Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I was sitting in the bath this morning and, out of nowhere, this popped into my head:

Alasdair Disdain crouched in the over-large bath and looked at the whirlpool jets built into it and wondered how to make them work. He looked at the scar running the length of his thigh, still fresh, still bruised. He looked away. He looked past the undrawn curtains into the street opposite, to the squat, stone-built house with the squat, stone-framed window behind which, minutes earlier, he had seen the scandalised face of an old woman staring at him as he ran the bath. He looked out at the grey Ochil Hills, surrounding him like the fortification of the damned. He wondered how he could come to such a place. Again.
There's a very conscious echo of Cormac McCarthy in this which may or may not be removed, but it sets the tone and tells me this is going to be dark. The man's same suggests it will be humorous. Other than that, I have absolutely no idea who Alisdair Disdain is or what happened to him or what is about to happen to him.

The first sentence tells us he is somewhere unfamiliar, maybe a hotel? The second tells us that something - probably violent - has happened to him recently. The third suggests he is in denial about this. The fourth suggests he is not good at considering the consequences of his actions. The fifth sets the location and suggests a mood. The sixth develops a predicament. And the seventh suggests that whatever that predicament is, he is returning to it, so he may be some kind of prodigal son.

What next? Who knows.... Ah the mystery of creative writing...


Jim H. said...


Tom Conoboy said...

yes could be. Or possibly Jack Broughton in Marilynne Robinson's Home.