Friday 12 October 2012

'A chance encounter' by Dan Sumners

Hello, how are you? Good, me too. Oh, she’s fine, thanks, much better now. It was a bit of a gamble, yes, but it paid off, thankfully.

The writing? Oh, not bad. Slowly, but coming along. Third chapter’s almost complete. How’s the play doing? Oh, that’s a shame, I am sorry. Perhaps Broadway, then? Oh, I know, but needs must.

Look, I’m glad I caught you, I was going to call. I could do with some help. No, with the day job. That’s what everyone says! I have kept it quiet, but I can tell you now, if you have ten minutes? Wonderful. Let’s see, is this, yes, it’s open, let’s go in here. Well, I know I can count on your discretion, but this is particularly sensitive, I can’t chance anyone overhearing, you know what these places are like!

Right; do you remember, about ten years ago, I kept telling everyone about a wonderful character I’d found, but he didn’t have a story? Yes, I did didn’t I! Well, he kept growing, but only as a character. There was simply nothing for him to do. He had some amazing ideas, amazing and disturbing ideas. Simply scathing about people: kept going on about the serenity of the slave, comfort of the condemned and such.

Still, no story came, it was all bloody philosophy, but I couldn’t shake him. Then, about a year later, I met this producer – sorry, I can’t name names. I don’t remember why, but I started telling her about this guy. She became quite excited by what he had to say, and the next thing I know she offered to buy him. I didn’t understand at first, explained I had no story. But then she wrote a figure down on a napkin – I know – and, well, I just couldn’t say no.

Since then, I’ve been feeding her this character, and the success! His success! It’s unbelievable. What? Well, that’s the thing – you have. Everybody has! What was once the preserve of holiday camps and village halls now has everyone glued to those bloody boxes every Saturday night.

Yes! No, really, I’m telling you the truth! On Sandy’s life, yes! It makes sense though, doesn’t it? You’re not the first to have said so, but don’t feel stupid, it’s virtually flawless.

The thing is, there’s no room for anything else now, is there? The guilt’s killing me. And, I don’t mean to be rude, but he was right about people. I can’t stand to look at them anymore. I need to end it. So I thought of you, what with your experience. I know she didn’t go quietly, but you did lever her off ITV after 17 years. How did you do it?

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