The cult section of the literary world

Dilation Exercise 9

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If the artwork inspires a story, please say something about it in a comment. Need a further explanation? Go to Imagination Workout—What is This?

Washing his hair at night and going to bed with it wet created wild hairdos that were the source of Alister’s prodigious creativity and imaginative solutions.

For all that imagination, he never dreamed that eventually a suffering world would turn to him for leadership.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

If you like Alan M. Clark’s artwork, please try his writing in both short fiction and novels.

Artwork: “Ethan’s Hair” copyright © 2010 Alan M. Clark
A portrait of the artist’s nephew.

6 responses

  1. I actually just finished a story that was inspired by this. It’s not completely the same as is described in the caption, but basically it’s about a world where everybody becomes stricken with an intense, lustful desire, but nobody can figure out what it is they want. The only person that doesn’t feel this way is a young boy, and he tries to figure out what’s going on with the people. After his parents become zombified mentally by the desire, he gets so worried that he consistently forgets to dry his hair after washing it at night, and his wet hair soaks up his dreams and to make a long story short, he grows a tree on his head, sprouts tendrils, and connects the tendrils with everyone in the world, healing them of their desire.

    July 19, 2011 at 5:31 am

    • alanmclark

      Adam–Sounds interesting. I’d like to read it. If you’re willing, please send a file:

      July 19, 2011 at 9:07 am

  2. Well, if you give me a day to work through and edit it a little bit, I’ll be very glad to send it to ya.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    • Anonymous


      I enjoyed your story. Thank you!


      August 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    • alanmclark


      I enjoyed your story. Thank you!


      August 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

  3. alanmclark

    Great, thanks!

    July 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

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