A Short Story of approx. 2300 words.
In the creative battle between author and character, who wins when the character takes control and rewrites her own story? Join Cathy, as she takes her writer by the hand and draws her, reluctantly, into the very different world inhabited by Kate.
A Short Story of approx. 2300 words
In the creative battle between author and character, who wins when the character takes control and rewrites her own story?
Join Cathy, as she takes her writer by the hand and draws her, reluctantly, into the very different world inhabited by Kate.
Read the beginning…
…Cathy slips into a liberty print pinafore the colour of forget-me-nots. The sleeveless bodice hangs shapelessly from her shoulders, the skirt falling primly to just below the knee. Reaching behind her head, she unfastens the small silver cross on its fine chain and lays it gently on her bedside table. She refastens her blonde plait, then returns to the kitchen and pours herself a glass of white wine.
Sitting up straight on her small white settee, taking small sips from her glass, she muses on the fiction that shapes her working day in the library.
The books are like self-contained worlds lined up neatly on pale wooden shelves, their backs turned on reality. They stand ready to issue, at a moment’s notice, an invitation into their realms of make-believe, where anything can happen; where a unicorn on the edge of a forest is no more out of place than a horse in a paddock.
This is the world where Cathy lives. It’s the world I’ve built for her, just as I created her character. She’s twenty-three, shy, and dresses conservatively. She lives alone and works in a small library as an assistant. She spends her days arranging books on shelves in alphabetical order according to author. When the loneliness of her existence becomes a little too heavy, she escapes into the worlds that beckon from between invitingly illustrated covers. She has few friends beyond those who reside on flat white pages. She’s used to having a date stamp determine the length of their acquaintance.
The scene is prettily set, in line with my writerly vision. Cathy, in her new liberty print pinafore, sits demurely on the settee with her glass in her hand, patiently awaiting my instruction.
Her flat is a small, tastefully furnished studio with a folding bed against one wall and a fitted kitchen in the living room. Library assistants don’t earn much. It’s the best she can afford, and she takes pains to make it comfortable. Softly playing music is her only companion. Fleetwood Mac. She likes Fleetwood Mac.
Without warning she looks up from the page where I’ve written her and says, “Actually, I’d prefer Motorhead if we must go retro.”
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