From the author: A meta piece about writing.
Kevin has logged into the chatroom.
Neil: So instead he burned the manuscript.
Emma: Hi Kevin.
Kevin: Hi all. You won’t believe the morning I’ve had—been trying to write since breakfast!
Neil: Trying to finish the Dreaded Sequel?
Kevin: Still. It’s true what they say about second novels. Although I’d settle for a haiku right now.
Emma: What’s gone wrong?
Kevin: Spam phone call. It’s off the hook now.
Kevin: What hasn’t? Smoke alarm went off as soon as I sat down—dear daughter was doing her best to burn water. Then mum phoned, and as soon as I finished with her some cold caller knocked at the door despite the sign.
Emma: So Frank burned his manuscript?
Neil: I think he was drunk. He kept going on about Kafka and essence or something.
Emma: Oh, right. He probably meant those new Essence Tablets. Essence of Byron, Essence of Kafka, that sort of thing. They’re supposed to give you insight into the minds of geniuses.
Neil: I think I saw those on Twitter. Have you tried any?
Emma: No, my sister went to a Regency ball last month, had a terrible time. Everyone was on Essence of Austen. Mother kept trying to marry her off.
Neil: So what happened with your sister? Did she find a suitable husband?
Emma: Hardly. Apparently being a yoga instructor isn’t a fitting accomplishment for a young woman.
Kevin: Sorry about that. Cat was sick.
Kevin: My wife bought me Essence of Coleridge for our anniversary. I took it last night, it doesn’t seem to have done anything.
Emma: Have you Googled the side effects?
Kevin: LOL no. If I do that I’ll end up convinced I’ve got all of them. Pharmacist said to avoid laudanum while taking(!)
Neil: Of course!
Kevin: BRB, someone at the door.
Neil: Sounds like he’s having a rough morning.
Emma: I’m not surprised.
Emma: “Common side effects include moments of inspired poetry and a sudden interest in philosophy…. Rare side effects include constant interruption, such as letters from a friend or unexpected visitors. Symptoms will end with discontinued use.”
Kevin has timed out of the chatroom.
Neil: Oh dear. Must have been a person from Porlock.
Emma: Anyway, time for lunch. See ya.
Emma has left the chatroom.
Neil has left the chatroom.
This story originally appeared in Riddled With Arrows.