The Ghostwriter

"Good afternoon, I am Miwa Tachibana from the Ginnoseikai Magazine. And you must be Chiaki Hibino, the writer?"

Another let me in without a word.

The first thing I noticed was how empty her apartment seemed, despite many pieces of furniture that looked faded grey in the dark. The building outside completely blocked the sunlight coming from the window. Yet, no light was turned on in the apartment. Though, I noticed many broken light bulbs stuck in the ceiling.

Once I took a seat, she served me tea.

"Before we begin the interview," I managed to stay calm, "I want to say that I am a fan of your works. Following your latest novel, there's already talk of you receiving the Akutagawa Prize the second time. So, my first question is, how did you find inspiration to write those great stories?"

"I didn't," she answered. "No, I have not written anything for years."


"I was once a writer," continued another, "until I ran out of ideas. But my publisher kept pressing me for a manuscript. Eventually, I gave in to the pressure and hired this girl to do the writing for me. She was talented, and working with her was fun at first. Then, at one point, I felt my pride as a writer and wanted to try making it on my own again. I tried to let her go. She didn't take it well. And she killed herself three days later. From then on, I became scared of writing. Just touching a keyboard makes me tremble."

"But if she's dead," I said, "how come books under your name are still coming out?"

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