A writer creates realistic fictional characters by asking “What do they want? What are they willing to do to get it?”
In reality–much like fiction, but not as real–one already knows this. Example: you want happiness, and to get it you’re willing to whine all the livelong day and night and month and decade until somebody comes along and either drops you down an empty missile silo or gives you a million dollars to go away.
Maybe happiness isn’t your only want. Some want happiness and gluten-free donuts. Or underwear that doesn’t shrink, etc. Can you have your donut and eat it or your shorts and wear them? A topic best left for another day.
Meanwhile, here’s a short list of the most common things besides happiness or world peace that so many people (not me) want:
• More money
• Hey, a lot more money than that.
• Look, I want a truck-load, understand?
• What part of understand don’t you understand?
• A threesome
• A threesome squared.
• No, not with three square dopes. Didn’t you ever take algebra?
• An automatic weapon
• Make that two automatic weapons
• Um, the green one and the blue one.
• A truck-load of ammo.
• What have you got in a missile launcher?
To get this stuff, some people (not me) are willing to:
• Beg: Please, I really need your money. A lot of it. Please, oh puhleez? We could be friends.
• Borrow: Can I borrow your truckload of money for a sec? I’ll be right back.
• Steal: By the way dude, I’m not coming right back. BUWAHAHAHA.
• Buy: Yes, I’d like to buy that truckload of money, please. The red one, yes. The double-semi. Right. Can I write you a check?
• Cheat: It bounced? That high? That’s so sad about my account being totally empty. But as Moses said, after dropping a ten commandment stone tablet on his bare piggies–without breaking anything: “Tough toenail.”
• Lie: I didn’t do that. Not me. Nosireebob. I was an altar boy. Ask me anything in Latin.
• Kill: I groveled. I told you I really, really wanted your money. But you gave me squat. Now this automatic weapon is going to shred your cabbage. What? No, that’s just a saying. I could have said it’s going to turn you into Swiss cheese. No, no, no. I’m not a cheese maker. You’re so literal. That’s just another saying on a whole list of them in the instruction manual. Where it shows you how to load the ammo. The ammo! Crap! Can you wait right there for a sec?
• Pawn: How much for my missile launcher? Still in the shrink-wrap. Yup, the missile is still there. The pointy thing. It’s punched a little hole in the plastic. Take a whiff. Still got that new missile-launcher smell. What? That’s all? My lawyer is charging a fortune for the attempted murder rap. How about I throw in a couple of automatic weapons? Got a green one here in the bag and there’s also a blue one. Never been used. Well, the green one I sort of used. A long story. The blue one is mint-in-box. Right, it’s actually in a bag. Ammo? In the semi-trailer out front. Look, I’ll even throw in the truck. Deal?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.