Losing Alice

Some quick flash fiction about writer’s block. (Photo: Flickr/Neal Sanche, “Writer’s Block,” 2007)

It unfolded. Another failed attempt overflowing from the waste-paper basket. Who but a failure would begin a novel this way?

HEad in hand, he reached for anOther dram of whisky. His mind once fertile, it had become little more than a fetid quagmire. Sticky, and prone to failure, it sucked the life from him. He’d throw a seed of INspiration in, and it’d just sink – as treacle. Perhaps it was best to just jump half way in. AT least that way it’d be getting somewhere.

Keeping up appearances.

Any wonder she’d left. She’d walked out a century ago. OR was it last week? She couldn’t bare the self-loathing of a well renowned success. But this withered husk of a… His self loathing had even left in disgust, and he couldn’t find the energy to recall the circumstances. THey were in there somewhere, sinking in his treacle well brain.

The bottle was empty. Even his harsh father confessor, the scotch, had escaped, longing for the peat marshes of Islay. Of rolling hills it dreamed, and waves crashing darkly beneath blackened skies; of staggering beauty that Deadelus would willingly trade for his Dublin coast. And there she was – dark hair and violet eyes revealed in the features of that imagined coast. Skin the shade of moonlight, laughter trickling gold into the ocean. Gone.

He caught a flash of his gaunt features in a cracked shaving mirror.

No optimism in this barren waste of a studio. Even the typewriter laughed as it clacked with his strained attempts at prose. The unfolded paper winked some lines at him:

Done Ballyoak, a withered walk he trod.

The shame seeped dread, a fever fish of gilt swimming in his quagmire soul.

“What is the use of it? Hubris wrapped up in words about nothing,” he mumbled, and let his head fall on his desk with a dull thud.

He lifted his empty glass to his lips.


Summoning strength spurned on by squalor, he picked himself up and made for the door. An empty bottle clanked as it slid across the dark wood floor, its white triskelion hopping as it spun.

To the bottle-o…

Fiction writer

%d bloggers like this: