This story was inspired by the following word prompts:
cloud, fluff, whipped cream
Friday dawned but he couldn’t get that taste out of his mouth. The taint left by one of the most unpleasant weeks he’d had in a long time.
He started the week with a Father, a Partner and a job. One by one they’d all gone.
He felt like a dark cloud had entered his life. He felt his life ebb away through his fingers like a slowly dying river during a dry spell.
Dry was the word, he felt as dry as driftwood.
So, his father had been ill for months and the prognosis had been clear, but there is always that little spark of hope in the back of your mind that thinks maybe he’ll defy the odds. Maybe he’ll get better.
He hadn’t really been that close to his dad growing up. His mum was one of those larger than life characters who held the family together by force of personality and with her aura of love. His Dad was just there, in the background. When his Mum died suddenly though, he had become close to his Dad. They had both lost their rock.
Then they went back to their separate lives. His Dad started going to Bingo and He’d met his partner and they’d set up a house together.
Then the magazine he wrote for acquired a new owner. A new owner with a new agenda. The articles he wrote were not compatible with this new agenda and more and more he found that his articles were not being included in the final draft. It was only a matter of time before they laid him off. Why pay for a writer whose work isn’t getting published?
It couldn’t have fallen at a worse time. His Father died in hospital on Tuesday and on Wednesday his partner decided to move out. OK so they hadn’t been spending much time together lately, so he wasn’t interested in sex anymore. With everything going on, he had trouble being interested in anything at all. So, Steve moved out Wednesday, he’d found someone who appreciated him better.
Then Thursday he was called into the boss’s office and sacked. Technically he was freelance, so they just decided not to renew the contract, but he had focussed on this job and hadn’t submitted any writing to any other journal for months. His income was bound up in this one role, and he’d lost it.
As he took a sip from his Cappuccino he choked, the whipped cream had gone off. He threw it away and made himself a cup of instant then he stared at the blank computer screen. His fingers poised over the keys but failed to move.
Completely dry; he couldn’t think of anything to type. His head was full of fluff.
His mobile began to ring across the room. The sounds of Pharrell Williams song Happy rang out rubbing salt into his wounds. His instinct was to ignore it. It could be Steve asking to come around and get more of his stuff. He could do without that. Let him wait for a bit. Then it rang again so he picked up the phone. It was his Agent ringing.
“Hey, Jack, how’s things?” His literary agent always sounded upbeat and full of life even when he was turning down draft after draft of the novel he had been trying to get published for years.
“Oh, Hi Keith. I’m not in a great place at the moment” Jack responded.
“Great, Great, listen, I have some good news for you”
Keith wasn’t the kind of person who actually listened to what someone said, his own thoughts were more important.
“What Keith?” The brusque response had no effect.
“Your book, I told you that final draft was brilliant,”
Jack couldn’t let this statement go without challenging it, “You said it was even worse than the last draft I’d sent you. You said you would see if any publishers would be interested but you didn’t hold out much hope.”
“Well, it grew on me and, my friend, what’s more important, the publishers want to see you first thing Monday morning. They love it! I hope you are up for writing the sequel because they are prepared to pay big money for it.”
Jack could barely contain himself enough to write down the details of when and where to meet.
“See you Monday,” he said.
Then, feeling a renewed sense of energy, he began typing chapter one of his new book.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 02/November/2018