He stares down at the blank page. The fine white sheet, a single bar of a cage he knows will soon be filled with the greatest and wisest words he can muster.

But he does not muster. He only gazes, gazes at the small white sheet until it gathers in size within this small room. The growing whiteness looms over him, threatening to swallow him but daring not to touch his skin as it envelops all else. It swallows all, it spreads to every horizon, blocking light and dark, day and night; all that is left it the writer and the insurmountable page.

He stares down at the blank page; a small, insignificant square upon his desk, and he sighs.

He gazes left and right. Around him are so many people just like him, staring down at white squares that must be filled, lest their lives be over. Among his brethren, caged by missing ink, stands the tall one. The strong one. The one who once imparted learnings thought lost, and who now binds them to their seats in a callous revocation of its affections. The writer does not dare gaze upon this uncaring construct of flesh, lest it catch his eye and bring down it’s fury upon him.

The others around him have taken pen to paper, have converted the liquid flurry of emotions and ideals into literal words and rigid type. He stares down again at his desk, but the page is empty.

He looks upon himself for guidance, and in his minds eye he sees the words. The letters flutter behind his eyelid like sparks that flicker and die before igniting, like a speech that falls away to insignificance before gracing a tongue with its presence. The words he must write vanish in a storm of absence as his nature begets his doom; the wordsmith cannot craft when forced.

And forced he is. The dictator walks among them all; his cruel abandon evident in his wake. He leaves his once followers forgotten in the dirt as this newfound power makes him expand and the rest of them shrink. He is a giant to them all, a monument standing as the face of the oppressors, an intimidating stature and stone cold glare bending them to his will and their knees. They all remain seated; they are all the writer, and they are all trapped within the page.

He looks again for the words he tasted at the back of his throat, and finds them flowing freely like he wanted. He is certain the page is filling, but it seems as blank as ever; crueller and whiter than before. He sees the words and letters he wants flowing across the surface of every material and person around him, except his page. His desk tremors with literary might, its wooden surface etched with free-flowing words that describe its transformation. His skin crawls with senseless words that slip through his flesh like ghostly daggers, leaving no cuts but injuring his mind at their very existence. They are eldritch and wrong, impossible words and disgusting ideas he trembles to consider originated in his fragile mind.

The slavemaster stares down at him; he is chosen now. Selected from the rest. He wonders why until he looks across at his compatriots; where once they were all as trapped as he, they have all found their voices and write with uncaring courage, pouring words and seeping literary ichor that flows across the room like so many dangerous philosophies. The master stares down in red hot disapproval, hating his prodigy with a malice none should know.

An empty page is a writers downfall; but he has concluded that his page is not empty. It is filled, filled with a hatred he cannot surpass. An angry emptiness that refuses to allow ink to touch its pristine singularity. He has decided not to consider the truth of his failings. The page is still empty.

He looks instead to the window. Out there, the words he cannot find dance and shift in a carnival of creative mystery. Phantasmagoria unchained, they are the words he seeks, but they are so distant and so relentless in their energy, he cannot pick them out. He will die if he cannot write these words, but they have taken form and flown away, and he cannot leave his seat for fear of baleful retribution at the hands of once-kind master.

There are words, words that flicker across his vision like steam, there until gazed upon, they unravel in discordant harmony before he can pluck them from their frolic.

He is panicking. There can be but moments left before those who once taught him take him away to the figurative mines where his labours will be as blank and wasted as the page itself. He cannot think, he cannot breath, there is nothing around him, the images are dead and the words are gone.

He looks down once more.

The page is filled.