Joshua’s fingers tapped lightly on the keys.  Just enough to make noise but no force backed them up to make letters appear on the computer monitor.  They just tapped away… anxiously waiting for words to form.  Trigger happy soldiers waiting for orders from thoughts too jumbled and chaotic to give them.  He scrolled up the page to read through what had managed to get through.

Eyes squinted.  Lips tightened.  Not enough angst.  It pained him to no end… but he pressed on.  Needs to be darker and grittier here.

Further down the page, his neck twitched.  His very muscles betrayed him and nearly forced him to look away, but he refused to give up at the hands of his self-imposed torture.  He approached the last sentence and breathed deeply letting all the negative thoughts gather in that bubble of air.  Swirling around.  Twisting.  Stinging.

And then he let it all go.  With one breath, he exorcised those little demons of thought.  He felt alive and free.  He armed himself with weapons forged of motivation and perseverance and charged back into the heat of battle.

Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

Again, his fingers released their anxiety with light taps on the keyboard.  Again, no letters appeared on the screen.  Again, his thoughts quickly fell into chaos and disarray.  Surrender looked promising.

He reached for the monitor power button and a miniscule arc of static leaped into nerves beneath his fingernail.  He cut the power to the screen and reeled back his hand shaking out the stinging sensation.  The screen faded and pulled the nighttime darkness from the rest of the room towards the light until all light left the room.

Joshua navigated his way past boxes and books and stacks of paper–a trip all to familiar to him after years of repetition.  Left of the big box, slide through the stacks of books, four more paces and reach for the door–

Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

Joshua looked back.  His eyes adjusted enough to distinguish the room in varying shades of darkness.  He stared at his desk.  Nothing there.  No sounds.  He wondered if imagination was getting the better of him.

Then a flicker of light from his computer keyboard.

Tap.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

He heard it clearly now.  Someone was typing.

An edged surface pressed deep into the arch of his foot as it stepped on an old phone charger.  He hopped forward only to feel the corner of tumbling books smacking across the long bone of his other foot.

Tap.  Tap.  Tap. Tap.  Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

He shoved the books aside and used the edge of the desk to brace himself as he stumbled around it and reached for the reading light on his desk. 

Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

With a click of a switch, the darkness fled to the corners of the room revealing… nothing.

No one was there.  No more noises.  Nothing.

Joshua plunked down into his chair and rubbed his foot.  He bit his lip as fingers rubbed over dimpled, bruised flesh and bone.  Then he spotted something odd… a single key depressed on the keyboard.  The period key.  He examined it and the moment he touched it, it popped back into place.

He turned the monitor back on and as it hummed back to life, he saw words in his document.  New words.  Words he would never dare write.

"Once upon a time…"