The Black Mansion

The difference between love and lust is infatuation.
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Inspiration through loss

Posted on 08/10/2021

5 min. read

Remember that time you took my hand.

Pre-amble

This story is what is known as flash-fiction and thusly highly experimental. Enjoy. :)

Chapter No I: Wild thoughts

Ashley realized that beer had a strange effect on her. It calmed her, centred her, and gave her the clarity of thought she so desperately craved. She had always wondered how big the Notré Dame would look if one were look right up to it. She marvelled at the size of the cathedral. What to do for the rest of the evening?

She was alone in Paris. A break was needed from her native city of Sofia and she had motored from there up to Paris. She didn’t know what she had expected, perhaps inspiration for her book.

Ashley was a 22-year-old author from London, raised by her Bulgarian mother in Sofia. Her father had died when she was fourteen. He had died on a mission for the Royal Air Force in Libya. She missed him sometimes. They had moved to Sofia after her father had gone missing in action and she had moved out of her mother’s dinghy flat to go and make her own luck. Three months previously, she had had a girlfriend, Kourtney. She thought back to some of the romantic moments they had spent together.

Chapter No II: Dialogue

She looked around. She was sitting on the bank of the Seine opposite Notré Dame. There were a couple of people sitting on her bank and the opposite river bank, enjoying some beer, the sun’s light flowing from the sky down the horizon, and some music played on portable speakers. She was sitting by herself with a cigarette in her hand and a beer next to her which was half full. She thought she was alone. Or was she?

“Hey, girl.”, she heard somebody say from her left. Ashley looked to her left. It was Kourtney. Ashley was slightly shocked. “What are you doing here?”, Ashley asked her. “I’m here with you. You don’t look happy. Why?”, Kourtney inquired of her. “I feel lost.”, Ashley returned. “Why?”, Kourtney pressed her. “I am a writer without any ideas. I thought maybe I’d gain some inspiration from a trip to another city.”, Ashley explained. “And, have you?”, Kourtney quizzed her with a kindly smile and a twinkle in her eye. “No. I am sitting alone on the bank of the Seine with a cigarette and a beer, determined to get drunk beyond rationality.”, Ashley retorted, a bit irritatedly. “ Also, I have a main character who doesn’t know what to do with herself.”

Chapter No III: Resolution

“That’s because you think too much. You try to plan a plot. But you cannot because you still miss me too much. I am not real. I died three months ago in a car crash and you know this. You are talking to air. Remember that night we met. We went on an adventure through Vienna. I was wearing black latex pants and a tight black top. I took your hand and dragged you god knows where. It was spontaneous, I didn’t know what I was doing. In the same way, let your mind go, you need to let it go on an adventure. Please, baby, do this for me. Let me go, let your mind wander. You are destined for great things, don’t let me get in the way of that. Please, I beg you.”, Kourtney confessed with tears in her eyes.

Suddenly Kourtney was gone and Ashley found herself alone on the bank of the Seine. It was like she had awoken from a dream.

Chapter No IV: Present

Ashley thoughtfully went back to her hotel room, a four-star affair. She was after all, quite a rich young author. She went to her room and went to bed.

The hotel staff didn’t hear from her for another four days. They didn’t see her coming out of her room. On the morning of the fifth day, however, Ashley left her room and went for breakfast with a sunny expression on her face.

She had finished her book in a marathon session of writing and sent the manuscript to her publisher.