Creative Writing

I love writing. It was kind of a secret hobby for a while, until I started blogging. I don't think writing has come naturally to me, I have to work at it all the time to make sure it makes any sense and even then when my wife marks my work she has to ask what I mean! 

I've managed to make writing a part of my income and working life. I often write about things I enjoy and projects that I've made and although I write for a number of magazines each month I've been trying to broaden my scope and dip my toe into writing fiction as well.

I'm an avid reader and consume books, especially now I have workshop head phones that let me listen to audio books for hours at a time. I listen to a quite a range, I love autobiographies and true life stories, but also I'm drawn to sci fi and fantasy, although if a book is well written I'll happily read it! I also read a lot of non fiction cover to cover, normally having at least 3 books on the go at once! 

I have undertaken a creative writing course via zoom at the moment, with the idea being that it will push me out of my comfort zone a bit and encourage me to do some writing that I might not normally find the time for. I thought that I might post the results from what I create here on my blog, it might entertain some people and it might give me more encouragement to write a bit more outside my usual field! 

I'll keep adding some more on here every few weeks if I remember! 

Trouser Stain

There was no way anyone was going to believe Jim hadn’t pissed himself.

But the unfortunate accident on his trousers was possibly the least of his concern right about now.

Hands spread so they were resting either side of the sink, Jim took a slow look down at the dark stain spreading across the crotch of his trousers. Of all the times for something like this to happen, it had to be now. He cursed silently and looked around the room cataloguing what there was that might be of some use.

If he wasn’t so jumpy it would have probably never happened. This was hardly a place that he would normally frequent, the toilet was just as awful as the pub itself. Jim wondered if having it billed as a heavy metal venue gave them cause not to meet current health and safety guidelines. As if that’s what was expected so no one said anything.

But to carry on the cliché in his head, turns out this was where you met the sort of people he needed to speak to, they apparently frequented these places. He’d always been told not to stereotype, but sometimes it was hard.

He had gone straight through the bar area without so much as making eye contact with anyone, heading straight towards the toilet, head down. Even in the short trip through the premises he had got a first impression that would be hard to shake. The floor he was stood on now was grey tiles, broken and chipped, different from the thick green carpet in the bar, worn threadbare in places and sticky from years of spilt drinks. The bar area itself wasn’t huge, probably only big enough to squeeze 20 or so people in, not that Jim could ever imagine 20 people wanted to end up there.

The whole room he stood in stank, the smell reminded him of and old peoples’ home he used to volunteer in as a teenager. Just the stale stink of ammonia that was unmistakable in its origin.

Jim had some peculiar traits. Many would call him a creature of habit. He wasn’t quite obsessive compulsive, he didn’t flick light switches on and off a certain number of times when he entered a room or anything, but he had a certain way of doing things. And he always sat down to have a piss.

In this place that was going to be a mistake. He’d been careful, he’d cleaned the top of the porcelain with a half-hearted wipe, then arranged a ring of carefully balanced toilet paper around the cold rim. He couldn’t quite believe there wasn’t a toilet seat, in his mind this was little better than a hole in the ground. When he had entered the cubicle, he had to cover his mouth as he flushed away what had been left by the last visitor, he imagined it screaming at him as it went away with the swirl of water.  

Maybe this whole thing had been a mistake. He wasn’t the sort of guy to take risks, or even think about taking risks. He liked a nice quite life. What he came here to do tonight was certainly a way to end his nice quiet life if it didn’t go to plan.

It had taken him a little while to work out how he was going to make sure the toilet cubical door would stay closed. He turned to face it to see if he could reach with one arm while sitting down, hovering above the seat as he did so, so it would minimise the actual time he spent sat down. Standing back up he figured he could just about reach.

Oddly in a room devoid of basic essentials like a toilet seat or lock, there was a coat hook on the inside of the door. It even looked new. This puzzled Jim even further. Who in their right mind would walk in here, see the graffiti covered walls, smashed paper towel dispenser, piss covered floor, seat-less toilet and decide that the thing was missing was a frigging coat hook? But he still hung up his light brown jacket, more to hide this shining example of the owner’s contempt for his punters.  

Even though he was an especially careful man, his whole life he always ended up in situations like the one he found himself in today. None quite as life and death as this. But everyday scenarios had a habit of escalating when Jim was around. It wasn’t that he was clumsy, he was sure that he wasn’t. It was just when something happened, he would almost certainly react in the way that would cause him the most problems later on. The whole reason he was here tonight, with a wad of cash sticking urgently against him in his pocket was because it had escalated, and now he seemed on a path that he was unable to stop.

Trying to hold his breath he unbuckled the black leather belt around his waist and lowered his trousers down his legs. He kept his legs just far enough apart to prevent the material from touching the floor, making the whole movement down to the toilet bowl some weird kind of squat exercise. One arm out stretched against the door as he did so.

In his head he imagined a New Year’s exercise DVD with some TV celebrity smiling at him and telling him to tense his abs. A life full of unintended scrapes, near misses and misguided adventure had meant that Jim tried to keep himself at home as much as possible. That’s not to say he was unfit, he was religious in doing a certain number of exercises every morning and night in his bedroom, but he could never do it in public. 

This was how Jim liked it. He worked from home, if you could call what he did work, but whatever you called it, it certainly paid the bills. He liked doing something that most people didn’t understand, he had a patter where he would explain it so quickly that people would always ask to hear what he did again. It amused him greatly to have this over people. The trouble was MOST didn’t understand what he did, it was the ones that did that he always felt fearful of, and these were the people he had to associate with. Well had to if he wanted to keep living like he did.

The porcelain felt cold on Jim’s legs as he sat down. Of course, it was just his luck at this point that someone would walk into the room, banging the door loudly as they did so. Jim froze. No way could he go now, he’d have to wait. He slowly raised himself from the toilet and hovered there, a few inches above the seatless rim.

He could hear the other man sigh with relief as he used the urinal and then with a large noisy sniff he hawked up phlegm, which was spat out. The door swung shut and he was gone. He hadn’t washed his hands Jim noticed, as if he expected anything else. He often thought how there should be a sign outside of public restrooms that lit up if you left without washing your hands. Why wouldn’t you wash your hands? Everyone knows how germs are spread, we’re not in the middle ages, facilities are there, some men were little more than animals he pondered moodily.

He slowly lowered himself back down onto the cold seatless mouth of the bowl. He was almost angry at how stupid that other man was for not washing his hands. He didn’t like confrontation but he’d love to have the guts to stand up to someone like that and call them out across the bar. He knew he wouldn’t.

Then another thought hit him, what if it was the man he was supposed to be meeting here tonight? What if they’d do their transaction and he’d expect him to shake his hand. Jim always felt he could almost see germs in his mind’s eye, he had instincts about things that weren’t clean, he imagined the man who he had never met before, arm outstretched, his hands crawling with germs all laughing at him.

He got back up and sorted his trousers out. Holding a bit of tissue between his thumb and forefinger he pulled the chain of the flush that hung limply down from the old-fashioned overhead cistern. The water swirled round, changing in the toilet. He even reached down to close the lid before he stopped himself and realised that, like the seat, it was missing Just two broken white plastic pegs sticking from the back of the bowl where it used to attach.

Where the lid would have rested against the wall someone had scribbled in black marker “Don’t beam me up Scotty, I’m doing a poo.” Jim felt that this was almost witty and would have normally made him smile. Some of the other graffiti written on the walls wasn’t so funny, although someone had taken the time to draw two stars and written a short review telling the owner that they wouldn’t poo there again. Jim wondered how bad it would have to be to receive one star and hoped this had been written some time ago.

Jim walked to the sink and looked at himself in the mirror then at his hands. When he felt unclean like this, they physically itched, he knew he could only stop the itch by washing them. Of course, there was no soap. He smiled, in spite of himself, water would have to do, he needed to hurry up.

As he pressed the top of the tap it was almost like the sink had been designed to do what it just did. The water came out at a seriously high pressure, it looked like it didn’t even hit the sink, just slipped straight up and out and straight into Jim’s crotch.


He had jumped quickly back but it was too late. He stood there looking like he had pissed himself. This was how he was going to meet the men who were going to organise the hardest decision of his life. They were going to think he’d pissed himself. All because he wasn’t some heathen and wanted to wash his hands.

Slowly he turned around, untucking his shirt, pressing it down to try and hide the front of his trousers. He composed himself as best he could and walked for the door. His fate awaited, whether he looked incontinent or not…

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