A morning writing exercise

I open my eyes. I try to recall the dream I had but it keeps on slipping from my mind. I remember running. I remember my hands were bound in chains. I remember…nothing more aside from that.

Damn! I could have used that dream as story material.

I turn to the side and the clock on my bedside table has 4AM displayed on its digital face. Too early. I woke up too early. I close my eyes to try to go back to sleep. After a minute or two I give up. I sit up on my bed and stretch.

I pour myself a cup of coffee. I take the cup close to my face and I breathe in deep.  I allow it to wash over me. I put down the cup without taking a sip—I don’t drink coffee. Is that weird? Every single morning I make myself a cup of coffee just to breathe in its wondrous scent. Everyone has their own quirks I guess. I tap on the touchpad of my laptop and the screen comes to life. A blank word document stares at me. I sigh.

Okay, time to go to work.

I’m about to place my fingers on the keys but then I hesitate. What to write? I try to recall my dream once again but I still find it elusive. I type in a couple of sentences. I read them once, then twice, and then I delete them. I turn my face to the ceiling and I spin on my swivel chair. It’s been a week already and I still haven’t gotten over my writer’s block. A minute passes by and I start to see patterns on the stains on my ceiling. I see a gnarled face of an old man. I see a skull. I see a spider sitting on top of the skull.

A skull-eating spider? No… An old man who loves to collects skulls. He has a pet spider. The spider’s not your typical spider though. It loves to eat the flesh off of dead people. Whenever the old man gets his arthritic hands on a newly found skull, he lets his pet spider eat the flesh off of it first—to clean it up, to make it look nice and neat. He then sets it on his wooden cabinet, along with the other skulls he had collected. He takes out a key in his pocket and he unlocks a drawer. Inside, another skull sits. It’s smaller than the others. It’s older as well. It has already turned yellow with age. He looks at it long. He looks at it with a smile. He doesn’t see a skull. He sees his son. The old man with the gnarled face starts crying, his pet spider sitting on his shoulder. I open my eyes and I start typing, the scent of coffee lingering in the air.