The Writers Voice
The World's Favourite Literary Website

Writer Of The Universe


Paul Grimsley

You wanna know who the greatest writer ever was? The undeniable genius of geniuses? The all-round number one heavyweight of the literary and any world? Well, I'll tell ya, it was this bloke called God. He's dead now, but his little project still keeps on running. They've got it in one of those big old laboratories, running all kind of tests on it they are. It's this big freewheeling entity with untold tiny intricate parts, some of which appear to function independently of each other, but that's the genius, they are all governed by these things that he called universal laws.

Know how I met this bloke? No, you probably don't, I don't think I told you this one before. Well, there I was, walking me dog through the park when I sees him sitting there feeding the ducks. He was tearing off great old hunks of bread and throwing them at these hungry mallards. Sometimes takin' a bite of it for himself. He looked kinda interestin' so I went over and sat down by him. This weren't normal practice for me, I don't want you ta think that. I don't usually go over and sit down by someone who I've never met before, but this was somehow different. He sat there like some curious looking magnet that I couldn't keep my eyes off. Every time that I tried to avert my gaze something dragged my big old curious orbs right back. After a while of sitting there wrestling with my curiosity in a really much too obvious way, I was noticed by him.

He turned slowly from what he was doing. The ponderous nature of that movement took so long that it wiped my head clean of all other details. Looking back now at that one moment, I think I sensed how this person could write a book such as that right there and then -- ! the realisation just took a while to register.

He smiled and said hello to me. For a moment I didn't know how to react, what to say. It was the easiest thing possible to reply to the greeting, why then did I have such a problem? Well, like I said that millennia long turn had blanked out everything I'd ever known and the memories were slow to trickle back. Etiquette finally did sluice back into its old channel and my dumb-cold tongue heated with an answer. He hadn't seemed aware of how long I had waited before offering up those few tiny words. Perhaps he understood.

Nice day, isn't it? I said. If you have a scarce reserve of profundity at a given moment go with the tried and tested inanities. They work, well, they did then anyway. After the first few benign minutes of banter with him, I attempted to strike onwards with a more probing tack. The angle I was working was still casual questions but I'm sure that he knew I was after something else. You know how you sometimes see someone and you have this overwhelming sense that they have the answers to the things you've always wanted to ask? Well, for me this man was such a figure. Some people see rock stars as the holy grail, and others pin their hopes on actors to unlock the profundities of their lives. My all-seeing reference book was sat right here as far as I was concerned.

As if he had been expecting this spontaneous interview and this meeting with me, he launched into an explanation. He had come here to relax after just finishing another chapter of his work. Did he mind me asking all this stuff? No, he didn't mind, he liked to get feedback from his public. Had I read his work? What was his name again? God. Yeah, I'd seen it and read a fair amount of it. You see it was fairly long, and me not being much of a reader I had difficulty wading through all those words without my brain tangling itself up in knots. But I had appreciated what I had read of it. It was in installments in one of those literary papers. Not the kind of thing that I usually read, but everyone was reading this. It was a best-seller. Not, he said, that he made any profit from it -- he gave all his money away to a local cat home. I smiled, he frowned when I smiled. He asked my why I had smiled when he had said that. I told him not to take offence, but despite being a literary genius he weren't much of a financial whizzkid. He said he was comfortable enough and didn't have to worry, he wasn't living the life of a down-and-out artist. He was comfortably provided for.

The way he explained his work had me hooked. How he told it, there was this state of perfection in the first instance, created by him. He said that I hope he didn't think it was vain to make himself the prime mover. I said no, he didn't seem the kind of guy to want to draw attention to himself. I had the insight to understand that it was a literary device. He nodded and continued.

The first two protagonists bring about the cessation of this state by what he termed original sin. Once this sin had happened the whole evolution ball was set to rolling, all building up to the culmination of the first act where his son, who he admits is largely based on himself again, gets crucified and redeems the descendants of the first two characters. The civilisation he describes then gradually goes downhill, gets back to the same old state of moral depravity. There's an interesting twist here, I really like this bit, some of the characters, there's a helluva lot of characters by now, they fictionalise all the stuff that's gone before with this God, collect all the stuff together and call it the bible.

Then the characters divide into two camps -- some of them believe this book and some of them dispute its contents. Some run around with these unauthorised versions where the names have been changed and some other events have been added for mere sensationalism. I thought that was brilliant, and told him so. A real nice touch. The book's about being a writer, isn't it? I ask him. He smiles. That's a really effective way to convey the self! -doubt I imagine most writers feel at one time or another, I tell him. He smiles. Says he has to go.

I stood, looked down at the dog and notice for the first time what it's doing. Then I stop looking and try and ignore what it's doing. I asked if I would see him again. He said sure, next week in the park, at the same time if I would like. I said I would like that.

The week was slow to go, as it always is if you've got an appointment that you're looking forward to. I forget what I actually did through each of those elongated minutes though. They seemed to fall away from memory after they'd passed. Each new minute erased the last. I walked around like a goldfish for the full six days until I went to the park again. My family wanted to know what the hell was up with me! . I'd be damned if I could tell them. The only thing that sat there in my head and remained constant was that conversation that I had, it was if I didn't have to remember it, it had become part of the physical make-up of my brain's physiognomy.

The eager anticipation which filled me as I approached the site of the rendezvous was overwhelmingly heavy, like an elephant on my back. But I would have dragged a mountain to get there -- an elephant was no problem at all when I thought of it like that. I knew he was there before I saw him. I saw him before my brain registered his presence. He was sitting in exactly the same position, performing exactly the same action, the bread and the ducks looked like they were a replay of last week. When I got to him he looked at me and smiled an identical smile.

I wondered if that last week had actually passed. After sitting down and his recommencement of the story I had serious doubts as to whether even a second had elapsed. But, as he said that he had completed the last piece of his work I had to submit to the notion of a week gone. It was very difficult to overcome the paradox I felt while hearing the contents of his last week's endeavours and my amnesia concerning my own.

He told me that he had resolved his story by a return to the original state that he had depicted at the start. Because some of the characters in the story had disbelieved in what he had done they were denied access to this state and were locked up with the first doubter who he called variously: Old Nick, Satan, Lucifer, Clootie, and a handful of other names. He said he was quite pleased with the way that this final chapter tied up all the loose ends. The story followed a well-established tradition, but he thought that he'd put a new enough spin on it to keep people's imaginations going. I had to agree, there was a metaphor for everything in that book. Was he thinking of working on anything else. He said, how could possibly tackle anything after this? How could he follow his first act? I knew where he was coming from, it's a similar thing to that difficult second album syndrome which seems to plague most musicians.

The conversation slowly wound down after we had covered as much of the subject of his work as he wished to pay attention to. Our second period of chit-chat sat down there like a book-end to encapsulate that period of time. I had a funny feeling that I wasn't going to be seeing him again. As we slowly mirrored the end of our last meeting I knew that something had passed. Time, which had appeared to have slipped out of its socket was re-set, and the odd air which wrapped me up in itself dispersed.

I didn't see hide nor hair of him ever again. I wasn't expecting him to get in contact again either. There had been something final about that last time in the park.

The last I heard from him came in a letter seven weeks later. He said that he had read and re-read the part where his characters had lost faith in that book, the bible, and he had caught something from those words. He said the text was like a clump of germs which he had inhaled. The doubt had snowballed to something worrying in him. He claimed that not only did he feel insignificant, but that he was becoming physically insubstantial. A ghost of his former self.! He was sending me this letter so that even if no-one ever read his book again, I would still be there to remember and anchor his life there in existence.

It left me feeling somehow blessed. I read a few pieces in the papers about how this reclusive writer had withdrawn further and further from the public gaze recently and now appeared to have completely vanished. His friends were at a loss as to where he might be hiding. I had an idea. He was in that unique project of his. It sat there in a lab' doing what he had suggested to me it always had done: it was writing itself. Even if the things which dwelled inside didn't believe in him the fact that he was the subject of their doubtings kept him existing.

I would pass on what I knew to those that wanted to listen. I myself would pass away and my experience with me, but I could translate the feeling into words, leave them for other people to pick up. That's what I did. Here they are. If you're interested enough by what I have said here, then please search out the original, I promise that it's worth at least one little look. You'll feel changed for it.

Critique this work

Click on the book to leave a comment about this work

All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines

Be sure to have a look at our Discussion Forum today to see what's
happening on The World's Favourite Literary Website.