Login   Sign Up 


The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

by Phelim 

Posted: 23 March 2004
Word Count: 465
Summary: A very short crime story, inspired by one of those days.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

It all started with that question. The one that all writers dread. The one that every one thinks is original and that we do not mind talking about it. Such a simple question, but one that has caused me so much trouble.

What's worse, I ruined my best fountain pen. The one I've always used to work with. None of this pc, Mac, word processor stuff for me. No, a decent pad of paper and my favourite fountain pen.

I had nothing against the man but he wasn't the first to ask it at the party. Every time I declared myself to be a writer that question came, with its gloss of false interest. Then the ideas for plots. How do you think of plots, are clocks important for alibis. I tried once to say that I wrote romance rather than crime, but got loads of embarrassing questions about sex. I'm not a therapist you know.

And then people would ask my name. “Your not. The one who wrote that book?” I hate that book. I hate that character with his know it all ways and mismatched clothes. I suppose I should have gone home and poisoned him off. Only then people would have wanted me to resurrect him like Conan Doyle did to Holmes.

I had my pen in my hand. People had been warned that I would be there, so they brought their books along. How underhand to organise a book signing without giving me a fee. Soon there was a queue of them. All excited about meeting me. How they were a great fan. How did I think of my plots. And that question.

I suppose I had a brain storm. Writing psychological fiction I must have read about them. But when he asked it I snapped. The fact that his tie was out of date and an offensive colour may have been a factor, that and his bad breath. Any way I was provoked.

I struck a blow. Having read up on pathology and human biology I must have subconsciously gone for a vital spot. But when I struck that blow I did so for writers every where.

If he hadn't asked the question he would be alive now. I never knew there was something in ink that stopped blood clotting. If he hadn't asked the question I would still have my fountain pen. If he hadn't asked the question I would not be experiencing what goes on after the book is finished, what happens to those who-done-it after they have been caught.

But I'll tell you this. People won't be saying “Oh you're a writer. Are you writing anything at the moment.” Too soon. And if they do – watch out.

Phelim McIntyre

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Friday at 17:32 on 29 March 2004  Report this post
Phelim, Flash Fiction in the Book Signing, great idea. Wonderful pace to it. You covered so much in a such a small amout of words. Made me laugh and also nod in agreement. Hey, I'm on the narrator's side. Fantastic.
Great stuff,

haunted at 15:08 on 30 March 2004  Report this post
Great little story Phelim. I love flash fiction and i think this has an original feel to it. I also think it could have be quite disturbing if it had been told in a slightly different way, but the dark humour stops it being serious. I don't know if that was what you were going for, i hope so.


PS - Does ink really stop blood clotting? I didn't know that...

old friend at 07:46 on 05 April 2004  Report this post
Hi Phelim,

Short, sharp, original and enjoyable. Very nice. Again, I suggest that you read your work aloud and particularly look for typos.

Fourth paragraph... 'Your' should be 'You're'... and do you mean to have two questions here... have a look.

You use 'one' at the beginning, firstly to refer to a person and then to a pen. OK but this could be improved; also the word 'everyone' should replace 'every one'(in your context).

A good example of flash fiction. Thanks for uploading.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .