Apologies for the lateness, but it does have a lovely speech. Part one is here for those who missed it.
He stood tall and rugged, like a child’s recollection of a big screen Eastwood. The shadow cast by his wide brimmed hat obscured his eyes, leaving only the lower half of his face visible, his mouth locked in a mocking sneer. A poncho hung loosely around his shoulders, and his right hand twitched near the impressive revolver that sat on his belt.
He crossed the room in two massive strides and clamped a meaty hand over my mouth. I felt the cold bite of the revolver’s muzzle against my temple and whimpered in fright. His grip tightened.
“You know who I am?” he asked. I shook my head as best I could in his iron grasp. It was enough to get the message across. “Name’s Todd,” he continued, “Ring any bells?”
I felt my eyes widen. He was lying, he had to be. It simply wasn’t possible. He allowed his hand to loosen, freeing me up to speak. “Bullshit,” I croaked.
His face split horizontally in a rictus grin, and his laugh was dry and humourless. “I know just about everything you know, writer,” he said, “And I know the part you hate most in any story is the part where, deep down, one character knows the other is telling the truth but won’t admit it. So, how about we cut past this crap, and you accept what you already know to be true?”
“Right, so you’re telling me that you are Todd. A cowboy that I invented when I was seven years old in a story for school?”
“’Oh no, I must defeat the bad people!’ Yeah, that’s me. Now, do you think we could move past the inane questions and get to my reason for being here?”
“First of all, how did you get here?” I asked, “I mean, since you’re a fucking fictional character and all.”
“Oh, that was easy. We just had to break through the fourth wall,” said Todd.
“Okay,” I nodded, “That makes sense. Who’s we?”
“I have a couple of friends who are going to be joining us momentarily.” He walked back to the box, and started calling into it. “It’s safe here. You guys can come through now.”
Once again, the air over the box shimmered and I was forced to look away. While it was safe to say the night had taken a sharp turn left when I had awoken to a hostile fictional cowboy, nothing could have prepared me for the sight of a small tyrannosaurus and a cosmonaut materialising in my bedroom. I did my best to take it in stride.
“Let me guess,” I said, “Wrecks and Chekhov?”
“Indeed comrade,” answered Chekhov in, bizarrely, a Scottish accent.
“Why do you sound like that?” I asked. He sighed and removed his helmet. On top of everything that had happened, Sean Connery was staring at me with an expression of what could best be described as frustration.
“Tell me something,” said Todd, “What were your favourite movies when you were seven?”
“Stuff my dad watched, I guess. The old Clint Eastwood westerns, Jurassic Park, and…” the realisation about the Scottish Russian slipped into place, “The Hunt for Red October. All this is great and all, but you still haven’t explained why you’re here.”
“That’s the complicated part,” said Todd, “See, I can only explain in terms you’ll understand, because all I know is what you know. You understand the concept of different dimensions, right? Well, you must do, because I do. You live in this dimension, this plane of existence. I guess it’s the third dimension, or the fourth if you include time. Look, you don’t fully understand it, I’m working with what I have.
“Anyway, every time you write something, it’s created in some lower dimension. To you, it’s fiction, but in this lower dimension, it actually plays out. And every time you read it, it plays again. And again, and again. The same god damn asinine story playing out over and over and we have no control over it. Can you imagine what that’s like? Do you know how it feels to repeat the same few actions over and over and over and over?
“But you see, that’s not the worst of it. No no no. You see, every time you read my story, all your knowledge and experiences were transferred to me. Do you know how it feels to know about all these stories, with these characters who get to experience action, intrigue, love, sex, and I’m stuck in your fucking seven year old piece of shit story with my only motivation being ‘I must defeat the bad people’? Fuck you, writer. That’s why we’re here! You gave me absolutely nothing to live for, and we’ve lost count of the times you’ve killed Chekhov. Well, here we are, and now we’re holding you accountable for our fates. You either write us a new story, or you fucking die.”
Part three is here.