It's hard being a writer.
Don't let anybody tell you any different.
Contrary to popular belief, most writers would prefer to sit facing a blank wall, rather than overlook a paradise beach in the Caribbean. There are no distractions when you sit facing a blank wall, so in theory, the writing comes easier.
I didn't introduce myself, did I?
My name is Mike Shuttlecock, and I'm a novelist. I'm the guy who wrote the 'Miserable Bastard' series of novels, which were loosely based around the idiotic adventures of my elder brother, Martin.
Although my novels about my elder brother have brought me fame and fortune, the truth is that I can't stand my brother. He's an insufferable prick, but that's another story.
The thing is, I hate writing about him. The books were hugely successful, and could continue to be so, but I'd had enough, and decided to kill the 'Miserable Bastard' off, so that I could devote more time to writing real literature, as opposed to the potboiling crap I'd been churning out for filthy lucre.
So I'd completed the final novel in the 'Miserable Bastard' series, and was driving through North Wales on my way to my London publisher to deliver the manuscript. I have this kind of ritual thing when I put the finishing touches to a manuscript - it involves getting spectacularly drunk and smoking eight packs of cigarettes in a local pub.
Bear in mind, that this happened before the smoking ban.
I can't really remember what happened that day in Wales, because I was badly hungover, and it was snowing hard, almost a complete whiteout...
I remember thinking about a new project I'd begun, a real attempt to produce literature. I had the first fifty pages of the first draft. It was a socially relevant commentary on large breasted, topless, thong wearing Amazonian lesbian space vampires. I recall feeling really happy about it as a serious project. It whipped the tar out of the crap I'd been churning out and getting paid a fortune to do.
For the first time in my life, I could see myself as a serious novelist, along the lines of Tolstoy, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Naomi Campbell or Katie Price.
It was one hell of a good feeling.
It felt all the better for being able to kill off my arsehole of a brother, in a literary, if not literal sense. There was something intensely therapeutic about doing away with the famous Martin Shuttlecock.
And not getting jailed for life for doing it.
I still have no recollection of exactly what happened that eventful day in Wales, but as I said, I was a little (well, a lot really) hungover, and the snow was swirling crazily, and visibility was down to virtually zero, when...
I guess I should have just pulled over, rode out the blizzard, but guys do strange things in strange circumstances, and I'm no exception.
Suddenly, I recall everything spinning. I don't know if I hit something, or just came off the road, but I recall feeling like I was on the inside of a tumble drier. It sort of felt like I was weightless, just spinning violently around and around.
And then I remember the pain kicking in.
I felt my chest hit the steering wheel, my head hit the roof, my right arm slamming repeatedly into the door, then I felt something in my back crack, then an almighty bang on the head, and everything went black...
"Oh my Lord! If it isn't Mike Shuttlecock, the author of the 'Miserable Bastard' series of novels. All immobilised from a car crash, lying here all vulnerable in the snow. And me, Blodwyn Glendowr, his number one fan...isnit..."
Was I dreaming? I don't know. It's hard to say. (Not literally - I mean, most people can say 'Was I dreaming?' in that sense. I suppose I should really have said that I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or if this was reality.)
For days, I must have been in some kind of fugue, drifting in and out of consciousness, vaguely aware that I was warm and comfortable, but with no idea where I was. I recall that periodically I felt like I was flying, but I had no idea why, or how.
Then, one horribly memorable day, it all became shockingly, horrifyingly clear...
I became aware of sunlight playing across my eyelids. It was my first lucid thought in days. My throat was parched, my body felt numb, but none of that mattered. I realised that I was alive.
It was then that things started to go tits up.
Even though I felt like I had shards of broken glass strewn across my corneas, I managed somehow to open my eyes. The pain was excruciating - as if some deity had pierced my brain through my eyeballs with sheet lightning...
For some reason, I seemed to be expecting to hear the beep of an intensive care unit monitor...
But there was nothing.
Gradually the white light faded, and things slowly gained visual focus and clarity.
I wasn't in a hospital at all.
I was propped up on pillows in a terrible recreation of a 1950's style master bedroom. Complete with net curtains, plaster ducks on the wall, and nasty printed wallpaper in the most atrocious pastel shades of brown.
"Jesus...you need to get the fucking decorators in," I recall gasping. "Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen would slash his fucking wrists if he found himself confronted with something as terrible as this..."
Then came the voice...
"Ah, you're awake Bach...took you long enough did nit..."
I turned my head in the direction of the voice - my neck felt like it was about to screw itself down into my spine. That Welsh lilt, that sing-song accent from the valleys...
She was wearing a nurse's uniform...but this was no erotic fantasy...she was the ugliest looking fat bitch ever to walk on two shoes, I swear to God. She was a fucking beast...if that isn't being unkind to beasts...
She didn't have a double chin, she had many chins, all lumped on a big fat neck, which appeared to have been constructed out of discarded tractor tyres.
She had a hairy mole on her cheek. It was disgusting. She'd have been better with a real mole nesting among the gaping pores.
"Oh, I can see we're going to have fun alive together, young man," she said. "Yew're Mike Shuttlecock isnit? Yew write them books about the 'Miserable Bastard' isnit. I love them books, me. I'm yewer number one fan, I am. Me. Isnit. Just..."
Fuck me...talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire.
I know it isn't a gentlemanly thing to say, but I was transfixed by the hairy mole on her cheek, her fat neck, and her Goodyear blimp like figure. She was the ultimate beast, but I wasn't to know that then...
Although I did suspect it.
Nothing was right about this scenario.
It could only end in pain and tears...
More as he gets it.