Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Friday, October 14, 2011

Some Are Born Great, Some Achieve Greatness, And Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon 'Em

I thought I'd do something a bit different today. As I'm closing in on the end of Heaven & Hell, it felt like it was time to bring together some of the various world leaders I've used through the book in what might be considered a summit. With yours truly conducting the summit. Just a word in advance: it does get silly. Not as if that should surprise you by now....

A large conference room. A group of men are gathered together around a table, a summit of world leaders. To be precise, they're a summit of world leaders from the fictional world as depicted in Heaven & Hell. Some of them have names... others have merely gone through the book as nameless titles. Most of them wear business suits. The American President sits with the British Prime Minister. The Israeli Prime Minister is seated with Palestinian President Jibril Miraz and the Syrian President (yes, I know that's an odd combination). Pope Timothy (sorry, Benedict, but there's no room for you in the Kendallverse. Does that mean I have to do a lot of Hail Marys in penance?) sits at the table, and unlike the extravagant clothing one might expect of the Vicar of Christ, he's simply dressed, in a black priests' cassock. And sunglasses for some reason. And rounding out the group, sitting at the end of the table, are the tag team rulers of Iran. President Aref Harandi looks as menacing and annoyed as ever... while beside him, the Supreme Leader, Azad Garoussi, sits in bitter silence, glaring at everyone else (Ayatollahs tend to glare a lot) as though wondering how he got suckered into showing up. In walks the author, known in some circles as William Kendall.

Kendall: Thank you all for coming today. I know it's been a long flight for some of you to meet here in between the Fourth Wall.

United States: Not so much for me. Just a quick hop in Air Force One.

Great Britain: I'm curious as to what the purpose of all of this is.

Syria: And why am I being designated by my country in these... transcripts? Is that the proper term?

Israel: Yes, I am too. And those two as well.

Kendall: Look, I very deliberately named some of you in the book, and didn't name others. And since there's more then one President, and more then one Prime Minister, I thought it would be less confusing to designate you by country.

United States: Wait. I'm the most powerful leader on Earth, and you don't even give me a name?

Garoussi: Aref, think of the opportunity. We could kill every last one of them right here and now and have our way with the whole world.

Harandi: Yes, but we don't have a gun.

Great Britain: I suppose you two crazy sods realize we all just heard you say that.

Garoussi: Heard us say what?

United States: Answer me this. Am I supposed to be the President in your... what's the term you used? Out there where you live beyond this... Fourth Wall?

Miraz: What is a Fourth Wall anyway?

Israel: I've heard some odd ideas about it.

Pope Timothy: It's the literary notion that characters in a book, television program, or movie are seperated from the audience by an invisible Fourth Wall. From time to time, writers like to have a character realize that they're actually fictional characters being written by someone else. It's quite often used in the comic book field. In fact, the characters She-Hulk and Deadpool are infamous for doing that sort of thing.

Syria: Wait... the Pope reads comic books?

Pope Timothy: An old habit I got into during confessionals. There's only so many times you can hear someone say "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned a whole lot. In the last six hours I robbed two banks, committed adultery, and swindled a fortune out of a rich widow." At some point, reading light entertainment makes the confessional time go faster.

Kendall: Your Holiness, I think the Catholic Church would prefer you keep that to yourself. Now, if we could continue? Mr. President...

Syria: Yes?

Miraz: What is it?

Kendall: No, him.

United States: Yes?

Kendall: In regards to the whole are you or aren't you the American President in my reality thing, I'm really leaving that matter to the reader's imagination. You might be the current President, and you might not be. At least I'm being reasonably respectful of you when I'm writing you. It's not quite the same with your Syrian counterpart over here. He's definitely not the sociopath currently running things in Syria in my reality. This guy here's a man of honour.

Harandi: Note to self: have the Syrian President killed.

Syria: I heard that, you know.

Kendall: Enjoy it while it lasts, though. You're not going to be the President of the United States anymore in a couple of books.

United States: Why not?

Kendall: Well, the book after that one requires a personal connection to the... oh, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, and going into detail about that would be considered a spoiler. All I'm saying is you're not going to be a two termer. Sorry. I know that's got to be disappointing, but as the creator of the Kendallverse...

Pope Timothy: Wait. Did you say creator?

Kendall: Yes, I created all of you. Out of my imagination.

Garoussi: Are you implying you're the Creator? Are you implying you're God? Blasphemy!

Kendall: I wasn't implying that at all. All I'm saying is that I have omnipotent power over all of you. I can, if I wish, delete you from existence. It's the full right of an author to control their characters. Granted, sometimes characters don't listen to you and wind up doing whatever they want anyway...

Pope Timothy: My son, you're claiming omnipotence over our lives. That certainly implies that you're...

Kendall: Wait! You don't understand. All of you people are characters! In a book I've been writing.

Israel I don't know about the rest of you, but I rather resent being characterized as a mere fictional character.

Miraz: I'm with you, Prime Minister.

Great Britain: Who, me?

Miraz: No, I was talking to him.

Harandi: I never thought I'd agree with an Israeli, but I too resent being dismissed as a mere figment of someone else's imagination. I'm the President of Iran! That means something, you know! I have the pathetic lives of every single citizen of my country in my hands! Even this senile old loon beside me!

Garoussi: What was that?

Harandi: Did I say that out loud?

Great Britain: Is anyone else developing a headache?

Syria: If I might ask a question, Mr. Kendall?

Kendall: Certainly, Mr. President.

Syria: What makes you so sure we're the characters and you're the author?

Miraz: Indeed. What if you're the one whose every action is being written by some other omnipotent unseen force?

Israel: Yes, answer that, Mr. Smartypants.

Kendall: Oh, this is just getting silly.

Great Britain: No, silly would be your use of Shakespearean related imagery for no apparent reason. Don't think we can't see those images you're inserting into this blog, because we can. None of them have anything to do with the subject at hand. Tell us, whatever would be the reason for that?

Kendall: If you must know, I borrowed the title for the blog from Shakespeare, so I decided to play around with images too. All the better to confuse my readers with. Besides, it's not like google images for diplomacy came up with a whole lot of potential images. Now, if we could get on with the work at hand?

Garoussi: Shakespeare was a blasphemer too!

Kendall: And you wonder why no one invites Ayatollahs to parties.

The door bursts open. In rushes Moammar Gadhafi, former leader of Libya, looking frantic and desperate, as if he's just been running.

Gadhaffi: Sanctuary! I plead sanctuary! I've been overrun by rebel forces and I ran through some really strange door and where the hell am...?

He looks around the room, sees everyone...and waves.

Gadhafi: Um... hi! Listen, if you happen to see a horde of Libyan freedom fighters come this way, forget you saw me. In fact, I was never here!

Great Britain: Aren't you dead?

Miraz: That's what I thought.

Israel: That's what we've all heard.

Harandi: That was our impression too.

Syria: Did you fake your death somehow?

United States: Our intelligence sources have you dead in this reality, Colonel. Mr. Kendall here has plans to work your assassination into the backstory of a character down the line.

Kendall: Who told you that?

United States: We have our sources.

Kendall: It was Norma, wasn't it?

United States: I'm not at liberty to say.

Kendall: Okay, so was it Beth?

United States: I can't divulge that.

Kendall: It must have been Donna. It's always the quiet ones.

United States: I assure you, I can't talk about our intelligence sources.

Gadhaffi: Look, I'm not dead, all right? I'm just on the run. The whole counter insurgency plan didn't quite go according to, well.. the plan.

Kendall: Obviously this must be the real Gadhaffi from my side of the Fourth Wall. Somehow he made his way here. Which is surprising, because we're all a long way from Tripoli. Listen, Colonel. May I call you Moammar? You might as well just throw in the towel. You had a long run as a despot, but it's over. You tried your best, and you came up short. If you turn yourself in to the new governing authorities in Tripoli, I'm sure they'll be lenient.

Gadhaffi: Are you crazy? After what I've done? They'll hang me!

Pope Timothy: Yes, my son, no, wait... you're older then I am. My son sounds wrong. Yes, Colonel, they probably will hang you. And to be perfectly honest, don't you agree that you've had it coming?

Harandi: Note to self: blow up any potential insurgency.

United States: You know, we all heard you say that.

Kendall: Those two are an awful lot like the two real ones in my world. It didn't take a lot of imagination to create them. Bitter, vindictive bastards of the first order. Which makes them good fodder for manipulating villains and pulling strings for a few books.

Garoussi: Note to self: have this so called author and blasphemer assassinated. How hard could it possibly be to hire someone reliable?

Kendall: I heard that too. How many authors are the target of murder plots by their characters?

Great Britain: Well, rumor has it that Charles Dickens was actually killed by Pip and Estella...


  1. The dialogue's funnier than the pics today. I love this--it's brilliant! I may steal the idea!

    The Pope reads comic books???

  2. I think you better watch out William. Beth didn't tip off the U.S. because she's Canadian. It had to be Norma!

  3. No, it could have been Beth, Eve. You know, those two have that cuss jar challenge going on, and Beth wants to win....

  4. We can't discount Donna either. Or you, Eve. Or any other Writer of Mass Distraction, for that matter....

  5. Of course, it is the sort of thing Beth might do to win that whole cuss jar challenge...

    Though deflecting suspicion is the sort of thing the real mole would do too....

  6. I can understand my knowledge of desert terrain might bring me under suspicion--but come on--Shelly just got back from the middle east!

  7. I totally agree w/Norma on this one...the dialogue really stole the show. So much funnier than the pics this time.

  8. Sir Wills, You made me laugh. Sir Wills as G-d, too funny. I love your characters.

  9. LOL That was good for a laugh....and would I do that *snow* to you? I am soooooo *snow* the innocent one here. I *snow* would never give out information *snow* to said characters or make you pay *snow* the cuss jar.

    Great blog....Love the Shakespeare/Stephenie Meyers one...LOL

  10. Sir Wills has definite character issues. His characters not only won't do as he tells them, they want to kill him.

    That could be a problem....

  11. Beth, that was low. Funny, but really, really low.

    But then, he hasn't posted his Twilight blog yet....

  12. I know who it was. It was Sir Poops-a-Lot and Hair Ball!

  13. I loved it. Pretty funny and you have these guys down pretty good.

  14. @Norma-Not low....*snow* just trying to broaden his *snow* smile. I'm so friggin' innocent *snow* in all of this! I think it *snow* might have been Donna...she's *snow* pretty quiet.

  15. @Norma-I've been waiting patiently....I don't think he has one. I think he's trying to call my bluff...

    Cause, I'm really the innocent one here... :o)

  16. @ Beth: He's got one. He's been planning it for a while, just waiting for THAT movie to come out....

  17. Yes, the closer we get to the release date, the sooner it'll be when that blog shows itself.

    Beth, you'll be feeding that cuss jar soon enough.

  18. I adore omnipotence almost as much as peglegs! Thanks for the laugh!

  19. What cuss jar? I don't know what you're talking about....again....

  20. Love the interplay between the countries - snort! You got the personalities just right. :)

  21. That's awesome. What's really funny is the cat picture just because my wife used to have two cats, Romeo and Juliet.

  22. And here we are, a few days later... and Gadhaffi is dead.

    Wait til you see my send off to the Nutbar.

  23. And I'd probably be more likely to name cats Thor and Loki....


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