Mental Barrier by P.L. Cobb
Projects, Short Stories

Mental Barrier

Ever get that feeling when you’re writing something good? It’s so good it’s divine, and you’re driven by a purpose, an innate desire to break boundaries by leaps and bounds. You’re exuberant! But then you stop. It’s so abrupt! “Not now!” you’ll say, but it’s no good. The ecstasy you felt dissipates and the honeymoon is over. Your idea might not be dead, but now that it has lost momentum it is useless!

You try to pick at the barrier in place; you try to poke, then you try to pry. Nothing moves. Not even a smidgen. Try as you may, with all of your mental faculties, and you will still end up nowhere.

Nowhere is where your memory will fade, after all of that build up, after all your friends and family have turned their back on you, after your useless life has gone up in flames. Once your life has turned into a catastrophic failure, once you have acknowledged that it is over, you’ll be forgotten. Being unable to complete your life’s calling, you will disappear as if you were never here.

Perhaps someone will remember you. In a perfect world that would be the case … If they did they would ponder your fall from grace. Pondering would grow into obsessing, and they would begin to dig for the truth. Every possible scenario, every answer – they would search until they have found it, the ultimate truth:

A mental barrier was the catalyst of your self-implosion.

Who is to blame though? The one who remembered you may draw two conclusions: you are to blame, or something entirely beyond you is to blame.

What could be beyond you? Someone else, for example. Perhaps someone you knew: that someone you knew was miserable and jealous, and thus planned to put the quietus to your muse. But your admirer will refuse to venture down this avenue. People are petty, difficult, and better left alone. And perhaps they will also realize how ridiculous the second option sounds.

Besides, if someone wanted you to fail, how would they go about inserting a mental barrier into your mind? What methods could they employ, short of torture (and other forms of abuse)?

Eventually the stranger will grow bored, and even they will forget you.

The lack of inspiration is only so interesting …


Why I wrote this: for one I was bored, but this story actually started out as a writing prompt for something relating to Sloth. At the time I couldn’t think of anything to write, so I wrote about writer’s block, effectively turning it into a very impersonal villain. Concepts could care less, but they don’t care, so they can’t. Hence why they are so aloof and impersonal …

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