Spiral Staircases, or It Pays to Reread

Up in the mountains a man wrote a novel. It was set by the sea, about a woman who wrote plays, mostly about poets. The novel focused on one play in particular, about a fine young poet who, as a side-gig of sorts, cooked dreams down by the harbor and sold them for two bits, or a smile, whichever came first.

It was a catastrophe!! The novel, the play, the dream cooking, the works!!

It was as if the whole sleepy harbor town had conspired against the dream chef. Rather than the usual sunshine and sweet nights indicated by his time-tested recipes, there was rain and rain and more rain. Instead of peaceful vistas and blue skies, there were dark, eerie corners, Gothic creaks and groans, spiral staircases and shadows for the shadows. In short, the sleepy harbor town became the stuff of Victorian Penny Dreadfuls, and locals were gathering their pitch forks.

There was nothing left to do but flee the now dark and dreary town, which, of course, broke the poor playwright’s heart. Losing her poet made her lose her way, and she quit writing plays and quit the novel, which flummoxed the novelist, whose agent fired him the next morning.

“But why, Q? I can find other material! And I will!!”

“Forget about it, D. Metafiction is dead. It died with Borges.”



—by Douglas Pinson



Spiral Staircases, or It Pays to Reread
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