Someone once told Erica that every good writer has a little editor inside their heads that gives them advice on their story. Erica, however, had one sitting on her desk, two inches high, and eating a pencil.
“Don’t write that,” The little editor said, “That sucks.”
“How else should I write it?”
The little editor shrugged, “I don’t know, just not like that. Your story is terrible anyways. If you show it to people, they’ll just laugh at you. Why don’t you write about something good?”
Erica snarled something under her breath and swiped the little editor off her desk. “I like my story.”
“Everyone else will hate it. I’m only trying to help.” The little editor climbed up the chair and jumped back onto the desk.
Erica gave up. She tore the page out of her notebook and threw it in the trash. “Fine, then. Give me a topic."
The little editor hesitated. “Now?”
The little editor thought for a moment, then shrugged. “Actually, your idea was good. Why’d you throw it away?”
“I hate you.”
“Well, if you’re out of ideas, we could go get some.”
“I can take you to a part of your mind that you wouldn’t normally be able to access and you just write down what you see there.” The little editor jumped back to the floor and crawled under Erica’s bed. She pulled out a small wooden box and put it on the ground at Erica’s feet. Inside, there were tiny white rocks. “I just put these in a circle and a portal opens up.”
“Portal to where?”
“Well, you know how some people believe that when you sleep, you always dream, but don’t remember the dream when you wake up? Or if you do remember the dream, you forget it after a while? Those dreams are stored in a certain part of your brain and that creates a little world inside your head. It’s easy to teleport there with these rocks.”
“What are they?”
“Figments of your imagination.” She scowled as she arranged the rocks in a circle, “These rocks really should be multicolored. White is too plain. Don’t ever put plain white rocks in your story.”
When the circle was finished, the little editor jumped in and vanished. Erica grabbed her notebook and pen off the table and followed. After a brief moment of what felt like free falling, Erica landed on the ground, kicking up dirt in her face. She coughed, “Where are we?”
The little editor looked around. “The top of a mountain,” She said, getting up and peering over the edge, “Oh, cool, a war.”
Erica looked where the editor was pointing and saw two armies fighting below them. The army dressed in blue was retreating around the side of the mountain with the red army pursuing close behind. Erica gasped as the memory of the dream came back to her. “I know this! The blue army, over there,” she pointed, “Is losing. They’re being herded to an ambush waiting on the other side of the mountain. I think it was the green army who is waiting.”
“Even your dreams suck. The blue army should have had archers up here to hold off the red army. They could’ve – Hey, where are you going?”
Erica was running along the perimeter of the cliff when she stopped and looked directly down, “It’s them!”
The little editor looked over the edge and saw two blue-uniformed soldiers making their way to the top. One of them was severely injured and obviously dying while the other carried him. Erica asked, “Can they see us?”
When the little editor nodded, Erica reached down and helped the two soldiers over the top of the cliff. “Trigature and Tyro, right?”
The soldiers ignored Erica and Trigature started tearing off bits of his shirt to bandage Tyro’s wounds. The little editor scowled as Erica stepped back next to her. “That’s stupid. You know he’s going to die.”
Trigature turned and glared at the little editor, then faced his fallen friend. “It’ll be alright,” He said, “Just calm down.”
“No it won’t,” the little editor said, “and he is calm, so why did you say something so pointless?”
“Editor, shut up,” Erica hissed, “This part made me cry when I woke up.”
Tyro, using the last of his energy, reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold watch. “T-this. Give this to my daughter. Tell her I love her.”
Trigature hesitated, and then took the watch. “I will. I promise.”
“She is living with her mother. She just turned seven and I know she’ll be upset. Please, tell her not to cry. She’s at-“
“This sucks!” The little editor shouted. “It’s so predictable and cheesy! And I see a lot of blood, but no wounds! I think he’s faking. And how could you tell your daughter not to cry? Of course she’ll mourn the loss of her dad! And, go ahead and forget about your wife, why don’t you?”
The soldiers ignored the little editor, but Erica could tell by the way their eyes narrowed and their teeth clenched that they were trying to hold in their anger.
“I promise I’ll avenge you,” Trigature said, “No matter how long it takes.”
“I don’t care about revenge. Just take care of my little girl.”
“That’s even more cheesy!” The little editor snarled, “And aren’t you in tremendous pain right now? Why aren’t you screaming?”
Trigature lost his temper. “The bastard is dying! I think that gives me a pretty solid excuse to be a little bit cheesy!”
“You think I’m a bastard?” Tyro said, shocked.
“You know what would be cool?” The little editor asked, “If a bunch of the enemy warriors stormed the mountain and gut you both right here on the spot! But first, a hail of arrows raining from the sky to let you know they were coming so your hope can slowly fade as they came up the mountain.”
“Shut up!” Trigature yelled. He turned back to face Tyro. “T-Tyro?”
“Is he dead?” Trigature nodded sadly, “Oh, who cares? He was an underdeveloped character anyway.”
“He didn’t tell me where his daughter lives!” Trigature cried.
“Oh, well, now you have a new watch.”
Erica scooped up the little editor as Trigature drew his sword. She leapt back into the portal and quickly scattered the rocks before he could follow them back to her world. “Congratulations,” She said, “You just ruined one of my favorite dreams.”
“It was a terrible dream anyway,” The little editor shrugged, “I know. I’m an editor.”