Henry Wallace was a writer. He had written fourteen novels during his forty-year career, and now, while finishing up work on his latest, The Killing Floor, he has hit a brick wall. Henry has writer’s block.
Henry Wallace began writing in his twenties, usually as a way to internalize the outside world. He had found organizing his thoughts through a diary to be the best way of thinking, and thus he started to write about his world. He wrote about his day in general detail, and would then dive into the fractal of human experience and focused intently on the small details.
These ruminations gave Henry a unique perspective on life, and slowly he began to embrace and practice them. Henry was now, after four decades, able to look at a random stranger on the street and see their entire lives, their past and their future, with amazing clarity. He knew the names of the stranger’s fifth-grade teachers, could even vividly see how they would die.
None of what he saw ever proved true, of course, but Henry was able to construct elaborate self consistent worlds where the rest of humanity lived out entirely different lives, where deviations from our world took place at Henry’s will.