Writing Update: How To Squash The Lazy Bug

How to squash the lazy bug: Do something productive.

Wouldn’t it be nice to hypnotize yourself into cleaning your room? Or if you had the powers of a Mouth. (Basically you have a REALLY convincing voice.) So you could tell yourself to do something, and actually do it. But in reality, you just have to MAKE yourself do something. So just make sure to put plenty of skill points into Will-Save.

Anyway, update time. The Lazy bug and his friend Busy kept getting in the way of my keyboard, so I didn’t get any posts up lately. But I’ve mostly kept up with my goal of 500 words a day. To make sure I do better, I will now defeat the beastly bugs in a dual of wit and steal.

*                          *                                *

The early morning mist rolled across the land, blocking the sun and creating odd shadows. I yawned, thinking about my nice bed and how I could sleep for just a few minutes more… “No,” I scolded myself, “You know laying down now would mean defeat, you wouldn’t get up in time.” I straightened my back, pursed my lips, and readied myself. Placing one gloved hand on the hilt of my sword I called into the mist, “I know you’re out there, come out and face me!”

The mist retreated to reveal my foe. The caterpillar, tall as a house and nearly as wide, lay on a plush, cushioned throne. The bug smiled lazily at me, “Right now? Oh what a shame, I am so comfortable at the moment. Couldn’t we do this at another time?”

His words were slow and sweet like a la-la bye, and I found my hand start to loosen and me thinking, “He was right and how nice it would be to lay in bed and come back to this later…” I frowned, shook myself awake.

“No!” I drew my sword and pointed it at him, “I know your game. You will stall and delay until all chances are past and my day is wasted. No, I will fight you now, I will not let you control me.”

The caterpillar’s smile turned mocking and he said, “I’ve heard that so many times, you know. Why don’t you give up on such a futile hope and join me, you’ll never succeed anyway.”

I glared at him, “I have before.”

He smirked, “Hardly as much as you’ve failed.”

I grimaced. Here was the thing that had stolen hours of my life. But I had let him. My face hardened and I held my sword high, yelling as I charged, “Not today!”

The caterpillar raised one hand, making the simple gesture look like a marathon. A creature jumped out from the shadow and landed right in front of me. It was like a spider, but the back-end sported grasshopper legs and the million eyes kept darting in every direction, not knowing where to focus. It was hideous, and also very, very quick. I tried to duck past, but it was already there, shoving something in my face. “Wait! you have so much to do, here’s a list.”

I pushed the hairy leg aside and the paper went flying, “Not right now, I have to take care of this first.”

“But the time!” it cried, pointing to the sky as a huge clock appeared. Every tick and tock boomed in my head, urging me to start working fast. I blinked and shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts.

“Come on, you have to get moving!” Its legs were scattering underneath itself so fast I had to step back so I wouldn’t get stepped on. My desk appeared with my computer on it, with so many tabs and windows open and flashing between each other, I couldn’t tell what was inane and what was important. I took another step back, blinded.

The spider jumped behind me and said, “You have these to read!” A pile of books fell into my arms, and I struggled to hold them up before I stumbled backwards and dropped them.

“Don’t forget about these!” Animated dance shoes ran around me, making me dizzy so that I didn’t know which way I was stepping.

The spider jumped again, “They are waiting!” Horses appeared, neighing and stomping; they started chewing on my books. “No, stop!” I shouted, trying to chase after them. But I just got myself turned in circle and couldn’t reach them.

“And… There’s this.” The ground was suddenly covered in clothes, yarn, books, shoes, and just things.

“It’s my room…” I gasped. The spider landed in front of me, its eyes darting and arms waving, “You have to clean it, today!” 

“I…” the clock pounded faster in my head, shadowy people appeared with shaking heads and wagging fingers, lights and noise blurred my senses, and the spider keep pushing me back.

“W-why are you doing this?” I asked the spider.

The spider twitched, “I’m helping you, keeping you active so you won’t get lazy!”

I got angry, “You’re not helping, you’re running me in circles! You’re tiring me out, I haven’t got a single thing done. Why…”

“You’re forgetting something!” the spider cried, dropping a heavy crucifix and prayer beads on my feet. I cried out, stumbled back, and fell.

  I landed on soft cushions, and felt a chubby arm wrap around my shoulders. “There there, relax with me. You can get to that other stuff later.” Everything faded, becoming soundless colors in the background. Dishes of ice cream and a television appeared in front of me and the voice, smooth and tempting as honey, crooned, “Treat yourself.” 

I looked at the treats before me, “I…”  I felt my body sink, my muscles become weak, as the bowl of ice cream floated towards me and the TV turned on my favorite show. “This isn’t right,” I told myself. “I have work to do. The wage can’t be paid before the labor is done.”

“Of course,” the voice purred, “but you have SO MUCH work to do. Why don’t you rest to get your strength up, then you can get back to your work. What harm can a few minutes do, hmm?”

The ice cream landed in my lap, but I refused to touch it. “No,” I said through gritted teeth, trying not to look at the icy goodness right under my nose. It was too much, I couldn’t pull myself out. I’d lost my sword somewhere along the way and I just didn’t have the strength. My hand fell limp to my side, and I felt it brush against something familiar. My mouth stretched into a weak smile, and I found the strength to glare up at the caterpillar, “It’s a trick, you’ll convince me to sit here all day. Whittling away my life minute by minute. But you can’t have it today!”

I squeezed the crucifix in my hand, and it turned into a glowing sword. I swung and stuck it deep into the caterpillar’s soft, pudgy flesh.  He howled in anger and flung me back. I kept a grip on my sword until I hit the ground. I landed with a painful thud and my sword went skidding away.

The spider was upon me, screeching, “You have so much to do! So much to do!” It tried to bustle me about again, but I kept a clear head and side stepped it. My work tried to jump at me, trying to turn me this way and that, always running but never moving. I kept calm and organized in my head an order of what needed to be done. The things fell away, and I saw a clear path to my sword. I started running.

The spider hissed “No! You must…”

“Not today,” I said, grabbing my sword. I whipped around just as the spider was jumping behind me. The movement was so fast that my blade was inside it before it realized I had turned. It looked down at the hilt, then a horrible hissing scream erupted from it as it disintegrated.

I stepped back, breathing heavily. I wiped the sweat from my forehead as the sun appeared and banished the fog, revealing a beautiful valley and mountain range. A path ran straight through it, and when I looked down, I found my feet already on it and my duties and work lined up behind me. My shining sword transformed into a rosary. I slipped it around my neck and smiled. “Take that sloth,” I muttered, and began to walk.  

           The End

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7 thoughts on “Writing Update: How To Squash The Lazy Bug

  1. “The power of Mouth,” – this is Morgan Freeman’s superpower, right? And a drill sergeant’s skill focus.

    This was excellent, particularly with the imagery. “The caterpillar raised one hand, making the simple gesture look like a marathon.” This is one area of writing technique I’ve always admired in many author’s writing, but have never really mimicked well. I tend to resort to methods that, while quite subtle, aren’t likely to cause a reader to smile immediately upon reading it.

    As for my writing update, I didn’t really keep to the four pages, but I have finished the quite violent short story I was working on, and now I’m trying to figure out script writing for a friend. Scripts are … a whole other beast.

    Great job on your 500 words a day.

    • I was referring to the Mouth power from the Hard Magic trilogy by Larry Correia (Have you read it? It’s great!) So Morgan Freeman could work, and he’s also the god of narration. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zuyus6NpfK4

      “The caterpillar raised one hand, making the simple gesture look like a marathon.”
      He is a very, very lazy caterpillar. I will take that as a compliment though, so thank you:)

      I have never tried to do a screen play, but good luck with it. And good job finishing your story, it’s always nice when you finish something.

      • I haven’t read it, and I have a feeling you’re going to be adding several feet to my incorporeal reading list as this blog goes on. I’ll see if there’s some space open in my reading appointments over the next decade.

        That was intended as a compliment.

        Thanks. Weirdly, I didn’t get why I was writing this story, why it seemed to important, until about thirty minutes ago, when I finished transcribing it. I wonder if any readers will get the same message out of it as I unconsciously put into it.

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