An Unfinished Story – Actually Almost Unstarted!

I write a WordPress blog entitled The Descent Of Manfred which is a spoof diary that started relatively sane and got progressively stranger by the day.  As I try and write a few days in advance it was becoming clear that I was going beyond the story parameters I had set myself and I was also conjuring up far too many characters.

I made the decision to hive off some of these characters and start a second diary in a completely different writing style.  I started to write the introduction, didn’t like it so immediately started another – incidentally this new introduction can be found on another wordpress blog entitled Gerald Shepherd’s Blog (you must admit there is a degree of logic with the title of this blog!).  I am hoping to continue the story there or possibly in yet another blog – we shall see.

Anyway, I decided to amend the original piece and leave it as a stand alone, and it has to be said not very good, piece of prose.  I have posted it below and hope it is of some interest – rest assured there wont be any more!



I moved into my new house this week. It is a very large detached house with a surprisingly cheap rent. I assumed this was down to the perilous state of the property but my neighbour mentioned in passing that it may be linked to the fact that several of the previous tenants went missing within weeks of moving in – that is some link and some passing – akin to a supertanker overtaking a canoe (and I can’t swim!). However beggars can’t be choosers and I loved the huge slovenly and unkept garden – I particularly liked the way that most of the paths appear to lead nowhere, something which exactly mirrors my own life. The only one that didn’t, led to the exhausted remains of a bonfire – or in fact several generations of bonfire, all migrating from the original site like raindrops in a dirty puddle. I pulled on my raincoat and retreated to the house.

I had to pay six months of rent in advance, this did seem a lot but as I said earlier the rent is remarkably cheap and I am loath to look a gift horse in any part of its anatomy. As a perpetually struggling artist I don’t have enough spare money to buy any new furniture so I am making do with what was already present – which isn’t a lot, just the very basics of bed, wardrobe, kitchen table (I don’t think it ever aspired to being called a dining table) and a couple of free standing cupboards – actually less standing and more squat. There was a fridge and cooker in situ, both worked although both looked like they should have been enjoying their retirement. I must confess I haven’t done any decorating, other than accidentally when painting, although I did fill in the large cracks under the cavernous sink (I could wash a car in it let alone the crocks!) and along the bedroom wall – the novelty of seeing the garden without drawing the curtains soon wore off, especially when the wind was coming from that direction!

I found a found a cellar without actually looking for it. To be precise I have found a flight of steps leading from the cupboard under the stairs to a very robust door singularly bereft of a key. It is too big to be an ordinary internal door and I am speculating that it belonged to a previous house and may have been a means of access to the building; or part of it at least. At this juncture no key means no entry and consequently no answers. But then isn’t life about having a lot of questions and very few answers. As I was musing on this a black shadow sped down the steps I looked round to find its source but couldn’t see anything. The far window was open however – have I mentioned the state of the windows? I best not get started on this – I hate long homilies.

An interesting party trick: when I close a window on the ground floor a window opens on the first. Another trick, probably too sinister for a party: when I knock on a ground floor door there are corresponding knocks on an upper door! The house has three three floors, only two of which I feel able to use. The ground floor having a long dead living room, kitchen and pantry (too small to be a utility room and too large to be a cupboard) and what, if I had a dining table, would be called the dining room – it is temporarily called the library despite a distinct shortage of books. The first floor has three bedrooms (the master too large for a single man – or indeed any man), a medium sized one which I am currently using as a studio and a box room (which it has to be said would actually accept only very small boxes), in here resides a step ladder and a couple of tins of paint – when it comes to decorating this is the limit of my ambitions. The bathroom has evolved from part of this bedroom in a way akin to a giant panda evolving into vegetarianism – the act of having a bath involves more contortions than a beginners book on yoga (I say bath, if it was on a patio it would be called a trough and one would plant pansies in it). The top floor has one exceptionally large but nondescript room with four small windows. I never go up there as it feels unnaturally cold – interestingly the door leading into it matches, in style if not size, the door leading into the “cellar”


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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