With my first 2015 deadline looming, I had to take swift action to get the creative juices flowing, which quite frankly have been a bit scant since finishing my novel in November. So off I went, donned in my rain jacket, scarf and ear muffs (what a sight) on a brisk-ish walk. Luckily, my surroundings are heaped in history and in the next village of Satzvey stands a majestic 13th century castle; one of the best kept moated castles in Rhineland. I thought well if that doesn’t inspire me then nothing will. But on route, I stopped at a disused factory which I pass regularly but have not, until now, taken much notice.
I listened to my own advice and brought my senses into play. It was the perfect setting for the ghost story I want to write for The Fiction Desk February competition. After several minutes of standing in the rain and speaking into my Dictaphone (which I carry in my pocket at all times as an alternative to soggy paper), I was interrupted by an elderly gentleman walking his dog. My investigative nature took hold and I began to ask him questions (difficult in German, but I tried my best).
What I was listening to, or my interpretation of what he was trying to tell me, was fascinating. He had no real answers. The factory was apparently a very successful business in its day. What business? He couldn’t say. Why did it close? He couldn’t say. He explained that it closed overnight. One day, it was fully operational and the next day it was deserted. Rumour has it that the owner paid his staff off handsomely and since that day no-one seems to know the true story behind the abandoned factory. I thanked the kind gentleman, who seemed to disappear too quickly from view, and discussed with my Dictaphone the possibilities of the story behind the dismal building. What secrets does it hold?
Due to the unexpected jolt of inspiration, I never did make it to the castle. Another day.
I would love to hear about any occasion when an unexpected vision/sight has inspired you.