Divine InspirationMature

A short story written in response to a task set at University with reference to dialogue driving the plot. Once again I felt this a little different to what I usually write, but it was received well. Unusually though I have room to add extra words in this instead of cutting and shaving. It is a nice position to be in for a change.

“I know you’ll never understand me, no matter how hard we try…” - Maria Brink

“Coffee hun?”  Eleanor had been silently watching William scribble from the dark landing.  He looked up from his page of scrawl, shook his aching wrist and stretched his numb inky fingertips.  The candle, vanilla scented for the correct ambience, had burned through the waxy base and charred the white saucer.

“Please.  Milk, Sugar and a shot of divine inspiration,” said William, never looking up from the page.

“That bad huh?  Wossup wivvit?”

“It’s bollocks babe, that’s what’s up.”

“It can’t be as bad as ya think, lessavva look,” said Eleanor as she moved to her usual perch hovering behind him.  She stood here, always in times of crisis; nodding, clicking her tongue, and humming at appropriate intervals before completing her shtick with a well practised sigh of encouragement.  “You spelt necessarily wrong hun.”


“Wodda you thinks wrong wivvit?”

“I just don’t know how to kill someone.”

“Probably one aya better traits ta be fair.”  Eleanor fleetingly, and lightly squeezed Williams bony shoulder.

“I’ve read Dan Brown, Mark Billingham and that bloody Koontz nut you harp on about, and yet I can’t kill Elizabeth as well as those boys could.”

“You ent nunna them boys.  What is it that Twain guy said?”

“Write what you know,” said William.  He stood up from his paint speckled chair, a souvenir left over from his last artistic misadventure, and followed her from the den.  Eleanor disappeared into the shadowy domain that led to the land where coffee lived, and plates grew food for him to eat.

William pulled a cigarette from his shirt pocket and stopped at the top of the stairs to light up.

“How the fuck can you write what you know?  If everyone wrote what they knew, then there’d be a lot of lifers and mental patients running around with pens and ISBN numbers wouldn’t there?”

“That’s very true hun,” Eleanor called back, “S’pose you’d avta use ya imagination then.  Did ya say ya wannid a brew?”

“Yes.”  As silent as a falling leaf William had snuck from the shadowy stairs into the bright clinical kitchen.  “Write what you know.”

“Write what you ya know,” said Eleanor.

William knew very little.  Yes he knew that Eleanor probably, most likely, only placated his creative flights of fantasy.  William did however believe that Eleanor intended to support him in his writing.

Eleanor and Elizabeth were so alike, both proudly sporting bouncing ebony bobs and jasmine eyes.  Even their smiles were similar, each opening to reveal a white crooked pair of front teeth.

“Ya hungry hun?”

“A little.  I could eat.”

“Ah’ll do pasta bake then,” Eleanor said.  She responded to the clicking command of the kettle.  William watched her methodical dance from one appliance to the next.  There was always something artistic in the way Elizabeth prepared his meals.


William found it increasingly difficult to tell the difference.  They spoke the same way, walked the same way, and even fucked the same way. The way they spoke sometimes irritated William.  He often wanted to shake the common out of them, and he wanted to plant a little more Oxford in their mouths.

Eleanor finished slicing tomatoes, and reflected in the juicy red blade Elizabeth was smiling.  William grasped the black rough handle, withdrawing the blade Eleanor barely heard him speak.

“Write what you know.”


The End

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