A Long History of Nearly Nothing – Dead Deer

A Long History of Nearly Nothing

Have you read my book?* Whilst not in itself very long, it is a long cry into the darkness. A long (long) history of nothing. Well, nearly nothing. A self obsession, the pages ought to not be rectangular, but me shaped. Like a book for babies. Mine is no book for minors, however, although it reads like a man-baby squalling in frustration.

Well, I was frustrated. I am frustrated. Just one in a long list of emotions I am experiencing, none of them very nice. The next book – oh yes, dear reader, that threat looms – should at least be a story of something and of an equalish length. In fact it will be the same, a seemingly never ending series of these short …. dare I? …. vignettes. This time, I promise, with more coherence, less misery and fewer – HOORAY! – poems.

But here again; frustrated. I’m ready to start work on it. Everything is written, it just needs editing, selecting and organising. The cover art (N.B. this time the cover art is good. I didn’t do it) is done, it just needs making up into a cover.

Yet I do neither. And these things, what I write. I’ve had some excellent advice, about characterisations, voice, story, hooks, all sorts of things. Draw the reader in. Keep them interested with show-not-tell. Humour always reads well**. Describe evocatively, put them there, in it.

Yet I don’t do any of this. I am, I suppose, unable. Unwilling to do the hard slog. This time, I promise myself, I promise you. Yet this is the drivel, unaltered, unfettered, that is splurged uncaringly onto the page. Why? To what end? A self indulgent cry into the nothingness. I AM HERE I scream I AM HERE. How can one be so self obsessed and yet feel no sense of self. I sit, here. That cannot be avoided. Pessoa was wrong, I am not nothing. I am here. I am nothing except a presence.

I am worse than nothing.

So Someone Does Collage.jpg

Today I wrote  between 19:22 and 19:32.  I was prompted by an idea here.

*If you enjoyed this short writing, a whole load more are available in paperback, and kindle editions in your local Amazon site. Part 2 coming Summer 2019, sadly. 

**Can you believe that I am funny? Or was. In real life. Wasn’t I? Aren’t I?

My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, my tweets here, and buy my book here

Slated For The Shadows – Dead Deer

Today I wrote from 21:20 to 21:30. I was prompted by ideas here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

So the sun brings us life, it brings us joy, and it brings us warmth. But, as Larkin notes in The Whitsun Weddings, it also brings us shadows, and brutally robs the interest from anything outside of it’s all conquering gaze,

“At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
    The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys
The interest of what’s happening in the shade,”


But what of interest takes place in the shade? Nefarious things stereotypically, dodgy deals, threats and murder. How evil are these dark recesses, yet  they exist only because of the sun.

Blame the light, not the dark.


Pennies From Heaven

The song was jingling through his head like the worst of ear-worms always do. Better than a Xmas song, of course. Better than a modern Xmas song by far, but still, a slightly annoying background refrain that cut into his thought processes at inopportune moments. Such as when he was trying to talk on the telephone to potential clients. How was he supposed to focus on ‘the script’ when the lyrics kept on interjecting. A couple of times he had stalled, as the words that drifted through his mind slid into his patter – an intrusive nonsense into a stream of words that was usually so slick and well-rehearsed. It was irritating.

In his head, the song was schmaltzy, a background of strings and horns that syruped along under the singers, providing a smooth sheen of sticky-sweetness that they skated on, or perhaps that wrapped them in its embrace. Weirdly, it seemed like the instruments were operating at full power – he could hear them quite clearly as though the cheap tin-pan alley cut-down orchestra was in the room with him – all frequencies present and correct. And yet the singers’ voices themselves were obviously muted – tinny and hollow, as though coming through a gramophone horn or a badly-tuned radio. Is that what it was like on the original recording? For a second he almost reached to Google the original recording. At which point he realised that he was silent, his head-set still on his ears and the sound of a disconnected phone. He had fluffed a call. This wouldn’t do.

Why was he thinking of the song anyway? He cast his mind back through the day as he started his patter again – pretending for the others in the room that he was sweet-talking another potential customer, all bright, cheery persuasiveness and chummy friendliness. As he got back towards breakfast time, his mouth still on auto-pilot, he couldn’t identify hearing it on the radio or otherwise getting it lodged. Frustrating. He vocal-mimed hanging up, breathed a sigh, and pressed the button that cold-called another potential mug:

“Hi there, I’m calling from Clean-Sky, the UK’s premier carbon-offsetting scheme…”


Inspired by a prompt from here

A Day of Denial – Dead Deer

A Day of Denial

Wake up. Let it in. It comes in whether requested or not. Chew it over. Rolling around the head as a piece of grit may roll around an oyster shell. This is not a piece of grit, however, it is a large heavy uneven stone clanking about hurting as it bangs its way around, and around and around.

Nor will it produce a beautiful small bean, with that subtle lustre. No, all it produces is blackness, ever growing; in size as well as hue; ever darker, blacker than black.

Stop it. Stop the weighty ball of uncomfortable thought. Is it too late? It is there, it is too big, it doesn’t even fit in the head any longer. How to stop it? Think other thoughts, better yet; think no thoughts. Is that possible? Push it out, slowly slowly, close the boxes. The tentacles thrash out of the lids, try harder. The lids are closed, the wriggling appendages are captured for now, pull the duvet up over the haunted head.

Now. How to get out of bed?

Days such as these, every day, are days without end. Willing the time to pass quicker; yet willing the days to not still come. On days like this shut out the reality, ignore the world around you, build moment by moment a bubble around you, a bubble of now. It is not happening. On days like this the only hope is to maintain a full day of denial.

Today I wrote from 08:30 to 08:40

November Writing Prompts – Read more from the Dead Deer and follow it.

October Writing Prompts – 16th

The good doctor finds his own way through the halls passing the large harshly lit cafeteria. He rushes past, he has no need of that room, and his time is short. He picks up the pace further, the ill and injured respectively stand aside. Not a second to lose. Fiercely he slams open the large double doors and yet the corridors go on and on, seemingly endless in their stark white inevitably.

Nearing his destination he is fully running now, his long-distant youth as a track star echoes in his muscles. The urgency increases as he enters the vehicle. Recklessly it weaves swiftly through the thronging traffic, ignoring lights; all must wait the doctor.

His door is open even as the brakes begin to scream. He leaps out. The house is already open, the anxious faces eagerly welcome him; he is here, the doctor is here; where he is needed.

Panic has not yet set in as he bursts into the kitchen. He is in time, the doctor has arrived. He picks up his tools and immediately sets to work.

With a final twist of the wooden spoon this good doctor serves his family with a meal of his own making; the flavour of the feast so intense it almost comes to life.

This is my first attempt at following the daily prompts for a ten minute write from Putting My Feet In The Dirt. The idea is to use the prompt and write for ten minutes only. Which is what I did, prompted by the words The Frankenstein Feast. This originally appeared on the Dead Deer Blog.