I know what I’m like, no matter how many books I’d like to read, have vague intentions of reading, “should” read, there’ll always be a baseball biography or something that will come along and delay me getting around to reading books considered to be great. I have only read nine of The Guardian’s 100 greatest novels of all time, and four of the World Library 100 Best Books of All Time. That’s a lot of pages of great stuff I’ve not read. So I’ve decided to write my own short stories based on the titles of books I’ve not read. No idea how many I will do, but here’s the first, The Old Man and the Sea.
Albert stood on the promenade, eyes watering from the wind. He stared out at the dark, grey, sea. Waves broke silently in the distance, loudly on the beach. Albert stared, his hands deep in the pockets of his overcoat. He stared at the horizon. He was building in his mind. Building structures, pillars in the sea, solid as oil rigs. The pillars should be arranged in a zig-zag pattern. On top of each structure would be a mirror. He made a mental note to research the geometry. And Albert would build these structures at precise intervals across the ocean. Then he would put 50p in the coin-operated promenade binoculars, focus on the first mirror, and he would see all the way to New York.