Excerpt from The Westwich Writer’s Club

This morning, I was looking through the contents of an old hard disk, when I came across this. It’s just one part of a series I was working on a few years ago. It’s about a wannabe writer’s experiences when he joins his local writers group.

Excerpt from The Westwich Writers Club.

Stephen King, a wannabe author, joins his local writer’s group only to find it run by a bunch of geriatric nepotists. Stephen arrives at the group meeting venue after an angry, parking altercation with a female driver.

DOT

Stephen was still seething as he entered the institute. He took the stairs two at a time and threw open the door to the classroom. He froze as his eyes fixed on a naked, elderly woman lying on a small white towel on the floor.

‘Are you Ricardo?’ she asked.

‘No, I’m…’

‘He’s late,’ sniffed the old woman. ‘I’m getting cold and my hip has locked up. Be a love and see if you can find him?’

For some reason, Stephen stuck up a thumb. ‘Yes, I’ll err…just see if I can… find him.’

Stephen hurried down to the bar and found Margot, the writing group leader, sitting at a table by the door. ‘Is there someone called Ricardo here?’ he asked.

‘No idea,’ said Margot. ‘Ask Joe behind the bar, he might know.’

Stephen walked to the bar and waved to get Joe’s attention. ‘Do you know someone called Ricardo?’

The steward nodded. ‘Yes, he’s an adult education instructor, teaches art and photography.’

‘Is he here tonight?’

‘Yes, he’s taking an art class in room ten.’

‘Room ten, art class? Ah, that explains it,’ said Stephen.

‘Explains what?’ Joe was puzzled.

‘There is, what I assume to be, an elderly female model in room one,’ said Stephen. ‘She’s getting a bit nippy.’

‘Nippy?’

‘She’s naked.’

Joe pulled a face. ‘Shit, that’ll be Reanie.’

‘I don’t know who she is but she’s stark naked and she reckons she’s frozen to the spot,’ said Stephen.

‘Bugger,’ replied Joe. ‘Ricardo left a message to say that the art class has been moved to a different room but she never came in to pick it up. No wonder she’s cold, they started at six.’

‘Can you find him?’ asked Stephen. ‘Poor old Reanie’s getting frostbite in her extremities.’

Joe shuddered at the thought. ‘I can’t leave the bar unattended. Could you nip up and let him know?’

Stephen hurried back to room one. The woman was still on the floor.

‘You’re in the wrong room, Reanie,’ he said. ‘The art class is in room ten tonight.’

The old woman sucked her dentures into place. ‘I’m not Reanie, I’m Dot. Reanie‘s busy, so she asked me to stand in, or lie in, as it were.’

‘I see, well, the class is in room ten…’

‘I’ve never done anything like this before,’ Dot tittered. ‘I feel quite wanton.’

‘Yes, well, shall we, err…’

‘I get thirty pounds for this you know?’ Dot continued. ‘It’s good money when you’re on a pension.’

Stephen nodded. I’m sure it is, but didn’t Reanie tell you to find Ricardo before taking your clothes off?’

‘No, she told me to arrive early and get into position, it’s less embarrassing. You don’t have to move about in front of the students.’

Stephen tried to hurry things along. ‘Where did you put your clothes? I’ll get them for you.’

‘They’re in that cupboard over there. I won’t be able to get dressed though, my hip’s locked up.’

Stephen retrieved Dot’s clothes and placed them next to her. ‘Shall I wait outside?’

‘It’s a bit late for modesty,’ she cackled. ‘You’ll never make it as an artist.’

‘I’m a writer,’ said Stephen. ‘I’m hopeless at drawing.’

‘Reanie reckons most of the art class are too. She showed me a drawing one of them had done of her, it looked like a hippo. Mind you, Reanie is a big woman.’

Stephen risked a peek; Dot was still lying in the same position. She smiled at him lasciviously. ‘You’re going to have to pick me up young man; I did tell you I can’t move.’

Stephen groaned. ‘Okay, Dot, wrap the towel around as much of you as it will cover and grab your clothes. I’ll carry you to room ten.’

Dot grabbed the ends of the towel and pulled them over her hips. ‘Doesn’t cover much, does it?’

Stephen crouched, placed one hand under Dot’s knees, one round her waist and lifted her into the air. Dot threw her arms round his neck. ‘This reminds me of my wedding night,’ she cackled. ‘Victor carried me to bed… you look a bit like him.’

Stephen turned towards the door and found himself looking into the face of the woman he’d had the altercation with in the street. She raised her eyebrows. ‘You don’t hang about do you?’ she said.

Dot’s knickers fell to the floor. The woman picked them up and handed them to the wannabe model. ‘Don’t go without these dear, it’s chilly out.’

Stephen turned a deep shade of purple. ‘It’s not the way it looks,’ he mumbled.

‘It never is,’ said the woman with a twinkle in her eye. ‘Have you had the main course or is she the carry out?’

He was saved from further embarrassment when Margot entered the room. She was followed by a tall, olive skinned man that Stephen assumed was Ricardo. The art teacher looked over his spectacles at Dot.

‘You’re not Reanie,’ he said.

‘Reanie had something on tonight,’ replied Dot. ‘Unlike me.’

‘I left a message in the bar about the change of venue,’ said Ricardo. ‘You were supposed to come to room ten.’

‘I didn’t get it,’ said Dot. ‘All I got was cramp.’

Margot decided to take control of the situation. ‘Carry her to the ladies’ toilet, Stephen,’ she ordered. ‘Let’s get her decent before the rest of the group arrives.’

‘I’m not leaving without my wages,’ said Dot.

‘We’ll sort something out,’ Ricardo promised.

Stephen carried the old woman to the ladies’ and laid her gently on the floor. Dot looked dreamily into his eyes and placed her hand on his arm. ‘How was it for you?’ she croaked.

Stephen blew her a kiss and headed for the door. ‘Fabulous. I hope your hip unfreezes soon.’

Dot grinned. ‘It clicked into place back there, dear. I just liked the idea of having a pair of strong arms round me again. Is that Italian fellow coming in? I’ve always fancied Italians.’

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