Nathaniel Ryan Hutchins, prefers Ry- An absent-minded author who can't get a job because all he's interested in is creative writing and music.

Other work


Another Step

April 7, 2016


They sit by the window in the library. She watched every morning as they walked into the dimly-lit place, removed their rain-soaked black jacket and hung it neatly upon a chair. She watched as they didn’t even give a sideways glance to the books littered upon the shelves and desks and floor like ants in an anthill. She watched as they looked out the window, eyes unfocusing slightly, and she watched as they stay there. Sometimes for hours, sometimes until she stands from her desk to lock up for the night. She watches as they stay completely silent the entire time, and she watches as they dream.

She honestly wasn’t quite sure why a world-famous horror author was lurking in her library.
She’d read their books, been intrigued by the darkness of the characters and the way the stories seemed to twist in your mind like an expert dancer, elegant and almost hypnotising. It was entrancing, attractive in the way you’d be drawn into something you weren’t supposed to read. She wondered if they were hiding out here because the authorities were after them again; if there had finally been a lift on the ban of gothic horror and they were free. It had been a strange day, the day the television and the radios and the newspapers had proudly declared that the horror genre was being eradicated, and anyone producing anything related to the genre would be jailed. People writing about bad things are bad people and we’re going to be the generation to stop them, the President had proudly proclaimed.

She didn’t know what to think. Because blood and murder and the supernatural were all bad things, right? But the day she’d found a torn copy of one of their books, and picked it up, she’d found something beautiful in the twists and turns of the plot, in the hidden depths of people. She hadn’t been able to put it down at all, until she’d finished it and was hungering for more.
Their books seemed more real, somehow.

“Would you like some coffee?”

They looked up at her and she nearly flinched away. Not because they were frightening, because they weren’t. She hadn’t looked close enough before, just enough to recognise the picture in the cover with the face hidden under the hood, but they certainly didn’t look like a violence-crazed outlaw. Now she could see a delicate bone structure, feathery golden-brown hair swept behind ears, the faint silver of a lip ring. But what struck her dumb were their eyes. Pale, ghostly blue, wide and displaying a faint aura of fear. They were scared of her.

“It’s okay, I’m not going to report you,” she said comfortingly.

They didn’t say anything in return, eyeing her.

She sat down across from them, offered a small smile. “I’m Marie.”

“You already know who I am.”

Their voice was soft, lilting gently with an accent she couldn’t place. Pretty.

“Yes,” she admitted. “I’m”

Their expression softened almost immediately, lips curving up slightly into a faint smile. “In that case, I’d love some coffee. Two sugars?”

When she returned, she brought a coffee for herself and seated herself next to them, glancing past their questioning gaze to the scene outside. From where she was sitting she could see the homeless man that stood on the opposite street corner, the busker with her guitar sitting by the gutter. They took the coffee and blew on it gently, then took a sip and hummed in appreciation.

“Can I ask what you’re looking at?”

They smiled, a secret smile. “Stories.”


“They’re everywhere, can’t you see them?”

They turned back to the window. “That man, on the corner. His wife produced a movie about teenage suicide. They took his money, his house...executed his wife. Now he’s just living from day to day, waiting for the end to come, for someone to come along and bring an end to it all.”

“I remember that movie. It was so sad. It made me sad. We’re not meant to feel that.”

“The busker? Her guitar is all she has. She used to live in the countryside, with cows to care for and a flower garden, until the regulations came in and she was ejected so they’d have room to create more jails for all the people they’ve decided not to execute because they could be useful.”

“She just has to sacrifice things for the better good. It’s how it is.”

“Is it?”

“Yes,” she answered, frowning. “I couldn’t expect you to understand, you’re an outlaw.”

“I understand all too well,” they said. “The writers, the producers. Why do they deserve it?”

“Because they’re monsters. Bad movies make bad people,” she said automatically.

“But they’re just people, aren’t they?”

“No. They talk about restricted things...” she felt suspicious now, watching them closely. They didn’t seem angry or...anything really. There was no real expression in those blue eyes, just something a little curious, and something deeper, something...resigned, maybe. “That makes them monsters, that stuff is what causes murder, and the President said so.”

“Am I a monster, Marie?”

She frowned. “I...”

“You said you’d read my book, Marie. Does that make you a monster?”

“No! I’m a human being.”

“Yes, you are,” they agreed, looking out the window again. Something out there made them sigh gently, standing up and shedding a layer of clothes, revealing gentle streaks of red and orange through their hair. That wasn’t all, though. Marie could see what looked like scars, on their wrists in shards and up their pale arms. She could see burns on their neck, a cut on their cheek. She covered her mouth in shock as the library door banged once, twice.

“We all are,” they said as the officers flooded in, bloodied swords brandished in preparation to kill. 
Originally for a literature creative piece exploring the theme of monstrosity
Considering a full novel 


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  • April 7, 2016 - 6:38am (Now Viewing)

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