by Marco Smith ©2017

First came the morning. The morning of the day of rest and he saw that it was good. Six continuous days of work was enough for any man. The love of his life had told tales of a new group; a new group which offered companionship and sharing the knowledge of words. Creativity abounded within her, bursting forth beauty in whichever direction her hand turned. This new venture occupied her mind and her day. 

‘You should come too,’ arose the onerous suggestion. 
He felt a chill strike him. His mind flashed a memory before his eyes, one from the dark and distant past. In his vision appeared a handwritten document. Various scripts covered the page: some in black ink; others in blue. Some legible; others resembling the tracks of an ink dunked spider attempting to find a path to freedom. Next to the printed text which read English, he recognised the handwriting of that woman. Every year on the dreaded report day her scrawl would echo the same damn thing! 

“Mark is capable of so much more. He must do better.”

That bitch! He hated the thought of her. All those years spent listening to her tripe and hating every minute of it. A poor grade was inevitable. English would not be pursued in any conceivable future. 

The chill began to subside as the vision faded into black. Nevertheless, he did not want to go to a writing class. How could he avoid this? His feeble mind couldn’t fathom a way. Realising the inevitable, he conceded. 

‘Sure babe, I’ll come down, but just to sit in. I don’t think it’s for me.’ 

Anxiety rose in him as the time approached. How could he face this? All through the car journey, the short walk and the opening of the door, his mind raced in an attempt to find a way out. There was none. The time was now. 

A wise man spoke; the man in a strange hat, with a welcoming smile, and a warm handshake. His persona bubbled and fizzed with his excitement for language. 

‘God!?’ the subconscious mind of Mark queried as he sat. 
Not five minutes had passed before the language spewing forth from the mouth of “God” left Mark in no doubt that Chris was not in fact the God, however he may well be Hermes, God of words in a clever disguise, he thought. 

Towards the end of Mark’s first session of Egos At the Door, he was hooked. A word for the homework mission was chosen from what appeared to be an original first edition dictionary. The divine randomness of the cosmos brought the word ‘Ahem’ from the page and into his mind. 

He set to work immediately, an idea sprang from somewhere inside his dark cortex. The earlier vision of the English teacher from hell had burned away, the fire quenched by a new font of words. An unforeseen future was upon him. 


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