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If Words Could Kill

by Sara Genge

Chaktli bit her lip and hated herself for it. If He made her do it one more time, she swore she'd... do what? Without the author's imagination to blow on her sails, she was stranded like... It was no use: all she could think of were the cliches he'd built into her when he'd created her. And what kind of name was Chaktli? Not even that felt right.

She started to pace, knowing that she was giving in to His whim. The view outside the window was syrupy and pink like a bad reconstruction of the 50s. Couldn't this author do anything right? Chaktli opened her mouth to scream, but her breath was cut off into a moan as the scene changed abruptly under her feet.

The male protagonist was the author's idea of himself, right down to the strident laughter. Oh, how she hated him, but she couldn't deny the script and when he touched her "heat seared her loins". Chaktli groaned in dismay as the chapter evolved into a steamy sex scene that left her wondering about the Writing Cheese Prize even as she "writhed in an ocean of desire". Thankfully the main character fell asleep before he could go off on one of those monologues designed to educate the reader. When he spoke, she was expected to reply with clever quips.

Chaktli hoped the author would trunk the novel, but she didn't know what would happen to her if he did. She might disappear, or worse, be forced to reenact the first thirty pages of the manuscript over and over again. The thought of having to sleep with that man again brought bile to her mouth.

She wanted to kill Him! But how? Was it possible to overdose on mixed metaphors? Could she force Him to gag on stereotypes?

Chaktli crawled out of bed. The author was asleep and the void frightened her but she had to find out if she had any free will. She dialed the protagonist's number.

"I hate you," she said. "You're an ass... and your thing? Not as big as you think."

She hung up. She'd broken character! She smiled, thinking of the author's face when he woke up and saw the new scene on the screen.

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