James Holden: The Bureau

BureauPaul had won a small amount of money in a writing competition, and it was burning a hole in his pocket. He decided that he had two choices: use it as funds for entering more competitions, or spend it on himself.

Since Paul had taken up creative writing, he had preoccupied himself with making sure that he had the right tools to succeed. He had invested in an expensive fountain pen and Moleskin notebook for his jottings, convinced that it would help drive him to a greater plane of artistic merit.

He specialised in meta-fiction, but much as he liked what he wrote, the one thing that irritated him about it was where he had to do it. Too shy to sit in the library or a different public place, he either had to do it balanced on his knee on the bed, or on the dining table, which inevitably meant having to listen to whatever his girlfriend was watching on TV.

Slowly Paul began to wonder whether his winnings could be used to help. So, the next time he dragged his laptop to the bedroom to write, instead of opening up Word and his Moleskin notebook, he started up Ebay. Reckoning that if he moved the chest of drawers and one of the bedside tables he could fit a desk in, he started searching for something suitable.

But his eye was caught not by a desk, but by a writing bureau. A Bureau! Surely this is the one thing I need to help me be a great writer! He started bidding.

Over the next couple of days he was consumed with excitement at the bidding process. 5 days 3 hours … 4 days 12 minutes … 2 days 15 hours … he kept watching the item, waiting for the best time to bid. He was so preoccupied with the auction that he didn’t have time to pick up his pen and notebook and work on any ideas. 1 day … 12 hours …. 2 hours 14 minutes … 53 minutes… he waited until it was down to one minute before placing his bid.

Having won the bureau, he smoothed things over with his girlfriend about the reorganisation of their bedroom and eagerly took delivery of the desk a week later. He had bought a new can of polish and duster, and set about lovingly cleaning it. When he was ready he excitedly sat down, moved his laptop onto the desk and turned it, before realising that he had nothing to write about.


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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