Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Drive-by fiction

John McFetridge is writing a piece of online fiction about his ramble from Toronto to Baltimore for Bouchercon with Declan Burke. In McFetridge's version, a pair of crime writers named John McFetridge and Declan Burke ramble from Toronto to Baltimore for Bouchercon and pull off armed robberies along the way. McFetridge's third installment ends with the pair setting out for Philadelphia to hook up with one Peter Rozovsky — a minor character so far, mentioned but not seen. But Rozovsky has other ideas.

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I jabbed the .45 at the base of McFetridge's skull, and I cackled as his eyes grew wide.

"Bet you didn't think this was real. You hide guns in doughnut bags up there, don't you? No one would be stupid enough to wave a real gun, would he? What can I tell you; I don't like doughnuts. Now, out of the car. And leave the boxes."

I jerked the barrel to the right as Burke went for his jacket. "Hold it right there, Tiger."

Burke's hand froze. "Tiger? The fook?"

"Tiger. You're Irish, what am I going to call you? Paddy? Mick? Now, out of the car, Celtic, and keep your hands away from your — "

"From my bloody Marlboros, you Yankee gobshite. All right, I'm getting out."

I waved out the window of McFetridge's black 2008 Lexus as I pulled away. "See you later, gents. Put this in your books."


Two nights later I'm shouting to be heard above the seething crowd at a hotel bar in Baltimore, hooting and cheering as a sexy dominatrix lifts her blouse to reveal her tattoos. The crowd gathers in around her, all except two guys heading the other way, toward the door ...

The snake tattoo is flicking its tongue at its owner's scapula, but I've got one eye on the two guys.

One of them shouts: "I said, `I'M AFTER FECKING OUT OF HERE FOR A CIGARETTE, MATE!'."

His friend, a husky, saltish-pepperish dude with a Maple Leafs jacket and a Tim Hortons bag stuffed in his back pocket, shrugs and follows. Shit, it's McFetridge and Burke.

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(Read all of "The Baltimore Drive-by" so far here or here. Disclaimer: It's fiction. Almost none of it really happened.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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16 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

When you shoot Burke in the kneecaps say "this is for the puns."

A...

(I thought Dec had given up the smokes, or is quitting the Obama way?)

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The Burke character is working on a novel called "No Puns for Banville."

I don't if the person on whom the Burke character is loosely based has given up cigarettes. I may have to have the character inspired by Rozovsky blast a cigarette out of his hand with that .45.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

"I may have to have the character inspired by Rozovsky blast a cigarette out of his hand with that .45."

You'll be giving Allen Carr ideas.

Great piece, Peter. Hope you add to it.

gb

December 10, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

If you really want to punish him make him smoke a clove herbal cigarette.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Burke looked at the scorched foil and cardboard that used to be his cigarette pack. Then he looked at the .45 that had blasted the pack out of his hand.

"Mad fucker. So that's why they call it a smoking gun."


Many thanks, Gerard.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

He said he'd never drink Harp either, but I have a photo of him with one in his hand. Maybe he'd learn to enjoy clove cigarettes if only he didn't have to carry them around in those pink boxes.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Who do I sue?

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Loren Eaton said...

Ah, intimidation and violence, that's more like it! And ...

"Tiger? The fook?"

Gold, sir. Pure gold.

December 10, 2008  
OpenID krimileser said...

I Love it !

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm sorry, but a fictional character cannot sue under U.S. and EU law, except possibly in Jasper Fforde's world.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Loren, I don't know if you're a scholar, but you are certainly a gentleman. Thanks for your kind words about my humble literary alchemy. Or is it larceny?

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And thanks, Bernd. Maybe the characters will take themselves to Europe for their next ramble.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Here, here, Peter! Well done!

December 10, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Much obliged, ma'am. I hope to attain the consistency in my own ultra-small vignettes that you have achieved in your dramatic short-shorts.

December 10, 2008  
Blogger seanag said...

So what does this do to McFetridge's universe, do you think? Is it like some sort of major comet, wiping out all sorts of the major elements of his civilization? Or is it just a small adjustment that he quietly subsumes into his universe and then moves implacably on?

To put it another way, are there two Peter Rozovskys roaming the fictional realms? Wait a minute, make that three, because I think I added one to some scenario over on Adrian's blog a week or so ago.
And he was a rough character to be sure.

The question becomes, why does the fictional Peter Rozovsky, in all his protean forms, have such a predeliction for violence?

December 11, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I was quaffing some Guinnesses with the other Peter Rozovskys this week. McFetridge's was feeling uncertain about what he was going to do next, and McKinty's was questioning his own existence. Rozovsky's fictional Rozovsky just cackled and smirked, as if he were up to something.

Did you know that the real Ken Bruen and Jason Starr had a fictional Ken Bruen and Jason Starr (under different names) bumped off in a novel they wrote together?

And hey, I'm cool with McFetridge's universe -- if he's cool with mine.

December 11, 2008  

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