The Cult of Writing 

This is something I’m working on. Content warning for sexually explicit language. 

Tim sits alone in the cafe, at a small corner table, awaiting inspiration. His face is lit by the laptop’s glow. He tries to overhear conversations. He observes people. No inspiration comes. The people here are bland. All sit quietly with pen and paper, and glowing screens. He walks to the gents. As he passes people, he glances at the words on page and screen. All are describing him, his clothes, his hair, his journey to the gents.
‘He is a short, fat, middle aged man, he has no fashion sense and probably voted for brexit’
‘Divorced, masturbates regularly and cries with loneliness afterwards. His Facebook feed is full of ads for Tena Men’
‘Had a bad homosexual experience as a teenager that has left him afraid of homosexuals and intimacy’
Everyone in here is an aspiring writer, seeking ideas in an echo chamber. Writing about writers who are writing about them. The creativity of the incestuous.
In the gents, Tim stares in the mirror. Overweight. Balding. Flecks of grey in his black hair and beard. Badly fitting pink jumper, cheap jeans. Varifocals that have seen better days. If he stays here for inspiration, the offspring of his writing will be a mutant, deformed by inbreeding. He needs to get out, where the real people are. The real stories. Lives not cushioned by trust funds and investments. Views not sanitised by middle class dinner party conversations. But where to go? 
Back at his lonely table, his laptop pings. An email from a friend, Joyce. 
Hi Tim
I know you want to make a living from writing, and I thought you should look into this:
Tim clicked the link. People buy this stuff? Orc porn? Troll BDSM? Jesus. 
A quick bit of research. Yes. These make money. How hard can it be? He scrolled down the list. He wanted to write something original. Something that hasn’t been done before. He checked a list of mythological animals starting at A.

He needed something new. Mass appeal. Something for everyone. He began sketching. How about a centaur, with big tits… and a huge horse cock. And wings. And a horn like a unicorn. It can jizz rainbows out of its horn. And a beard. So it can penetrate the reader with horn or cock, give them a titwank or suck them off, or they can bum it while it’s flying. Fuck it, let’s make it fully hermaphrodite. Hardly the literary masterpiece he wanted to create, but it might keep a roof over his head so he could give up his part time retail job. 
His day job sucked. The same old jokes from the same old customers, day in, day out. No price on it? It must be free, nice weather for ducks, the wrong vouchers and returns. Restocking shelves, dusting products, inspirational meetings with management. Working every weekend. 

So he started to write. He needed a structure, a story arc, a scaffold to hang events on. One thing he’d noticed, there wasn’t much alien porn, and that surprised him. Surely anal probing would have a market? A good place to begin. Make the creature an alien. Lands in a space ship. Couple camping alone see the ship land at night. Go to investigate. Get separated. Meet mystical creature and have weird parallel universe sex: performing multiple sexual acts at the same time in different realities. Until they are both in a threesome with the creature. Then a post script about the disappointment of going home, to ordinary, linear, monogamous sex. 
Not that he was having any sex, linear and monogamous or otherwise. 

As he wrote, the idea of the story began to leak into the every day reality of his life. Serving a customer, he notices a beard. Could the alien have a beard? Do people have a weird beard fetish? Looking at the chrome kettle in the staff room, what about metallic robots? Has anyone written roboporn yet? Could be a new market? Sex robots were in the news right now, at least, a discussion of the ethics around them was. 
After a couple of months, his hideous masterpiece is ready. He hates it. And that, he guesses, means it will be popular. Now he needs a title. ‘Alone with an Alien’? ‘Space Centaur Surprise’? ‘The Art of Multi-Dimensional Sex’? ‘Space Monster in the Wilderness?’ That’s catchy. That’s the one to go with. No one in their right mind would publish this, so he doesn’t even try mainstream publishing. Straight to online self publishing it goes. He waits a while. Nothing. Maybe 3 copies sold. He spends a little on very targeted ads on Facebook. Sets up a twitter feed teasing bits of the storyline. It works. The mythological creature pervs have heard about it. It takes off. This is what he’s been waiting for, enough money to live off from writing. At least for the time being. He drops a day at work. 

He starts work on a follow up. ‘Chrome Cock Cannibals’. Alien robots who devour humans while fucking them, through tiny mouths on their snake-like robococks. Actually Robococks may be a better name, he thought to himself. Sat in the cafe, using his new free time to write more, he was amazingly productive. All around him, sat the observational writers, flicking between a list of half developed ideas and Facebook, playing candy crush, being easily distracted by the arrival of an acquaintance. Tim didn’t have to worry about that. At work, he was friendly with his colleagues, but had no close friends. Except Joyce, now on another continent on the other side of the globe. Outside of work, he was a grey man, largely unnoticed by everyone. Maybe he should have been a spy? He sometimes thought this to himself, but he wasn’t very good at respecting authority, or following orders. And he got bored very easily. 
An email pinged up as an alert at the top of his screen. Something about publishing. He got a lot of those, now. But he recognised the name of a real publishing company, Refab and Refab. He open the mail app and read. He was being offered a deal. They would supply translations of his works, and promote him. He would get a big enough advance to give up his day job forever. They wanted to see what else he was working on. He sends them his working draft of ‘Chrome Cock Cannibals’. 

They ask to meet. Tim doesn’t like to travel. That’s why him and Joyce split up. All she wanted was adventures to write about, and all he wanted was to stay at home. Tim tried to remember his last journey beyond the borders of Devon. He had a vague memory of a classical music performance at the Loco Club, beneath Temple Meads station in Bristol. When was that? When was the last time he’d left Exeter? There’d been a walk at Exmouth, with Joyce, before she moved away. That was at least five years ago. He went to work, and then home. To the cafe to write. Reality had failed him, so he had, where at all possible, abandoned it. 
This was important though. He emailed, agreeing to the meeting. Though he hated spending money unnecessarily, Tim decided to optimise his travel and stay over for the least human interaction possible. A taxi to St David’s station, a First Class seat to Paddington. An airbnb on a canal boat in Paddington basin, and about an hours walk the next morning, to Refab and Refab’s offices in Bloomsbury. 


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