I blink at the ever-changing splotch once again, wondering who'll step forth next. As I stare, the thing takes the shape of a skull in my mind's eye, and I have my answer.
The tiny hairs on the back of my neck rise to attention, and my teeth threaten to chatter as the temperature in the room suddenly drops about 30 degrees. His cold hand moves my hair out of my face, then travels along my arm to visit my fingers, but he does not guide them. Frigid breath touches my cheek as he quietly tells me of the words I am to write, verbatim. It is a sad, rich, adventurous, terrifying, mysteriously naïve story of an author driven to the brink of sanity (yes, sanity) by the creatures in her imagination, telling her what, how, when, where, and why to write anything. Following this advice has effectively brought on the demise of the poor tale before it ever grew beyond a splotch on a page… His gratitude fills me as the ice melts away, leaving me alone once again to contemplate his words.