How To Write Well. Or Not. – Mary Thompson

Take magnesium and munch cheese for lucid dreaming. Absorb ‘From Where you Dream’ by Robert Olen Butler. Enter dreamspace. Dreamstorm. Read inspiring material before bed – stuff like Amelia Gray’s freaky story about couple who lock girl in elevator and feed her through hatch, or watch thriller like Rosemary’s Baby – disturbing shit that fucks with your psyche, or see Dystopian Sci-fi like Black Mirror. At 10 switch off gogglebox and retreat to bedroom.

At 2 am wake up. See cat with looming eyes staring down from Rapunzel tree especially designed for indoor cats that you put on credit card last week as felt bad for not letting her outside. Hear loud, wailing miaow. Switch on light and watch as she paws wall. Why is she pawing wall? Can cats see spirits? Who can she see? Wonder who lived here back in the day. After Google Search discover was jugglers and clowns. Feel momentarily happy that flat housed artistic types. Hope creativity rubbed off on you.

Insomnia’s a symptom of periwhatsit. How the fuck are you that old? Want to write a line of story but cat is on you and trapping arm and has blissful look on face like she’s found nirvana. Feel jealous. Wish you could find nirvana. Can’t move her so will story to stay in head till morning. It is morning though. 4.30 am. Two and a quarter hours before need to get up and it’s light. Think it might be moon. It’s not moon. Wish hadn’t taken three sleeping pills as still can’t sleep. Heath Ledger died from too many sleeping pills. Have sudden pain in chest. Should cancel work but won’t get paid and still paying for Smeg-like fridge. How can anyone afford Smeg? If write best seller will buy Smeg. Bet Fifty Shades woman has Smeg, or two. Must have two as millionaire. How the fuck is she millionaire? Need to write. Left it too late.

Message on Facebook. Just check it then sleep. And advert. For medication. Perimenopause. HOW DO THEY KNOW? “Vagiprob.” Side effects – breast cancer 0.006 percent chance, ovarian cancer 0.0000025 percent chance. Hmm. If get that will be awful but will sleep and then dream and then write stories, good ones hopefully and if write good stories, won’t matter if die young as will be fulfilled. Like Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Michael Hutchance. Died young but fulfilled.

Need to hear someone with calm voice. David Attenborough. Yes, if watch a few Blue Planets will sleep. Did you know 75 percent of the world is water? All those fish, whales and things nonchalantly swimming along and eating. Did you know blue whales eat krill and have tails as big as dinosaurs? Don’t need purpose and are massive. Why do you even want to write? Can just take baths and eat like they do.

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Mary Thompson lives in London, where she works as a freelance teacher. Her short stories and flash fiction have been long-listed and shortlisted in publications and competitions including Flash 500, Fish Short Memoir Competition, Writing Magazine, Retreat West and Reflex Fiction, and are forthcoming at Ellipsis Zine. Follow her @MaryRuth69


Image: Batut15 via pixabay