Hopes & Memories: A story that tries not to be as sappy as the title

My latest piece for Conceited Crusade. About old dreams and not reaching them.


Conceited Crusade

We’re switching it up this week here at the Crusade – we’re posting pieces based on a one-word prompt: “interview.” Check back every day to see where the next writer takes it.

The engine of my bike sputters to a halt as I pull the keys out of the ignition and step out onto the red sand. My tires are filthy and I look at the tread marks leading all the way back to the main road. A sigh escapes my dry lips and I refocus my view onto my objective: a young boy with a mess of hair Medusa’ing its way around his pale face. He’s sitting on a rock with his knees pulled up to his chest and a permanent frown on his face.
“So grouchy.” I mutter as I make my way over to him. The desert sky is hot and my armpits are producing so much…

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Golden Eagles, Werebears, and Grufflemuffins – Oh My!

Picture this – it’s deep winter and snow is packed on the forest floors like dandruff on a homeless man’s shoulders. The moon is full but not visible: the empty branches stretch overhead and block out any potential light. All you have is a torch in your right hand. The heat is intense but you prefer it to the alternative, and so your face sweats while your toes freeze. You have one goal and one goal only: write an interesting blog post.

You tremble and struggle through the forest until finally you see it. Your inspiration, tucked away beneath the talons of a large, golden eagle that sits atop the tip of a mountain festered with werebears and grufflemuffins. You twist your fingers around the hilt of your pen and draw it with the intention of spilling ink. You leap forward, penning through drafts like your wrists are made of seismographs. But as you get through crumpling you latest draft, you look up and notice you are nowhere nearer your inspiration.

Your frustration is crippling. You roar into the sky with mad determination. In an effort to reach your inspiration, you circle around the mountain in a previously trailed path, full of drafts already bleeding with red ink. But these drafts, as polished as they are, only hold you back more. You are reminded of how many drafts you’ve had to scrap already – how many wrong turns you’ve taken in the past. Maybe your inspiration is gone now and forever in the claws of a golden eagle and its posse of werebears and grufflemuffins.

Tsing. That’s the sound of your pen sheathing into the ground. You kneel beside it, sweat dripping from your forehead. What now?

Low and behold, next to you a young man in a black polo and a green cape waving in the wind. His face hasn’t met the challenge of shaving yet – I don’t even know if his balls have dropped. It doesn’t matter. For all his youth, he is already an expert at his craft. He wraps his cape around him, into an apron, and with swift determination creates 32oz of magic in a cup with a single green straw. He hands it to you, and you see your name mangled in sharpie. You smile – the effort counts.

You retrieve your pen. Tsing. The battle has only just begun.

Cue ominous Latin church chant.  


These blank pages used to mean everything to me. A new beginning. A new adventure. Another escape.

Now all this empty space intimidates me. It scares me. Words that used to trickle from my mind and effortlessly find their place in intricate sentences now sit trapped in my noggin somewhere, stumbling and struggling to appear comprehendible.

I’m no longer the storyteller I used to be. I can’t even fathom becoming the writer I once wanted to be. I never thought I’d lose this part of me, and yet I feel as if I have.

I am drained of inspiration.