Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Run Lurgi Run!

Lurgi RunI appear to have a lurgi. This is a real English word which is properly and precisely defined as crippling and deadly disease exactly like the bastard child of Avian Flu and Ebola probably, I don’t know I haven’t really researched it, leave me alone I’m not well.

It’s odd for a lurgi. I don’t have much to show for it. A sticky head that is devising new variants of glue for me to breathe through, and an occasional wet cough.

My head feels like it’s in a goldfish bowl though. I can be talking to somebody and they seem to be far away and not very real. I want to prod them, to check that everything is as it should be. If I have prodded you strangely in the last day or so this is why. I probably should have explained that at the time to be honest, I don’t know, I’m not well.

I’m also utterly drained. I walked up a slight slope this morning and it was exhausting. Then I had to do a stair, and that was a struggle too, then I realised it was only the first in a sequence of what some people would describe as ‘several stairs’, and I wanted to howl my despair to the heavens but I didn’t because I was already quite tired so I just walked up all the stairs with a sort of surly weariness which basically meant the same thing.

It’ll blow over by the weekend.

I hope it blows over by the weekend.

On the weekend I’m doing the Great Edinburgh Run, which is sponsored by Morrisons supermarket chain.

A bit of an odd pairing, that. When I go into a Morrisons supermarket I am not immediately reminded of humanity’s urge to physically better itself and face new challenges. Instead, gazing upon the ageing staff and clientele, I’m more often forced to confront the futility of being and the inevitability of mortality through the probably fairly imminent Death By Age of everybody who works there. I may have been in some unrepresentative Morrisons superstores, I don’t know. Perhaps they’re much more lively in that there Edinburgh.

Anyway the Great Edinburgh Run, sponsored by Morrisons Of The Actual Dead, is my first I paid to do this am I out of my mind race of the year. It goes right through all the pretty landmark bits of the city that I won’t see during next month’s Edinburgh marathon (which starts in the city, but immediately heads out to the coast).

I’ve been looking forward to the run. I won’t get a great time or anything, but the route covers many of the major locations from my novel The Flesh Market*, so I’ll be chasing the shades of Burke, Hare, Knox, and their many, many victims. I’ve said before that one of the reasons these events are good is that it’s not often that they close down the roads of a major city for you to run through, unless you’re some sort of armed mass murderer and they’re closing in on you (and there’s no way I’m doing THAT again, there are easier ways to sightsee thank you VERY much).

If I’m finding slight slopes difficult today, then I have no idea how Sunday’s going to be. Edinburgh’s heart is ‘slightly undulating’, I believe. Here is a picture of it.


Yes, that is where the Scotch kings and queens sit upon their pointy thrones to rule us all.

Or it’s the Himalayas. It’s probably the Himalayas.

Edinburgh is like the Himalayas, but with a castle.


That will definitely work. Say it with me.




(you can do better than that!)


As long as you definitely shouted that, as you promised you would – I don’t know, I wasn’t there but you might have done – then all should be well by Sunday.

I’m sure you did. We’ve known each other for a while now***. I trust you.

Everything’s going to be just fine…


*This didn’t start off in any way as a plug for my novel The Flesh Market**, about which Stephen King once said, famously, nothing at all about because he hasn’t read it. Obviously.

**But it is one now. Go and buy my novel The Flesh Market. If you think fondly of me, as I know you must, then pretend that your purchase will make me run faster and better than ever. If you despise me and only come here to remind yourself how much you despise me then know that running ten miles through Edinburgh is going to hurt a bit. Your purchase will definitely make it hurt even more.

***Even if this is the first time we’ve ever met, because frankly I do go on a bit.

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