The Character Speaker

January 22, 2012
The old writer rose from his bed. The sun was just showing its face above the hills, the birds were beginning their morning tune, and the flowers were waking and preening themselves for the day ahead.

The writer got his tea and settled in at his desk. One character, Pete Halry, was giving him trouble. He had been trying to perfect a death scene but had yet to write the award winning finale. He turned towards the paper with a sigh.

“You know. You don’t have to kill me,” he heard from behind. The author turned around to see a man standing behind him. This stranger looked just like the character he was trying to kill off.

“Pardon?” the old writer said in reply.

“You don’t have to kill me,” Pete said, “what would happen if I lived?” The writer pondered this for a moment. What would happen? He may have had enemies, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll resort to murder.

“If I didn’t kill you, what would you want your end to be?” the author asked.

“I figure that since you created me you would know,” Pete smoothly replied.

“I created the being not the personality.” the author retorted. This comment set Pete thinking.

“Ok. That is true. But, why do you want to kill me?” Pete asked.

“Don’t you have to die? I mean you have several lovers trying to kill you as well as gangs and so much more!” the author reasoned

“True. True.” Pete contemplated.
This had the author stumped. How was he going to kill him? Even Pete didn’t give him a straight response. Or did he?

“If you had to, how would you want to die?” The author asked Pete.

“But, I don’t want to die,” Pete explained.

“I understand. But, if you had to, how?”

“Well, I would want to go in a way that my body couldn’t be found. I would want witnesses but unsuspecting ones. I wouldn’t want them knowing what I was doing, but I wouldn’t want anyone else to get hurt,” Pete decided.

The author glanced at Pete with a twinkle in his eye. He had come up with the perfect ending for Pete. It wasn’t what he had originally planned, no. It was better. It was worse. It was pristine.

He started writing as quickly as possible. He didn’t want to forget this memorable finish. Even better yet, it was the perfect set up for a sequel! Pete stepped forward to look over the shoulder of the old author. He had never seen his creator like this. He was frenzied yet controlled. He looked like a genius.

“I have the perfect ending for you,” the author announced to the air.

“Sweetie who are you talking to?” the author’s wife asked, coming down the stairs.

“I’m talking to Pete honey,” the author knowingly replied.

“Sweetie? Why don’t you go back to bed? Get some more sleep. You have been working too hard,” his wife said rubbing his shoulders.

“Why? I have just come up with the perfect ending for Pete over there,” he said pointing to the area where Pete had been.

“Sweetheart, there isn’t anyone there,” his wife pointed out. The author looked to where Pete had been standing.

“He was right there. I talked to him about his ending in the story,” the author explained. He really had seen him. He hadn’t imagined him, but how would he explain it without sounding crazy? There wasn’t a way.

“Maybe you are right. I probably just got caught up in the story,” the author sadly replied.

“Alright hon. I will see you upstairs for breakfast in ten minutes. Don’t be late,” she said as she ascended the stairs.

I swear I didn’t imagine it. He thought to himself. “I didn’t imagine it,” he said again out loud.

“You are right. You didn’t imagine it,” A woman said behind him. He turned to see none other than Pete’s girlfriend, the most recent and most important one, Lily.

“At least someone believes me, even if you are imagined,” the author sighed.

“We all believe in you,” Lily assured. “Our job is to believe that you will do your best to give us justice and to make sure you believe in yourself.”

“Then why can I talk to you and see you and no one else can?” the author questioned.

“Let’s just say it’s a gift you have,” Lily replied cryptically. “Now if you’ll excuse me. I have someone to be with, and you have an ending to write.”

The author sat there for a moment in stunned silence. He started writing the ending, the ending that had been plaguing him for months with no remorse.

“Sweetie, breakfast is ready,” his wife called from the kitchen.

“Here I come!” he happily replied. He and his wife had a wonderful breakfast. One of the best they had ever had. And, downstairs sitting on the typewriter was the end.
Hopefully the best end he could have come up with.

Pete got into his car. He had been waiting for this day. It was his final chance to escape from the hole he had dug for himself, his chance to finally be free. He closed the door and turned the key. In a split second the car exploded. The doors flew off in multiple directions. The windows shattered from the force of the blast. The car was in all places at once. When the fire was put out and the smoke had cleared, the ruins were visible. There was nothing left. What looked like an overnight bag was melted to the backseat. There was no way anyone could have survived a blast like that.
Pete was dead. Some said it was suicide, some said it was murder, but the answer was never found. The only one who knew who had done it was Pete, and he had walked away in the opposite direction.

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