this is my new humorous novel.
*Everyone loves you when you're dead.
Fame is a fickle food
upon a shifting plate.
“Please leave a short 10 second message after the tone.”
“Blast and double damn.” Terence threw his mobile phone into the rubbish bin at the side of his writing desk and sulked his way to the two seater settee and plomped with as much plomp as he could muster into the cushions.
He lay in this abject state for some time, almost as if waiting for a second curtain call or applause. When none was forthcoming her rolled over and looked at his desk.
The desk fitted the bill of a writer’s desk. Computer, papers, pens, pencils and a pile of books that one might assume the owner was well read. Yet it lacked a certain something. It lacked a writer.
The last line of Terence Stitt’s novel, ‘Il est mort’ (he is dead) stared from the computer screen.at the empty chair. After a prolonged dry spell and a hideous bout of writers block, which had the effect of making Terence gain 10 kilograms and grow a scrappy beard Terence felt a bit mort himself.
He liked to use French in his novels. Not that he was French or spoke it for that matter, but he just thought it showed a level of intelligence, and Terence need all the help he could get in that department. He roused himself from his torpor and sat at his desk and looked at the screen, then added an exclamation mark after mort. There was a temptation to add ‘fin’ justified in the middle of the word document, but he resisted the urge. In his experience his agent, his editor, his beta reader, the proof reader and his wife would all have something to say about his latest manuscript – and it would be foolhardy to say it was finished. All the women who held the above positions were only there, it seemed to Terence to make Terence Stitt’s life one of misery, servitude and anguish.
“They’ll love it,” he said to the computer screen. That his agent wasn’t answering his calls, his editor was always in a meeting, his beta reader conveniently contracted conjunctivitis and his wife wasn’t speaking to him at the moment didn’t help. They had to love it or he was a dead man. He should have been happy. He had beaten his writers block. He had finally fulfilled his contractual obligation to his publisher and he could sit back and relax.
But he couldn’t relax. He hated the manuscript from the first line to the last. It was rotten. It could never live up to his meteoric rise to fame from his first novel. It would never pay the mortgage. It would never clear the credit card his wife thought was unlimited. It was absolutely, excruciatingly dreadful.
“I might as well kill myself now.” Terence’s head thumped down on the desk and he closed his eyes.
A lawn mower kerruppfft into life and broke into Terence’s contemplation at pressing DELETE. Now there is a happy man, he thought.
The happy man in question was Terence’s next door neighbour Jim Broker, who was at that moment swearing blue murder at his lawn mower which had decided today was not the day for getting to work and spluttered once then threw in the towel.
Terence sighed – one of those depths of despair type of sighs and pressed SAVE.
Terence Stitt’s light once shone brightly.
New York times bestseller list
New and exciting. One to watch
And his all-time favourite,
The most exciting voice from a writer we have seen in a long time.
The London Review.
Now, just two short years later he was off the radar. He was never invited to anything and if you asked the man in the street had they heard of Terence Stitt, the answer might be,
“Didn’t he invent that kitchen gadget thingy?” In fact, Mr Stitt might as well be dead for all the once adoring public knew.