Yesterday’s Writing.com October NaNo Prep Challenge was a contest entry requiring a backstory of the antagonist of my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel, The LZR Project. Mr. Big is the antagonist, and I had to do a story that made the reader empathize with his motivations for being a villain.
Here’s the entry I wrote for the contest. It’s called Point Blank. Enjoy!
Janet Doyle straightened out her navy blue skirt, tilted her head to get her blonde hair to fall behind her shoulders, and tapped the microphone to make sure the system was up and running. Clearing her throat, she looked up at the two police officers and the man they held restrained between them: Mr. Big.
Janet extended her arm and the microphone toward Mr. Big. His eyes, filled with calm, looked down at the mic and then up at Janet. When he didn’t say anything for almost a full minute, Janet pulled the microphone back toward her and sighed.
“So, you’re not going to talk, huh?”
Mr. Big straightened up. His white t-shirt stretching over his massive form was stained with blood splotches and mud. His nose had stopped bleeding, but his right eye was beginning to blacken. He smiled though, a smile that told Janet not to get too close. “I’ll give you an interview, Ms. Doyle. But only if you ask the right questions.”
“What are the right questions?” Janet asked.
He smiled, refusing to answer the question of questions.
Janet huffed. “Why did you kill that woman in the bank?”
Still no answer. Just that smile.
“What possessed you to rob the bank, leave the money, and kill someone? You could have done that on the street, or even in the woman’s home.”
Mr. Big nodded. “Now you’re doing your job as a reporter. You’re digging.”
“Answer my question.”
“Why do you think certain people deserve to die, and certain people deserve to live?”
Janet pondered the question for a moment, trying her hardest to figure out a way to outsmart the criminal before her.
Mr. Big grinned, this time differently, more modestly, as if he had all the answers but wasn’t prone to give them up easily. “You’re trying too hard. You’re trying to outsmart me, when you should be trying to investigate me. Do what you do best, and not what your human instinct – your heroic nature – is trying to get you to do.”
“Who do you think you are? Playing with people’s lives, as if they are –“
“Yes. Chess pieces.”
“Don’t mistake my seemingly crude action – killing a woman in broad daylight – as confirmation that I think of life as a game. Hardly. This life is nothing more than each of us doing what we can with what we have. It is survival. Survival is not a game to those trying to survive.”
Janet took a deep breath, calming herself before asking the next question. “David Corbin and the rest of the Lazerblades just succeeded in putting you behind bars for good. I mean, what do you have to say about that? How does that fit into your speech about doing what we can with what we have? You failed in that respect. You’re handcuffed, there are at least two dozen officers here to make sure you don’t get away, and you’re going to be locked up in prison for the rest of your natural life. It’s over, Mr. Big. Over.”
“Your statement about things being over for me assume that you have the power to see the future. You don’t, I can assure you of that. A reporter with real clairvoyance would be unstoppable, and I have already proven in the past that you are stoppable.
“My capture simply proves my point. David Corbin put up a fight with everything he knows of me, everything he knows of this environment – this office complex, everything he knows about fighting. He fought. He won. He did the best with what he had.”
Janet scoffed. “You killed a woman in cold blood. If David hadn’t stopped you, someone would have. One of these officers would have shot you in the back when you weren’t looking. Eventually, everything would have caught up with you.”
“Your interview is all over the place, Ms. Doyle. Do you want to talk about me or the woman I killed?”
“Her name was Whitney Setterfield. But I guess that information is irrelevant to you, isn’t it?”
“Quite the contrary. Her name is everything to me.”
“You’re a monster, you know that?”
“Your opinion is unbiased as always, Ms. Doyle.”
“The Lazerblades – all of them – said they saw you shove the barrel of your gun into her chest and pull the trigger without hesitation.”
“Why hesitate when I aimed to do just what I did? If you know what you should do, why hesitate in doing it? See, that’s why we have such a corrupt and backwards society. The public thinks it is safe behind these walls of policemen and policewomen. Did you ever think about these officers as walls though? Walls that we, as a society, build around ourselves? When these walls get high enough, when they surround us, when we wake in the middle of the night to find ourselves in darkness, in a room of walls and no doors and no windows, what will we do then? These walls fire back when we bang against them, they crumble down on our heads when we try to collapse them. We are simply building the very army that will destroy us in the end. If we moved now to make sure these walls weren’t built to begin with, we would forever be free. But everyone hesitates or justifies their action or inaction.”
“The police are here to protect us.”
“We can do that ourselves just fine. If I gave you a gun, if I taught you how to load it, how to hold it, how to fire it, how to clean it, you would be fully capable of using it to defend yourself from people like me.”
“You’re saying Whitney Setterfield died because she didn’t know how to operate a gun?”
“I’m saying Whitney Setterfield died because she didn’t care to defend herself.”
“What’s the real reason you shot her? What’s the real reason – the deep-rooted motivation – you killed her tonight?”
“My purpose since the beginning has been to wake people up.”
“Wake people up? Whitney isn’t awake. She’s dead.”
“But your hero…David…he’s awake. I saw it in his eyes when we fought.”
“You killed Whitney because David needed a wake-up call?”
“This city needs a hero. It already has a villain – me. I didn’t choose to be this city’s villain, but that is what I have become, and that is okay with me. I will be called a villain if it means what I do has impact on this society. My goal is change. If I can’t directly change things, I will move David Corbin to change them. And when those changes are made…when the wheels have been placed where I want them, when they have been started, they will move Lysallis into a future of structure, a future of peace and prosperity.”
Janet lowered the mic and shook her head. “You belong where you’re going.”
“Because this city doesn’t deserve me.”