Writing is my way out

It’s weird, when it was time to decide what to do with my life, I chose to be a writer. I never gave it much thought until at the end of University, when I was running out of time. The choice always seemed so far off.

I never wrote anything seriously before then and I’ve only been writing for about five years since. I took jobs where I could work as little as possible and write instead. I feel like I’m at a place now where I can actually finish something good and I’m about to. I’m already browsing agents but I still have some extensive editing to do.

For some reason writing is the only viable thing I could see myself do.

I’m a lonely guy. My sister had a kid a year ago and I’m more convinced than ever that I never want one. I ended a relationship recently too, realizing it’s too much work. I’m too self centered and I like spending time with myself. Funny thing is I like talking to new people but I don’t want to make friends and create obligations, people seemed to like me too, at first, at least… I must sound terribly immature.

I think there’s a bit missing in my head.

Cat’s don’t have money

Cat rode down the mountain on a bike to get some cheese. He couldn’t get the cheese because he didn’t have any money, he didn’t even know what money was. Yet he knew how to ride a bike. Actually, it wasn’t his bike, it was the Dog’s. The Cat just borrowed it. The Dog didn’t have any money either.

It’s All Bullshit

I love writing stupid bullshit, because that’s what writing is. We put words on a page and we have no idea if it’s any good or not. It sound right in our head until next time. Sometimes we know it’s bullshit but we put up with it anyway, telling ourselves I’ll fix it later.

Bullshit is good, it’s the only way to write. Otherwise you take yourself too seriously and that’s the death of the story.

An altogether serious novel has no place in literature, it must contain some silliness, otherwise it’s a product. It’s just pandering to the reader and putting yourself up on a pedestal that you’re deep.

Writing is one of the few mediums where the artist have full control, make use of that and write your bullshit. 

It’s all bullshit anyway.

Evidence – Poem

There are ruins after ruins along the road. Sometimes hidden, sometimes plainly seen. 

It’s not a dead world, the ruins are just evidence of the past.

At night they become especially visible, which is ironic.

They Hide

By the water they live

From the darkness they hide

From the endless forests,

To the misty mountains

With bottomless caves

And endless deeps

The Pit – Very Short Story

Sometimes we die, we do that quite often in fact. Some people believe life and death is just a cycle, that death isn’t really the end, but I’m getting ahead of myself:

Let me introduce you to the Melburns. They are a wealthy family, not only in money but in children as well. They have seventeen of them – eight Mrs Melburn doesn’t even know about. The thing about Mr Melburn is that he isn’t a good person, not in most circles, but at least he takes care of his family. He feeds them, clothes them, and that’s about it. There’s only one he pays any attention to and that’s his eldest daughter.

She died, recently, at the tender age of twelve of mysterious reasons. She was found with a mouth full of sweets and several of them were lodged in her throat. Mr Melburn always said gluttony is a problem, I guess she disagreed. As you can see, being wealthy doesn’t protect you from death, not entirely anyway. Life cannot be bought or exchanged, but that didn’t stop Mr Melburn from trying.

He contacted the local Necromancer – every small and big town has one. Necromancy is the cure against dying, according to their words, and they have many theories on how to bring back the dead; the most common one involves an exchange. The Melburns weren’t willing to give up one of their own children so they went and looked for another. A local eleven year old boy disappeared soon after. The whole incident was hushed up later when the right amount of money appeared in the right people’s pockets. It was a freak accident how the child gut himself before walking across the country and breaking into a total stranger’s basement.

I’m not saying necromancy is complete bogus, but it’s a lost art. I find it ironic how the people who are afraid to die are the most avid practitioners these days. With the Melburn’s left with no other option they decided to buy her a fancy new home to sleep her eternal rest in. It’s common in most places to have a fancy little crypt for their loved ones; to tell the world that somebody important was buried here. You better pay attention to her. If the Melburns are lucky, their dear daughter will be happy with her new accommodation and stay quiet for all eternity.

Now, let me turn your attention to the Shillies. They are not a wealthy family. Indeed, they’re so poor that the father often doesn’t eat, like, at all. He’s the definition of a saint. He also died recently and his death was not a mystery. Mrs Shillies would like nothing more than to give him a nice home to rest in, but they cannot afford to, and most likely, Mr Shillie won’t expect one either. He’ll sleep quietly in whatever grave they end up burying him in.

But, the funny thing about dying is that it’s a lot like living. People change. If Mr Shillie had any unfulfilled hopes and dreams that we didn’t know about, he might wake up and try and fulfill them. His chances are pretty good too without those pesky responsibilities of being alive or morals that comes with it. In fact, there’s a saying that most kings never lived. But one thing’s for sure, Mr Shillies won’t be able to rest easy knowing his family will most likely die of starvation without him. The city knows this, that’s why he’s going into the pit.

The pit is not just a hole in the ground, it’s deeper than anyone knows. Some say it’s bottomless, while some scholars claim it’s exactly 3000 kms deep. Nobody is sure how they came to this conclusion, most people don’t understand what those weird scientists are saying, anyway. But it doesn’t really matter in the end, because anything that is thrown in doesn’t come up!

© Christopher Stamfors

The Joker – Very Short Story

“Yes, yes! Let’s party!” a man with clown makeup cried while dancing around a larger, bulkier, man with a shaved head and a mean expression. Jason, on any other night, would have punched anyone who dared annoy him, but he found the clown strangely captivating. Jason was proud of his ability to remember anyone he ever met and he was pretty sure he could recognize them even with makeup on, but somehow, he couldn’t put a finger who this man was; but he looked familiar.

Intrigued, he let the clown do his thing, while the small entourage of men followed closely behind. Suddenly, the clown grabbed his hands and swung him in a circle without letting go. Jason tried to stop him but the clown only swirled faster and faster until Jason lost his grip (or did the clown drop him?) and fell on his ass. His cheeks flushed red.

“Ooof, need to work on your balance there, my friend,” the clown said.

Jason bared his teeth. I’ll mess you up, he thought and accepted the clowns helping hand. The hand popped out of its socket and left a hole around the clowns sleeve. Jason fell again. The light from the streetlamps shaded the faces on the group behind them but they were no doubt trying their hardest to suppress a smile. “Weehehee,” the clown laughed.

All right, tonight I kill a clown, Jason thought as he got back on his legs.

“Oh, don’t be like that,” the clown said. “Everyone needs a good laugh every once in a while. Tell you what. I’ll buy you a drink at–,” he paused, looking around. “That bar,” he said and grabbed Jason’s arm.

If there had been a convenient alley that he could force the clown into at that moment, he would’ve, but yet again, the clown was lucky as he dragged him into the bar. People stopped and stared at the clown, however, they cowered as soon as they saw who the clown was with. The bar stools emptied for the new guests and the barkeep handed out the drinks promptly and without taking pay, which negated the clowns promise.

“Cheers,” he said, apparently willing to conveniently forget about it.

Jason ignored the clown and drank with a frown.

“You’re not still mad at me, are you? I’m the Joker, I joke!” He cried happily and fooled the man next to him with a fake flower that wet his nose.

Jason finished his drink. “Another one,” he growled.

Jason still couldn’t put his finger on who the clown was. He was far too comfortable around him, and he started to worry that he might be somebody he should know. The clown dies tonight either way, he thought to himself. “A joker, eh? Then let’s go kill somebody,” he said. “You and me. The greatest joke there is, right?” He chuckled, imagining the clown’s eyes to hide in his skull out of fear because he couldn’t get any paler than he already was.

But the clown didn’t seem uncomfortable at all, in fact, there was a glee in his face and he became misty-eyed as if from joy. “I thought you’d never ask,” the clown said and ushered Jason out from the bar and danced down the street again, singing. “Kill, kill, kill, let’s kill!”

Jason was mystified by this reaction. Even though he was THE thug of the street, the clown didn’t seem afraid of him. Perhaps he was mad. “Will you shut up!” He said. “This is not how it works.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just so excited to kill with my new best friend,” he said while walking. Then he stopped abruptly. Gasp. “Should we kill him, or maybe him? There’s so many to choose from!” He said and grabbed a random stranger and pushed him close to Jason’s face.

The stranger looked bewildered and scared as he met Jason’s eyes. “Is he good enough?!” The clown said.

“Are you crazy?” Jason said and threw the stranger to the side who was promptly picked up by his entourage.

“Hmm, you’re right. He didn’t feel right…” he said and started looking for another.

Jason had had just about enough of this clown and he pushed him close to his face. “Are you trying to get me into trouble? Who the fuck are you?!”

The clown smiled; he never stopped smiling. “Worried they’ll recognise you? You should’ve had makeup on, like me!” He smiled. “But don’t you worry, they’ll never notice you once I fix your nose!” A machete emerged from the clown’s pants and with one sweep, Jason’s didn’t have a nose anymore.

Jason staggered and touched his face that was wet and full of blood. He didn’t feel anything, though. Not yet. “In fact,” the clown said. “I should fix a few other things while I’m at it!”

Jason’s left ear came off cleanly and he didn’t feel the pain immediately that time either, but as he realised what was happening, he felt the pain and he crumbled to his knees. “Stop, please!” he cried.

“Please? Too nice a word coming out of you!”

The clown planted the blade deep into Jason’s skull and he collapsed, pathetically, onto the street. The clown looked at the entourage who remained frozen a few feet away. The man they’d caught slipped out of their grip. Somehow, the clown thought that was very funny. “Weheehee! I am the Joker. I’m the one who jokes!”

© Christopher Stamfors

The Stranded Men – Poem

She wants to keep them.

He wants them away.

The Enemy wants to capture them

And the father wants them saved.

The navy can’t do anything because the enemy is there. 

She doesn’t abide by anyone and is the lord of the land.

The father is lord over other lands and doesn’t hold any sway.

And He is lord of nothing and must watch and wait 

for things to come his way.

Autumn Night

The moon was full and the wind was wild as the tree-tops rustled.

The streetlights gave a faint glow from the dark leaves that encompassed them.

Black blotches of their shadows danced on the pavement,

Softly

Hard

until they were still – like a painting on the ground.

There’s magic during nights like these – it’s the reason why the wind blows so hard.

Everything that isn’t supposed to be stirs to life

All at once.