The Beggar's Wheel

My apologies, it’s going to be a fast big of blogging this week. Which is annoying, as there’s a really a lot I should be talking about. I could talk about going to my first night of live readings on Monday and the wonderfully odd catalogue of authors I met there. Let alone something strange I picked up about the mechanics of live storytelling versus the act of recital. I could talk about the fact I’ve been off work all week and I’ve spent a lot of that time wrestling with the final rewrite of my second novel. Which, for the record, can either be going really well or really badly depending on which way the wind’s blowing. Also, how I always forget that time spent in the text is very different to the time that’s actually passing outside of your head. I was so sure I’d got a lot more done over five days. So much for that theory. 
   I could talk about how it’s my tenth wedding anniversary today, which is a truly fantastic thing…although, in a classic dysfunctional brain moment, that did lead to me realising it’s been ten years since the happiest day of my life. And, yes, I did voice that out loud in front of Sam.  Why? Because, quite simply, I’m an idiot sometimes.
   I had so much planned for a week away from wage earning and work idiocy, but time has gotten away from me.  It slipped past the bars of its cage and jumped the fences.  It just sends me notes now, pointing out how many days have gone rushed past my searchlights. 
   You’re right.  I should probably stop moaning.  It’s been great having a week away from most of the unimportant stresses of my life and it’s strangely indescribable and intangible to know I’ve been married to the love of my life for a decade now. Oh, then there’s the house move and the encroaching army of boxes that’s invading every room and eating all our stuff.
   Sorry, a quick blog is becoming a long moan.  Again.
   The point is I came to the laptop this morning with the thought of trying to tackle something before I ran out of time, but I failed miserably.  I got far too distracted by the new Wes Anderson ‘Isle of Dogs’ trailer and booking 'Thor Ragnarok' tickets.  
   Looking for a little inspiration, I found I’d saved a file with only a space for a name. I’m not entirely when I wrote it or what I wrote it for.  Searching through some old notes I’m pretty sure this is the introduction to a story called ‘The Red Beggar’s Wheel’.  If I can work out the rest, I’ll let you know.  Maybe even post it up on the site for free.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share this unexpected puzzle piece here to make up for the lack of interesting bloggery I'm suffering from this Friday morning. 
There is a door in this city that has always been here, but it’s not always very easy to find.  You see, you must be invited to this door to be able to find it.  Not that the invite will come through your door or in an email.  No, you will sense your invitation.  You feel a hook catch at your heart and heave hard, drawing you in as you are given permission to see the game that lies in wait on the other side you and others like you.  The name of the game behind that door has changed so many times since people have walked the face of your world, but the door itself has never changed.  Neither has the game.  It comes from a timeless place.  In many ways, it feeds the mouths that wait in that timeless place. 
   It is a black door.  A deeply black door.  A door that appears to be cast out of the fabric of night itself.  The paintwork has never faded or cracked.  No one has ever stuck a poster to it or tagged it with graffiti.  The handle is plain and simple.  Sturdy, like the door itself; made of brass, or so it appears.  There are no numbers on it, but you will recognise it if and when you are invited to open it.  There’s no letterbox, for it never receives post.  It is simply a black door that lurks at the fringes of the night, waiting for the right people to find it and step inside.  Waiting for the craving to draw them to gamble with what they most hold dear to their tenacious, blinkered selves.
   The door has always been here.  Even before this city was a city.  The door was here before the cathedral was built.  It was here when the town had barely any brick buildings to its name.  It was here when every wall was wooden and every roof was thatched.  Even before that.  Even if you were to go back to the first man who came to a clearing by a river and decided to graze his cattle here a while.  It was here, in the small dwelling that he built for himself.  You simply had to look carefully to see it, hidden in the shadows and the corners.  A black door that didn’t quite belong but was there none the less.  Simply waiting. 
   Just as it waits now.  Just as it will always wait.  For people will always come to it in the end.
   Next week, I’ll try and talk about the reading event. It was a bizarre and rather brilliant night, considering I rarely hang around with other people who choose to write their stories down.  It was interesting to meet them and then listen to their stories, watch them making sure their favourite sentences were heard.  From the outside it certainly looked like the chaotic nature of a live event can easily interrupt a well formed piece of plot development or observation.
   Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a 10th wedding anniversary to go and celebrate.  So long.