Charlie Walks: A Novel Chapter 2

Charlie comes home to a messy desk. Sits down to write. Thinks of Sarah.

laptop on desk with writing notepad next to it candle burning to create light against wall, flamingo poster on wall

Friends, yesterday was the release of the digital version(s) of my new and first novel, Charlie Walks.

As promised, I said I'll be sending out a sample chapter every day for the first seven days.

Chapter 1 was posted yesterday, chapter 2's here today.


Someone asked me why they were there once, the flamingos on my wall. I stared at them then down at my desk and thought, you know what? I can’t work in an untidy room. I don’t know how everything got to where it did, but it did.

I shovelled crap off the desk. Reread some notes from yesterday. A book doesn’t have to be 60,000 words Charlie. A reminder. Plenty of notes on how to write a book and not enough actual writing.

The demons crept in. I hadn’t put enough time into the paper today. Writing was the release. Video games when I was younger. As the law of conservation of energy states: addictions can’t be removed, only replaced.

Most of it is sitting here waiting for the thoughts to come. And then they get dumped on the page. Whatever comes up, comes up. If it didn’t make sense, fine, it went down anyway. I’d fix it later.

This was the third time I’d gone over these lines. I hadn’t seen them in a year. The first time weak, the second time cluttered. A different person each time, their thoughts trapped in time. Who wrote this? Me? Really? Woah. Okay then.

Ten minutes passed, and I’d managed to get out one word. A lie. The words were there. They were always there. My biggest fear was listening to them. The conversation starter: talking to myself about what I did during the day. I’d start by recalling the day’s happenings. Then write them down.

I remembered Sarah and wondered what department she worked in. I hadn’t seen her since the Post-it Notes activity but she’d been the leading actress in the movie in my head for the past few days.

Long dark hair, a little faded from the sun with a silver streak off to the right. Shorter than me but only just. Smile like a mix between the first and last rays of sun on the first day of summer. Eyes and teeth. Eyes and smile. My two out of three favourite things to look at.

She asked if I was going to write about her. Well guess what Sarah. I smiled. I talked with her the least but remembered her the most. Some people have that about them.

The thoughts kept rambling and the word counter ticked over 750. Why 750? The perfect number for three pages of typed copy, a green button came up on the screen when you hit it. I love that green button. But of course, the number never matters. Did the thought get thought through? That’s the right question.

If someone else was to read the words I just put down they’d be barely legible. Hell, even when I read them, I wondered. All I knew is I’d go insane if I didn’t let them out.

I finished with a quip.

People love to feel important.

And then it clicked. I remembered Sarah the clearest out of everyone because she’d asked questions about what I was interested in.

I wrote it down again. Ten times. Ten different ways.

People love to feel important.

Everyone wants to feel important.

Ask questions about what the other person enjoys doing.

People love to feel important.

Everyone wants to feel important.

Ask questions about what the other person enjoys doing.

And to top it off, what if you didn’t need to feel important? What would you do then? Imagine the energy you’d have.

When conversing, all playing fields must be equal, pretend someone has a secret and it’s your job to figure it out.

Being interested makes you interesting.

That’s how these things finished. Writing about the day all the way into scribbling down some kind of mantra.

Sarah gave me an idea. My muse for the day. I was probably in love already. Again.

I pushed away the keyboard and picked up a notebook. Flipped through yesterday’s notes and then to a blank page. I wrote across the top.

Everyone has a story to tell.

There we go, I thought. That could be the book. People like Sarah would be in it. I’d met plenty of people over the years, heard their stories. Especially after dying twice. Life gets reshuffled when you die. Charlie the curator. That’s what I could be.

I left the notepad on my desk. The clock said late.

I laid in bed stared at the ceiling noticed the patterns thought about Sarah. Dangerous thoughts. Beauty inspires a man like nothing else. And it worked. A dogged sense of adventure bubbled inside me. Because right before falling asleep, I had the outlandish idea that…

I could write my own story.

Next chapter > (coming soon)

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