Sep. 3rd, 2011

Danny stuck his head into the study where Sheila was working. She looked up from her spreadsheet and smiled at her husband. He didn't smile back. Danny looked worried.

"I can't think of anything to write," he complained.

Sheila pushed back from the computer. "Oh," she said sympathetically. "That's bad." Danny had a daily column in the newspaper – human interest stuff, fluff pieces, that sort of thing. He wrote it every day, starting around nine thirty in the morning, and he was usually done by around two. Then he had the rest of the day for errands or golf or whatever. It was, Sheila had always privately felt, a pretty cush job.

Sheila checked her watch. It was now four in the afternoon. Danny hadn't even started yet? Danny came all the way into the study and slumped in the armchair. He looked anxious; jumpy.

Sheila knew better than to start suggesting story ideas. That wasn't how Danny worked. His column had to be his, all the way, from the first germ of a notion to the final completed product.

"So," asked Sheila hesitantly, "is it just that your idea isn't working out so good, or…"

"No." Danny was firm, almost hostile. "I don't have an idea. I am completely out of ideas."

He blinked at Sheila. He didn't have the words to express what his body language said plainly: HELP ME.

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