“What are you sitting there for?” Lyle asked from the doorway.
“I’m thinking,” Vern said without looking up.
“Thinking. About what?”
“You’re thinking about writing.” Lyle said walking into the room and peering at the computer screen.
“There aren’t any words on there.”
“Are they going to write themselves?”
“I hope so.”
“They’re off to a slow start.”
“Listen, how about you go pour me a whiskey. I think that’d help the little bastards start flowing from my fingertips like they oughta be doing.”
“Seems to me that could get in the way.”
“Well, you let me worry about that. I think a little whiskey would be like putting some WD-40 on a hinge right about now.”
Lyle lumbered off muttering about ice and the cost of a proper bottle. Vern continued to stare at his hands, willing the words to spring forth, like a snake getting charmed out of its basket, words rising out of the dark to electrify the page.
The clock ticked and the cat began chewing on something in the corner of the room.
“Cut that out, Buster! Ssssssss!”
It was always the hissing sound that got the cat to pay attention.
Lyle stood in the doorway. “What was all that?”
“Cat’s into something.”
“That little bastard knocked my pill jar off the counter today. He better not be getting into that bottle.”
“What was in it?”
“My blood pressure medicine.”
“Christ! If he gets into that, we’ve got a dead cat on our hands!”
“If we don’t find that bottle, we’ll have a dead Lyle on our hands. I can’t be running around without my medicine.”
“For crying out loud. Don’t you think we should be looking for the damn pill jar?”
“I was going to talk to you about it, but then you were sitting there staring off with that look on your face, like you were in mourning or something.”
“Would you please shut up and look for the damn pills? Vern said, setting the laptop on his side table and lowering himself to look under the chair.