fiction & book design
an illustrated short story. written in November'21. self-published in November'22

yesterday I killed my creativity. oh boy! it hurts

Darry, a graphic designer, gets into an argument with his Creativity and accidentally kills them. Feeling empty, lonely, and helpless without Creativity, he discovers that he can easily buy another one. New Kreativity not only speaks in Caps Lock and insists on wrong spelling, but wants Darry to do things he doesn't find creative. Now he needs to figure out how to get rid of the new creativity and get back his old one. A mysterious man is willing to help.
15 x 20 cm, hard cover, 58 pages

Yesterday I killed My Creativity. Oh boy! It hurts

Yesterday I Killed My Creativity. Oh, Boy! It Hurts firstly has been started as a series of humorous posters. Then this idea evolved to a short story, which evolved to an illustrated book. It's rare when the title appears before the story.

I wrote the short story after listening to Stefan Sagmeister talk at Forward Festival about getting ideas. I have no idea how exactly I got the idea for this short story.

The illustrations and posters for the book were mostly done with ink, acrylic, spray paint, black pencil, markers, and oil pastel on paper and wooden panels. They're combined with a few vector illustrations.

book illustrations / black pencil, oil pastel, marker, & polymer clay on A4 wooden panels

for those who prefer reading a plain text, here's the short story

chapter 1
It was a sunny morning in November, and the clocks weren't striking.They weren't working at all.
I was sitting at my desk trying to repair a new watch that I'd just bought.
'Lazy bastards,' I said. 'They're selling watches with dead batteries inside, dammit.'
I unscrewed the watch case and pensively picked the battery lock with a screwdriver.
Creativity was standing behind me. I felt their annoyed look on my back.
'Can't you just return the watch and spare this upsetting business? Before you break the watch completely,' they said.
'Ridiculous, it's not a rocket science to change the battery,' I argued.
The battery lock burst into two halves.
'It seems it is a rocket science to you,' Creativity said.
'You ain't helping.'
'Why should I? I didn't apply for this boring useless job.'
I turned to them.
'I'll finish and we'll create something, all right?'
'No, it's not all right,' Creativity snapped.
'Why not?'
'Because all you want from me is to create.'
'I thought it was your purpose.'
'Feels like it's my job, and the job can't take all the time, you're treating me as if I'm your employee.'
'Ain't you?'
'No. I can leave you anytime I want.'
Now that was something new.
I turned back to the watch, pushed the new battery into the mechanism and pressed the cap tightly. The handles had started moving.
'See, not a rocket science,' I exclaimed and glanced at Creativity.
They had walked to the window and were standing still, leaning on the sill and watching the busy street.
'Right ho, let's create,' I suggested cheerfully.
'You haven't listened, Darry,' Creativity said. 'I don't want to create.'
'What do you want then?'
'I want you to treat me like a decent person.'
'How so?'
'With respect.'
'I thought you enjoyed creating.'
'Not really.'
'What, why?' my voice shook in surprise and dread.
Creativity wasn't really suggesting to leave me. Or were they?
'You're always complaining, always not content, we make a painting, and you invent a reason why it's a bad painting, we design a poster, and you find dozens explanations what's wrong with the poster, you're never ever satisfied either with me or with yourself, it's incredibly hard to work this way, and we never have fun,' Creativity told me bitterly.
'I never thought you were that miserable with me,' I said.
'Of course you never considered that, you never think of me.'
'Very well, what do you want then?'
'I want to have fun, I want to be inspired, to obtain a fresh eye. You need to nourish me, but you're only using me.'
'You're my creativity, not my boyfriend,' I crinkled my nose.
'No wonder you don't have a boyfriend,' they whispered.
But I heard all right.
'Fine. Let's do what you wanna do today,' I sighed.
'I wanna go to a strip club.'
'Whaaaaat?!' I shouted.
'I didn't expect any other reaction.'
'No way we're going to a strip club! It won't arouse your inspiration, it won't…'
'See, Darry, you always know better,' Creativity turned their faceless face to me.
'It's…' I lowered my gaze to check time, the handles were running in circles across the clock-face. 'Oh, for fuck's sake.'
I couldn't tell time, but I knew it was too early for the strip club.
'It's too early for the strip club,' I declared being absolutely sure that I'd won this stupid fight. 'Sit down, we need to design a poster or we'll screw up the deadline. Again.'
Creativity shook their head.
'I'm leaving,' they announced.
'Fine. You can leave anytime you want.'
They're bluffing, I thought. They weren't. Creativity took a brolly, put on my brand new pair of kicks, and left the room.
'Very well,' I clapped my hands. 'I can handle all my projects without them.'
I opened my laptop and stared at the screen. I chewed a pen.
I stood up, walked across the room, sat back at the desk, stared at the screen. Chewed the pen. Checked time. The handles had stopped.
I felt it was lunch time already, so I went to the kitchen and made some toasts. They didn't go well. I ate them anyway.
I returned to the laptop and made a poster. It didn't go well. Something was definitely wrong with character spacing.
'Fuck the poster open call', I said.
'We're going to paint. I'm going to paint,' I corrected myself.
I put a piece of paper on the desk and grasped a brush with my hand. It was a rather good synthetic brush. I stared at the piece of paper. Went to the window and looked out. The street was still busy. Creativity wasn't there.
'Dammit, I can handle this without them.'I walked back to the desk, and with a visible effort dipped the brush in ink and quickly, as if I was scared the brush would refuse to work with me alone, made a drawing.
It didn't go well. The lines were odd.
I sat on the chair and checked time. Checked my social media hoping that Creativity would text me begging to pick them up.
'The strip clubs ain't even open yet.'
It darkened. Gradually all the noises lowered down. I guessed it was around midnight.
'Bloody hell, where's Creativity?' I jumped on my feet now being really worried.
The strip clubs must be open now.
chapter 2
I went outside and walked along the streets.
It started to rain. And it was cold. And lonely. And there was no one to talk to and to complain to about how lonely and cold it was.
A group of cheerful boys and girls was standing under a bright neon pub sign.
'Sorry, have you seen my Creativity?' I asked them.
'How do they look?'
'I don't know, they're tall and flat and don't have a face, they were wearing a pair of brand new kicks and carried a brolly,' I said.
'Everyone carries a brolly,' one girl said.
'Nah, we didn't see them,' the other bloke confirmed.
I sighed. And continued walking. The rain followed me. I'd drenched to my bones. And there was no one to complain to about it. I'd checked a few pubs with soft music, a few night clubs with loud music, and I'd even peeped into the strip club. But I hadn't found my Creativity. I checked time, but the handles weren't moving, and there were no stars in the cloudy sky, and even if there were stars, I couldn't tell time anyway. I knew it was past midnight.
I was worried someone might have hurt my Creativity. I hailed a cab.
And when we were passing an unlit street, I noticed a flat figure, who was getting something from a tall slim man in a dark coat.
'Pull over! Pull over!' I shouted.
The driver didn't understand me.
'Stop! Halt! Halas!' I shouted again.
I didn't think the driver understood me, but he had stopped the car. I ran back, and there was my Creativity standing, in the darkest corner of the unlit street, the tall slim man in the dark coat had fled already.
'There you are!' I said.
'Ah, you again,' Creativity sorta greeted me.
'What are you doing? I thought you were up for the strip club.'
'I've been there already.'
'What is this shite?' I inquired poking my finger at a small plastic pack that Creativity had just got from the tall slim man in the dark coat. 'Are you on drugs, too? How dare you leave me? I couldn't make a decent poster, and even the toasts laughed at me! And where's the brolly?'
'I don't know what you're talking about,' they said.
'We need to go home! And to create a decent poster! Or we'll screw up the deadline, and this time it'll be your fault!' I shouted.
'I'm having fun,' Creativity put a liquorice candy into their absent mouth.
'You're free to go home and create whatever you like.'
'But I don't like anything I'm creating!'
'Frankly, neither do I,' they said.
'You can't leave me like this! You've been with me my entire life, for more than three decades!'
'Yes, and this is our problem. Thirty years, it's time to move on.'
'What?! You can't!' I choked.
My hand slipped into a pocket of my jacket, and there was a plastic BB gun. I didn't remember when or why I'd put the plastic BB gun into my pocket. Maybe I'd never put it in there, most likely this short story was just badly planned.
'What you gonna do?' Creativity put another liquorice candy into their non-existent mouth, chewed it and smiled invisibly.
'Shoot you!' I yelled and drew the plastic BB gun on Creativity.
'Oh, go on then,' Creativity was calm eating another liquorice candy.
'I'm not bluffing!' I shouted.
'Yes, you are,' Creativity answered.
'No, I'm not!'
'Yes, you are, without me, Darry, you can't even shoot your creativity.'
'We're going home and making the fucking poster right away!'
'No, we ain't going anywhere together.'
'Yes, we are!'
'No, we ain't.'
'Yes, we are!'
'You're starting to bore me to death, Darry,' Creativity said calmly.
And I pulled the trigger. No one, no one could accuse me of being boring.
Creativity wobbled a bit, and their faceless face twisted in disbelief. They fell down on the asphalt, the liquorice candies scattered around.
'Who's boring now?' I shouted throwing my hands up in the air.
They didn't answer.
'Get up,' I said.
They didn't move. I stepped closer, crouched down on my haunches. Creativity was dead.
'Oh,' I said.
'Ah,' I said and stood up.
What shall I do now? Call the police? I inspected the BB gun. It's a murder weapon, I thought, I need to get rid of it. My chest had started to ache, and I took a few deep breaths. What have I done? Now not only I don't have a creativity, I'll go to prison. Shall I bury Creativity in a forest? I looked around, but couldn't spot a forest nearby. Chop them into pieces and throw into the river? The river was close.
I walked to the river and threw the BB gun into the dark waters. I didn't have anything suitable with me to chop the dead body of my Creativity into pieces, though.
I returned to the crime scene hoping that Creativity would somehow be alive. They weren't. They were lying flat with one knee bent in an abnormal creative way, their hand hanging loose from the kerb. I called the police and said that I'd just murdered a person. Two constables had arrived pretty soon.
In the blue light of their siren Creativity looked sorrowful.
'Poor wee bastard,' I muttered.
'Come again?' A well-fed constable said.
'I said I've just killed my creativity,' I said.
'I see,' the well-fed constable nodded.
The other, not that well-fed constable came to Creativity, glanced over them and said 'yeah'.
'It'll cost £20,' the well-fed constable announced.
'I beg my pardon,' I didn't understand.
'There's a waste bin container at the next junction, if you want us to transport your creativity there and utilise them, it'll cost you £20,' the well-fed said in a routine voice.
'Yeah,' the not-that-well fed confirmed.
'What do you mean, utilise my Creativity?' I said.
'Well, no doubts they're dead. What else have you called us for then?' the well-fed said.
'Yeah,' the not-that-well fed agreed.
'Aren't you going to arrest me?' I said.
'Arrest? Crikey, no,' the well-fed laughed. 'There's no law that forbids to kill creativities. People do it all the time.'
'Oh,' I said. 'And if I kill someone else's creativity, would it be a crime then?'
'If accidentally, then you'd pay a fine. If on purpose, out of jealousy or having some other motive, then yes, it'd be a crime, but there's no punishment for it,' the well-fed said and continued. 'I've been always saying there should be a fine for murdering your own creativities, I mean, if everyone who kills their creativity payed a grand, then the city budget would benefit from it.'
'What are you saying, constable George? If there was a fine for killing creativities, people would be hiding these murders, and we wouldn't get £20 each night,' the not-that-well-fed argued.
'Yeah, you're right, constable Hugh,' constable George said.
'So do you have money or not?' he asked me.
'But it's wrong, er, to just throw away my Creativity into the waste bin, you know what I mean?'
'Yes, I've been always saying there should be a separate container for dead creativities,' constable George said. 'I have no idea whether creativities are recyclable or not, but if they are, I don't see how they can be recycled with glass or general waste or paper.'
'Yeah,' constable Hugh agreed.
'You want to keep them?' constable George asked me.
'Keep them? But they're dead,' I said.
'Sir, could you please make up your mind. You're wasting police time,' constable George said.
'Yeah,' constable Hugh agreed.
'Is it even legal that you get £20 for utilising dead creativities?' I asked.
'It is very well legal and state approved,' constable George said.
'Yeah,' constable Hugh agreed.
'I don't know,' I said, my chest continued to ache.
'You can't leave it here,' constable George said. 'No dumping in the area.'
'Yeah,' constable Hugh confirmed.
'Okay,' I said.
'Good night, sir,' constable George said and went back to the police car. 'Greedy twat,' he muttered.
'Yeah, greedy twat,' constable Hugh repeated.
They drove off. Except for me and my dead Creativity the street was empty. I felt empty, too.
I spotted a telephone kiosk and dragged Creativity inside. They were weightless. I put off my jacket and covered Creativity with it.
chapter 3
I'll decide what to do with them and return next morning, I thought. And went back home. The home felt empty, too. Suddenly all my posters and drawings hanging on the walls in our room, in my room, had become strange, as if it wasn't me who had created them. I checked time, but the watch hands weren't moving. They stopped when Creativity had left our room. My room, it was only me now. I sighed and went to bed.
In the morning I woke up with acute chest pain. I called a nurse to schedule an appointment with my GP.
'All's booked,' the nurse informed me. 'The nearest available window is in two weeks.'
'Two weeks? But my chest aches!' I protested.
'Then go to an emergency room,' she said.
I went to the emergency room.
'Hello, what happened?' another nurse asked me.
'All the vitals are normal,' the nurse said after a few test had been done.
'But I feel there's a hole in my chest,' I complained.
'Go home and take some paracetamol,' she said.
'Does paracetamol heal chest holes?'
'There's no hole in your chest. At least, no visible one. Would you like me to transfer you to a councillor?'
'Do they stitch chest holes there?'
When I walked out of the emergency room, I noticed some changes. The streets had lost their colours. I looked at my feet and arms and at passers-by and cars, everything had become black-and-white. When Creativity was alive, I'd been always complaining about too much colours around. I believed that the world would have looked better in greyscale. Creativity disagreed, and now I could see they were correct, the world didn't look better in greyscale. On my way to the crime scene I stopped at Tesco. Wanted to buy some orange juice, Creativity used to love it. But orange juice wasn't orange, it was grey. And I assumed it would taste grey as well, not orange.
Arriving at the crime scene, which wasn't a crime scene after all, because killing your creativity wasn't a crime, I opened the door of the call box. It was empty.
'Hey, where's the dead body of my Creativity?' I said aloud.
'It could have vanished or someone could have taken it,' a voice behind my back said.
A man, dressed in a long dark coat, was sitting on the kerb. He looked familiar, but I couldn't recollect where I'd seen him. There were some strange lines on his face, not wrinkles, they looked like words, but they were too blurry. And I couldn't read them.
'Who are you?' I asked.
'I'm just sitting here,' he said.
'I see. Have you seen the dead body of my Creativity?' I asked.
'What?' he said.
'You said their body might have been taken away.'
'Perhaps,' he nodded, and I was pretty sure a few letters fell off his face.
'Why anyone would need a dead body of someone else's creativity?'
'Home decor,' he said simply.
'Some people put bear skin rugs in their living rooms, some love others' dead creativities,' he shrugged his shoulders as if there was nothing odd about the dead creativities in the living rooms, and I was certain that a few more letters fell off his face.
'You aren't local, are you?' I asked.
'What do my origins have to do with the bear skin rugs?' he answered.
'Er, nothing, sorry, it's just, er, your accent sounds German, er, whatever, sorry. Do you need any coins?'
'Nein, danke, und you don't have coins anyway,' the strange man, whose origins didn't have anything to do with the bear skin rugs, said.
'Yeah, sorry.'
I walked away sipping milk which tasted like white, not like milk. How did he know that I didn't have any coins?
chapter 4
'Well, tell me what happened,' the councillor said.
'Yesterday I killed my creativity,' I repeated the story exhaustedly. 'They died without screaming, without saying anything, without even bleeding, it was too calm and too peaceful, and now it hurts a good deal,' I finished.
'Would you like to work on your anger control issues?' the councillor asked.
'I guess. But where shall I get a new creativity? I mean, I can't live without them.'
'Ah, so you just need a new creativity! That's easy!'
'How so?'
'I'll write down a prescription for you.'
'One can get a creativity with a prescription?'
'Certainly. We usually start therapy if a persons kills a few creativities. So just try a new one, and let's hope they suit your needs better.'
She handled me the prescription.
'Where should I get it?'
'At Tesco. Somewhere between cornflakes and tampons.'
I went to Tesco, but didn't find the right shelf.
'Pardon me, where's the shelf with brand new creativities?' I asked a customer assistant.
'We don't sell brand new creativities.'
'How so?'
'We resell the creativities that wasn't a right match for others.'
'Okay, so where's the shelf with them?'
'Do you have a prescription?'
I showed him the prescription.
'You'll find creativities between corn flakes and tampons,' he said.
Between corn flakes and tampons I'd found a cartoon box that said Kreativity. I took the box and read the description.
Get the creativity you deserve. Fun, not boring, full of fresh ideas, great imagination, excellent communication skills, multi-disciplinary approach, 5 years of experience in creative fields. Fits any creative area. Instant.
What the heck does instant mean? I thought. I asked the customer assistant.
'Instant like coffee,' he explained.
'Instant coffee doesn't taste so good,' I said.
'You want it or not?'
'Okay,' I said since I didn't have any other choice and my chest was still aching.
Back home I unpacked the box. There were grey granules, perhaps, they were meant colourful, but I couldn't tell colours. I boiled a kettle, made some tea, which tasted like grey, not like tea, emptied the granules into a cup and added hot water.
The box said that I had to wait for around 10 minutes. I looked at my watch, but the handles were frozen.
Whatever, if this creativity arises, I'll know anyway, I thought and left the kitchen. I launched Photoshop and stared at the screen. The control panel didn't look familiar. As if I'd forgotten how to use all the tools. It must be stress, I thought. What's the T icon for? Tea? Is there an icon to create a digital cup of tea? Triangle? T-rex? Bloody hell, there're thousand words starting with t, how the heck shall I guess the word they meant?
'T is a type tool,' the voice behind my back said making me jump.
I turned around, and there was a person standing in the room.
It wasn't as flat as my old Creativity, as my only Creativity, it was coloured in a greyscale gradient, and there was a cunning smile on their face, and on the head they wore a tiny crown that was glistering, and they were dressed in a jacket with large letters on the front, FAME.
'Oh,' I said. 'You must be Creativity.'
'Exactly. Spelled with K.'
'I beg my pardon?'
'KREATIVITY. All caps, too.'
'It's more K-REATIVE.'
They approached my desk, clicked the T icon and typed:
*according to the public poll which included 3 respondents
*we don't kreate wedding invitations
'These all caps are quite annoying,' I said.
'How else are you going to become famous? You have to shout loud about yourself,' Kreativity shouted.
'Oh, no need to yell, I hear you all right,' I scratched my ringing ear. 'What are the terms and conditions?'
'Oh, wanna read them? Do you have a printer? I see you do, I can print all 50 pages in tiny font for you if you're sure that's how you wanna spend the night.'
I checked the box and glanced at my watch. The handles weren't moving. And everything was in greyscale, too.
'Where have all the colours gone?' I asked Kreativity.
'Oh, we don't need them to be kreative. Is there an iron? I think I've crumpled my jacket a bit while staying in the box. Urgh, I thought no one would ever pick me up.'
'Well, I did,' I said unenthusiastically.
'C'mon, no worries, we'll get along!' they clapped me on the shoulder and began searching in the wardrobe for the iron.
I didn't like their non-vanishing permanent smile. It gave me creeps. And the pain in my chest didn't go away.
I thought about my Creativity and how it was lying flat and dead and not moving on the asphalt, and the chest pain worsened.
'Ooh, nice stuff,' Kreativity commented going through my shirts. 'I think we'll get something more appropriate tomorrow though.'
'More appropriate for what?' I asked.
'Well, we need to start kreating!' they said undressing.
I watched them iron the large FAME letters on the front of the jacket.
'Now, this is much better,' Kreativity put on the jacket again.
'So, let's start!' they said.
'Okay. What you wanna do?'
'I need you to buy a ticket to Zurich.'
'Why?' I crinkled my nose.
'The largest world bank is in Zurich.'
'No,' I said.
'You don't want to take a trip to Zurich?' Kreativity asked puzzled, but their smile stayed the same.
'No, the largest bank in the world is situated in China, not Zurich,' I said.
'Oh. So in Zurich there must be the largest bank in Europe then.'
'No,' I disagreed again. 'The largest bank in Europe is here, in the UK.'
'Oh, great!' Kreativity exclaimed. 'See, I told ya, we gonna get along.'
'What for do you need the largest bank in Europe, if I may ask.'
'We. We need. Not me. We're a team now!'
'Right. So what do we need this bank for?'
'To rob it of course.'
I stared at them.
'I suggest we start with making a poster,' I said firmly and pressed my lips.
'Oh! You think we should announce the robbery? Yes! That's a great idea!'
'No, just a poster, not about the robbery.'
'About what then? Do you want to outline the bank building plan? That's a great idea! To visualise everything so to make the job easier.'
'No, for fuck's sake, just a fucking poster about fucking anything except the robbery!' I snapped.
'Oh. I get it,' their voice became less excited and kinda empathetic, but in a creepy way, their smile resumed. 'You don't want to rob the bank.'
'We can take hostages then and ask for money in exchange for sparing their lives.'
'Why would we do that?'
'For fame and money.'
'Let's go,' I said.
'Hooray! Taking hostages will be fun!'
'We ain't going to take hostages,' I said.
chapter 5
We went back to Tesco.
'What do you need here? We could have ordered food delivery instead of wasting our time on groceries,' Kreativity complained.
I found the customer assistant.
'I'm sorry,' I said. 'I need to return a product.'
'Which product?' the customer assistant asked.
'I've just purchased a creativity here, and I think there's something wrong with them.'
I glanced at Kreativity, they were still smiling.
'Sorry, no returns,' the customer assistant said.
'How so?' I asked.
'After agreeing to terms and conditions you can't return a creativity,' the customer assistant said.
'But I couldn't have tested them before,' I argued.
'Sorry,' he said. 'But there's an official repair service in Harlow, you can take your creativity there and get it repaired for free if you have a warranty card.'
'There was no warranty card in the box,' I said through my teeth.
'Well, just take them to Harlow anyway, maybe the repair service won't cost a fortune.'
'Do you even know where the fuck is Harlow?' I shouted in the customer assistant's face.
'No, I don't know that, sir, but I'm sure it can be easily found via Google Maps.'
'It's 30 fucking miles away!' I shouted.
'No need to be nervous,' Kreativity said calmly, still smiling. 'Let's go and k-reate something fun and impressive.'
'See,' the customer assistant said. 'Nothing wrong with them, they want to help you with creating.'
'With k-reating,' I corrected him, and we left.
'I'm knackered and going straight to bed,' I announced when we returned to my place.
My place didn't feel like our place.
'Where do I sleep?' Kreativity asked.
'My old Creativity loved to sleep in the armchair under the blanket,' I said.
'In the armchair?'
For a moment I thought that their smile would vanish, but it stayed.
'Yes. Don't you like the armchair?'
'Cozy,' Kreativity said. 'But I've spent so much time in the box.'
'What are you saying?' I asked.
I ended up sleeping in the armchair under the blanket, Kreativity had occupied my bed.
'Wakey, wakey!' someone shook me by the shoulder.
'Whaaa?' I yawned and stretched my numb limbs.
I opened my eyes. Kreativity was standing in front of me, wearing all my shirts and their FAME jacket.
'Ah, it's you, could you please stop speaking in caps lock?' I asked.
'We need to hurry!' they said not in caps lock.
'Thank you. What's the fuss?'
'We're going to take prime minister as a hostage!' Kreativity exclaimed in a victorious voice.
'That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard,' I said.
'How so?'
'Everyone hates prime minister, no one will pay you money to spare his life. And taking hostages and robbing banks ain't creative!'
'Why not?'
'For fuck's sake, being creative is about creating something, expressing yourself through making something new. Not about money and fame! And robbing banks and taking hostages ain't new, it's been done thousands of times before!'
Now they really pissed me off. How stupid were they to suggest such nonsense? I missed my old, my only Creativity. Of course, they used to wake me up early in the morning, too, announcing their new ideas loudly, but those ideas were worth doing.
'Oh,' Kreativity nodded and their smile slipped down on their chin.
They adjusted the smile with their hands that didn't have fingers. My old, my only Creativity had tiny cartoonish fingers.
'Perhaps you'd like to paint then?' Kreativity asked, and I swear their smile became more cunning and sly.
'Great. Can I at least have breakfast first?'
'No time for that. Great deeds awaiting.'
'You can't make your rules here,' I said standing up.
'I'm your KREATIVITY!' they argued.
'Yes, but…'
I didn't finish the sentence. They didn't feel like my creativity. My Creativity used to be harsh and mean sometimes, but they weren't stupid and cheap.
'Sit at the desk and paint banknotes of the pound sterling,' Kreativity said.
'Why would I do that?'
'We'll go shopping and buy stuff using the banknotes you've painted.'
'It's fraud,' I said. 'I'm not going to participate in counterfeiting.'
'I'm not asking for your consent,' Kreativity said and their smile widened.
'Well, make me do it,' I said sarcastically.
'Oh, I will,' Kreativity nodded and fished out a BB gun from a pocket of the FAME jacket.
'Where did you get that?'
'I've made it out of papier mache while you were sleeping.'
'Then it's fake.'
'Fake?! I'm not making anything fake! I'm your fucking imagination, and everything I imagine or make is real!' They shouted, pointed the gun at the ceiling and pulled the trigger.
Bang! The lamp smashed into million little pieces.
'Now sit at the desk and paint the bloody banknotes!' Kreativity commanded.
And I sat at the desk and painted the bloody banknotes.
'They don't resemble real banknotes,' I said.
The banknotes looked black-and-white to me.
'Good job! They will do all right,' Kreativity answered in a cheerful voice.
For sure they were pleased with my work. Maybe they aren't that bad, they like what I create, I thought.
We went to Oxford street for shopping.
'I can't see why you need all this shite,' I whined when we left a famous jewellery store.
Kreativity was now wearing bracelets, and cuffs, and watches, and earrings, and necklaces, and pendants, and chokers, and brooches, and hair clips, thought they didn't have hair, but they had adjusted the hair clips to the small shiny crown on their head. The jewellery looked black-and-white to me, too.
'At least we could have bought a new MacBook to boost the design process,' I complained, but they didn't listen to me.
'Definitely, something is missing,' Kreativity said inspecting their reflection in a large shop window.
'Missing? Looks like you've had too much,' I said.
'I need a Faberge egg,' Kreativity concluded.
Crikey, not only this Kreativity came up with stupid ideas, but they had a rather bad taste.
But then we heard loud screams coming from the jewellery store. They must have noticed that the banknotes were fake.
'Flee!' Kreativity shouted.
It was too late. A security guard ran out of the store and grabbed Kreativity. Kreativity tried to get rid of him, but they tangled in the jewellery and fell down. The guard was holding them tight.
'Hey, it's my Kreativity!' I protested.
After all, I'd payed my money to buy them.
Then the constables arrived.
'Well, well, well, what do we have here?' constable George said.
'Yeah,' constable Hugh nodded.
'Isn't that Kreativity the Interpol was looking for?' constable George said.
'Yeah,' constable Hugh confirmed.
'That's your fault,' Kreativity told me. 'You should have painted the banknotes more realistic.'
'I don't fucking do fucking realism,' I snapped.
How do they sort those creativities? Certainly I don't need a creativity working in a different style from mine.
Constable Hugh escorted Kreativity to the police car.
'Watch your head,' constable George said as constable Hugh was putting Kreativity into the car.
'Yeah,' constable Hugh confirmed.
Kreativity banged their head against the police car roof, and their small shiny crown fell off.
'What have they done?' I asked constable George.
'Oh, heck of a lot, armed robberies and stuff,' he waved his hand.
'What do I do now?' I asked.
'We don't want you,' constable George said.
'No,' constable Hugh agreed.
'I mean I don't have a creativity again.'
'There're rumours about the wizard who might help you with that,' constable George said.
'Could you please stop saying yeah?' I asked constable Hugh politely.
'Where do I find this wizard?' I asked constable George.
I didn't believe in magic. But the mass market kreativity had failed me.
'The door inside the call box where you stored the dead body of your creativity. You'll find him there,' constable George said.
'I haven't noticed any doors in the phone booth,' I said.
But the constables drove off already.
A door inside the telephone kiosk, bloody nonsense! I was thinking while walking to the crime scene. And even if there's a magical door, what could possibly this wizard do? I killed my Creativity and I will never find a better one. I don't even believe in magic, I thought and sobbed.
chapter 6
I sobbed, and my tears were black-and-white, and they tasted like grey, not like salt.
My chest was still hurting a good deal. I approached the phone booth, wiped off the tears. Ridiculous, I thought, there's nothing inside except for an old phone which is grey and black, as it's supposed to be, at least something is designed to be black-and-white, I thought. I don't have anyone to ring, and without my Creativity telephone pranks won't be so fun, I sobbed again.
I opened the kiosk door, and the lamp had switched on.
Why am I doing this? I thought.
Wait. Suddenly I noticed that the lamp was yellow. It was supposed to be yellow, but everything else was still in greyscale.
I didn't have coins, but I lifted the handset and put it to my ear.
'Hallo,' I heard the voice which was speaking in the familiar German accent.
'Er, hi,' I said. 'I'm looking for colours and creativity.'
'Come in,' the voice answered and then there was a click.
One side of the kiosk with the telephone began rotating, and when it had moved, there was a staircase going down. A magic 8 ball was sitting on the top of the stairs. Its screen was glowing blue. It started rolling downstairs, I followed. Is it an allusion to Harry Potter or to Dr. Who? I thought. I hoped it was the latter.
Before lowering my eyes in embarrassment, I caught the words style = fart written over his chest.
'It's not an allusion, I just stay here sometimes,' he said.
'Can you read my mind?' I asked.
'No, everyone who's visiting asks the same question. You've met my magic friend already, gut,' he said.
He showed me to a room. There was plenty of space and there were colours. The table was chestnut brown, and the walls were pale blue, and the sofa was sand yellow, and there were colourful posters on the walls. Colours! I missed them so much!
'Take a seat,' he said sitting down on the sofa.
'Who are you? They're saying you're some sort of a sorcerer,' I said trying not to stare.
'I just help creatives to gain back their creativities,' he said.
The magic 8 ball jumped on the table. I sighed with relief and focused my eyes on the ball.
'This is a useful object,' the strange man said. 'Ask a question and shake it.'
I took the ball, asked the question, will I get a creativity again? and shook it.
The ball answered: Decide yourself.
I asked another question, am I good enough to be a graphic designer? I shook the ball, it answered: Decide yourself.
Oh c'mon! I thought and asked another question. Will my car be towed away for illegal parking? I shook the ball, and it said: Yes.
'Dammit!' I exclaimed.
'See, it's a convenient device, it tells you what you know yourself already,' the strange man said.
'I'm pretty sure I've seen you somewhere before,' I said.
'Nein, you're confusing me with someone else.'
'Did you know I would kill my Creativity?' I asked.
'Ah, I've seen it before,' he said as if the even was too ordinary to even mention it.
'You don't need anyone else's opinion whether you can be a designer or not. You don't need anyone else's approval on your projects. You don't need to ask for permission to be a writer or a visual artist or whatever you choose to be,' he continued. 'Everyone is born with creativity. But not everyone chooses to cultivate their creativities, to nourish them, to respect them, to trust them, to educate them, and to have fun with them. For successful work with your creativity you need to form a symbiosis with them, not to be a parasite. You don't have to doubt every move your creativity makes.'
'Makes sense,' I agreed. 'But I don't have a creativity anymore,' I said and sobbed.
'Your creativity is alive and doing well,' he said.
'But how? I killed them!'
'Those liquorice candies made them bullet-proof,' he explained.
He nodded.
'Mein Got, I'm not a wizard, I'm an over-experienced graphic designer, those candies were only candies, creativities don't die! And yours is doing fine and waiting for you,' he said. 'Frankly, I tried to offer it to another creative, but the thing is, no one really wants to create illustrations and posters in bad art style.'
'Is it good or bad?' I said.
'Ask the ball,' he handled me the magic 8 ball again.
I asked the ball, and the ball answered: Decide yourself.
'So where's my Creativity?' I said.
'Wait here.'
The strange man stood up, I turned aside, but still was able to notice a few letters falling from his chest. He left the room and returned with a box and put it on the table. I opened the box, inside there was an odd jellylike golden substance. It didn't look like my creativity.
'They all look this way when in the hibernate mode,' the strange man explained.
'But Kreativity from Tesco looked different.'
'Yeah, you should always check the ingredients written in tiny font.'
'What shall I do with that thing?'
'Microwave it.'
'It won't be some kind of Frankenstein?'
'No. Creativities can't die,' he said.
'Do I owe you anything?'
'This time treat your creativity with respect, because I can't store all the rejected creativities in here,' he said.
I thanked him, took the box, and the magic 8 ball saw me off to the stairs.
My chest had stopped aching. I walked out, and the streets had regained colours, I looked at my watch, and the handles were moving.
At home I put the box in the microwave.
First, nothing happened. Then the jellylike golden substance began sparkling, then it started to grow, and in a minute my Creativity was standing in front of me. They were faceless, flat, and minimal, without the silly smile and without the dumb crown, there were no idiotic FAME letters across their chest.
'I'm so happy you're back!' I said and hugged them. 'I'm sorry I've never listened to you the way I should have!'
'Forget it,' Creativity said.
'So what you wanna do?'
'How about we create something?'
'Great! What do you want to create?'
'Perhaps, you should write down this story about creativities.'
So we went to the desk and wrote this story.
'No one gonna read it,' I complained habitually.
'Maybe,' Creativity said. 'But it didn't stop you from writing it. And it's a good story.'
'True,' I agreed.
And then we fixed some toasts, and they were fantastic, and we made a poster, and it went well, too. And we created a painting, and the lines were fine.
And then we went to the strip club and had some fun.