keyboard, but no luck. I closed my computer a few times, but no luck. There isn’t much I can do now, I thought. It was the middle of the night, so I would have to wait until the morning to get any assistance. The world hates me. I looked at the blank screen with blank eyes and started typing. The child in me still had a small hope that my “writing dreams would come true.” So I started typing; what would be something that I wanted and would benefit me? Yes, I could ask for a billion dollars, but it always felt wrong when things were handed to me. I liked to work for my success. My eyes began to get heavy as sleep started to take over. I just typed a simple, “why can’t things just go back to how they were?” With that, I closed my laptop and set it on the floor. I downed my glass of water before snuggling up and dozing off. Hopefully, life will be better tomorrow.
I woke up early the following day due to my internal alarm clock. After my eyes adjusted, I got up. I walked through my kitchen to my bathroom. While passing through my kitchen, I heard my phone going off the hook with notifications. I have been keeping my phone in my kitchen to charge at night. I needed to avoid social media and my clients’ negative comments. After leaving the bathroom, I walked over to my phone. It took me a second for my brain to comprehend what I saw. My home screen was filled with notifications from my outlook account. I was ready to open them to see emails full of disappointed clients. But, to my shock, it was the opposite. There were tons of emails from clients interested in my writing praising me for my work. I didn’t know what to think. Why was this happening now, and why was it happening all at once?
It wasn’t until I strolled happily back into my bedroom, and opened my laptop, that I remembered what had transpired the night prior. The screen was still white, with no way of exiting. There were three short sentences written under my supposed wish. It said, “Congratulations, your first wish has been granted, Eddie. You have one more left. Use it wisely.” How did this “thing” know my name? How was it capable of granting my wish? Most of all, what am I supposed to do now?
I needed a break. This was scaring me. I paced back and forth, my mind racing. What should I do? I couldn’t even bring myself to answer any of the emails; they weren’t even real, anyways. This was just adding fuel to the fire. My life was already in shambles. Why does this have to happen to me?
I knew I needed to stop thinking; it always kills me. I knew what I needed to do. I had a wish, after all. I got into bed and opened my laptop. I glanced out the window to the winter wonderland and typed, “I wish….” I woke up two hours later, still lying in my bed. My laptop was closed and placed on my bedside table. I got up and walked to my phone, which was still on my kitchen counter. I opened my outlook app, and all of the emails were gone. I went to my deleted messages, and they weren’t there either. It was almost like they never existed.
That was five months ago. Since then, my life has changed. I have started my own website, where I write how I like to write, and found people who love my writing. I realized that I needed to “believe in me” before I could want anything more, especially regarding my writing. After my encounter with the “wish writer,” my computer returned to normal. I tried to find the post on Reddit for weeks, but it was almost like it was never there. In a way, the experience helped me through that dark time in my life. I have a question I know will never be answered, but I am curious; what would have happened if I wished for something else?
Ciccarelli, Devan. “Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word: Everything You Need to Know.” GoSkills.com, GoSkills, 12 June 2017, www.goskills.com/Microsoft-Office/Resources/Google-Docs-Microsoft-Word-comparison.
My story talks about a lot of writing. So I decided to research more about writing apps like google docs and Microsoft word. I based most of the “mysterious website” on these apps.
Piglet. “Winnie the Pooh.”
It is a very different choice for a character source, and I chose Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. I imagine Eddie to have many similarities to Piglet, and Eddie is kind and anxious, but very honest.
“Welcome to Woodstock, Vermont: Woodstock VT.” Welcome to Woodstock, Vermont | Woodstock VT, https://www.woodstockvt.com/.
My story takes place in Eddie’s bedroom/house, but he does live in a small town called Woodstock, Vermont. The story takes place during winter, so it is snowing.