"Tell me about yourself."
"I don't know what to tell."
"Well, have you been published before?"
"I've... published a book."
"What was it called?"
"What's it about?"
"People from Dublin."
Evil sighs, and looks at his pocketwatch. Almost time for the bell to ring and the torture to end. He figures he'll make one more go of it. "Are you working on anything right now?"
The man fiddles with his spectacles and nods.
"What's it called?"
The man's voice drops to a borderline whisper. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
Evil leans forward a bit. "I like the title. Can you tell me something about it?"
He takes a deep breath and says, "It's the story of Stephen Dedalus, and how he becomes."
"Becomes himself. Becomes everything he is, and some would bes, too. Most people don't become anything. They just remain ares. Like trees that slumber through an eternal winter. Spring never comes for them. Only for the few that dare to seek it."
Evil glances out the window and sees a tiny shock of purple through
the residual snow under the gloom of ashen woods. A crocus. He pulls out his pen and dips it thoughtfully in the inkwell, crafting pleasant letters across a card the colour of sepia. He hands it to the nervous young man and says, "Send it to me."
-- Discouraged Writer