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The Artist Does what he can to get through the Morning

The Artist is in bed, beneath filthy sheets, fighting sadness. He slept well, he felt refreshed on waking, but as soon as he tried to get out of bed a wave of sadness came for him pushing him back down. Hours have passed. From time to time a great bluebottle lands on his head, cleans its front feet, takes off again.



The Crow comes to the window, steps up onto the black bars and calls out.

Crow:   I thought you had an idea.

Artist: It is worthless. I. I will not be able.

C:         So, you lay abed?

A:         What else is there?

C:         Living, perhaps. Eating. Shitting. Moving from one place to the next.

A:         It is all well and good for you.

C:         Is it?

The Artist has drifted off as if on a wave of melancholy. The crow waits, ruffles black feathers, calls out, irritated. Suddenly the Artist wakes.

A:         Crow.

C:         Yes, (stepping back)

A:         Perhaps you might do something for me.

C:         Depends.

A:         I’m hungry, crow.

C:         You expect me to hunt for you. I will, but you might not like what I bring.

A:         Not for food, please. It is the other hunger.

C:         The flesh. Surely, she satisfied you yesterday.

A:         No, (with a look of revulsion) Not that, either.

C:         The drink, then.

A:         Please, crow. Please. With a drink I could begin work. I could begin to unfold the idea.

C:         You need drink.

A:         It is my process, crow. I have no choice. This is how I was made. Just a you must hunt carrion, I require drink to produce art.

C:         Why should I?

A:         (shrugging) You seem to have some interest in what I do. I presumed that interest would extend to assisting me.

C:         An exchange, (stepping forward, through the bars onto the inner window-sill) I too have hungers.

(The Artist stepped back into the gloom on his one room flat. He removed his underwear and the old t-shirt. There, naked, he waited. The crow entered the room a lascivious grin slitting its face. The Artist closed his eyes while the crow set in, black tongue rough against his skin. It went on for some time, the crow pleasuring itself on the wonderful body of the Artist, having its way with him)

C:         Open your mouth.

A:         Please, no.

C:         (angry) This is part of it now open your fucking mouth.

(The Artist obliges opening his mouth).

C:         There. There. That’s it. Every drop.

A:         (gagging) No. No. Please. No more.

C:         That’s it. You can open your eyes and stop your whining.

A:         (opening his eyes) It’s over.

C:         Over, yes. You are a very difficult man.

A:         I’m sorry. It’s just I’m tired.

C:         From her.

A:         I have no choice.

C:         You have a choice. You could say no.

A:         And then what. I need ideas.

C:         Ideas are nothing with me.

A:         That’s why.

C:         You let me, too. I understand, (under its breath) but still, it hurts to have you say it.

A:         My drink. You said you would

C:         I’m going, scum. I’m going.

(Later drunk, happy. The Artist wrote his story…)


The Artists Story (the setup)


It was the most awful of nights, rain coming down in wild gouts, as if cavass bag holding an ocean in the sky had been cut to shreds when the man came to the town. He was an ordinary man, plain, harmless, likely enough to be employed, perhaps around 40 years old. He was driving an old green Nissan which, despite its age was fully compliant in relation to all the rules and regulations, registration, insurance and tax. That man would not have driven it otherwise, regardless of how his plans might have been impeded.

Despite the hour, and the rain, the coming of the man had been marked, (boys were paid in bags of drugs, cheap shit to watch the road for either the police or for strangers and to call ahead, which is just what they’d done as the Nissan had ploughed a path through the dark and wet, sticking to the lesser used coast road.

The man parked in the carpark on the seafront, lit a cigarette before turning off the engine, lifted the hood on his waterproof, long coat, then climbed out of the car. He walked quickly along the promenade, neither turning his head to the left, where the black, cold sea roiled racking stones like the hacked breathing of cancer sufferers, or to the right where the nightclubs, strip-bars, dive-bars and drug-joints sucked cash from the bleary eyed, the desperate, the malicious and the beautiful. The man kept on, the rain belting down, the sky a mass of nothingness, the stars and moon buried deep beneath the bank of shapelessness. When the first cigarette was finished her lit and second, by the time he’d smoked the second he’d reached the foyer of the Bray Head Hotel.


(The Artist rises out of his work, blinking, the drink in him, shielding him from doubt. He has paid the muse and paid the toil but still there was something missing. Talking the bottle by the neck he stood, downing the dregs. Set-up, reversal, subversion. The dramatic structure. Whatever has been set-up should be reversed and finally the audience expectations should be subverted. This needs to be built up slowly, the characters need to drive the story and the story must be driven by conflict. Where is the conflict in his work? None yet, but then, it is short so far, but still there is something missing, a gaping hole in the middle. Character. The man. He is nothing yet. He needs life, ideas, a past, motivations, flaws, hopes, dreams and fears. First though, name. The Artist returns to the page, hovers momentarily then writes, Brian Capote, (a combination of names from the pile of books next to his typewriter).

img_20180805_164025768 Yes, that’s him. Brian Capote

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