ChiOneWednesday

A group of writers in Chichester coming together once a month for inspiration, collaboration and sensation

The Golden XXX

1

To do list

Think of word for title of this story.

Write this story.

Run every morning.

Watch cricket.

Warn money.

I mean Earn money.

Make the items on this list longer so the story does not read like a list.

Introduce characters.

Female.  Aged forty to sixty.  Probably nearer sixty.  Age is not important.

Start to write in a continuous narrative way.

My name is X.  XXX.  I am looking for a girlfriend.  When I fill in the dating agency forms I put stuff about companionship and soul mate, but actually I want a body mate.  I am quite prepared to be considerate, and go to the cinema or out for a drink.  I am quite prepared for this person to become a friend, but just now what I need is sex.

Delete the last paragraph.  This is too personal.

Jenny was walking along Prior Dark Avenue in the Kurdistan district of Wandsworth, in Brighton, when she realised she was lost.  I’m lost she said.

2

Eat three biscuits.

Close the garden door.

Get the washing in.

Find out more about Jenny.

Jenny was an adventurous sort of girl who liked to take photographs in strange places.  Cityscapes from the other angle, the back angle, as it were.  She often got lost, indeed it was almost part of her plan.  Not that she was ever really lost, because she could always see a familiar landmark.  It was sometimes difficult to thread her way out through the railways and roads and canals that wove the landscape together.

3

Introduce life of some sort.  Fire it up.  Get the engine started.

4

Reread story so far

Not as bad as I imagined, which is good.

The network of highways works well if the traveller is on one of the highways, but when the traveller is outside this familiar aspect then travelling becomes different and difficult.  Jenny had struggled to get to her present position to get a picture of the cityscape with the detritus of the city strewn across the foreground.

5

Actually go to the place being described.

You know it makes sense.

Start local.

Break in somewhere.

Or ask permission.

Good idea.

Probably too old for breaking in anywhere.

6

If this story does not work out read a poem instead.

Actually, read a poem instead.  The one ‘Sit with me a little’ is likely to be acceptable.

Is this worth writing at all?

Jenny was home now.  She lived on a houseboat and there was fire burning in the stove.  She was wrapped in an ample towelling robe after emerging from the shower.  She had been forced to swim across a grimy stagnant leg of a canal to get back.  At least she had her waterproof bag for her cameras.  The last time this had happened she had to swim with one hand in the air holding up her camera.  Luckily on that day she had only had one.

Ample is a good word.

Fire is good too.

Ample.

Time for breakfast.  That’s me, writing.

It’s all me writing.

Making stuff up.

7

She noticed a cold draught and turned to see a tentative foot on the top step accompanied by a diffident hello.  Is anyone home? followed.

Yes but I’m not really dressed.

Oh.  Can I come in?  I’ve lost my way.  And the foot was followed by another.

This invasion seemed to be unaccompanied by any sort of threat.  Jenny gathered her ample robe around her own amplitudes and turned to face her unexpected visitor.

I’m meeting Gurdja and I can’t find him.

He looked a bit like Harrison Ford.  That sort of age, and crinkled in a very beautiful way.  Jenny let the robe slip a little.  Just a little.

Gurdja lives in the next boat along, but he is in India at the moment.  He was called way suddenly.

Oh.  Harrison looked at her carefully and then averted his eyes.  I’m so sorry to disturb you.

I had to swim the canal.  I got rather cold.  Do you think you could close the hatch?

Yes, yes.  I’ll get going.  So sorry to disturb you.

No, no.  Stay a little.  Close it from the inside.  Unless you need to go.

Well, as it happens I have nowhere to go.  I arrived from America this morning and I had arranged to stay with Gurdja.  We are working on a book together.

He’s in India.  A bereavement I think.

Jenny looped across the cabin and drew out a bottle and two glasses.

Do you like whiskey?

Is it Scotch?

She splashed it into the glasses.

Sit she said, indicating the pile of cushions in front on the stove.  She added wood then joined him.

So you have nowhere to stay.

 

8

Do something about the draught.

Search for Gurdja.  Is it a real word?

Does it matter?

There is a dead butterfly in a spider’s web to the right of my desk.

Actually it’s a moth.

9

Harrison caught on quite quickly and before long they were a bundle of arms and legs and genitalia among the cushions.  The whiskey got partly drunk and partly spilled.  For both of them it was the first engagement on this sort for a long time.  It went well.

That was fun.

Yes, fun.

Would you like to stay?

Yes, stay.

Are you hungry?

Yes, very.

And then they rolled around some more.

10

Reread.

Not too bad.  I should probably delete most of it.  Tighten it up.

Word count nine three six.

11

Is your name really Harrison?

No.

I’m Jenny.

Yes, you said.

And your name is?

Xerxes.

Xerxes?

Yes.

Quite Greek.

12

Get telephone directory and search for surnames beginning with X.

Remember that I threw out the telephone directory.

Search internet for surnames beginning with X.

13

Xerxex Xanthopolous

Wow!

Actually Xerxes X Xanthopolous

What’s your middle name?

Just X.

X?

X.

Jenny kissed him three times.

14

Remove seventeen words.

Done.

The end.

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About Mike Coote

Writer, dancer, emerging traveller. Occasional gardener.

One comment on “The Golden XXX

  1. Peronius
    July 25, 2012

    I liked the way Jenny was gradually introduced, like watching an artist draw a few lines, then a few more, until she became real. And I liked the way the narrative and dialogue between Jenny and Xerxes was interleaved with the narrator’s notes, seeming to give insight into the creative process, and creating a story within a story.

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This entry was posted on July 25, 2012 by in Short Story.
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