The Linnet's Wings Summer 2014 - Page 18

by Niall Joseph Esbjorn Doing His Homework by Carl Larsson S aul was sprawled exhaustedly across the scattered research papers on his bed, overflowing ashtray precarious by his arm, when it came to him finally like a shard of mirror flung through his mind. A devastating opening line. Fumbling in the dark for his glasses he flipped the ashtray to the floor and had to curse his way through a cloud of foul dust, repeating the line in his head, to get t o his desk. His last book had taken him four years to finish after Evie, his wife, died of bowel cancer halfway through; it had been eighteen months since he typed its last line and vowed never again, and six weeks since succumbing to his editor’s superfluous reminders that, at fifty six and enslaved to diabetes, if he couldn’t write anymore he was done. Six bitter weeks of research, excessive corner shop visits, and waiting, waiting, waiting for that line. He flicked on the lamp. Too bright. He pushed it