Phantom Plagiarism
by Sharon Anderson

A writer has it bad nowadays

     In an effort to insure that my bed chamber was kept free from evil spirits, I draped the room with garlands of garlic, scattered the yellow flowers of wolfsbane around, and loaded my revolver with silver bullets. Thick steel bars fortified my window and a mallet and wooden stake occupied the nightstand. The usual paraphernalia I supposed everyone employed for security in preparation for the dreaded hour, midnight.

     I climbed into bed, cowering beneath the covers as the old hall clock struck twelve. Again, the apparition materialized in the doorway, clad in a gossamer gown. I obviously had failed to find the correct antidote for this particular specter. Terrified, I quickly closed my eyes, and in a feeble last attempt, whispered a wise on the rabbit foot clutched in my hand.

     “Not your blood, not your meat, but your thoughts will be my treat,” it chanted, floating across the room. The weight of the thing rendered me helpless as it lay atop my form. It plunged a bony finger in each of my ears, placed its open mouth over mine, and inhaled my every thought.

     The alarm clock caused me to wake with a start. I jumped out of bed and made my way to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. The morning sun filtered through the blinds and the songs of birds filled the air. The beginning of a beautiful day and I was still exhausted, with a throbbing headache. I took some aspirin, drank a second cup of coffee, and determined not to waste my only day off on a migraine.

     Later, I sat dumbfounded before the typewriter, with a classic case of writer’s block. After staring at a blank page for twenty minutes, I decided to finish reading the current best seller, written by a phantom author.

     For some unexplainable reason I was strangely drawn to the novel, intrigued by the coincidence of its familiarity.