#BlogBattle, Stories

#BlogBattle: Loss

There was a time, there have been many times in my blogging life, when I wasn’t enjoying it at all any more. These times still happen now but all the time(s) before, I finished a blog, pulled the plug, turned it off, didn’t go back any more, deleted it, ghosted it… Well, you get the idea.

And then started another blog because, as sure as the sky one day clears and delivers sunshine, the urge to be silly with words just breaks through and radiates in again and off I go.

The last time I assassinated a blog and left it lying by the side of the road gasping ‘But… but… why? We were getting on together so well…‘, I walked off, coldly, crying in the incessant rain and shrouded quickly in the fog but strangely feeling somehow released as I holstered the smoking pistol. This time I felt kindly disposed to my loyal readers and went back to leave clues about who did it and where I could be found next.

You didn’t have to come, but a lot of you did, and I thank you for that.

Generally I had created characters on each blog. One of them is Bryntin, me, who doesn’t really exist as such but is nominally your host at the moment.

Another is Barrington Higginbottom. He was an inept Private Investigator. He talked to a man with a dog a lot. This will make some readers smile.

I was kind to him. I didn’t kill him because somehow, he didn’t deserve it. Even though he was very, very stupid.

Barrington Higginbottom has retired from Private Investigation and now owns and runs a duck farm in Hertfordshire.

The last entry in ‘The Bryntin Project’

I do want to repeatedly hit some very, very stupid people currently in public life with a heavy object but I could be kinder with Barrington, so I gave him a nice farm to retire to. He loved ducks.

I invented and used Barrington to be a conversational foil to my barely more intelligent Bryntin. Whenever I came upon a very, very stupid thing that I’d seen, I ‘sent’ for Barrington and then wrote the story of my listening exasperatedly to his reports of the investigation in to the stupid thing, invariably making it more stupid.

I miss him a bit.

And then this writing #BlogBattle prompt ‘Loss’ came up and I started thinking of stories in which I could use some characters and, as is my way, scenarios in which it could get very, very silly indeed. I had an idea about a missing briefcase containing the Brexit plan… and I had a thought.

“Should I bring Barrington back out of retirement?”

It would only take a quick phone call. Or – and continuity was never a big thing with me anyway – I could just drop him in and not mention where the hell he’s been and no one would be any the wiser, given that there’s not a lot of sense around the place anyway.

I created him (and me, sort of) and I miss him, so the loss thing is covered already… but would it be like that relationship advice you see around… ‘never go back’?

That pesky downside. The one where the reason why you walked away in the first place reaches a large hand out and slaps you hard in the face shouting ‘you knew I was high-maintenance and you came back… don’t tell me you’re leaving again because I’m too demanding!’

That one.

I’ll just call him. Wouldn’t do much harm just to speak on the phone would it? It’s not like inviting him around to dinner and feeling like I might end up eating both meals as I’d have had to kill him soon after having our first beer together (again) would it?

I’ve still got the number here.

What am I talking about?

I just write that I’m calling him and it’ll all go from there, that’s how it used to go. A picture of something so mind-meltingly stupid that it would be a relief to either have a conversation with a rock or see Barrington again.

Chris Grayling, UK Transport Minister

But letting him back in to my head might be dangerous.

The thing is, I got to feeling that I had to include him and then he moved in and shared the soft furnishings space in my head. We were conversing, there were lines spoken between us and I was often looked at as if I had maybe opened the Special Brew a bit early in the day because I was laughing out loud as I was walking the dog. Because he’d said something really funny. In my head.

And the whole mixture of real/not real/ meta got pretty tricky to follow. Just like now. Is this a story or is it real? Is everything a story and what is ‘real’? And do we need more tea bags?

But I do miss him, he never came with me and I wonder if the lack of him is a loss to the blog.

Right then. Decision time. Let chance, the pure and random unthinking chaos of the universe decide.



“Ah, Barrington… long time no speak…”

Presented as my contribution into the monthly prompt #BlogBattle on the word ‘Loss’. Please do follow this link about…wait for it, wait for it… here and read many other stories that may or may not be weirder than mine.

21 thoughts on “#BlogBattle: Loss”

  1. Despite not being aware of the full trappings of your various blogging personas and exploits, I must admit to an instant infatuation with this piece, elevating it to “perhaps best ever” status. Well done. I am drenched in satisfaction… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am counting votes. That’s one.
      I should be alright at counting as high as we need to go but I haven’t decided what number I need to swing the contest. Probably less than a thousand. But more than one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah! The resuscitation/reincarnation/re-presentation of a character that refuses to look after his ducks like a real-life retired PI would. And the ‘urge to be silly with words’, gets my approval all round. This post was deliciously funny. Looking forward to that Barrington/Brexit conversation. Think you’re going to need more than one can of Special Brew 😉.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know Barrington, but he gets a vote from me. I like the use of personal essay (fictional non-fiction?) for the BlogBattle prompt, too. I have never killed a blog, but I do neglect mine often. I have been considering killing my flash fiction posts off because I now realize that I can’t submit to journals and magazines after I’ve published on my blog, even if it’s a draft. But then I wouldn’t get to do this, and I don’t know what’s worse. Missing out on all the rejection letters or missing out on conversations with writers? I’d better put that decision off for another few months…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was weird how it just turned out like that, I was going to introduce the story and the explanation turned into an essay! Never use ten words when 800 odd will do, obviously…
      Tricky situation with your fiction then. Can you not do it the other way round, ie, post your story on the blog if it gets rejected by all the magazines you submit it to?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that’s likely what I’ll have to do. Unfortunately most journals and magazine take months to get around to rejecting you, and I lack the necessary patience to commit to that process.

        I think what I need is a private critique group so I can get feedback before submitting without disqualifying myself during the drafting stages.

        “Never use ten words when 800 will do” has been my motto in writing fiction for years now. That’s why I’ve turned to flash fiction to force me out of the habit! I really enjoyed your piece, though, and I can’t wait to meet Barrington!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lordy… don’t set your expectations too high!
        If he met you he’d tell me everything about you but leave the rather defining features of being Simpsons yellow with blue hair and lips… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Exist or not exist? Just a point of reference frame. I think therefore I am. I think of Barrington and ergo he lives. Dangerous turf for a writer that. Could have real world consequences on sanity and white coated demons who like padded cells hosting other people until sanity by their definition returns. Bring the dear chap back and ensure their is a caretaker looking after the duck farm…not quite The Overlook Hotel, but I feel certain macabre events could ensue worthy of investigation somewhere.

    Wonderful piece Bryntin

    Liked by 1 person

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