He stared out the misted window, quietly listening to the gentle rain striking the sash. Staring. How long was any one’s guess, for he himself had lost track of all time.
At this hour yesterday, he would not have imagined this turn of events. And now that seems so long ago, seems a far away place. But he had indeed done the deed right in this very room, within these weathered walls ensconced with yellowing wallpaper. A setting as dreary as his life had turned in this short span of time.
How could he have been made so quickly? He was certain the work he pulled from was buried in obscurity. Fellows was probably long dead, the manuscript surely forgotten. What were the odds that Vander would have recognized it? The bastard!
The look on Vander’s face when he turned it in said it all. Standing hat in hand, watching him read the first paragraph. Bushy grey eyebrows raised, then sank as Vander’s forehead furrowed, deepening to a scowl as his bald and age spotted head grew more and more red.
“Son,” Vander’s voice seeped with contempt, “I want to enlighten you this morning. Do you know what I did before I became editor at this establishment?” He looked up. His watered and saggy old eyes still had the ability to pierce as if by sword.
“I wrote. I wrote many, many things. Including, I’m sorry to say, this story you are trying to pass as your own!” Vander pounded his fist on his cluttered and distressed desk.
Vander stood and slammed both of his palms on his ancient and distressed desk. “I’m J. Darwin Vander. Also known by my pen name, Edgar Fellows.”
The young writer felt his knees grow weak as realization dawned.
His writing was finished.
Now, he was a plagiarist.