It had been nearly five years since James lost his grandfather. The relationship and bond they shared were like no other and it still hurt to reminisce at times, so he often forced himself to block the memories. A few years after the funeral James decided a fresh start would probably be good for him, so he decided to take a job in D.C. as an assistant editor for a local paper. He wondered if he would have trouble getting acclimated to a new city and state since he had no friends there, however, he assumed most of his time would be spent working so it didn't matter.
James was always focused and determined. He wrote a column for the school bulletin when he was in college and had a degree in creative writing, so it felt all too familiar. The neighborhood he lived in was a bit eclectic and there was a local bookstore up the street that hosted an amateur writing event every other month. There were flyers everywhere which made it hard to miss. In small print, it read, "Winner receives $150 and a free book of their choice!" Although he could use the money it didn't seem worth his time, but it was still quite interesting. He hadn't written the way he used to since the funeral, and he wasn't sure he was ready.
Weekends in the city were magical. Events everywhere, live music, good food, and everything seemed to be all the buzz. James promised himself that he would eventually get into the vibe, but this weekend would be dedicated to unpacking the last few boxes. After all, it had been eight months since he moved, and it was time to get completely settled. He ordered a pizza, opened a bottle of wine, and got to work. The fun part about unpacking is you often forget what you have stowed away and it's as if you are opening a gift. There was a box marked, "just for you". That's funny James thought, it wasn't in his handwriting. Ah, his mom must have packed away a care package and didn't tell him. Made sense because she asked him every week if he had finally gotten the last of his boxes emptied. He would call her right after and thank her for whatever it was. As James opened the small box his eyes filled with tears, and he took a deep breath. Inside was a picture of him and his grandfather, the tickets to the car show they went to when he was 14, and his grandfathers' special pen.
James always had a passion for writing that allowed him to escape as needed. Growing up he never knew what made this pen so special, or why it never seemed to run out of ink. He just knew he wanted it because it belonged to someone he loved so much. Closing his eyes, he could hear his grandfather say, "It will be yours one day to create your very own special memories." As James pulled the flyer out of his pocket, his sadness was replaced with a smile, and he knew all along the perpetual muse was his grandfather and that special pen.
Our inspiration comes from many places, some known, and some forever a mystery. Life is funny in that it will show you what you seek without asking a single question. In this story of love, inspiration, and hope, James finds himself running from the past, only to find his purpose along the way.
AJ is a creative writer and storyteller writing from her home in Indiana.
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman