As Good As It Will Ever Get?
It wasn't the alcohol swilling around his brain, of that he could be pretty sure.
Of course he'd consumed a little too much again this evening, no denying it. Just as there had been no denying it the previous evening or the evening before, and that's why he knew he couldn't put it down to the Devil's poison.
Something had moved in the photo on his computer screen. Something had stirred.
The picture was of himself, but the slight movement occurred somewhere in the background, blurred and almost imperceptible.
Perhaps it was the lapping of the bay waters. More likely just a trick of the eye, he thought.
Whoa! What the hell was that? Did something else just come to life behind his motionless form that dominated the foreground.
A Gull swooping gracefully for it's catch?
Maybe it was the alcohol after all. Enough of the red wine for one night. Tearing himself away to his rusting bedsit sink, he splashed cold water into his tired eyes and then rubbed them violently inwards to the bridge of his nose.
' Dark side of the moon ' was weaving a magic from the stereo and he hiked up the volume to try and draw himself out of his languid, intoxicated stupor.
Get a grip.
But then came the voice.
" Soon be over. "
He stared back down at the screen. Back at himself.
" Your little tenure, " the voice continued. " Your little stint of glory. Your moment of triumph. It'll be coming to an end very soon. "
The photo was alive.
The strong currents carried the water from left to right, towards the ocean. The Gulls floated clearly past, the collar of his jacket fluttered in the blustery breeze, even the San Francisco skyline had seemingly come to life in the background.
His own eyes were blinking back at him and the lips were moving.
But the voice was inside his head.
" Your two to three weeks of fame are about to be passed on to somebody else. Someone who is perhaps more deserving. "
" Yes. "
" Somebody who might make better use of the opportunity. "
" Yes, I know. "
" What a privilege you were gifted. Don't you realise the significance of this time? Don't you realise that this is possibly as good as it will ever get for you? "
" I guess. "
" Haven't exactly seized your fifteen minutes of fame, have you? You sit there night after night, looking at this stinking photo on the home page, swelling with complacent pride. But what exactly have you done during this time? "
" I've written some stuff. "
" Oh yes, two daft poems. One about some stewardess, and one about people who can't drive. "
" They received some nice reviews. "
" Not exactly prolific stuff though is it? About time you wrote some proper, decent stories like the Hugh's and the Jan's and the Lloyd's of this world. I mean, tonight for example, what the hell have you done tonight? "
" Umm... "
" Sat infront of your computer, drinking and playing poker! It's a bloody disgrace! "
" I've been working all day. I'm tired. "
" Tired?! You're currently the face of Writebuzz.com, if that can't inspire you out of tiredness, then nothing will. Remember, your proud moment is almost over Buster. You could get home tomorrow evening to find Carl on the home page, or Jonny or Bella or Adam. Then you'll be sorry! "
" Well... all good things must come to an end. "
" What? What is with this apathy? Are you mad? "
" Well I'm currently in conversation with a moving photo of myself on a computer screen... so yes, very possibly. "
" Better get writing Mister Fruitloop, get your arse into gear before they wipe you from the homepage in disgust. "
" Okay... well actually, I have just written this. "
" Apart from this crap, this one doesn't count. "
" Oh, okay then. "
The motion in the photo was beginning to slow to a frozen moment in time again.
" Oh, and Stuart? "
" Er, yes...um...Stuart? "
" For bleeding 'ecks sake, finish that stupid 'Lenny' story off will you! They all know it's not gonna be worth the wait anyway. "
" Er, right. Okay. "
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