A Bum Start to Writing a Novel Pt. 1, a short story by KiwiDreamer. Date added: 2012-03-14. Times viewed: 948.
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- Intro: A computer tech guy leaves his job and ends up overlooking Wrinkewood in isolation on the coast of North Devon to write a novel. The new-start writer hunches over the computer keyboard and his mind freezes. Fortunately rescue is on the way.
Two loosely associated London software design firms, under pressure of the global economic downturn, merged fully and everyone in the successful Lancelot Software Ltd.’s software engineering team assumed they were too good to let go. But they attended a meeting and found that might not be so.
A red-faced guy with a beer belly, hired to allow reshuffled management of the merged companies to distance themselves from the workforce, said to the 250 people at the meeting, “We of the company are very uncomfortable about the plight of some of you expecting continuing employment.”
“Bullshit” someone called deep within the crowded assembly of men and women.
“We of the company…”
“Who the fuck are you?” yelled a female and the meeting stalled under a great wave of laughter.
But Alex Nimble carried on as if there had been no discouraging interjections.
“I’ve been instructed to advise you all the axe will swing and reasonably heavily. You all must reapply for your jobs.”
“Boo” someone shouted and the cacophony of boos rattled the windows of the packed staff cafeteria.
Alex waited patiently and then let loose.
“Perhaps some of you wish to jump ship forthwith. Well go now through to the boardroom where a small team from HR will accept your resignations. There will be no screening, no plea for you to stay and your exit payments will be no more than if you go through the job application progress where some of you will not be successful.
George Grant, who preferred to be called Geo (pronounced Gee-o) walked through to the boardroom with seven other guys and two females.
Geo was not interested in reapplying for a job that no longer held his interest so intently and that was scarcely surprising for a graduate in computer science who was part of a team that in software development worked through a combination of coding verification, unit testing, integration testing and debugging. He’d been well paid and aged thirty-two with no wife and kids to drain his income had a fat bank balance. His widowed and childless aunt had recently added to that by bequeathing him £87,000.
Being a bachelor, he considered himself flush and thought this would be the opportunity to change up from being a team nit-picker to applying himself to something more creative.
Geo wasted two months before he got the message from job placement advisers and HR people in companies where he gained a first or even a second-stage job interview, that with his narrow job experience and particular age bracket, he wasn’t employable right not, at least not in the salary range of his expectation.
He’d been ramming one of the attractive job interviewers one night after drinks and then dinner at her flat when she puffed anxiously, ‘You know this changes nothing; we are not to prepared to recommend you for this position” and Geo decided to why bother lining up to try to land a job. He banged her so hard that she climaxed within a minute and three more times before he peaked almost an hour later.
Geo left the exhausted and virtual stranger asleep in her lounge chair. He went home feeling well he was adequate at performing sexually and actually was quite capable of lifting his game to perform silkily enough to be invited back for return encounters.
His dad was already in bed and his mum took one look at Geo and said, “You dirty bugger. By the look of you the poor girl must have been screwed near senseless.”
Well his mum possessed a good understanding of real world situations and behaviour patterns, being a vicar’s wife and deeply involved in the welfare of needy parishioners.
She fetched her needy son a cup of very strong tea and two thick meat sandwiches.
“Where are you with your job search aspirations Geo?”
“In a deep pit.”
“Well why not assist your father with pastoral work?”
“What to give needy females the sex they hunger desire?”
She smiled and said, “On the other hand why don’t you try writing a novel? You have sometimes mentioned doing that as night work but then before you started thinking about that, one of your sluts would call to advise her boyfriend was out of town.”
“Don’t be too hard on me mom. You can remember what it was like?”
“What rubbish. I have no idea because you father came courting and as the family knows he was the only one.”
“What about Paul Munro, David Henry, Jock Street and Andy Murray?”
Caught by surprise his slender and good-looking mom squealed, “Omigod, who told you about them?”
“Dad told me and said they took turns at dating you while he attended divinity college.”
“Yes but the lads only took turns to take me to the pictures or to a concert.”
“That’s not what dad told me. He said…”
Caitlin said, “Darling let’s talk about your novel. I think you should hire a cottage down at the coast and write.”
“How would I know darling, you’re the author.”
Caitlin told her mother-in-law Geo wished to go somewhere quiet to write a novel. Geo’s grandmother called him to say her friend Ruth had been a successful novelist in her day and wrote her two best-selling novels when spending two summers in the North Devon coastal village of Woolacombe.
* * *
Geo arrived in Woolacombe on his new pearl cosmic black Honda ST1300 Pan European sports tourer, the first long ride (180 miles) since purchasing the motorcycle after his redundancy and selling his 1995 MG sports car.
The village looked okay and sleepy because the barrack-like accommodation units in the holiday camps were mostly empty. Geo called into a real estate office to find about small cottages to rent long-term of four months-plus. Most were unsuitable, being fitted out for four to eight or more holidaymakers and fairly high weekly rentals.
He told the woman who’d come from out the back rubbing her eyes after he’d rang the bell louder, “I really want a single bedroom cottage with a bathroom and main room incorporating a kitchenette, preferably with a sea view,” and provided more specific information.
“We have a few but I can tell you mostly they are dogs but if you would like one that overlooks the woods rather than the sea but the coast is only a few minutes easy walk away then I have this,” she said turning around the computer monitor for Geo to view.
“Good heavens, it’s ancient and has a thatch roof.”
“Yes,” the letting agent Mrs White said defensively and yawned.
He cocked his head and said, “But loaded with character.”
“It’s a charming wee place. Should I arrange for the Mellows sisters to meet you there? The cottage belongs to their mother who is bed-ridden at present and you’ll need to pass inspection before they will consider letting it out to you.”
“Do you have difficulty hearing?” the woman said, slipping deeper into her West Country accent.
“No I heard and think they are entitled to set conditions for letting. I drink but don’t smoke or do drugs and don’t have pets and my mom has always made me make my bed.”
“That sounds promising. So why do you want the cottage for such a long period?”
“I want somewhere quiet to write a book.”
“Well you tell the sisters what you’ve just told me and you’ll be fine.”
The letting agent said after finishing the call, “Miss Pam and Miss Eva will meet you at the cottage at 5:30 after they finish work. Here is a map I’ve sketched for you showing the location of the cottage from here. It overlooks the trees of Wrinkle Wood with an outlook if your climb a hill you can look out over Lee Bay and there’s a tiny village there with a public house. The location is ideal for a writer, far from the maddening crowds as they say.”
* * *
The sisters approved of Geo, liked the idea of having a resident writer in the cottage and questioned his funny name. He had expected old spinsters but the two sisters were in their mid-twenties and looked reasonably sexy and he had wild thoughts of inviting them to indulge in a three-way with him.
Pam the leader said, “You drive home Eva and I’ll ride behind Geo to the real estate office to tell Mrs White we have agreed to knock off ten quid a week off the rental because it’s a long-term contract.
“Here use my phone,” Geo said, pulling it out of his jacket.
“No I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle and this one looks a really cool.”
Eva drove off and Pam climbed behind Geo and held him around the waist, pulling herself against him tightly.
“Oooh this is sexy. Can you feel my breasts?”
Geo almost fell off his bike in shock as if he’d never expect a North Devon female admit to having breasts or even know she had them.
“Yeah and the tighter you sit against me the more we’ll ride as one. Pull the visor of your helmet down.”
“There’s more than one way I can ride you isn’t there?”
Geo pulled down his visor and hoped it wouldn’t fog up.
“Push your groin hard against my backside,” he muttered and she called “What?” and he started the bike and rode off without answering.
She’d followed his initial instructions not to lean away from the lean of the bike when cornering and she said she knew that because she and her sister competed in road cycle races. She was now pressing her thighs against his hips and he thought she shouted something lewd but he wasn’t certain about that.
They stopped outside the real estate office and a kid looked admiringly at the bike and made Geo nervous when he asked, “How many times has it been stolen mister?”
“Fuck off Lewis, your mother wants you,” Pam said, holding her helmet.
The kid ran off and Geo was wondering why he’d believed his mum when she’d told him North Devon people were a conservative lot and he’d probably have to go to Plymouth some two hours away to get casual sex, and he might have to pay for it there because Plymouth was a naval base and large port for commercial shipping.
“Are you allowed to speak like that to young kid around here?”
Pam said, “I suppose I am a little foul mouthed but that little shit stole our underwear off our clothesline when Eva slapped him for nicking plums off our tree. Mom saw the little shit attempting to put on my bra and laughed so much she almost fell out of bed.”
Geo decided he should make a bit of a pitch and asked, “Are you large enough to require a bra?”
Pam cupped them and said, “What do you think now sailor?”
The reduced rental was noted by Mrs White but she still demanded the equivalent payment of one week’s rental at the higher level as listed as her fee and Pam agreed without argument.
Geo stopped at Pam’s family home back in Woolacombe to let her off and she said, “Take off your helmet so I can kiss you.”
They kissed and he got off the bike to place her helmet in a pannier.
“Where will you stay tonight?”
“At a cabin.”
Pam stroked his arm and said seductively, her gaze steady, “Take me somewhere for dinner and then back to your cabin for sex”
“Wow what a great way to be welcomed to North Devon.”
She giggled and called him a randy bugger.
Geo thought a woman initiating practically an instant fuck was something that might happen to a guy in London or Liverpool or beach resorts that rocked but here in North Devon? He found it difficult to believe.
Eva came out and said, “Mom invites you to her bedroom to have a beer with her because I told her you were good looking and very interesting.”
Pam had already gone into the house and Eva said, “Don’t be surprised if Pam attempts to bang you. She’s such a slut.”
“That’s rude to ask that Geo but if you must know I’m practically a virgin. I’m trying to keep fresh for my husband when I find one. I can’t believe how carnally-centred most of the guys around here are. They take you our three or four times and then think they’re entitled to sex.”
Geo asked disbelievingly, “Three or four times?”
“Yes Geo. Do men undertake more successive dates in London before they try it on?”
Geo eyed her seriously and said, “I wouldn’t know Eva. I’m practically a virgin.”
Her curious stare indicated doubt.
Geo took Pam straight home from the restaurant, not hearing her complaining shouts but feeling her kidney punches through his jacket and angry fist drumming on the top of his helmet.
When they stopped outside her family home she pulled off the helmet and slammed it against his chest and yelled, “What about sex?”
“What about it?”
She walked off angrily.
Eva called him at 7:00 next morning and said, “Pam awoke this morning and walked into a shut door in such a fit over the way you spurned her. Mom and I laughed our heads off. Oh mom asked me to call to ask do you service older women?”
“Gotta go,” Geo gasped and cut the call.
Jesus he must have stumbled on the world’s most dysfunctional family.
Later that morning Geo went into a place selling used furniture and purchased an old desk, a newish office padded leather chair with low arms and tilt plus a desktop lamp.
He told the stooped old guy, “Could you have these items delivered to Mrs Mellows’ cottage beside Wrinkle Wood off Warcombe Lane? I’ll be in all day to pay on delivery?”
“Ah yes, that’s where Mrs Mellows shot her ex-husband and his lover.”
“No in the ass with a slug gun, both guys took two slugs in the arse.”
“Oh you’re a thick Londoner. It’s an alternative word for men or lads.”
Geo failed to see he had a novel unravelling before his eyes (er and ears) right here in North Devon.
* * *
George Freyberg sat in front of his laptop facing a blank page while his mind stumbled erratically. After three coffee breaks he concluded novel writing didn’t come easily, in fact in his case it didn’t come at all. What the hell had gone wrong?
Oh yeah, he was without a plan.
And the plan didn’t materialize either.
A vehicle came slowly along the bumpy track and he saw it was Eva and rushed out, almost delirious to see someone, to have someone listen to his frustrations. But hey, that would be a great way to chase her away.
So he sauntered out and said, “Hi. No work today. Were you fired?”
“I work in a pharmacy and have the afternoon shift today. I thought I’d come over and check out that you were doing okay. I’ll bought machine coffee and a muffin each.”
“God the Angel of Woolacombe.”
Eva looked a little apprehensive and said as a family they weren’t religious.
“Me neither but you could still project in my mind as an angle, couldn’t you?”
“I guess so.”
“Well come into my humble abode.”
“I suppose you should know this was the love nest of my gay father and the guy who was shagging him.”
“Oh really? Well it is splendidly isolated off a narrow and almost inhospitable lane.”
“Aren’t you interested in hearing about them?”
“Not really,” Geo said, taking the plastic container and removing the lid and sniffing pleasurably, aware she was watching him.
“You are here hoping to have sex and that’s of more interest to me. It’s true you don’t have sex often but you have your needs and select your partner carefully because you wish to be seduced, not rutted, just the opposite to your sister?”
“So Pam shot her mouth off?”
“She made no mention of you in that respect. I just figured it out. Your eyes told me.”
“God little wonder you’re an author.”
That made Geo blink.
“May I remove your top and bra?”
Eva coloured and said, “Christ Geo, I’m not a whore.”
“I know. I’m moving slowly on the seduction. Think of it like me approaching a flower sent from a florist and pushing down the wrapping a bit.”
Her hand shook and coffee slopped over the edge of her cup.
“I’ll grab a rag.”
As he mopped the stone floor she said he could undress her.
“Just the top and bra at first.”
“I hope you didn’t come here thinking of anal sex?”
“Oh heavens no,” she said hoarsely.
Eva said she liked the old oak desk but the modern chair looked out of place.
“I purchased it for comfort, not for décor compatibility.”
“Good thinking,” she said, putting her coffee on the desk and held up her arms. Geo unzipped the back of her knitted top and pulled it off. He then undid the carnival coloured bra and she commented he’d handled bra unfastening expertly and received no reply.
Geo walked around and surveyed his finding.
“Sweet, absolutely lovely tits and I can’t wait to suck them but I will.”
“M-m-muffin?” she asked, holding out the open paper bag and he took out a muffin and found it was spicy apple and rhubarb.
“A magnificent choice of muffin and are you about to say something on the progress they were making?”
She coloured and then said bravely wasn’t he going to ask was her vulva bushy or groomed.
“Oh, I anticipated you’d gone down that path?”
“You mean go down on your pussy?”
She appeared confused and he said, “Sit on the office chair while I pull up stool.”
She sat and looked at the computer screen that was blank and he said he’d not written anything. Geo replied he wished to talk to her about writing because he appeared to lack motivation.
“Then why am I topless?”
“So I can look at you as a diversion. I enjoy thinking about sex.”
She blushed and he wondered what was coming and she said, almost in a whisper, that she sometimes enjoyed thinking about sex.
“When masturbating in bed?”
She nodded and whispered, obviously embarrassed, “And also in the shower.”
They lapsed momentarily into silence, and then he saw the change in her and knew he’d pushed too hard or too fast or both.
She said, unable to look at him, “I should go.”
He didn’t try to argue and said to get dressed and finish her coffee and muffin. As she was dressing he said, “I guess you think I’m too much for you?”
“Sexually yes. Pam would be a better match for you.”
“Perhaps,” he said and she appeared to understand and smiled.
Geo walked with Eva out to the car and he said, “Will you visit me alone and occasionally. I’d welcome your visit. We can be friends without having sex can’t we? I enjoy your soft manner.”
“Yes and I’d already wondered about attempting to talk to you about a relationship on that basis.”
She entered the vehicle and he closed the door she said, “The aunt of my girlfriend Rose Shields has had two books published, one about smugglers along this coast in the eighteenth century and another set early last century about limestone and coal being brought into Lee from Wales. The limestone was burnt at a lime works and the quicklime used to reduce soil acidity in local pasturelands and used in mortar and whitewash. I’ll see if the aunt, Mrs Malcolm, will call you to talk about how to start a novel.”
“Thanks, I’d appreciate that. The aunt should be told I’m having a bum start trying to write a novel.”
Eva laughed and punched in his phone number and then held up her face and told Geo to kiss her as a friend.
The kiss was sweet and Geo felt his dick stir and thought oh, this was one babe he’d regret backing away from. But at least she appeared pleased they’d not done it. Late that afternoon he attempted to call his parents and found there was no signal strength at the cottage. He cursed.
MORE TO COME
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