Mystery Box

Next to my desk there are boxes.  Resting on the top of the pile is a battered shocking pink storage box with a lid whose corners have all ripped, and whose once-white velour pattern is now mostly grubby grey. This is the Big Box O’ Writing Bits. It contains torn out notebook pages, scraps, a few entire notebooks. Things written on the backs of envelopes, (very old-school, that) the backs of vet’s bills and birthday cards. Things written in black biro, fountain pen (there’s posh ­– and old – I haven’t used a fountain pen in years), glittery pink or green gel-pen, occasional eyebrow pencil because I didn’t have anything else on me.

Some of the scraps are bits of writing advice or thoughts about a project in progress, headed (eventually) for filing or dumping.

Most of the rest is…fragments. Ideas. Bits of dialogue. Opening paragraphs. Things that I’ve not done anything with. Some of them are decades old, a lot of them end mid-sentence.  Somewhere the next piece of paper floats in limbo.  I no longer have any idea what the rest of the story or poem was supposed to be.

I decided I’d post a few here. Partly as a reminder to myself that ideas are cheap, it’s the execution – and actually finishing the blessed piece – that matters.  Partly  because I really, really need to empty out that box. And partly for anyone to use as they see fit.  Take from them what you will, if you so desire.

So here are the first items out of the Mystery Box.


A lonely young girl (absent father, depressed mother) who makes a ‘friend’ who isn’t a friend at all, isn’t in fact human, who starts draining her of something valuable, demanding she spends more and more time with him/it.


A looked at B. “It still bothers me. My dear, you saw the way he looked. He’d have happily slit my throat.” A shuddered a delicate shade of purple. “And have you seen their entertainment media?”

“Don’t tell me you have,” B said.

“You think I’m just bigoted, don’t you? But look at it.” A threw a crystal onto the table. “Nothing but heroic humans slaughtering evil aliens! And there are dozens of these!”

(Yeah, A and B, I know. I’m bad at coming up with non-human names at short notice).


I want to tell you about how I died.

Don’t look at me like that, you’re the one who asked.

Well, of course I don’t look dead. There’s probably loads of us wandering around, not looking dead, but we can’t even spot each other, so how could you be expected to? That’s the point.

It hurt, dying.  I could feel everything collapsing around me. The whole world seemed to smash into bits. It was only my part, of course, but…

Well, there you go.

If anyone does get something from them, and would like to let me know how it went, I’d love to hear, but there is, of course, no obligation.



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