The original prompt you can find here http://tipsylit.com/2014/02/03/prompted-flipping-the-story/ The basic premise is to take a look at the way somebody might act if they became convinced they were a character in something you have written or is a WIP, or in a book you’re reading. Me being me, I’ve bent the rules so far there’s danger of a greenstick fracture.
To be doubly awkward, I’ve kept (just about) to the original word limit, and not expanded to the full 1500 or so now allowed.
What we have here is an outtake from my nascent detective novel about Blain, who happens to be one of the good guys. Finding himself being tailed around his patch (Norwich as it happens) he has lured the inept tail into the toilets of a pub, and threatened him sufficiently (but non-violently) to reveal the name of the person who organised the tail.
Leaving my erstwhile and somewhat amateur follower cowering badly shaken but unharmed in the toilets, I went back into the pub. Tony the barman still wasn’t exactly rushed off his feet; there was nobody else in there. As usual he had his head buried in a book. He’s a prodigious reader, but his repertoire is currently restricted to steampunk, sci-fi, and fantasy. More disturbingly, he tends to adopt the appearance and demeanour of one of the main characters in whatever he’s into right now. His passing phase of being Severus Snape did him no favours; it really didn’t suit him at all. Gandalf was even worse, if for no other reason than that he can’t grow a decent beard, if there is such a thing as a decent beard. At least he didn’t identify with Gollum, so I should be grateful I suppose. I guess I should also thank my lucky stars that although he’s a geek, he hates Star Trek. He just hasn’t got the build for a Klingon. Mind you, he hasn’t got the build for Darth Vader either, and that didn’t stop him until all the heavy breathing gave him a throat infection.
He looked up and raised a quizzical eyebrow, so just briefly he looked like a Roger Moore impersonator.
‘Is that guy who was tailing you all right? I do hate mopping up blood.’
‘He still has all his bodyparts in all the right places. I told him to stay in the toilet for five minutes, or I’d be very displeased with him. Here’s his phone, and here’s a tenner. He might like a drink when he comes out; he’s had a bit of a tough morning all things considered. Keep the change. Think of it as Scout Job Week.’
‘Sure thing, Blain.’
I looked at him. He’d cut his hair, and dyed it blond, slicked it back with gel or wax or something. He has a naturally pale complexion that wouldn’t look out of place on a creature that has evolved adaptively to permanent life in a deep cave somewhere, but such creatures generally do not sport just a hint of dark lipstick. He was wearing a cardigan, a collarless shirt, and a scarf, unknotted, that hung to his waist. I peered more closely.
‘Just trying to figure out who you are this week. You change persona more often than most folk change their socks. So let’s see…’
I tilted my head to one side, stroked an imaginary beard, and hammed up squinting until Tony began to get restless and started tapping his fingers on the bar.
‘Tadaaaaa! OK, I’ve got it. Carlisle Cullen.’
‘Give that man a cigar.’
‘Bit old for Twilight aren’t you? And you have y chromosomes.’
‘They’re good. The films are terrific, well the first two are. And you must have seen them if you got the visual reference, you big girl’s blouse. By the way, there’s another tail outside.’
‘I know. Vampires always know.’
‘Oh for goodness sake. Stanislavski, eat your heart out. You’re getting carried away here. And you just said you hate blood. How does that work?’
‘Do you want me to tell you or not, Blain? I have to say my patience is wearing a bit thin here.’
‘Don’t get precious on me, my friend. Go on then, tell me. Who is it this time?’
‘Your manners are impeccable, Blain. You’ve always been very… gracious… around us.’
I rolled my eyes, and explained I wasn’t Bella, hadn’t just had a run-in with Jasper, and didn’t need stitches. Tony sighed histrionically.
‘Young guy, like the last one. Denim jacket, jeans, sneakers. Keeps wandering past the door.’
‘Thanks, Tony. I owe you one.’
‘I’ve lost track of how many you owe me, Blain.’
‘I hear that a lot, for some reason. Is it OK to use the back door? I’ll see myself out.’
‘Please yourself. You generally do. Oh yeah, I meant to tell you. He’s a werewolf.’
‘Oh, do stop that.’
*Stregoni Benefici is the name of the earlier incarnation of Carlisle Cullen in fan fiction by the unlikely sounding giselle lx. I haven’t made that up.