Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ho hum

Arthritic donkey.

That was the first thing that came to mind.

When I have writer's block that's what I do, write the first thing that comes to mind and see where it takes me. I probably shouldn't expect an arthritic donkey to take me anywhere, though, should I? Except to court on animal cruelty charges. Which would be kind of paradoxically efficient, now I think about it - I'd be delivered to justice, generally held to be a "good thing", yet that would itself actually be the crime. Hmm, an act that is in itself both right and wrong. Almost seems worth doing...

No, that would be completely out of character. The efficiency, more than the cruelty, probably, but still.

So what now - now that my narrative vehicle has been retired to a nice little sanctuary in Devon to live out the rest of its days nibbling on grass, carrots, and the fingers of unwary visiting children? I suppose I could see what comes to mind next. But I'm thinking about vehicles now, so it'll be something like a Volvo, a Citroen 2CV, or a broken roller-skate. In fact, they were exactly what came to mind. Pretty dull. Unless you like cars, perhaps. Or broken roller-skates. But I don't. So... erm...

OK, let's try an opening line:

"Millions will perish," Smith mused, absently. His assistant shrugged.

"What does it matter?"

"Oh, I don't know," he sighed. Lately Smith had been reassessing his career, looking back over the long years, wondering if it had all been worth it.

"Millions have already perished. You never seemed bothered about it before."

"Hmm? Well, I know, I know. But... I mean, I just can't help wondering. Perhaps this wasn't the best way to spend a life."


"I... I look back on it all and feel... empty, I suppose. Do you know what I mean, Simmons?"

"Not really, sir. "

"No?" Smith sighed again. "Do you remember the moon landing, Simmons? No, I don't suppose you would. For years I wanted to be an astronaut. All us boys did, back then. Then it was footballers, or rock stars. My hero was Jim Morrison. I never once thought about doing this. Not once."

"But you're the best in the field."

"I know, but it's all so pointless. I mean it's hardly rivetting, is it?"

"I've told you, you shouldn't listen to de Wolf, sir."

"He's right, though. It was always rivetting for me, Simmons; that's what I wanted out of life."

"Sir, it's..."


"Sir, manufacturing rubber washers is nothing to be ashamed of."

"Simmons, we both know that's not true. Don't make my mistake. Get into rivets, son. Get into rivets." Smith sat back down behind his desk and slowly swivelled the high backed office chair to face the window, the window that allowed him to look out over the factory. "That's all Simmons," he said, wearily.

Smith sat just staring. Sighing, he repeated, quietly, to the now empty office, "That's all." Then continued to stare.


Looks like I still have writer's block, then.

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