‘Twas a stormy night, a stormy night indeed.
No moonlight shone through the cloud tissue overhead.
Oil-black ocean waves rushed to the rocky shore
Whereupon they shattered like Pharaoh’s chariots
Getting crushed in the Red Sea in pursuit of Moses.
In a solitary house on the beach, the Writer met his Agent.
‘Must be important for you to call me here this time of night,’
Said the Writer, shedding his sodden coat and hat.
The Agent removed a fat cigar from his mouth
And invited the scribe to a nearby chair.
‘What are you currently working on?’ he said,
Waving the cigar erratically through the air
Like an eyewitness describing the movement of a UFO.
‘A spy thriller,’ said the novelist, with the ghost of a smile,
‘Probably my masterpiece: shades of the WikiLeaks controversy
And a protagonist reminiscent of Le Carré’s George Smiley.’
Outside, the thunder groaned like a drowning sailor.
‘I’ve got a better idea,’ said the Agent. ‘If you want a bestseller,
Write a romantic thriller about teenage vampires.
Feel free to throw in a werewolf here and there.’
The Writer sank into the chair he had been offered earlier.
‘Vampires?’ he mourned. ‘But I’m a spy writer.’
The Agent puffed his Cuban cigar before responding:
‘Espionage thrillers are out,’ he said evenly.
‘Paranormal relationships are the in-thing. Think “Twilight”
Or “The Vampire Diaries”. The kids today want to see
Vampires kissing, falling in love, ball room dancing,
Going to school, throwing parties…Get my drift?’
The information sunk in like a vampire’s fangs.
The Writer peered at his Agent through cigar smoke.
‘All right,’ he said at last, shrugging. ‘I’ll do it.’
And with that, he rose fluidly, put on his coat and hat
And went out into the dark, rain-swept night,
Thinking up a story about vampires kissing.
(c) Alex Nderitu