The Fridge

Reader Logoby Mike
(Kathleen is back next week)

I walk towards the white door. Around its edges light bleeds into the darkness. All is silent apart from the hum of the fridge. I open the door. Like water from a burst dam the light escapes and floods the twilight edges of the kitchen.

Cold air fills my nostrils as I look inside.

Reaching in, I pick up a bottle of milk. I need to quench my thirst. Put out the fire at the back of my throat. I try to slot into order the sequence of events: the book deal that appeared and then winked away like a dying star, the white gloves and the brick through Waterstone’s window; my novel lying in the shop front in a bed of glass.

My head hurts. The characters in my mind are arguing. Damn them for waking me, demanding centre stage. Their chatter grows in volume as they follow stories across ice reflecting my inner voice. They find their rhythm and produce a hum that accompanies the fridge motor.


Wiping the milk from my lips, I tilt my head sideways and hold my ear over the lip of the glass bottle. With my free hand I strike the side of my head facing the yellow stained ceiling. They resist at first, but as I increase the fever of my attack the voices let go and fall through the light.

I watch my creations as they sink into the milk. I had loved them. Shared such intimacy with them and yet. Yet here they are severed from me drowning in three-day-old milk.

I replace the milk bottle and shut the fridge door. Darkness returns. The nine to five beckons and I head up the stairs. On the banister my white gloves lie neatly folded.

I will never write again. It is over.

Below me in the kitchen, my fridge hums.

Picture: Bradley J


Unknown said...

The clear, close-up perspective and clean description so neatly seduces the reader into this writer's head.
I feel as if I've lost an hour's sleep.

He will write again, of course. Characters that wake you up can't drown. They can't die until you tell their story, beginning to end.

Paul Burman said...

That's one dramatic way for an author to get his/her book into shops. Smash & deliver! I don't know why the light from a fridge and its hum in the middle of the night is so evocative, but it is. Nice one, Mike.

Stella said...

Maybe he won't write again, but I hope you will, Mike :))

Mike French said...

Thanks Kathleen and Paul and don't worry Stella, I will write again! (I'm sounding like the Lone Ranger there - he will ride again! - expect LR back next year - maybe with a London Book Drop. Perhaps the Lone Ranger in Covent Garden!)