Work in progress

Normally I wouldn’t, but I want to hang this tiny bit up in the public domain just to see. I’m not exactly struggling with this new novel, but I am more hesitant than usual, for a few reasons.

…I closed the door behind me, and blinked theatrically for the benefit of no one but myself. I tried to attach the key to my set but the metal of the bow was so thick I could not force it onto the split ring. Perhaps I would hang it round my neck like bling, though I would need to find the right chain. I paced the place out. It was not much more than six by seven but the ceiling went right up into the apex making it feel roomier than the bare floor space, which it was, if you thought of it in terms of cubic capacity. There was a sink and a small cooker with two rings in one corner. It could have been a nicer room, a much more plus de joli chambre – if it wasn’t for the heavily decorated dark brown furniture that came with it. There was only a bed, a wardrobe, a chair, a dressing table and a television from the nineteen fifties that was stood on the dressing table. These items, though, were enough to create a sense of doom and oppression. There was a further door to one side which let on to an en suite bathroom. Here were the most unexpected touches – the floor was a dark green, made of real marble as far as I could tell and the shower taps were art deco pieces which looked like they belonged in a grand hotel. These taps were connected to a huge old zinc shower head by a fat pipe, the plumbing arrangement was completed by a short crouching bath. F is for froid, C is for chaud; I turned them on together. At first there was rattling, then an unpleasant smell, then a trickle of brown liquid. Then a pause. My heart sank but my dismay lasted for only a second or so as the pause was followed by a shuddering blast of water, then another, and soon there was a strong, even flow. This was more than I had hoped for. I corrected the temperature and I stepped out of my clothes and stood under the water for a long time. I had neither soap nor shampoo nor any plans. I let the stream wash over me while I thought about wanking, about how likely it was that I’d do it right now, and about how territorial an activity it is, necessity aside, how dog-like, like pissing on a gatepost.

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20 Responses to Work in progress

  1. OS says:

    Bravo. You write a bit like me but with posh bits in. You could have stuck a bit of mahogany in there. Mahogany is good: people understand mahogany.

    It was good. Really! Why are you stuck?

    >six by seven

    Six by seven what? Inches? feet? Yards? *Length of your tool?

    *Haha. Hah hah hah. Fifty of those and it would be no bigger than an airing cupboard. 🙂


  2. chiffs says:

    Dear OS, how could you possibly know how large said object may be???

    On an editorial note, I’d like to add that the second ‘stood’ is good, but the first, for a character who thinks in French, is wrong, and might be substituted for ‘perched’ or less obviously, ‘placed’. But maybe I’ll save that for the edit. I can’t wait. And I thought he just messed about up there.

  3. calvininjax says:

    Show me some copy and I do what all copy editors do.

    The ceiling formed an apex.

    A sink and small cooker, with two rings, occupied one corner.

    “heavily decorated brown furniture” — does this mean the wood was ornate or that the brown coverings had intricate patterns?

    a 1950s television set stood on the dressing table.

    Another door, to one side, led into an en suite bathroom.

    And I agree with OS, six by seven what?

  4. Daftburger says:

    Line 12 replace let with led.

    “was so thick I could not force it onto the split ring”

    Sounds like anal rape!

  5. Stephen Foster says:

    Mahogany. Hmm. But there are other dark woods?

    >six by seven

    I think the sentence before explains it? >

    I paced the place out.

    My tool, honestly. I just don’t understand what it is with you people in Stoke, you boil everything down to filth, you retrogrades ; )

  6. Stephen Foster says:


  7. Stephen Foster says:

    More filthy thoughts from Stoke-on-Trent. It’s endemic.

    Remind me never to post my peotry on here.

  8. Pel says:

    I don’t know, one mention of anything to do with tools and the balls start rolling, so to speak…… men!
    Well, I’m a visual artist and unfortunately no good with the word, but all I can say is I would read on.

  9. Daftburger says:

    How you uh, how you comin’ on that novel you’re working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice litte story you’re working on there? Your big novel you’ve been working on for 3 years? Huh? Gotta, gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Gotta story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? (voice getting higher pitched) Yea, talking about that 3 years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? (voice returns to normal) No, no, you deserve some time off.

  10. Stephen Foster says:

    None of that, burger.

  11. Stephen Foster says:

    Good, that’s the one I was looking for : )

  12. Pel says:

    You got it dude!

  13. OS says:

    Dear ChiffS,

    We men tend to score penis points by denigration of said adversary’s objet d’pants. Old men like me are exempt. Everyone knows that what was once ten inches and a wrinckle is now ten wrinckles and an inch. 😉


  14. OS says:

    I paced the place out: it was not much more than six by seven but…



  15. OS says:

    NB: Remember that it wos u wot taught me. I’s a gud lerner, boss. 😉

  16. makemeadiva says:

    Yeah, but how likely was it? What were the odds!

  17. makemeadiva says:

    To be more constructive:-

    La chambre est tres jolie.

  18. Stephen Foster says:

    In a novel by me I can offer you evens that a lot not happens.

  19. I love it. I, too, would read on; you had me laughing out loud about the dog-like territorial display in the shower.

  20. Stephen Foster says:

    Thanks Kate, that really is a spur to keep on…

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