‘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.
https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

***

“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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