Simpleminded Twists – Dead Deer

Simpleminded Twists

She woke up – and it was all a dream. She caught her breath, and sighed a long sigh of relief. What an awful dream, it may well have been in self defence, but killing that man and the long-winded attempts to hide his body. Well, it was just awful.

Rising and entering the kitchen she put the coffee on, and searched in the bread-bin. The only result was a couple of old slices of white, so she shrugged and popped them in the toaster.

It was then that she saw him lunge at her. Panicked, what the fuck is someone doing in my kitchen, he grabbed her by the neck as she involuntarily moved back. He held her hard, but only had one arm pinned, the other flailed around, hitting the work surface. Hardly noticing what it was, her hand rested on the big vegetable knife. Reader, she stabbed him.

He staggered back releasing her and clutching at the back of his neck. He could not reach the knife, buried so deeply, and nor did he have enough time, for his life was already at an end. She half screamed, and panted, yet it only took her a few moments to recover.

Now comes the tricky part, she thought, remembering the dream of last night. First, she figured, clean up the mess. The noise as she pulled the knife out was unexpected. A little like driving a wooden tent peg into an over-ripe melon, but in reverse. She cleaned that up and then started on the blood. So much blood.

[author’s note: the alarm goes off at this juncture, signalling the end of my ten minutes. Damn, I was just getting started. Now, I need to tie this up somehow, nicely., and with a twist. Alarm, eh? Ah yes, an alarm]

BEEP-BEEEP. Her alarm went off, crashing into the quiet morning. She woke up – and it was all a dream.


Today I wrote from 21:41to 21:51. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Feb 22nd – Simpleminded twists

February 22nd – Simpleminded twists


It should have been getting easier by now, not harder.

This was his fourth novel. The first one had been a breakthrough: years of toil, of writing and getting nowhere, of being on the point of giving it all up, because, seriously, what was the point in all of this time, all of this energy, all of this creativity being expended when all it resulted in was more rejections rolling in? It couldn’t be worth it, could it? There had to better things in life to be getting on with.

So he was on the verge of giving up when someone said yes. And his first novel (ignoring the raft of drafts that sat in various stages on his hard drive) was published, to mildly positive reviews. Which grew more positive as the sales rolled in. People liked it, people read it, devoured it, even, in their hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands. The Dark Line topped best seller lists, was translated, translated again, optioned for a film. Crime, in his case, paid. And paid well.

He gave up his teaching job.

He wrote a sequel, The Dead Zone, and this time the film was made, and he bought a house to write in, and another one on the southern tip of the continent to think in. He went to parties, launches, gave readings, toured universities. It was fun.

He was still having fun when Long Distance topped the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic, with The Dead Zone still on the top ten. He had stories to tell, and he was telling them, and these stories were being talked about over dinners and breakfasts, on buses and trains, in offices and classrooms.

Which is why, about a third of the way into his fourth novel, which didn’t have a title as yet (but he was sure it would come to him as it had for the first three), he was a little concerned. Nothing was happening. He had all of the words, he just didn’t know where to put them, and the steady stream of emails from his publishers and Hollywood agent asking how the next book was coming on were a little disturbing. Because it wasn’t.

He’d found the first three easy to write. Everything just flowed. Somewhere between Shakespeare and Dan Brown, he liked to think, not high art but not too easy either. A formula that worked. Sentences that flowed, that went somewhere, that led the reader on and then left them wanting more, baffled, twists that made them gasp, unable to put the book down, twists that had translated so well onto the cinema screen.

That was it.

A simpleminded twist. That was all it needed.

He refreshed the page, signed out of his email account, flexed his fingers over the keys.

He started to write.

All was still, silent. He left the body in the stairwell, blood trickling onto the cold concrete steps. The gun, cooling, nestled in his pocket. He didn’t see, as he descended, the twitch of a finger, the clench of a hand. He didn’t know, as only a few did, about the steel plate on his victim’s skull, the result of cricket ball impact twenty years ago. He was out of the door and down the street, collar turned against the wind, as his victim got to his knees…


Inspired by a prompt from here