Long Time, No See

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mostly because I haven’t had a lot to say. I started this year with such good intentions, but as we all know they do pave the way to hell. I don’t want you to think I’ve been procrastinating – I have been working on things, mostly the WIP novel, but that’s not really ready for public consumption so I haven’t been able to share it here. Nevertheless, I have been writing and I’ll endeavour to be more regular in posting from now on.It’s been a rough start to the year for me, I don’t mind telling you. Whilst I don’t want to go into too many details (not least because it would doubtless seem rather pedestrian to you all, but also because there are many sides to any story), I can say I’ve been struggling to get on an even keel. I’m getting there now, but there are still wobbles from time to time. I’ve spoken before about how writing is a strange profession to be in, since what happens to you can affect your output so much, so I won’t go on about it again. But, yeah. That happened.

Still, onwards and upwards. The plans I had at the start of the year are still in the pipeline. I’ll be getting cracking on those projects as soon as possible, whilst still carrying on with the WIP, so watch this space. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a bit of a silly sketch, which I’m not entirely happy with, but it’s one of the only things I’ve finished recently.
 


 

THE KIOSK

A man, GRAHAM, looking bored inside a tourist office type kiosk, wearing the sort of novelty hat only a tourist office type kiosk can provide. A younger man, JEREMY, walks up to the kiosk.

JEREMY         Excuse me-

GRAHAM      I’m sorry, we’re all out of pencil sharpeners.

JEREMY         I don’t want a pencil sharpener.

GRAHAM      That’s good because we’ve run out. Plenty of overly large pencils left, if that’s the sort of thing that interests you. Can’t see why it would myself, but there we are.

JEREMY         I don’t want a large pencil. I work here.

GRAHAM      I’ve never seen you before.

JEREMY         No, I’m new. It’s my first day.

GRAHAM      Oh, first day. Then why are you on that side of the counter? Staff don’t come to the front.

JEREMY         Oh, sorry, I didn’t know. It’s my first d-

GRAHAM      First day, I know. Well, come on round then. I’ll show you the not very extensive ropes.

JEREMY         Brilliant!

Jeremy comes round through a door Graham opens.

JEREMY         Oh wow, this is a lovely booth.

GRAHAM      Kiosk.

JEREMY         What?

GRAHAM      It’s a kiosk. It has an open window on one side.

JEREMY         Wow. There’s so much to learn.

GRAHAM      (unenthusiastically) Yeah. It’s great.

JEREMY         I can’t really believe it. I mean me, Jeremy Irons, no relation, working here at the Fountain of Youth. In a booth!

GRAHAM      Kiosk.

JEREMY         Sorry. Kiosk. I’m excited.

GRAHAM      I can tell.

JEREMY         Aren’t you excited? You must be. Who could work at the Fountain of Youth and not be excited right?

GRAHAM      I’m positively brimming over with excitement, believe me. Anyway, on with the ropes. This is the kiosk, large pencils on the left next to the pencil sharpeners –

JEREMY         If we had any.

GRAHAM      If we had any – precisely. On the right, little badges, postcards and cuddly toys. Till’s behind you. There’s a button for everything and don’t worry about the sinister ping.

JEREMY         Sinister ping?

Graham presses a button on the till behind him with an exasperated sigh. The till springs open and an ominous ping sounds.

GRAHAM      Sinister ping.

JEREMY         That is a sinister ping. Why don’t management fix it?

GRAHAM      I don’t know. Same reason they put a glittery curtain up by the gate, I suppose. Because they’re morons.

JEREMY         I liked the glittery curtain. It adds a sense of glamour.

GRAHAM      Oh yes, a sense of glamour. You understand that this is the Fountain of Youth, don’t you?

JEREMY         Absolutely.

GRAHAM      A sparkling pool of supernatural essence that gives anyone who bathes in it cure of any ills, injuries, maladies, agues and poxes they may suffered?

JEREMY         Yes.

GRAHAM      A glittering lake of magical manna that restores any and all life forms to a state of perfect health and if drunk on an annual basis can allow a person to live forever?

JEREMY         Yes.

GRAHAM      The sight of which has led the deepest cynics to weep at the sight of it and more than one black hearted evildoer to be burned to a crisp at a glance of its purity?

JEREMY         Yes.

GRAHAM      And that’s improved by a curtain that wouldn’t look out of place at a Tijuana back street bestiality show, is it?

JEREMY         Well…it brightens the place up, doesn’t it?

GRAHAM      Oh yeah, of course. Brightens the place up.

JEREMY         If you don’t mind me saying, er…

GRAHAM      Graham. Graham Broad. Also, no relation.

JEREMY         To who?

GRAHAM      No one.

JEREMY         Oh. Well, look, anyway, I just wanted to say. I mean, I know it’s my first day and everything, but you don’t seem very thrilled to be working here.

GRAHAM      I used to be, Jeremy. Once I was just like you. I used to walk through the gates every morning with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. The sight of the Fountain used to give me an electric thrill and the smell of the kiosk nothing short of a modest erection. They’re just in that drawer, by the way.

Jeremy opens a drawer and lifts out some replicas of famous landmarks. He sniffs one.

JEREMY         They do smell good.

GRAHAM      I know. But, it’s like working in a sweet shop. At first it’s all strawberry bon bons and flying saucers, but after a while it’s barely touching a liquorice stick. I mean, it’s all very well working at the Fountain of Youth – the health cover’s great –

JEREMY         Almost miraculous.

GRAHAM      But in the end, it’s just a job. Day after day selling pencil sharpeners and novelty toothbrush holders and those bastarding little things that you stick down with all your might and they spring about two centimetres in the air after four and a half seconds…it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

JEREMY         I was really looking forward to working here.

GRAHAM      Yeah, well, you want my advice? Fill up as many bottles from the pool as you can, stick a couple of freakishly large pencils in your rucksack and never come back.

JEREMY         I couldn’t do that, Graham.

GRAHAM      I know, I know. First day, the shine’s still on it.

JEREMY         No. There’s no point nicking pencils, we haven’t got any sharpeners.

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