Nick’s grant writing mentor was brutal. Oh, he knew what he was doing; he was a master grant writer. He even knew how to teach others to write in direct, clear, hard prose. But his narrative reviews were brutal and cutting. He reviewed the narratives using a small micro-cassette which he clicked on-and-off sharply over and over like he was playing with a butterfly knife.
Into the device he spoke harshly, derisively, cruelly directing the revision so that his protege would cringe as if the man was sitting over his shoulder, watching, whipping the knife open-closed-and open again.
Nick grew angry under the torment. He resented the cynical voice and the harshness of the reviews. But he told himself he would learn from them. New wounds, fresh and still raw and old wounds healed over and scarred, marked him as a veteran of many grants. When he wasn’t being lashed by his mentor, he renewed the pain to bolster his rage by tattooing his body.
Most of his ink was of raw images depicting angst and pain but one, just one mind you, reflected the nearly dead softness he once felt toward others, a Winnie the Pooh tattoo.
Nick had a memory of his mother reading the books to him as a child. The memory always wrapped its warmth around him each morning as he shaved looking in the mirror and saw the little fat bear on the upper left side of his chest, just above his heart.
Grant writing was supposed to be a gentleman’s game, a relief from the ravages of the wars he fought in and the death he left behind. But his mentor had become his new drill sergeant and his tape recordings sounded more and more like a bad day of basic training.
The tone of the reviews threw him into a state of mind meant only for dangerous nights in the desert where he stalked death, not for his den in front of his computer.
No matter what was intended by his mentor’s vicious narrative reviews, it was the incredible journey and the unexpected end result of the abuse that would make this a tale worth telling.
Keep watch here at Sexy Grant Writers for the second installment of “The Grant Writer with the Winnie the Pooh Tattoo.”
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