A Day in the Life of Mort Rainey

Mort Rainey woke up to the sound of knocking on his door. He frowned and rubbed his eyes sleepily. The knocking continued impatiently. With a groan, Mort rolled off his couch and opened the door to his house. It was his housekeeper, Mrs. Garvey, who he loathed.

"Hello, Mr. Rainey," she said brightly.

"Hi, Mrs. Garvey," Mort replied, still half-asleep.

He invited her in, and she went straight to work. Sighing, Mort went upstairs to his desk and opened up the document of the story he was working on. He moaned in despair when he saw what little he had written. Three paragraphs, he thought. Well done, Mr. Rainey.

He heard his dog Chico whine from his bed.

"What?" Mort said. "It's not my fault,"

Chico looked down. Mort shook his head.

"What's wrong with me?" he asked himself. "No inspiration? No plot? Or am I just a bad writer?"

"Mr. Rainey? Are you alright?" Mrs. Garvey called from downstairs.

"Yeah, I'm fine, Mrs. Garvey," Mort yelled back, making a rude hand gesture when her back was turned.

He fiddled with the sleeve of his old, torn dressing gown. What was he to do? Just as he was about to hit the 'delete' button on his keyboard, the phone rang. He got up out of his chair and shuffled downstairs to the phone.

"Hello?"

"Mort, hi, it's Amy," said the voice on the other end of the line.

Amy. His soon-to-be ex wife. A wave of anger, repulsion and sadness swept over him.

"Hi, Amy." He said simply.

"How are you? How's Chico?"

"We're fine. How are you? How's Ted?" he said, copying her.

"Mort…" she began, but he cut her off.

"What? It's a simple question! How's dear little Teddy?" he repeated, his anger rising in him.

"Mort, please don't be like this. I'm sorry, okay? How many times do I have to apologize?" Mort noticed a hint of distress in her voice. Good, he thought. She deserved it.

"Sorry," he said. "Things are quiet here; I seem to have hit the dreaded Writer's Block,"

"So sorry to hear that, Mr. Rainey, is there anything that happened in your childhood that could have caused this?" Amy said, mimicking a psychiatrist.

They both laughed, which relieved Mort. She was still her own funny self.

"I miss you," he whispered.

"Oh, Mort...I miss you too, but you know we're over. We've both moved on. I promise you can come and visit soon." Amy said.

The sides of Mort's mouth twitched into a smile. She had always cared about his feelings.

"Okay. Thank you,"

"Oh, I'd better go. I have to be off to a meeting." Amy said suddenly.

"Okay. I talk to you soon."

"Alright, we can arrange a time when we can meet up, okay?"

"Okay."

"Bye, Mort."

"Bye, Amy. I love you."

He hung up before she could say anything else. He just sat there, staring at the phone for a minute, and then he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up. It was Mrs. Garvey. He wanted to shake her hand off, but he knew that would be rude.

"You alright, Mort?" she asked.

"Uh huh. I'm fine. Thanks for asking," Get back to work before I slap you back to work, he thought to himself.

Mrs. Garvey nodded and went back to vacuuming.

Mort got up and went back upstairs.

"Now, where was I?" he said aloud, thinking. "Oh, yes."

He looked over what he had written, shook his head and pressed 'delete'.

"That's better," he said, smiling to himself, then at Chico.

"Mr. Rainey?" Mrs. Garvey interrupted loudly, coming up the stairs.

"Mmm?" Mort's voice sounded annoyed.

"I'm finished." Said the housekeeper.

"Oh, are you, that's great. I mean, thank you. See you tomorrow," Mort nodded at her.

"Mr. Rainey, I just want to let you know how special I think you are. Not many people would be able to write as well as you do. You truly have a gift."

Mort tried his hardest not to roll his eyes. Every time she came, before she left she would say something sentimental, that she believed to be 'inspiring'. To Mort it was sickening.

"Thank you." He bit his lip, preventing himself from saying any more.

She went downstairs, grabbed her bag and left. He glared after her.

"Ugly old hag," he muttered, staring at his computer screen. He thought about the phone conversation he'd had with Amy before. Oh, how he missed her. He couldn't deny the fact that he was still in love with her much longer. Suddenly, he felt a wave of inspiration. His fingers itched, and he reached for his laptop.

He couldn't lie to himself anymore. He still loved his dear wife, Janie. Even after she had broken his heart, left him and went off with another man. Even after the harsh words she spoke to him tortured him for many years. Even after it had been fifteen years after she had left him…

Mort smiled at the words he had just typed.

"Great work, Mort," he said to himself. He was about to type more when he felt a something warm and wet touch his hand, which was resting on his lap. When he looked down, he saw Chico staring up at him with his tongue lolling out of his mouth. Mort scratched him behind the ears.

"You hungry buddy?" he asked. "Come on,"

Mort got up and Chico ran ahead of him to the kitchen eagerly.

"Chico, sometimes I swear you were destined to be a wolf," Mort chuckled.

After Mort had made given Chico some chow, made himself a sandwich (and Chico had eaten half of that too), went back to his writing.

He was so lost in writing his story that the next time he looked at the clock on his desk, it was 4:00pm.

"Wow," he muttered. He reviewed his new story, which he had titled "Love Has No Limits." He had written eight chapters in that time.

He saved, closed the lid of his laptop and got up.

"I deserve a break," he mumbled. Wrapping his dressing gown even more tightly around him, he went downstairs to his couch. He closed his eyes, and slowly, he drifted off…

The next morning, he was awoken by a knock on the door.