The third story in the Winter Prose Competition 2011 series.
Mia Dalhousie slumped forward on her computer desk while her chin rested on her balled up fists. Weary tears rolled down her cheeks, onto the scattered sheets of paper on the desk's cluttered surface. The dim light of dawn peeked through the window behind her. She had spent the whole night trying to finish her book before the deadline, but her computer wouldn't let her. The last chapter kept deleting itself.
She spent hours of rewriting, copying, pasting and going over the last chapter. Nothing worked, the chapter would not stay on the screen. She shut the computer off out of sheer frustration. The monitor went dark for several minutes, then it lit up again without Mia turning it back on.
Mia saw this happen out of the corner of her eye, from her slumped position at the desk. She felt a chill of fear run through her as she resisted the urge to look at the computer.
Her head jerked up to face the screen involuntarily, without warning. She couldn't move her head, so she tried to cast her eyes downward. She couldn't even move her eyes, or blink. She was forced to look at the screen. One enormous word completely filled it.
The message all but screamed at her. Her body was released from whatever force had been holding it, and her chin fell dispiritedly down on her chest.
"I did rewrite it!"
The message changed on the computer. She looked up on her own this time.
CHANGE THE END
"I can't change it. I don't see any way to let the evil creature live to kill again, and still give the readers what they want. They want the thing dead."
SCREW THE READERS
"Well screw you. You're just a character in a book. You're not here, even if my tired imagination makes you seem real. If I want to write you off, I will write you off!" She screamed at it.
She reached behind the desk to the wall receptacle, and pulled the plug. She watched as the screen went black. Mia pushed the chair back, then ran for the door. She almost made it before the invisible malevolent force stopped her in her tracks. Her entire body was once again rendered immobile, until the unseen entity spun her around to face the computer. The desktop resumed its white screen without any juice to power it.
The message reappeared on the monitor.
"Leave me alone!"
REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE
The words filled the screen as though the message writer was throwing a temper tantrum. Mia was picked up and literally thrown at the computer desk. Her head hit the edge with a resounding thunk. A deep gash opened up in her forehead, gushing blood.
She slid to the floor unconscious, with her head resting inside the knee hole of the desk. She remained there for an hour while something big, mean and invisible spent its wrath on the furnishings of the cottage.
The couch did a violent flip, the cushions torn to pieces. The kitchen cupboard doors flew open, and every single dish smashed against the wall, one at a time. The boxes and bottles of dry goods in the pantry burst open or crushed themselves with unseen force.
In a final display of unchecked rage, the resident evil shoved the fridge on its side. The door came off its hinges, and everything liquid in it, flooded out of broken jars and containers. A head of cabbage whizzed through the kitchen door into the living room, and smashed right through the living room window.
Mia regained consciousness slowly, while the sounds of destruction escalated around her. She had a splitting headache. She could taste the rusty horror of dried blood on her lips. She had to get out, she had to think. She opened her eyes just a little bit to see what was going on. The early light of dawn had become full daylight while she was out cold.
She saw a lighter leaning up against the baseboard. It must have fallen behind the desk several months earlier, before she quit smoking. She listened carefully to make sure the evil force was still busy trashing the kitchen. She reached toward the lighter as quietly as she could. She grabbed it and slowly backed out from the knee hole. She stood up as the destruction continued. Without a moment's hesitation, she lit the strewn papers on the desk, and ran toward the front door.