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]











Anastasia “Ana” Steele is a 21-year-old college senior attending Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington with her best friend Katharine “Kate” Melicor, who writes for their student newspaper. Due to an illness, Kate persuades Ana to take her place and interview 27-year-old Christian Grey, an incredibly successful and wealthy young entrepreneur in Seattle. Ana is instantly attracted to Christian, but also finds him intimidating. As a result, she stumbles through the interview asking questions about his personal life and relationships and leaves Christian’s office believing that it went badly. Ana tries to console herself thinking the two of them will probably never meet again. However, she is surprised when Christian appears at Clayton’s, the largest independent hardware store in the Portland area, where she works. While he purchases various items including cable ties, masking tape and rope, Ana informs Christian that Kate would like some photographs to go along with her article about him. Christian leaves Ana with his phone number. Later that day, Kate urges Ana to call Christian and arrange a photo shoot with their photographer friend José Rodriguez.

The next day José, Kate, and Ana arrive for the photo shoot at the Heathman where Christian is staying and Christian asks Ana out for coffee. The two talk over coffee and Christian asks Ana if she’s dating anyone, specifically José. When Ana replies that she isn’t dating anyone, Christian begins to ask her about her family. During the conversation, Ana learns that Christian is also single, but is not “a hearts and flowers kind of guy”. This “warning” intrigues Ana, especially after he pulls her out of the path of an oncoming cyclist. However, Ana believes that she is not attractive enough for Christian, much to the chagrin of Kate. After finishing her exams, Ana receives a package from Christian containing first edition copies of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, which stuns her. Later that night, Ana goes out drinking with her friends and ends up drunk dialing Christian, who informs her that he will be coming to pick her up because of her inebriated state. Ana goes outside to get some fresh air, and José attempts to kiss her, but is stopped by Christian’s arrival. Ana leaves with Christian, but not before she discovers that Kate has been flirting with Christian’s brother, Elliot. Later, Ana wakes to find herself in Christian’s hotel room, where he scolds her for not taking proper care of herself. Christian then reveals that he would like to have sex with her. He initially says that Ana will first have to fill out paperwork, but later goes back on this statement after making out with her in the elevator.

Ana goes on a date with Christian where he takes her in his helicopter, Charlie Tango, to his apartment. Once there, Christian insists that she sign a non-disclosure agreement forbidding her to discuss anything that they do together, which Ana agrees to sign. He also mentions other paperwork, but first takes her to his playroom full of BDSM toys and gear. There Christian informs her that the second contract will be one of dominance and submission and that there will be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one. The contract even forbids Ana from touching Christian or making eye contact with him. At this point, Christian realizes that Ana is a virgin and agrees to take her virginity without making her sign the contract. The two then have sex. The following morning, Ana and Christian once again have sex. His mother then arrives moments after their sexual encounter, and is surprised by the meeting, having previously thought Christian was homosexual because he was never seen with a woman. Christian later takes Ana out to eat, and he reveals to her that he lost his virginity at fifteen to one of his mother’s friends, Elena Lincoln, and that his previous dominant/submissive relationships (Christian reveals that in his first dominant/submissive relationship he was the submissive) failed due to incompatibility. They plan to meet up again and Christian takes Ana home, where she discovers several job offers and admits to Kate that she and Christian had sex.

Over the next few days, Ana receives several packages from Christian. These include a laptop to enable her to perform research on the BDSM lifestyle in consideration of the contract as well as for the two of them to communicate, since she has never previously owned a computer, and a more detailed version of the dominant/submissive contract. She and Christian email each other, with Ana teasing him and refusing to honor parts of the contract, such as only eating foods from a specific list. Ana later meets up with Christian to discuss the contract, only to grow overwhelmed by the potential BDSM arrangement and the potential of having a sexual relationship with Christian that is not romantic in nature. Because of these feelings, Ana runs away from Christian and does not see him again until her college graduation, where he is a guest speaker. During this time, Ana agrees to sign the dominant/submissive contract. Ana and Christian once again meet up to further discuss the contract, and they go over Ana’s hard and soft limits. Ana is spanked for the first time by Christian; the experience leaves her both enticed and slightly confused. This confusion is exacerbated by Christian’s lavish gifts, and the fact that he brings her to meet his family. The two continue with the arrangement without Ana having yet signed the contract. After successfully landing a job with Seattle Independent Publishing (SIP), Ana further bristles under the restrictions of the non-disclosure agreement and the complex relationship with Christian. The tension between Ana and Christian eventually comes to a head after Ana asks Christian to punish her in order to show her how extreme a BDSM relationship with him could be. Christian fulfills Ana’s request, beating her with a belt, only for Ana to realize that the two of them are incompatible. Devastated, Ana leaves Christian and returns to the apartment she shares with Kate.





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