Terrence Oblong has gone stark raving mad
I always knew that Terrence Oblong was on the verge of madness, but this time he’s gone over the edge. “Someone is trying to kill me,” he whinged as he brought me back to life, “I need you to find out who.”
An amazing cheek. He offered no apology for having me “deleted” and expected me to risk my life in order to save his.
The idea that anybody on ABC Tales would try to kill him was completely absurd. It’s one of the friendliest writing sites around, barely a bad word spoken on the site, let alone murder. Even if there were jealous types, they’d hardly care about a writer who had just one cherry-picked story in their last eight stories, and that one had the not inconsiderable advantage of featuring me in it. I am, it can’t be denied, a great character.
The worst thing about Terrence’s writing is his inconsistencies. When he last wrote about me he was living at home with his wife and for some reason, that made no sense then and makes even less sense now, he had Radiohead living with him. Now he appears to be living alone, no sign of his wife, let alone any pop group. This sort of inconsistency is why, although he may occasionally write a funny one-off piece, he could never sustain anything like a novel. And as for the tacky device of bringing me back by pressing undelete!!!
Anyway, I digress. Terrence’s plan was simple, I would pose as him for a few days, he would follow me, find out who was trying to kill him and somehow or other everything would be sorted. Every day I travelled to work posing as Terrence. He followed, not very subtly, a false beard dragged on top of his real one, following too close behind me for any would-be killer not to spot him. He would then spend the whole day in the café opposite where he worked (or where I now worked), making note of anyone hanging-around in a suspicious manner. Given that there was a bus stop directly outside the office door he soon compiled a full note book of suspicious looking people, and of course got not one iota nearer identifying any truth.
What he would have done if he’d actually found the would be murderer I can’t imagine. The idea of Terrence tackling a killer is laughable, however, if he succeeded he would immediately delete me again. I had to act.
The good thing about Terrence is that he is remarkably lazy. He often posts old stories on ABC tales to disguise the fact that he hasn’t written anything for months. He didn’t even manage an original story for the Let’s Start Again competition, even though he had three months to work on it, he just rehashed an old tale. The one original idea he had is still sitting in his pile of unfinished scribblings.
Likewise, he spends most of his work day dawdling, achieving very little. I found last time that I could do his job in half the time it usually took him, leaving me lots of free time to do my own writing and begin plans to start a new life.
I knew that Terrence had been able to bring me back to life because of my previous existence in one of his stories (the other Terrence Oblong: http://www.abctales.com/story/terrence-oblong/other-terrence-oblong). I reasoned that if I also wrote a story which featured both Terrence Oblongs then I would be able to bring myself back to life. I scribbled a piece of nonsense called the Machine of Death. Although it was only a hasty scribble I couldn’t help but notice that it was better than anything Terrence had written for ages. One of those elusive cherries Terrence, remember them?
I also wrote stories for publication and competitions. I had some success with my stories Operation March Hare (http://www.brightoncow.co.uk/comps/spring2011/operationmarchhare.html) and with the money I made from these I was able to buy myself a false identify, the alias Dave Clark.
The next day I simply shook him off as he followed me to work. He was lagging behind on the elevator down to the tube, so I sprinted round the corner and hopped onto the tube just as it was leaving. Then, instead of going to work, I waited in a café round the corner, opposite the café he always waited in. Sure enough I saw him take his seat. He was clearly agitated and I saw him take out his phone. He must have phoned the office and realised I hadn’t arrived, as shortly afterwards he rushed across the road. I simply strolled over and took his seat at the table; he still had a half-drunk coffee.
Though I could simply have escaped then and there, took up the identify of Dave Clark, found a job in Brighton, or Swansea, there was one very slight risk: he might actually be right. And if someone was trying to kill Terrence for his writing, then they were certainly going to try and kill me as well, as I’m a much better writer than he is.
I left it about an hour before phoning him. I calmed him down after his initial burst of anger. “I’m in the café opposite, the perfect position to follow you from,” I told him.
“I know,” he said, “that was my plan.”
I followed him as he went out for lunch and the rest of the day. Of course there was no killer. Celticman wasn’t hiding behind the bus shelter disguised as a nun armed with a machete, it was all an illusion on his part.
But I didn’t tell him that. “It’s strange,” I said to him, “there was a nun following you everywhere you went. Insertponscyfrenchnamehere isn’t a nun is she?”
“I wouldn’t have thought so,” he said, “she doesn’t write like a nun that’s for sure.”
“It could have been someone dressed as a nun, I suppose,” I suggested. “How would you know if Celticman was hidden underneath the nun’s habit. It could be him, then again it could be anyone.”
I hung up, left him worrying about nuns and the million and one other disguises an ABC killer might adopt.
I left Terrence Oblong behind me, both the name and my clone twin. I will re-appear somewhere as Dave Clark, the innocuous name will allow me to blend into the world, never to be seen again.