Friday, December 11, 2015

Hex Monroe: The Case of the Curious Case

Moth Bleedsode sat in the pointedly uncomfortable chair opposite Hex's desk. His perfectly tailored suit, impossibly white shirt and ramrod posture deflated the imposing sense Hex expected the five feet of Torian Bindwood that was his desk to impose. Sitting on his haunches, lazily flicking his tail from left to right was a fat black cat looking intently at at small guilded box emblazoned with a onyx H on its lid.

“Is that a cigarette box?” He asked with a baffling mixture of excited indifference.

“It sure is. Never met a cat who smoked.”

“Fang doesn't smoke.” Moth interjected.

Fang turned his gaze to Hex and said, “Maybe I want to try.”

“Don't be ridiculous, cat's don't have lips.”

“You could turn me into fish. They have lips!”

“You can't smoke underwater you dolt.” Moth said as he closed his eyes and pushed his thumb and index finger under the bridge of his glasses to rub his nose.

Hex smiled and cheerfully offered to enchant the cigarette so Fang could smoke it under water.

“Would the both of you please shut up? I am not a fan of this neighborhood in which you have chosen to set up shop and would prefer to finish our business as quickly as possible.”

Hex leaned back into his overstuffed leather chair. The antithesis of the one which Moth occupied and studied him intently. The founder of one of the largest ad agencies in the country he was, ironically, almost as well known for his reclusive nature. He was rarely seen out and about. He seemed, unlike his comrades in influence who liked to flaunt their status, to find the social scene distasteful. A ridiculous chore best left to those who had nothing better to do than waste their free time jockeying for position to place their fingers in the sweetest parts of the pudding. It was said that he was offered an Attendant role at the Tower of Scales and refused it without some much as a second thought. It was also said that not only did the wildly successful slogan, “The right beer for every occasion, literally.” only hours after his firm received the pitch inquiry from Bloodweiser, he also crafted he “inCANtation” spell which allowed people to choose the style of beer before they opened the can.

Most people though the former was apocryphal, and believed that only crackpots believed the latter. Moth, after all, had never shown any indication of being an Adept. When one of the city's more disreputable papers tried to run an “expose” Moth sued them, forcing them to admit that they had not been able to find any record that he had so much as made a blip when he took the Test. Two weeks after the lawsuit was settled, the offices of the paper burned to the ground while Moth was on a business trip in Illiad. Nobody asked any questions, including what the hell Moth would be doing having ad meetings with those abominations up North. Hex considered himself a “crackpot”, but he kept his mouth shut because he wanted to be the only person who thought that. He also didn't want his office to get burned to the ground.

“I'm on your dime Mr. Bleedsode.” Hex said, spreading his arms and shrugging slightly.

“I assume you called me here because you found the reliquary Aethron?”

“Well. Kind of?”

Moth stood from his chair with the kind of spry energy Hex did not expect.

“Please do not tell me you had me come all the way down to this miserable part of town to sit in the miserable office just to tell me you have nothing. And why the hell is that window open? It's winter for fuck's sake!”

Hex tightened his jacket before responding.

“No, no, no. I'll start at the end and work backwards. The window is open because the heat is broken. Can't turn it off. It's either be a little chilly or sit in virtual inferno. Possibly a literal one. The furnace is absolutely ancient, and the dragon is a little funny upstairs. If you know what I mean. As for the reliquary, I found it, it's just kind of complicated. Like putting together an ad campaign for the tourist board up North.”

Hex noticed a shift behind Moth's eyes. It wasn't enough to tip his hand, but Hex was pleased with himself at having been able to get a jab in. Fang yawned lazily, but Hex swore he caught a hint of the closest a familiar in cat form could come to a smile.

“I didn't want to hire you, you know? You were one of the best private detectives in the business. How many times did your name appear in the trades for your work with the Shoba's alone? Reliable sources told me that Porter Distaff herself offered you a fortune and unfettered access to her vault of forbidden books. Yet you turned her down, disappeared for two years, and returned as a disgraced public detective.”

Now Hex felt a shift behind his eyes.

“Well, you know how it is. Money and access to books that could expand your knowledge in ways you can't comprehend aren't everything. And I didn't disappear, I took a sabbatical. Where I realized my true calling was in serving the greater good of the people, like spouses who are being cheated on or a ghost who lost their assigned haunting victims and need help finding them. Look, what I'm trying to say is...”

Hex's hard work at digging a hole into his hole was thankfully cut short as the broadcasting stone tucked into the far corner of his office burst into life.

“This week, on Detective Bloodclaw! The case of the negligent necromancer!”

Images began to flicker across the front of the smooth rectangular stone. A middle aged man wearing a greatcoat and a hat of ambiguous style standing across from a young woman in a generic lab coat. A steel medical table between them.

“Dead bodies don't just stroll out of here!” She said, her face forming the perfect approximation of outrage.

“Don't they?” The middle aged man oozed the kind of indifference that would put Fang to shame.

“What are you trying to say detective? We haven't a licensed necromancer on staff for almost six months!”

“Who said anything about licensed?”

The stone fell dark and silent, and Moth sighed deeply.

“Why the hell do you have one of those infernal devices if you don't even watch it enough to avoid the compulsory ads?”

“I thought you'd like compulsory ads?'

“Where the hell is my reliquary!”

Hex leaned forward and opened the cigarette box, pulling one out. It lit as soon as he put it to his lips; the first “trick” he learned in high school. His father was far more furious that Hex had learned such a silly parlor trick than that he had started smoking. Hex, of course, was far more pleased that he had learned something that impressed the girls. He took a deep pull and exhaled through his nose, recalling the time he was walking to his office and, passing some children, he had done the same and they went into a frenzy of joy because he looked like he was a dragon. As he remembered their cries to ask him to do it again, he looked at Fang and winked. Fang froze, but, Hex caught a hint of the closest a familiar in cat form could come to a smile.

“Here it is.”, Hex said as he gestured towards Fang.

“What the hell are you talking about you blasted fool? This miserable servant has nothing to do with Aethron!”

“Really? It never occurred to you that you that the same day that your most precious possession vanished without a trace under some of the best security was the same day you summoned your familiar?”

Red flooded into Moth's face as he began to realize how obviously stupid he had been. His hands curled into white, balled fists and Hex became keenly aware of a shift in energy. He had mixed feelings about not being a crackpot as the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He took a deep breath and prepared himself, summoning his own energies. Hex didn't like not knowing what Moth was capable of, fortunately Fang took the cue and, giving a quick wink to Hex jumped out the open window. Moth jumped out of his chair with such force that it flew against the back wall and shattered. Hex stood as well, his mind focused on the wand on his inside left coat pocket.

“Son of a bitch! What have you done? Go get that can now!”

Hex smiled and sat back down.

“I'm afraid I'm gonna have to say no to that.”

Cold blue fire erupted around Moth's eyes.

“I hired you to bring me Aethron and you will bring it too me!'
“And I brought it to you. It's not my fault you let it get away. Now, you could hire me again to bring it to you again, but I'm afraid this is my busy time of the year what with cheating spouses and the whatnot. You can, of course, lodge a complaint with the Detective Guild, but seeing as I have completed our contract the the letter I think things aren't going to go your way and it would be a real shame for you to lose a complaint to the Guild. Even a man of your money can find it difficult to find a detective when they've lost a complaint. Make it a lot harder to find that cat of yours. Also, you seem to have shown something that the MRC might be interest in”

Moth settled back into the cool demeanor he had when he first walked in.

“You have no idea what you have done or how much you will pay.”, He said calmly as he turned and strode out the door.

Hex put his head on his desk and began wondered if there was any need for detectives in the Pastoral Lands.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Moons Over My Hammy, Fisticuffs and Banishment

Back in my college days, as you might imagine, there was no shortage of time spent at all night diners in the ridiculous hours of the morning, drinking coffee and eating food of questionable quality (oh sweet youth, how I miss thee). Our rotating stable of chow holes was composed of IHOP (always a stalwart), Red Lion (their cheap ass pyramid breakfast was a life saver), Hoots (a local favorite. Their mozzarella sticks were the greatest hangover preventative ever created) and America’s other stalwart, Denny’s. All the nights in those days were the same, but it was a warm early morning, the hallmark of Oregon’s all to brief respite from the rain and cold which dominated most of our days when myself, my friend A, and his brother B found ourselves at Denny’s ready for cheap food and crappy coffee.

For background, it’s important that you now A and B had a bit of an interesting relationship. They very much loved each other, but B tended to be a bit, well, “erratic”, and neither were afraid to quarrel…At best. We were sedately giving the menu a once over as we sipped on coffee which was surely strained through a sock as they had long ago ran out of coffee filters making crass jokes about math and prostitutes when the waitress approached us.

“Hey, y’all. You know what you want?”
B looked up at the waitress and blithely asked, “Are the moons your butt cheeks over my hammy?”

This query was quickly followed by A throwing his water into B’s face. B, in an attempt to be diplomatic, threw his full glass of water and A’s head. “What the hell?” went to “Holy shit!” when A leapt across the table and punched B square in the jaw. Next thing I knew there was a two man gang fight going on. In retrospect it was far more contained and brief than it felt like at the time, but for me, sitting in booth calmly drink my coffee I was expecting the cops to fly through the door at any moment. I had already put on my, “I don’t know these guys officer!” face when they stopped. It was as if they both fell the other had had enough at the same time, and everything was okay again.

“Y’all need to get out of here before I call the cops.”, She had the calm demeanor of a long time waitress who had seen worse what had just transpired and was only telling she was going to call the cops because it would give her an excuse to murder us if we sassed her back.

I slid out of the booth, shrugged my shoulders as if to say, “Kids these day, eh?”, dropped a twenty on the table and headed into the dark. Still hungry.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The good old days?

My super awesome unicorn best friend Jen Foo, posted a link to an excerpt from a book which Esquire published on 1949 regarding how to be the perfect hostess. The bit they put up regards dating advice for men and women. I couldn't help but comment.

Do you bring the names of other men into the conversation to give yourself a sought-after appearance?
Don’t. This may give a man a sense of inferiority — he is uncomfortable with you, and soon drifts away to someone else. It may make him wonder how much talking you do about him.

Shut your whore mouth. I've got a fragile ego and need to keep up the delusion that I am the center of your world.  
Do you wear clothes that make you a little more up-to-the-minute than the other women in your set?
Good — provided your taste is reliable and that the clothes suit you. Men may rant about the “crazy hat” but they swell with pride when their lady companions arouse admiring stares.

Men are only concerned with impressing other men with human trophies. Dress smartly and you can marry a man with a yacht!
If you are asked to get another girl for a foursome, do you pick one obviously less attractive than you are?
You are unwise to do so. Get the most glamorous girl you know, and both men will be pleased.

The English language has evolved a bit since 1949.
Do you make a point of building up other women, even those you dislike, in discussing them with a man?
This is sound practice. But don’t put it on so think that it sounds like a line.

Don't talk about other women because you find them interesting or admirable. Talk about them because...I got nothing.
Do men marvel at your capacity for holding liquor?
A great mistake: it gives you a fast reputation and runs into money — the man’s money — besides.

You can't have a couple of drinks without passing out or throwing up on the bar? Whore. Also, what gives you the right to take my money? When I offer to pay I don't mean for every drink!
How many comfortable chairs are there in your living room?
At least two, I hope. No man can fall in love unless he has a chance to relax and he can’t if either of you sits bolt upright.

Easy for you to say. You had it easy back in 1949, before the Chairpocalypse. Before comfortable chairs became the purview of the politicians and and captains of industry and their MegaCorps.
Do you keep men interested by hinting that later — not tonight — you’ll be really demonstrative?
This is a low trick and one that a surprising number of men see through at once. If you kiss a man, it should be for your own pleasure and not to reward him.

I don't think they're really talking about kissing here.
Do you make things easier for a man by suggesting that he climb into a car first, if he’s driving, or by asking him not to stand up when you come into the room?
This is an error — men know that they are supposed to show these signs of consideration to a girl and they respect her more if she takes them as a matter of course.

When a woman I am courting does not allow me to provide her with shallow gestures of affection, I just get so mad!
Do you ever embarrass a man by telling him he’s good-looking or has big muscles or is too, too intelligent?
Try it! Almost any man can stand almost any amount of flattery, however obvious, without embarrassment or surprise.

Both myself and my therapist beg to differ.
Do you knit when you are having a cozy, fireside evening with a man?
For some reason, men hate to see a woman doing anything with her hands when talking to her. Undivided attention is best.

I don't even know where to start. Knitting? Fireside evening? It's like whoever wrote this was staring at a Norman Rockwell painting. And was drunk. Also, can the guy do something with his hands while the woman is talking? WINK.
Do you either play bridge or dance really well?
If not, take steps to correct this at once. You’re better off if you do both well, but one talent is mandatory.

At. Fucking. Once. MANDATORY.
Are you so beautifully groomed that you make an average man feel like a lout when he takes you out?
Fine. Men are extremely critical of any imperfection in a girl’s neatness. If he feels like a lout once, the average escort will take pains to be better-dressed himself the next time.

Great. Now women know that we think of naught but their appearance. Ever vigilant to find imperfections. Guys, we're gonna have to switch to plan B and start attacking their intellect. Spread the word.
Do you, when you have first met a really attractive man, clinch your future acquaintance by some polite variation of “Come up and see me sometime”?
It often helps out on the occasions when the man is too shy to make the first advance himself.

As a cripplingly shy person, coming up to me and saying, "Wanna drop by my place and fuck me sometime?" would have decidedly mixed results.
Do you keep your friendships warm by chatty calls to your men friends at their offices?
This is fatal.

I concur. Boo adultery!
Do you use artificial conversation gambits like “What movie would you choose if you had to see it every week for a year?” to start talk with a shy dinner partner?
A very good plan — someone has to start the conversation and a question like this can keep it rolling for quite awhile.

Hang on. Women can start conversations? Well, fuck me running.

Do you save yourself wear and tear by not troubling to entertain men bores?
A grave mistake. Bores have their uses since a clever girl can practice her conversation on them, with nothing much to lose. Besides, they often have attractive friends.

Yes please. If you are not interested in me, if you could lead me on so you can become a better public speaker, and insinuate yourself in my life so much that you meet my attractive friends and then hit on them, I will love you forever.

Do you suffer from indecision when ordering dinner or drinks in a restaurant with a man?
This maddens them — learn to make up your mind rapidly.

Thank God I have never been indecisive over a trivial matter a single day in my life. Silly women.

Do you use the continental approach, based on the belief that an immediate pass flatters a woman?
This is the average man’s greatest mistake. If a pass, on first acquaintance, doesn’t insult a girl it at least bores her.

How do I know if I've been using the continental approach if you won't tell me what it is? What the hell was a "pass" in 1949? Did it involve mutual masturbation or soy sauce? Both?
Do you show your real fondness for a girl by telling her about her bad points and advising her how to improve them?
This is again an error. If you must tell her you hate her perfume or how she does her hair, wrap it up in heavy sugar coating.

Oh! Now I get it. This is an elaborate joke!       

Do you show your devotion to a woman by holding her hand or putting your arm around her when her friends are present?
Please don’t. Even a girl who is affectionate in private dislikes public mauling.

This is hardly a public mauling. me on this one.
Can you describe the dress or hat worn by the last two girls you took out?
If not, notice and comment on the next few. Women appreciate having men notice the efforts they make over their appearance.

The last two women I took out wore neither hats nor dresses so I think I'm good on the noticing thing. Thanks though.

Do you have a double code about drunkenness for men and women when they are together?
If a man has to get drunk, he’ll be more attractive if he restricts this behavior to stag company.

Well, they got me on this one. Well played, Esquire. Well played,
Do you sometimes take a girl out on parties of four or more, as a change from twosomes?
A good idea. A girl may feel hurt if you never ask her to meet your other friends.

I don't think they are talking about what I think they are talking about. Then again, they didn't have the internet back then.
Do you make distinctions between the jokes you’d tell a man in the club and those you’d tell a girl in a parked automobile?
Almost no women like bathroom jokes or jokes with dirty words.

So...I can't tell jokes to women if I'm not in a parked car? This just made my "game" a great deal more difficult to execute.
Do you tell a woman she’s beautiful, even if she isn’t?
This habit hurts nobody and makes a lot of girls happier.

I'm glad the person who wrote this is dead.
Do you ask an attractive girl — who is probably busy most evenings — to call you up sometime when she’s free?
Don’t do this: you may always ask a popular girl far enough ahead of time to find a free evening.

Wait, what?
Do you plan your evenings with a woman ahead of time or leave the choice of amusement up to her?
It’s much more flattering for a man to announce the evening’s program, showing he has given thought to her amusement.

I know what you like better than you. I hope you know how to play bridge!

Do you believe it necessary in the modern age to push in a girl’s chair for her and to light her cigarettes?
These small courtesies mean a lot to a girl.

Sure. Modern age. I must admit I have a weird compulsion to light a woman's cigarette. Unless I am in danger of lighting their hair on fire. That tends to ruin dates pretty quickly.
Do you ever tell a girl you love her, under the spell of the moment, when you suspect that you won’t tomorrow?
This is a dirty trick and if you do, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Moreover, the word will soon get around to other women.

Whatever you do, do not do anything that will lead to women knowing you're an asshole. Telling them you love them when you know you don't is totes the lesser crime though.
How many times a week do you shave?
Once a day is minimum, if you care what women think of you.

Well. I'm fucked.
Would you dine a girl expensively and not buy her flowers, or economize on the place and bring her at least a gardenia?
Most women would prefer having flowers and less to eat.

Hear that, fatty? Also, how fucking expensive was a gardenia in 1949!?
If your hostess at a dance is obviously having a whirl, do you consider it necessary to dance with her?
You always should, as a matter of good manners.

Fuck that noise. This monkey don't dance.
Do you try to arouse a girl’s interest by boasting of your success with other women?
Don’t ever do this!

"So, there I am, plowing Christina Hendricks and...Hey! Where are you going? Why does that always happen to me? She's probably a lesbian."
Do you consider it a young girl’s own business whether she gets tight and is indiscreet when she’s out with you?  
Keep an inexperienced girl from getting tight, if you have to spank her, and don’t let any woman become indiscreet through liquor. Triumphs over drunken women don’t help any man.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to explain to the authorities that you assaulted your date in order to prevent her from being drunkenly "indiscreet"?
If a girl you’re fond of asks you to be nice to her cousin with adenoids and buck teeth do you cut her off your list?
Not pleasant, but if you rally around and give Cousin Belle a whirl, you’ll soon be known as the nicest man in town.

"Adenoids" and "buck teeth" is suspiciously specific. Is there something you would like to get off your chest author?
If you had a quarrel with a girl — in which she is clearly in the wrong — will you wait for her to apologize before calling her up or risk being a door mat and do it first?
Be a door mat — it’s easier for you to call a girl than for her to call you.

Depends. Did the quarrel come about because she was tight? WINK.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Antisocial Network

So Facebook wants to know what's on my mind. I'm pretty sure that's a disingenuous question. Sure, everybody loves my photos of the delicious, ten dollar grilled cheese sandwich I had for lunch, and the link to the cute dog in a Santa hat that I posted, but what's really on my mind? I suspect not. Does it want to know what's on my mind when I wake up at three in the morning with a knot in my gut like a monkey fist? Does it want to know why I almost had to flee my company Christmas party? Does it want to know why, sometimes, I just sit in the dark and think about the scars left by knife wounds of regret?

I don't think so. There are things which are best left unsaid. We all have stories we will never tell, and with good reason. The real trouble begins when we start to think too much about who we will tell what. Who gets what secrets, and what secrets do we take to the grave. Should we take any secrets to the grave? Who are we hurting if we do? Who are we hurting if we don't?

We all want to talk. Sometimes we want to yell, to be heard and understood. Who do we want to be heard by? Who do we care about. Maybe it's just easier to let it go. To tell Facebook that you love mashed potatoes as opposed to the woman whose hand you are holding. That the new CD by your favorite band is amazing and the fact that you were able to get out of bed in the morning isn't.

There are so many things Facebook will never know.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


12/12/12, 7:47am
Ran into Barron Von Terror while getting my morning cup of joe at Grind Buds on Haight. He got a latte with no foam (WTF man?) and commented that it was fine weather for dirigibles. I am suspicious.

12/12/12: 10:37am
Got a text from Dr. Atomic inviting me to his Christmas party. Sometimes I feel like he only invites me to these things because I always bring a nice bottle of Scotch. And that one time I saved his life at the Battle of the Somme. Googled dirigibles.

12/12/12, 12:22pm
Got an email from agent Fox asking me if I could lend a hand with the situation on Mt. Lava Island. Had to remind him that it’s EOQ and I’m slammed. He apologized and said he totally understood. He’s an OK guy. So, turns out that dirigibles are just blimps. What a pretentious asshole.

12/12/212, 1:14pm
Went to the bookstore to pick up a copy of DeLillo's new book, Cassius Clay on Dinosaur Island. Hope he's finally figured out how to end a novel. Who the fuck buys a blimp?

12/12/12, 2:19pm
Thank god for Facebook! I totally forgot it was Patriot Lad's birthday. He's not a lad anymore so I suppose I should stop calling him that. It's just so hard to think of him as anything other than the scrappy young go-getter who helped me defend the world from villainy. Still not sure why he moved to San Francisco though. Probably wanted to get some distance between himself and The League of Justice Hero's after "the incident" with Hypno-Clown. What the hell is good blimp weather anyway? A lack of other blimps so as to render blimp related accidents an impossibility?

12/12/12, 3:12
I quit quitting smoking. I'm not even sure why I stopped in the first place, it's not like it's going to kill me. The doctors called it a "happy accident". I remember once eating some rotten food to see what would happen. Nada. Where the hell do you get a blimp license anyway?

12/12/12, 4:20pm
Decided to ditch work early and hit happy hour at the Golden Horseshoe. Jack is working which makes the end of my day even better. He's a nice guy and makes for good conversation. Also, he buys me a drink every now and then. I wonder if Terror's blimp has a wet bar.

12/12/12, 6:16
Jack told me that his greatest fear is growing old and becoming irrelevant. I told him I knew the feeling. I didn't tell him that I have been irrelevant since the invention of the atomic bomb. Who needs somebody who is stronger and faster than anybody else when you can remove a city without even seeing it?

They try and throw me missions every now and then, but we both know it's just a pity job. I'm nothing but a man to humor as he tries to push his way through a life that is going to last too long. A life that will see people grow old as I stay a picture of youth. I have done my best to accept it. To be the opposite of Baron Von Terror, an impossibly old man that has nothing left but blimps, steam powered exoskeleton's and a hope that the world has not changed.

I can hear sirens now, and what I imagine is the low hum of dirigible engines. I order another drink.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


There's a needle in my chest, which points to my heart. Every time it beats, it approaches the the tip of the needle, just avoiding it each time by the slimmest of margins. I imagine the cartoonish "POP" sound it will make on the day my luck runs out. It makes me feel les anxious each time my ventricles open and close? I don't know, it's hard to tell.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen when the wall of my heart reaches the event horizon. Will my heart fly around the inside of my chest in keeping with the cartoon theme, releasing its lifetime of blood? Maybe something else will come out? An ichor which has been building over a lifetime, pushing at the walls of my heart since my life began perhaps? Maybe it will be emotions tangible. Feelings made manifest will fill me until I burst. A pinata of joy, hope, despair, longing and love. I don't know, it's hard to tell.

What does it matter? That I have a heart? That I have a needle? Neither has served me well as I slip through the cracks of this world. Then again I suppose it's better than nothing. Or maybe not. Every time I push through one layer there's another waiting for me. Every day is a day where expectations are adjusted. There must, of course, be a moment where all the layers are gone and I can finally rest right? I don't know, it's hard to tell.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Killing a man just to watch him die.

For awhile now, in an effort to entertain myself, and continue to be able to pretend I am a "writer", I have been posting supper short short micro stories on my books of face. Because I am lazy, some time ago I decided to pick a single name to always use for my male and female protagonists. As an unintended side effect most people assumed that I was writing an ongoing narrative. Some sort of story in stages. That wasn't the case, but I decided not to disabuse anybody of that notion.

A few weeks ago I found myself thinking of my male protagonist as though he was, you know, a real person. Thinking about where he was going. So it was I found myself talking to a friend of mine over drinks who happens to be one of the few who followed my scribblings and found myself telling her that I thought it was time my male protagonist got himself a drug problem.

"Maybe," I mused "It's time to kill him off."
"You totally should," She said. "It would fit in with the overall dark story you have been telling."

With that I knew it was time for Malcolm to die. I quickly decided that it was going to be suicide and on Wednesday began laying the ground work. By Friday he would be gone. I was surprised to find that I was kind of excited by his imminent death. It felt like the right, though oddly sad thing to do. Friday morning I was at work, writing the final scene in my head when I realized I couldn't do suicide. The reasons are complex and not for this blog, but I found I had painted myself into a corner. I won't lie. I panicked.

There was only one thing to do. Go to a bar after work and drink my way to an answer. Whiskey, thankfully, brought inspiration. As I began to write Malcolm's demise I began to feel bad for him. His time had come, and yet I wondered if there was an out. Maybe he could find salvation at the last moment? I was writing out the scene where he had been struck by a car before I knew it and realized that was that.

Malcolm was a good guy who just got a bad lot in life. I'm gonna miss him.