SHINING PROSE

Writing serves a very similar purpose to dreaming: it is a way of defragmenting our many contrasting, scattered thoughts and meshing them together into a whole that can sometimes be desperately unsettling, or desperately magical and uplifting. Writers often write to place their thoughts onto paper as a way of being able to more easily deal with a troubled past or to form a fantastic present or future that inspires them and others alike.
For me, writing is like an old friend that I adored dearly as a child but the colour of its memory had been washed away by the turbulent waves of life. Writing wasn’t a goal that had to be ticked off in a busy life as it is now: it was a way for me to create magic in an otherwise bleak time in my life, as childhood often can be.
I found a writing group called Story Slam held at the Southbank Centre, where writers write a five minute short story and compete to win the title of that evening’s literary champ. I booked my ticket and, forever the procrastinator, decided that the story could be written the following morning. With the theme as ‘Shining’, I mulled it over during my eight hour repose and on the Tube, just like now, I hammered out a surreal little tale inspired by, parodying and contrasting with the 1980 film ‘The Shining’.
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My main character, Johnny, dull and not nearly as exciting as his film counterpart (borne from the well known tagline ‘Here’s Johnny!’) served as a representation of a life spent in melancholia, wasted on menial details, details that ended the story in a gruesome and bleak way for our anti-protagonist. Those ‘there once was a man’ tales a la Brothers Grimm and Russian short fiction gave me the direction I went in, and the rocking of the train gave it its edge.
Just in case you were wondering: no, I didn’t win the competition. But the evening did ignite a drive to continue writing and performing my material which you will hopefully all stick around to read and enjoy!

Johnny’s watching.

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