Fifty Shades of Ink








Fifty Shades of Ink

The story of a writer and an editor.

My name, for what it’s worth, is Robin Hackwright. I was a 24 year old student attending Bulwer-Lytton Memorial University, but I wasn’t doing very well in school because I was spending all my time outside of classes working on a novel. It was a romance about a beautiful ballerina named Pemberley, who loses her ability to dance in a freak Cuisinart accident, and Traff, a wealthy, young and stunningly handsome goat farmer. I’d gotten to the point near the end of the narrative when Traff carries the injured Pemberley through the rain to his mountainside hut, where they make love on a bed of hastily shredded financial statements, when my irrepressible best friend Morgan burst through the door of my dorm room.

“Guess what, Robin! That superfamous and superhot editor, Noel Poundscribe, is giving a seminar on getting published tomorrow right here on campus!”

“Really?” I said, not particularly interested. I hadn’t even thought about publishing my novel. To me it was a labor of love and nothing more. I’d only shown Morgan a few hundred pages of it over the last few months and that was all. She’d said she loved it, even though she’d never actually read any other book before, but I’d always assumed she was just being nice.

“You should go, Robin! You should bring him your manuscript! Show it to him! He’s got publishing connections up the wookie, I bet!”

I chuckled. Oh, that endearingly irrepressible Morgan and her odd and inappropriate Star Wars references.

“Morgan,” I said, “Noel Poundscribe is going to be inundated tomorrow with mobs of people trying to flog their manuscript and/or their nubile young college bodies at him,” I said. “Why don’t you go, if you’re so hot for this guy, and then you can tell me how it went.”

Morgan growled.

“Holy tauntaun spit, Robin!” she cried as she tore down my Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyer posters in an irrepressible and yet strangely endearing rage. “You’re hopeless! Don’t you want to succeed as a writer?”

“I haven’t even finished my book yet!” I rejoindered. “And besides, I’m young and naive and from a small town and this Noel Poundscribe is probably some stuck-up snob from some stuck-up snobby city like New York or someplace like that.”

 Morgan shook her head, too upset to even make a Star Wars reference, and stomped out in a huff. I went back to working on my novel. I doubted I’d ever get my book published, but I knew one thing in life, and that was that words would never let me down.

I slept in late the next day, having kept at the novel until 4 AM, trying to get the description of the feeling of Traff’s 24-hour stubble on Pemberley’s left nipple just right. I crawled bleary-eyed out of bed, shocked to see it was already three in the afternoon, wondering how I could have slept in so very late, as was not my wont. I went to my desk to look at the finally finished manuscript, which I had printed out the night before, with the intention of giving it a read-over today, but it wasn’t there.

That stack of virgin white paper wasn’t there.

I panicked. I began to hyperventilate. Where was my book? I hadn’t bothered saving any electronic versions to this point, because, hey, I was a college student and being able to claim I’d lost all my work was my go-to excuse for not handing in assignments.

Just as I was about to climb onto the windowsill and throw myself out (forgetting in my anguish that I lived on the main floor of the dorm), Morgan burst into the room with an endearingly manic grin on her face.

“Hey, famous author!” she hailed me.

“What are you talking about?” I bleated. “I’ve lost my book!”

“Oh, really,” she said coyly, ironically and irrepressibly all at the same time. “Tell that to Noel Poundscribe.”

“Morgan, what did you …” I said, breaking off in mid-sentence in order to convey confusion and emotional intensity.

 “I gave him your manuscript, you silly nerf-shagger,” Morgan said.

“Bpt  … fglt … blbbl … mmph … ” I stammered, at a loss for words for the first time in my life as a struggling, penniless writer.

“I broke in here last night when you were already asleep,” Morgan said. “I took the manuscript and I also drugged you with a hypodermic syringe of  [ google narcotic drug ] so that you would sleep in and not notice the book was gone until after Noel’s talk.”

Oh, that Morgan. How could I ever be angry at her? And yet, curiously I did punch her in the face right then.

“How could you do this to me?” I ejaculated, as a solitary tear traced its lonely way down my satin cheek.

Morgan picked herself up off the floor, wiped the blood from her swelling lip, and giggled.

“You know, old irrepressible me,” she said. “But listen, Robin. You’re going to poop carbonite when you hear this. Noel agreed to read the novel. He even read some of it right there and said he was … and I quote … intrigued.”

I believe I fainted then. Or maybe it was an after-effect of the drug. All I know is that I conveniently lost consciousness, so that this story could quickly skip ahead to the next scene.


 [to be continued]














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