Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Your Characters Hate You

The Writer was eating his typewriter. Lest you think this disturbing, let me hasten to assure you that all was being done to ensure decorum. He was using a knife and fork, as well as a bib, which was tied neatly about his pale, fragile neck. His spectacles rode low on his long nose and his eyes, watering with the strain of many hours’ labor, flitted about, as if expecting some attack and not wishing to be caught unawares. Sweat beaded on his forehead, rolled down the length of his nose, and dripped onto the mangled remains of the typewriter. The writer took no notice of the defiling sweat, only continued eating.

He was, of course, quite insane.

Six hours before you and I began conversing, The Writer had been as rational as we and, as small a consolation as that might be, presented nary a threat. He had come to his established place of creativity brimming with ideas and eager to begin the day’s work. The opening paragraph went well, as did the entireties of pages one and two. Then everything came to a screeching halt. It wasn’t writer’s block, no...something far more sinister was afoot. His characters had come alive.

The story had been a mystery and The Writer had just reached the point where the ridiculously studly and cunning detective had finished compiling his list of suspects.

“I have finished compiling my list of suspects,” The Writer wrote (although it was actually the detective speaking!). “I shall now gather them in the drawing room and, through a process of brilliant deduction, force the murderer to confess before the assembly! Then I shall handcuff him to the water pipes and wait for this dreadful, but very mood-setting storm to blow over. Then I shall haul him before the magistrate, who will reward me with riches and gumdrops.”

The Writer looked back over the paragraph. He shook his head violently and looked again. That wasn’t what he had intended to write at all! It was far too early in the story to assemble the suspects. There were no clues, no hint of the murderer’s identity. There was no way the detective, Smoot by name, would be able to point out the guilty party.

“Don’t be so sure of that,” said a rough and nasally voice. The voice was surly and undeniably British.

The Writer looked down and saw a tiny figure relaxing against the side of the typewriter. “What?” The Writer’s voice sounded very dry and wavered humorously.

“You thought ill of me,” the little man said.


“In the ink. Ha!” The detective withdrew a pipe from his pocket and was on the verge of smoking it when he remembered that The Writer had written him out of the habit several stories ago. “A pity,” he said. “I rather enjoyed the stuff.”

“It was bad for your health,” said The Writer, who was beginning to recover from the initial shock. “What are you doing here?”

“I was bored living in the paper. Nothing to do, except remain as flat as possible and try to dodge those vicious hammers. Tricky business, that, especially when you’ve got a brilliant idea and start typing away like mad. Fortunately, you don’t get them often.”

“Well, I thought of you,” The Writer countered.

“Right, right. I’ll give you that. But then you made me forget my pistol in the last story. Otherwise, I’d have had the criminal long before the end.”

“That was the point,” The Writer said. “The story would have been a hundred words long.”

“Well, it would have saved me a lot of legwork, wouldn’t it? Always thinking of yourself, that’s what your problem is. Here I am, running down various indulgers in crimey things, getting all dirty and sweaty, while you sit smugly at a desk and tap away with your wretched fingertips. It’s not fair, I tell you!”

(to be continued, if Smoot allows it.)


Anonymous said...

Haaaahaaaahaaaaa! This is the funniest thing I have seen on here in a while. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Where's Smoot's sidekick Hawley? or is it Frawley?