Leila rang the discovery bell outside the dungeon door and we were delighted to find this piece on the step. Maybe having a rerun will encourage Nik to submit another piece, it’s been too long a wait:
Evil things often happen to MC’s in short stories. I sometimes think that this is caused by the lack of time these MC’s have to ingratiate themselves to their creators; and that the MC’s don’t realize until it is too late that they were given existence only to fulfil a twisted storyline in their creator’s mind. Gotta be tough to be an MC. And you can say that Nik’s Henry Spiller currently leads as hard an existence as any MC in the LS library.
Q: I enjoyed the foreshadowing remarks made by Maria. In retrospect they change meaning in a subversively funny sort of way. How early on did you hit on the idea to have her serve the story?
Q: Kafka’s Gregor Samsa has nothing on Henry. Could say that Henry is by far the more valuable employee. This may seem naive, but do you feel that corporations cannot be considered evil because people willingly and knowingly participate in them?
Thanks Leila as always for the rerun and for the questions – wishing you (and everyone else) much personal joy, writing success and on a personal note AN END TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN ALCOHOL BAN AND FOR THE KIDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.
oops…may have shouted a bit by accident.
Q1 – Often when I write I have a feeling or a thought for a person or a scene or a situation that’s closer to a beginning than it is to an end. In Henry’s case I knew exactly where I wanted him to end up (poor chap) so Maria’s comments were easy to work in from the beginning. So often I write without knowing the destination and have to come back for those touches and hints later, but Maria was definitely there from the first scribbles.
Q2 – What a fantastic question. Are corporations evil or are we all complicit as workers…hmmm. It won’t be a surprise that I wrote this piece during a time of fairly high work stress and a general bout of ihatethisfuckingplaceletmego. But even though I pinned a lot of it on the company, there was definitely an element that I’d come up with my own bargain and justifications for putting up with it (ok I’m stressed but I do have some flexibility…or, the hours are shit but the pay makes up for it etc.). So in some ways I allowed my company to get away with the things they did – I could have left (and eventually did leave and have left other places!) and Henry could have done the same I guess.
That said, evil company pushing person to his demise is a whole lot more interesting than evil company thwarted by employee writing splendid resignation letter and leaving at the allotted notice period completion, so maybe it’s for the best that Henry was his own worst enemy!