‘Ernest and Everton’ by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write something with these words:

emotion, thumb, copyright, chapter, misery.

This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon. MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming soon, as well as MY BROTHER, THE WOLF, the last of the series.


“Ernest and Everton” by Cathy MacKenzie

I chew my thumbnail and eye the bottle of Everton whiskey.

I’m alone due to the Covid-19 mandatory isolation. Drinking too heavily the past several years. Alone in misery. Wife dead. Children non-existent.

But I’m surrounded by books, my good friends. Books pass the time. As does the whiskey.

So I’ve read. And read.

And read…

Decided I could write, too. I could write better than those self-published books, even the traditionally published ones rife with errors.

So I did: chapter and chapters. The whiskey spurred me on. Gave me ideas I wouldn’t normally have come up with. Added emotion to my work.

I sent the first manuscript off to a local publisher, Watercrest Publishing. And I waited with bated breath.

I read more novels. Drank more Everton whiskey. Wrote more books.

And then, months later, after forgetting I’d even mailed off a manuscript, a letter arrived in the mail:

Thank you for your submission of “The Ringing Bells.” We regret to inform you that you infringed heavily upon copyright issues.

The letter slipped from my fingers. But that’s me, I almost screamed. I’m Ernest Hemingway, the author of For Whom the Bell Tolls. “I simply revamped the book, gave it a new title.”

“Copyright infringement,” a soft voice whispered in my ear. “You plagiarized. You’re a scam. No one will ever consider publishing you again. Publishers are tight-knit, you know. Piss off one, you piss off them all.”

“But, I didn’t.” I moaned and shook my head. “I’m Ernest. I wrote that book. That’s me!”

Again, that little voice niggled at me. “Perhaps you’ve imbibed too much Everton.”

I picked up the bottle conveniently sitting beside me. Empty. But I had another stashed in the cupboard. And too many empties lined up in the pantry that needed to be recycled.

I pinched my arm. Isn’t that what we do to ensure we’re alive?

“I’m here. Alive and well,” I screeched.

I scanned the room. Alone. Not one person to hear my screams.

The voice whispered in my ear again. “Of all men, the drunkard is the foulest.” 


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

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