On a poet did the Baron ride to Xanadu: Part One (working title)

photo credit: The opium of the people... via photopin (license)
photo credit: The opium of the people… via photopin (license)

Byron fidgeted as the fine red crystals stubbornly refused to melt in the dirty kitchen spoon. He twitched. It had been nearly three months since his last hit and he was jonesing, jonesing real bad. Deliveries from Haiti had been interrupted by yet another flood or quake or some political bullshit. He considered himself a humanitarian, a man of empathy, but for fuck’s sake, this had been a real fucking emergency.

Eighty days since his last hit. It’d been eighty days since the last time he wrote anything.

No novels. No short stories. No plays, no poems, no limericks, not even a fucking haiku. The words had started to squirm under his skin, twisting through his brain, constantly chewing, biting, eating at him like maggots feasting on roadkill. He’d seen punctuation and grammar hiding in his rose-hued piss, fonts and italics floating in large bloody black lumps in his vomit. He’d dreamed the maggot-words wanted to escape, and if he could only peel back his skin they would leap to the air on wings of parenthesis, leaving him a husk, a void, a blank page.

Eighty fucking days without the Baron. Long enough to travel the globe according to Verne, and the only thing had been bad cheques; one bouncer after another. He needed cash, another sale to keep the wolves at bay, keep the loan sharks happy, and keep his manhood off the endangered list. But what he really needed was nowhere near as prosaic as mere cash; he needed release. It was building in him again, the pressure, but without the blood red Baron La Croix crystals from Haiti (known simply as the Baron, or Voodoo Muse on the East Coast) and some other drug with which to mix it, he was blocked. Nothing to say, nothing to write, no way to discharge his creative juices.

A bad case of literary junkie blue balls.

He looked away from the Muse and meth mixture cooking on his hastily constructed apparatus. ‘A watched hit never melts’, that’s what the withered old hobo who sold him the meth said, and Byron decided now to take his advice. The waiting was killing him. At the time he had been dismissive, replying to the stinking bum with a suitably pretentious quote, ‘Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone; Wilde. Oscar, not Kim.’ Smug. Superior. ‘I’m thirty two.’ was the simple response, perhaps implying that feeling superior was a luxury afforded to those not presently buying crystal meth from a toothless hobo under a bridge surrounded by faeces. Byron was more polite when declining the follow up offer of a discounted blow job.

Byron crossed the room, leaving the spoon and flame to do its work. Baron La Croix did not soften as easily as the meth; indeed it was easier to smoke it with some Mary-Jane as was his previous practice. But smoking wasn’t getting it done now.  Like sex when wearing a condom, writing after smoking Muse was a dull affair now. The romance was gone; the lovemaking a duty and not a pleasure. At the beginning, a pipes worth of Muse and dope had been good for a bestselling trilogy on the human situation and a small selection of award nominated poetry. That last pipe though, eighty days ago, had produced a blog post, two tweets and a story idea which consisted of the words ‘a tale of two cities but in space with dogs?‘ scrawled on a Domino’s pizza box. He had put the box out with the recycling and not written since.

Smoking wouldn’t get it done this time. No, not at all, it was necessary to escalate things now. Muse plus meth, liquid inspiration, cooked and injected straight into his veins. Time to get serious.

And getting serious required a serious writing rig. A solid hardwood table covered in writing tools, complete with PC (linked to cloud for automated uploading), printer (regular hardcopies), fifty ruled notebooks with one hundred mechanical pencils (no time for inks or sharpeners when being ridden by the Baron). His PC was his favourite strumpet, sitting open and alert on the table, ready to respond to Byron’s gentlest touch. She took his inspiration without complaint, eagerly accepted his spurting creative seed though his fingers to her keyboard, and from this visionary ejaculate she would bring forth issue and bear his literary babes; rude and squalling draft.docx’s and version.pdf’s. She was more important to him than any of the coffee-house fan-girls, the dive-bar whores, whom he loved briefly and physically with a manic passion and forgot about in a fog of convenient Alzheimer’s.

He had named his PC, an honour not bestowed on countless lonely childhood hamsters. She was called Olivia, an oblique nod to the earliest of his inspirations for writing through the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and a more direct reference to an inspiration for more venal pursuits in the form of his favourite blonde Australian singer from the 80’s.

After satisfying himself that Olivia was ready, he returned to the couch and the now red-hot spoon. It had finally liquefied the Voodoo Muse and meth, becoming a transparent ruby oil, still releasing acrid meth fumes that irritated his nostrils. It drew up into the needle quickly and without leaving a residue; the Baron was renown for always being completely consumed, never leaving a trace. Tying off his arm, he watched his veins bulge through his unnaturally pale wrists.

Could he see words flowing in his veins instead of blood? Had black text in a angular serif font replaced vital fluids in his circulatory system? What prose would he sire, what truth would be fathered by this act of creation?

Byron inserted the needle into his vein, pushed down, and the Baron burned its way through to his heart.


To be continued…

Post script (20/2/2015)

Check out these alternative continuances for part two:



(Word Count 970)

Hi folks, another challenge by the terrible mind of Chuck Wendig over at his blog. This week is an interesting one, as each writer must create a 1000 word piece, that is merely the beginning of a four part story. Next week, someone else will pick up the thread of this and run with it; I accordingly I will pick my favourite and pick up someone else’s. This will continue for four weeks in total (obviously). I will do my best to make sure that additional parts are linked below, although I expect this will be difficult.

This also assumes of course that anyone chooses to launch the second part (and further) of this. I suspect that towards the end of this 4 week challenge, people will start focusing on a few specific stories, some will simply fall off the list. But that’s part of the game 🙂

If I get inspired, I might come back to finish this story myself, but I don’t know. I certainly didn’t have a story objective in mind when I wrote this – I wanted to start something, kick off with something interesting yet very open.

Anyway, let me know what you think.



Postscript – this piece was written to the following soundtrack.

14 thoughts on “On a poet did the Baron ride to Xanadu: Part One (working title)”

  1. This bears striking similarities to the novel I’m trying to finish up. For that reason, I’m not going to touch it — otherwise I’d be all over continuing this. I hope somebody runs with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I love the descriptions. Especially, “The words had started to squirm under his skin, twisting through his brain, constantly chewing, biting, eating at him like maggots feasting on roadkill.” As a nurse I’ve heard the effects meth addicts feel. The crawling skin, etc. This captivated my attention from word one and I can’t wait to read the next installment. Excellent and vivid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sheila! The intent is that someone else will pick it up & run, but I’m kind of enamoured of it now & might do my own continuing instalment too 🙂

      This was interesting to write as I’m normally a planner – I know roughly where I’m going with a story from the beginning. But because I wasn’t going to do the second, third or fourth parts, I simply wrote an opening and imagined no further. It was surprisingly freeing.

      I appreciate the comment on the addiction sensations, because I have no personal experience of any sort… Beyond the compulsion to write of course 🙂

      Thanks for reading


    1. I pretty much agree with this. Its an awesome story – both beautiful and horrifying. Once I started reading it, I felt compelled to finish it, though I don’t know that I would want to continue writing it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Cool – thanks for reading it and for the kind words! There are plenty of quality starts sitting there, so I’m sure you will (or have) pick something to run with. 🙂


  3. Wow! This read like an opening scene from Breaking Bad. LOL. I loved your version of a writer’s Muse and how we as writers are so at the mercy of our muses. And I loved the images that the words Sheila mentioned in her post evoked. Because it really is like that for some writers. Or so I hear. LOL. I’m participating in this challenge as well and would totally run with this if I knew I could do it justice. Thanks for the blast from past. I SO remember seeing that movie. If no one picks it up, I hope you continue with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great – thanks for the very kind words 🙂 I should have also acknolwedged that the ‘muse’ angle was taken because I had no idea of what to start with (I needed inspiration, which lead me to pondering muses, which lead to Olivia…) I’m very glad you liked it!

      I have (kinda) kicked off a part two (in my head at least); I kinda want to see where Byron lands.

      Thanks for reading 🙂


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