Right Must Write

– a dissection of thoughts from the creative’s brain.


There was a disturbance within the gray matter. At three o’clock in the morning, the Circadian rhythm was disrupted and REM ceased.

Left realized the change first and panicked. “Shhhh,” she whispered, afraid to make any sudden movements. “Just breathe and go back to sleep before Right wakes up.”

Left focused on steady calculated breaths. In. Out. Peaceful.

“Oh my god! Is it working?!” Right asked. He nudged Left. “Psst… Are you falling back to sleep yet? Left?”

“Shut up,” she scolded him. “Go back to sleep. Don’t think about anything but-”

“I have an idea for the book,” Right interrupted.

“Shut up! We have too much to do tomorrow. We have to sleep.”

“What if we change the killer’s motive?” he asked.

Left shifted her focus to Right. She knew she’d never fall back asleep now that Right had brought it up. The flood gate of ideas for the novel had been opened, and Right and Left discussed everything that couldn’t be ignored. Two hours had passed. Left tossed and turned, irritated with Right, while character development, plotline twists, and dialogue washed over the crevices and ridges in their brain. The constant flow of thought kept them from returning to sleep.

“Let’s write it down,” Left said. “They say if you write it down, it’s easier to fall asleep.”

After scribbling down notes in a journal, stressing the tired eyes and body, Left and Right had spewed out every thought that had invaded their sleep. It was recorded. It was done. They could finally sleep.

Left felt a wave of relief at the accomplishment. “OK, Right. Well done. Goodnight.”

“Good night!” He said with cheerful pride. “I’m so glad we hashed that out.”

“Me too.”

They focused on simply breathing. Their thoughts for the evening had been expelled. A comforting darkness blanketed them. In and out. Peaceful. A flicker of a dream began to play while they phased into a restful state.

“If we were on that reality TV show Hunted, we’d want to go into the woods. Camping would be the way to go,” Right said.

“No!” Left snapped, looking at the time. 5:00 a.m. “Go to sleep. This is not important.”

Right was silenced for only a moment. “I’d dye our hair and pretend to be someone else. It would be so much fun. I could take out cash—go on the lamb. Where did that phrase come from anyway? ‘on the lamb.’”

“I’d have to look it up,” Left sighed. “Now hush. We have too much to do in the morning to be awake right now.”

Right followed orders and did his best to remain quiet. The peacefulness returned, but before they could reach REM, Left turned to Right and said, “If we were on the lamb, we’d have to stop at the ATM first, then buy our items with cash, then retreat to the woods. We would have to plan ahead of time, without using our own computers for Google searches. That’s how they find you. Digital footprints…”

Right stretched and yawned after a lengthy discussion about things that had nothing to do with novel-writing. It was 6:00 a.m. “I could go for some coffee,” Right said.

“Me too. We have a lot to do today.”


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