A Writer’s Fear of Plagiarism
A funny thing happened after midnight. Jim was tossing and turning, so I went to the bedroom across the hall to sleep. As I lay there, I kept thinking that maybe the song I’d written for a chapter I’d penned that day wasn’t really an original from my brain, but the lyrics from a song from the Miss Potter movie. Was I plagiarizing without realizing it? I had to find out.
I grabbed my phone and was going to research the song on YouTube, but was afraid the light from it would brighten the room and also spill out into the hallway and into Jim’s bedroom. Both our doors were open. Too lazy to get up and close the door, I sat in the bed and tossed the covers over me like a tent and listened to “When You Taught Me How to Dance” from Miss Potter. With the volume turned super-low, I strained to hear the music.
Meanwhile, in the master bedroom, Jim thought he heard music and wondered where it was coming from. So, he got up and peeked out the blinds to the backyard. Nothing. Then, he figured maybe the neighbor was playing the radio and came to my room to look out my blinds.
He said he stopped in the doorway, saw a musical, glowing mound in the middle of my bed, and almost laughed.
“What are you doing?” Jim said.
I jumped out of my skin at the sound of his voice, let out a scream, and threw off the covers — then screamed again when his dark figure stood against the backdrop of white mini blinds.
The good news? I didn’t steal the lyrics after all.