Max And I
Max emptied the magazine of
his AK 47 at the waiting passengers in the
crowded airport departure lounge. He quickly
reloaded and emptied a second magazine.
Every shot missed the
random travellers he had intended to mindlessly
Max threw his weapon to the
ground in frustration and looked upwards.
What are you doing? he screamed.
Sorry, I said.
Its just that all that death seemed a bit
Have you read your
own bloody character profiles? he demanded.
What do you mean?
I said, hesitantly.
You described me as
being a deranged, homicidal psychopath, he
clarified. A few hundred corpses in an
airport massacre fits the bill pretty well, I
think. Or would you prefer that I just shared
some cucumber sandwiches with the fucking vicar?
Theres no need
to swear, I said with embarrassment.
Look Swan, his
tone became more conciliatory, youre
an author, right?
Well, I like to think
so, I replied, self-consciously.
require a protagonist to confront some adverse
event and then overcome the resultant jeopardy to
create a satisfactory resolution, dont they?
emphasised, you have to let characters like
me do our own thing. He put another
magazine into his AK 47 and looked malevolently
around the airport building, the occupants of
which I had yet to allow awareness of his malign
presence. Without characters like me, all
drama could be acted-out by the sodding
But people might
believe that I think and behave as you do,
Do people think that
Thomas Harris thinks or behaves like Buffalo Bill
or Hannibal Lecter? responded Max with
How did he get inside
those characters, then? I countered.
Max sighed. Research?
TV? Newspapers? Literature? You are not your
characters. His voice took a tone of sober
advice If you back-off, your characters
will write themselves. Please allow us to live
our own lives.
It was late in the evening,
and I retired to bed, pondering on Maxs
words. In the morning I returned to my word
processor with resolution.
Where the Hell have
you been? demanded Max. Its no
picnic sleeping overnight on the floor of an
I didnt reply. I
simply typed the next two words of the story on
He looked upwards and our
eyes met, both recognising the significance of
the decision that was to be made.
Then Max released the
catches of his suitcase to reveal the nuclear
device. Not a large bomb, but adequate to kill
everyone within a mile and to make London
uninhabitable for fifty years.
Maxs finger moved
towards the trigger. He glanced at me
Four simultaneous bursts of
machinegun fire instantly ended Maxs
deranged, psychopathic, homicidal plan.
The four security police
stood by the body, looking in disbelief at the
oversized shoes, large red noses and other clowns
apparel that were suddenly being sported by each.
They threw their weapons to
the ground in frustration and looked upwards.
What are you doing? they screamed.
Sorry lads, I
said. This is a comedy website.