More from the Mystery Box

And we’re back, folks, with the Mystery Box.  (See the previous post).

I thought that The Box only contained ideas, but it seems I was wrong. My filing can be…random. Especially when I’m tidying the room in a hurry because we have guests on the way. (OK by ‘filing’ I mean ‘shoving things in the nearest receptacle and promising myself I’ll sort them out later’).

It turns out that some of the many pieces of paper in here are shopping lists – yes, people have created fiction based on shopping lists, but I suspect ‘Milk Catfood Don’t Forget Post Office!!!’ is unlikely to be a source of lasting creative brilliance. Although, you know, if you’re feeling it, go for it.

There are bits of writing advice and occasional reading recommendations which I think mostly come from hastily scribbled notes while I was in the audience at convention panels.

There is a postcard from my sister.

There are notes of hotel booking numbers and train times.

There are scrawled phrases which seem to hang in mid -air, hinting at lost meaning. Some of them were obviously written half-awake or possibly when not entirely sober. Sadly, the ones I have found so far are either incomprehensible or mundane and sometimes, even more sadly, both. (Although I’m still hoping that I misread the one that appeared to say ‘couscous enema’.).

Scraps of a life. Any of these could, perhaps, be a source of inspiration to someone else, but when it’s your own life, it all looks a bit dull.

However.  There are some actual story ideas in here, so I have pulled out a few for your delectation. If they spark anything for anybody, I would be delighted to hear about it.

A woman who is in the audience whenever a particular song is playing but who literally disappears when the music stops.

An embroidered robe which looks beautiful until you get really close, close enough to see that it shows horrible and disturbing things.

OK and this one is one of the more incomprehensible ones whose origins are hopelessly lost. “What if he gets his magician kit mixed up with his worm-fighting kit?”

Who? Was he a real magician? A stage magician? Did I mean a worm as in dragon or did I mean actual earthworms? And why would anyone fight earthworms, which are good and necessary things?

The answers are in your hands…



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