The Writer – Carrot Ranch

Artwork by Phil Burns

The Carrot Ranch Challenge:
In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story inspired by “Literary Artist”.

Click here to hear the author read his words:

The Writer

Three years ago I did a deal with the devil.
I got the darkness, insight and talent; he got my soul.
My first book, a gangland thriller, is a world-wide best-seller.
Translated into twenty-odd languages.
Mega-money movie offers.
Enormous advances on my next three books, already drafted.
So what has it cost me?
Well, my wife, who left me.
My kids, who hate me.
And, after the visit from those very nasty guys recently, the use of my legs.
They said I ‘grassed up’ their brother.
They excised my hands, and my tongue.
But I’m still a renowned writer.

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17 Responses to The Writer – Carrot Ranch

  1. Wow, this is deliciously dark. The last line is brilliant. The poor guy got what he asked for. (Be careful what you ask for)


  2. Pingback: Imagining Literary Artists Collection « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  3. Charli Mills says:

    An interesting idea popped into my mind, C. — how much of our soul are we willing to empty out to fill the hollow space with the accouterments of success? This gangland thriller novelist still regards the deal because he got what he bargained for. Great crisp writing.


  4. Be careful what we wish for… isn’t that always the way?


  5. Your voice gave me chills and made my spine tingle, C.E. I’m not quite sure what ‘grassed up’ means (I’m guessing ratted out?) but it sounds bad. Just ghastly about your tongue and hands; now you can’t even dictate your work! Good thing your next three books are already drafted.
    Excellent write and highly approve of your soundtrack!


  6. jenne49 says:

    It’s the detached tone of the narrator that gives me shivers, the matter of fact list of what it has cost him.
    And the final line – spoken in defiance?
    Dr Faustus comes to Carrot Ranch! 😏
    Powerfully done.


  7. Liz H says:

    Success in writing, like high fashion, apparently requires quite a bit of pain to accomplish. You ask the key question, tho’: is it all worth it?
    Phil’s artwork suggests that you can’t excise the colorful, creative mind.


  8. Katrin "Kate" McElderry says:

    ‘I got the darkness, insight and talent; he got my soul.’
    That…slices right to it. Powerful.


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