The house was all concealed in silence; no noise was heard, save for the sputtering coffee maker in the kitchen and the casual Shhhhh of sliding drawers as they opened and shut. The coffee pot was taken from its place, its rich, black contents gingerly poured into a white mug that said: ‘Don’t Talk To Me Until I’ve Had My Second Cup’ and fixed up with creamer and sugar. It was the usual day for me; a wolf who lived alone in this broken dump of a house that I’d found. It’d been over a year since I moved into this stale neighborhood, and I was alone here; sipping coffee every morning, and writing literary masterpieces to send to my publisher. Yep: This was the life.
I took a seat at my rather small, cluttered desk and began to go through my manuscripts, mumbling the titles and pages to myself before tossing them in the litter bin. There were stories, poems, and other works that I’d always toss out if I ever lost inspiration for them, but I’d always get a guilty, sinking feeling and I’d take them out of the bin.
“Damn it...”, I growled with a huff, lifting the stacks of paper back onto the desk, “There’s gotta be something in here that I can use...” I found a small manuscript that contained a small piece about a human who worked in the salt mines of South Africa. Fingering through the old, yellowed pages, the wheels in my head began to turn. Faster, faster, and even faster still, the ideas began to flood every nook, cranny, and corner of my brain until it finally felt like it had burst.
By god...I think I have just the thing to show that picky ass publisher! With no more than a moment’s hesitation, I grabbed my old laptop and began to tap away at the keys until I had finished what would possibly be the greatest work to date. I printed out the massive manuscript and bound it with several rubber bands before rushing out into January’s cold bite. I didn’t put on a coat or scarf; I’d just rushed out to the publisher’s office. I flung open the door, barged into her office, and slammed down the manuscript.
There she was; that old, black and gold stripped coyote, thumbing through the pages of my future, scanning through the thousands of words that could either help, or hurt me. She looked into my horizon blue eyes with her dark amber ones. I couldn’t really tell if there was faith, or disappointment shimmering in them.
“This all you got?”, she asked.
O’course that’s all I got, ya old loon! This is my LIFE on the line and you’re asking the dumbest god damn question right now! I took a calming breath and looked at her face for any signs of hope, but from what I’d seen, there was none; not even a tiny sliver.
“Yes, ma’m...That’s all I have to offer right now....” I watched her thumb through for the second time, feeling worry claw its way up my gullet; it felt as if I was going to throw up my meager breakfast.
“Hmm...Seems as though you’ve got yourself a potential best-seller, Ke’na,” she remarked, smiling as wide as the Amazon River. I felt my legs give and I fell to my knees with tears cascading down my furred cheeks.
“Y-You mean I’m....I’m gunna get it published?”, I asked through sniffles and quiet sobs. Through the stinging fog of tears, I saw her nod and hold out a tissue box.
“Yes, dear, now quit crying and get it together! We have a novel to publish!”
I bounced on my paws as I waited ever so anxiously for the final draft to be finished and covered. It had been one week, and I was expecting a call from my publisher. I was restless; I couldn’t watch T.V., I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t even eat for fear of puking on myself from the sheer worry. Of course, the word ‘worry’ didn’t describe how I was feeling; Yes, I’d say ‘panic attack’ is the best term to describe my emotional state. Every few minutes, I’d either start pacing the living room floor, or I’d check the phone. Then, when I had stepped out to the kitchen to get a drink, it rang.
I rushed to the phone and picked it up, not checking the caller ID. I tried to greet the caller, but all that came out was an awkward squeak; it was like I was a squirrel instead of a wolf. I cleared my throat.
“Hello?”, I finally greeted, hearing a warm laugh over the phone line. It was my mother.
“Hey, honey. I hear you’re getting your book published. When’ll it be ready?” I huffed,
“Yeah mom...Uh...I’m still waiting on a call from her. So um...Can I call you later?” There was a soft, almost irritated sigh,
“Ke’na, have I not taught you anything? Good things come to those who wait.”, she responded with a suppressed giggle. Good old mama; you could never tell if she was seriously pissed, or ecstatic.
“I know, mom, but she could be calling NOW. I can’t talk to you right now, okay?” I heard a small beep; there was a waiting call.
“Look, mama, I gotta go. There’s a call waiting on the other line for me,” I stated firmly. I could hear her laughter as she switched ears,
“Okay, dear. I’ll let ya go. Goodbye! And call me after you finish up with your publisher!”, she chimed.
“Right, mom. Bye!” I quickly switched over to line two, “H-Hello?” My voice cracked yet again, making me clear my throat a second time.
“Yes. This is Clara from SoulStone Press. May I speak to Ke’na?” It was my publisher. Come to think of it, I never knew her real name until now.
“This is she, I responded quickly, leaning on the doorway that lead to the kitchen.
“I’d like to say...Congratulations. Your very first book has been published and copies will be shipped to you and your relatives ASAP. It’ll be in stores in about a month,” she said, “Good job, kid,” She hung up. I braced myself on the wall as I wave of excitement and relief crashed over me.
I did it! I’m not gunna have to live off ramen and Kool-Aid! Thank you, creative gods!