Lexicon

Short fiction

Maria Blackman

--

Photo by Art Lasovsky on Unsplash

I found some creative writing that I had published in a zine a long time ago. You know it must have been a very, very long time ago because I just used the word ‘zine’. This piece (of short fiction? poetry? mid 20s posing?) is the most intellectually pretentious thing I think I’ve ever written, and I have multiple degrees so that’s saying something.

With that introduction, enjoy!

I’m going to write like Shakespeare, she said.
To be or not to be? he said.
Hamlet.
Yeah, yeah, I knew that. Studied that one in high school. Everyone dies at the end.
Yes, that and the whole ‘what is the purpose of life’ thing.
Yeah…So, Shakespeare, huh.
Yes. I’m going to write on parchment with a quill and ink, and because parchment is so expensive there will be no room for error and I’ll have to just write in one long flow making any adjustments at the very end.
Go the parchment!
But I’ll be able to make up words and sayings and it won’t matter because they’ll end up becoming part of the English lexicon ‘cos I’m so good.
Right, the lexicon. What’s a lexicon?
Words. Vocabulary.
Oh, of course. Are you making up words now?
No, I’m not. Lexicon is a real word.
Ok. So, making up your own words makes you Shakespeare? I’m still not convinced ‘lexicon’ is a real word, maybe you are Shakespeare? How do I know if you are or not?
You don’t. But Shakespeare’s works (if they were his) are so resounding that it’s a side issue, really, who the real author was.
Hmmm. So you’re going to make up words and maybe write under someone else’s name?
Yes. No. Maybe.

I’m going to write like Virginia Woolf, she said.
Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? he said.
Haha. Actually, that’s a good play.
Is it about Virginia Woolf?
No, it’s about something else. But Virginia Woolf is cool too.
Who is she?
She was a writer. She said women need a room of their own so they could write and think.
You live by yourself in a one-bedroom apartment. You have a room of your…

--

--

Maria Blackman

Writer and artist from Perth, Western Australia. I write about art, books, identity and more. Find me on Twitter @blackman_maria