It’s Death Of 1000 Cuts! Whoop. Learn how to write creatively with me, your host, Tim Clare. Bah. You know how it works by now. If not, listen to the back catalogue. We’ve got a couple o’ hours, now.

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And here’s the extract I look at this week.

Untitled (by Caleb)

The final notes of “Born In the USA” faded into silence at the perfect moment, just as I pulled my battered silver car up to the security checkpoint. The sun had just risen over the horizon. That’s a good sign, I thought as I rolled my window down. Maybe today won’t suck after all.

“Hey there, Theodore,” the guard on duty greeted me. “Have a good weekend?”

Too embarrassed to admit I could never remember his name, I did my best to make the conversation brief. “Sure, pretty good.” He didn’t raise the gate, so I endeavoured to be polite. “So…how’s it going with you?”

“Same as yesterday,” he said with a wry smile, “and the day before that, and the day before that.”

“Not much excitement, huh?” I said, tapping a finger on the steering wheel.

“That’s it, Theo! Can I call you ‘Theo’? I’m gonna call you ‘Theo’. See, when I transferred over here, they acted like it was a big deal, like I was climbing the ranks.” He chuckled and shook his head, “But look at me; stuck in a tiny little shack out here in the middle of nowhere. Most likely the only one stupid enough to accept the job.”

I cleared my throat, “Well-“

“And who am I guarding?” He continued. “Bigwig politicians? World famous rock and rollers? Nope, just a bunch of kids.”

“Yeah, but-“

“Kids, Theo.”

I waited, but the rant had concluded. He pushed a button and the gate began rising up. I was about to floor the accelerator, but before I did, I leaned out the window. The guard shot me a questioning look.

“They’re not just any kids,” I reminded him.