A brand new typewriter gives an author a new creative lease on life, especially as his creations start to become a reality. A terrible violent, blood soaked reality!
Hunter Black by Rob Fields
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Simon Griffin sat in his bedroom and typed away. When he finished his current page, he pulled it out of the typewriter and loaded a new sheet. When he resumed typing, he could feel a presence near him. “Hi, Mom,” he said. Even through his typing, he could see his mom taking his plate and his empty glass. She replaced the empty glass with a full one. “Still hard at work, I see.” Simon stopped typing. “Mom, I’m this close to being done with my latest novel. Once I’m finished, I’ll be ready to send it out. Just a few more chapters to go.” She smiled a little. “I’m surprised that you’re still using that beat-up, old typewriter. It belonged to your grandfather, you know.” She paused. “Really, Simon, you’d save a lot of time if you would just use the word processor that came with your computer.” Simon smiled a little himself. “Mom, I know you mean well. But Grandpa did all of his writing using this very typewriter right here. He never caved in to modern technology. He used to say there were some things you just can’t replace, no matter how much better it is. Take the compact disc. Remember how the music industry tried to replace vinyl records with it? It never did because people knew! You just can’t beat the sound quality that comes on records. That’s how it is with a typewriter. I just want to be the same writer that Grandpa was, that’s all.” “And you are, honey,” she complimented. “You’ve already published nine Hunter Black books. To be honest, I’m surprised that Sunset Press over in Erie City actually takes your paper submissions.” “Well, that’s where Grandpa got his stories published,” Simon pointed out. “I decided to go with them since they treated him really good. And now, they’re treating me really good.” “They sure are.” His mom reached out and patted his shoulder. “Okay, I won’t bother you anymore about using a word processor. I’ll let you get back to work.” “Thanks, Mom. I’ll be done soon.” His mom left his room. Then he resumed typing. His latest novel was actually the next in a science fiction series which dealt with a villainous character from the year 2250 in the form of Hunter Black, a hitman for hire. Black was both the central character and the antagonist at the same time. Whenever the criminal underworld had a job that required his skills, they would pay his fee. From there, he would get the job done. Aside from a recurring female character named Felicity Scorne, no one crossed him – and lived.
The next morning, Simon walked into Strickfield High School. As always, he wore dark trousers, a pressed shirt, a vest, a red bowtie, loafers, and glasses. This was the very same fashion that his grandfather wore back in his day. Whether it was just the love and dedication that he felt towards his late grandfather or his stubbornness, wearing these cloths may have been all right during his grandfather’s day. However, in these current times . . . As Simon passed by a group of jocks and their girlfriends, he knew that it was going to be the same thing that happened every morning. Dana Shackleton pointed right at him. “Hey, look who’s back! It’s Orville Redenbacher!” Then she called out to Simon, “Hey, Orville, shouldn’t you be at the movie theater?” Her boyfriend, Nathan Coaver, sneered at him. “Yeah, fuckstick! This ain’t 1955. Get with the times.” As always, Simon tried to ignore them. While only a select few knew that he was a published writer and was financially independent, the rest of the school population didn’t. Not when he used a pen name. As far as the rest of his classmates were concerned, Simon Griffin was nothing but a nerdy loser. Suddenly, Simon was brought out of his thoughts when he felt himself being lifted off his feet by two of the jocks. The next thing he knew, he was being turned and taken into a nearby restroom. Simon squirmed, but he only weighed around a hundred-and-ten pounds – if that! Then he heard the click of the restroom door’s lock and knew that he was in trouble. “This one looks good,” Dana told the jocks. Simon struggled harder but to no avail. He couldn’t do anything as he was lowered to his knees, only to have his head shoved into the cold water of the toilet. He was held under for a bit before the flushing came. The only thing he could hear over all else was Dana Shackleton and the other girls laughing scornfully at him.
After school, Simon was in his room. His best friend and next-door neighbor, Connie Graves, was there with him. “Every day, Connie,” Simon complained. “Every day they always have to give me a hard time.” He told her about the restroom incident earlier that morning. Connie sighed apologetically. “I’m really sorry I couldn’t go to school with you today. I had to be there real early to help put the school paper together.” Whenever Connie and Simon went to school together, the bullies never laid a hand on Simon. They still taunted him, however. Simon pointed at her. “And that’s another thing, those meatheads are always giving me a hard time. They say I need you to fight my battles for me.” He looked down now. “Not that I don’t appreciate you helping me. I do. I really do.” He sighed. “Listen, I don’t blame you if you don’t want to be my friend anymore.” Connie put her hand on his chin and raised his head up. “Hey! Don’t you ever say that again. We’ve been best friends since we were kids. We swore we would always be friends. We’ve always kept that promise. Now enough of that shit talk.” The two of them shared a hug. Then Simon wanted to be alone, mostly so he could finish his novel. He had tried to finish it the night before but hit a stumbling block with the ending. Connie said goodbye and left. Now it was time for Simon to write the final chapters in which Hunter Black would face Detective Richard Hartman, who had come up against Black once before and barely survived with his life. This would be the final conflict. Simon loaded the paper into the typewriter and began to type away. And then . . . disaster struck! “What?! No! No way!” Simon cried. Much to Simon’s disbelief, the typewriter’s element had fallen off. He picked it up and saw that there was no way that he would just be able to get a new element and repair it. No, the old typewriter had finally had it. Now he had three choices: One, find a place that would repair typewriters. Two, buy a new typewriter altogether. Three, finally break down and start using the word processor on his computer. His deadline was coming up, and he needed to finish his novel. However, he had too much pride to resort to modern technology. He would never use a modern word processor if he had anything to say about it. He was an old-school writer, just like his grandfather. He decided to go out and see if he could pick up a new typewriter. He had a few ideas of where he might find one in downtown Strickfield. After calling Connie, the two of them got on their bicycles and began riding. Simon and Connie checked out a few antique shops and even the local department store, but there were no typewriters available. They even checked out their local thrift store, but to no avail. They had nearly exhausted all of Simon’s possibilities in Strickfield. He really didn’t want to use a word processor, nor did he want an electric typewriter. He needed an old-school one. There was just something about the feel of it. Then Connie suggested trying Strickfield Plaza as a last resort. It would be a couple of miles out of the way, but it was worth a try. Simon and Connie pulled into the parking lot of Strickfield Plaza, which was located on the south end of the village. As they chained up their bikes, Simon looked at the nearly-empty parking lot and took an exasperated breath. He remembered that his grandfather had told him how this giant plaza, and the mall north of the village, would never succeed in Strickfield. Grandpa was proven right, of course. Both the plaza and the mall were full of life and had many of the big-name stores for at least the first year. Then, one by one, the stores were leaving. People just weren’t shopping at either place. No, people were too attached to shopping in downtown Strickfield and the many vintage local businesses there. Now, there were only a few select big-name anchor stores left in both places, along with some mom-and-pop stores. Still, what did Simon have to lose? The two of them knew that Staples was still open. After having no luck there, they got back on their bikes. They were almost to the road when Connie saw the one lone store further down the strip, which was called Tinker’s. “Let’s check down there, Simon.” They rode to the store, parked their bikes, and went in. Tinker’s was full of seemingly old odds and ends. Simon looked around to see if – YES!! There it was! He quickly moved to the old typewriter sitting there on the shelf. It looked just as ancient as his grandfather’s old typewriter. “I can’t believe they actually have one of these old typewriters here,” Connie said. “This old typewriter is rather a collector’s item,” they heard a voice from behind them say. They turned around to see a man in his late forties standing near them. “Is this your store?” Connie asked him. “That’s me: Eisley Tinker, owner and sole proprietor,” he replied. “How much?” Simon immediately asked Tinker. “I really need this typewriter to finish my book.” Tinker smiled. “I can see that you truly appreciate old items such as this, in spite of the fact that the modern word processor is readily available. If I may ask, what is this book of yours about?” Tinker listened as Simon told him about his book and about Hunter Black. Tinker seemed to be quite interested. “Ah, yes . . . One such as yourself would be most perfect for this machine. I’ll sell it to you for . . . How does thirty dollars sound?” “Done!” Simon took out his wallet and they completed the transaction. Simon and Connie left the store. Simon secured his new prize into his basket in front of his bike. From there, the two friends rode home. Once Simon was in his room and had the replacement typewriter set up, he put a sheet of paper in and began writing his final chapters.
That night, just a little ways down the street, Dana Shackleton and her boyfriend, Nathan Coaver, were making out in the back seat of his car to finish their date. After many long kisses, they stopped to take a breath. “It’s too bad we both have parents who are home,” Dana said. “I’d fuck you right now!” “Yeah, bummer,” Nathan replied. “You know, we could always go to Strickfield Inn.” Dana grinned. “Tempting, but it’s getting late. If I’m too late getting home, I’ll never hear the end of it. Sorry . . .” Nathan looked over his shoulder. “What’s sorry is that you live next door to Orville Redenbacher.” Dana laughed a little. “I know, I mean you see the way he dresses, right? He dresses just like his grandpa. He must have been a real dweeb, too.” They both laughed. Then Nathan said, “That was so awesome how you tripped him up in the hallway at school today. He looked like he really wanted to kill you.” “He’s such a pussy,” Dana replied. “Connie Graves ain’t,” Nathan reminded her. “She was right in your face when you tripped Simon. You gotta watch out for her.” “You’re right, especially since she lives on the other side of Orville. They’ll probably get married and make more little Orvilles.” They laughed again, but their laughter was cut short when they felt a presence nearby. They both sat up and saw the man wearing the trench coat and fedora who was looking in at them. “Get outta here, you fucking pervert!” Nathan snapped. “Go get your jollies somewhere else!” Dana added. The figure answered by lashing out and shattering the window – with his fist. Then he glared into the car. Just as Nathan was ready to protect his girlfriend, the figure raised what appeared to be a Tommy gun. “You really should watch whom you piss off,” he said in a suave voice. “You never know when your actions can come back to haunt you.” The barrel of the Tommy gun suddenly sparkled with flashing lights . . .
Simon entered Strickfield High the next morning and saw that many students weren’t looking so happy. Connie quickly approached him. “What’s going on?” Simon asked. “You didn’t hear? Dana Shackleton and Nathan Coaver were both killed last night.” She proceeded to tell him what she had heard about the murders. “What?! A machine gun?!” Simon asked in disbelief. “That’s what the police are saying, based on all of the bullet casings they found at the scene. My dad’s on the police force. He said the casings were matched up to a Tommy gun, even though the bodies were burned beyond recognition.” Simon immediately thought of his character. Hunter Black used such a weapon, and his victims were usually burned beyond recognition after he shot them up. Now that he thought about it, he also remembered how Dana had deliberately tripped him in the hallway the day before – after the restroom incident earlier that morning. Oh, how he would have loved to have been the one to have killed Dana, as much as she bullied him. But now . . . he really didn’t have to worry about her anymore. Or Nathan! Simon shrugged. “No big loss. As far as I’m concerned, they both got what they deserved.” Connie’s eyes opened wide. “What?! Simon, this isn’t like you.” He shrugged again. “How many times did you ever get bullied by somebody and wish they were dead?” “Simon, we’ve all gotten bullied in one form or another in our lives, but I certainly don’t wish horrible deaths on them.” Simon became irritated. “Oh, yeah? Well, you haven’t been picked on since freshman year! You never got your head shoved into a toilet by idiot basketball players – and while Dana Shackleton and those other bitches were watching and laughing. As far as I’m concerned, Dana and Nathan getting killed was the best thing that could have ever happened to them.” Connie looked dumbfounded now. She didn’t even try to stop Simon as he turned and walked away from her. She groaned and couldn’t believe this change in Simon. She decided that he needed time to cool down before she would talk to him later.
A week later, Friday, Simon walked in the door after getting home from school. As usual, his mom had left his mail in his room. When he saw the big envelope from Sunset Press, he quickly picked it up and opened it. He found his royalties check and a letter from his editor praising this latest entry into the Hunter Black series. He also found a second check for an advance on the next installment. As it turned out, Simon had some new creative juices, especially when students continued to pick on him. While he himself never went out and harmed anybody, he based the inspiration for Hunter Black’s kills on what he himself would like to do to those who had wronged him. Hey, write about what you know, right? Simon put the envelope down and closed his door. He sat at his new typewriter and put in a sheet of paper. He went to work typing his newest Hunter Black novel, remembering that he would need to call and talk to his editor later.
That night, there was a party at Jason Weller’s barn. The basketball team had finally won their first game to end their losing streak and were celebrating. The students knew that as long as they kept the party away from town, the police wouldn’t look their way in the slightest. Jason was drinking keg beer with his fellow basketball players and talking about anything, especially Simon Griffin. “You’d think that moron would get it by now,” Jason said. “Strickfield stays the same, but people change. I can’t believe he’s still wearing his grandpa’s old clothes.” As they continued to talk about and make fun of Simon, they suddenly were approached by a tall figure wearing a fedora and a trench coat. “You need help, buddy? You look like you’re lost,” Jason jeered. “No . . . but I’m here to help you, son,” the man replied, in his suave voice. Suddenly, the man pulled out a Tommy gun from inside of his trench coat. Everybody quickly scattered as Hunter Black started firing what seemed to be laser rounds. One student after another started going down fast as the bullets made their impact. Some of the students even caught fire and burned to death as a result of the flaming projectiles. Other students managed to get to safety in the barn, but it would be short lived. After Black had run out of ammunition, he reached into his trench coat and pulled out an automatic laser weapon from his time of 2250. He went into the barn and started firing. He managed to kill more of the students. What few that were left ran off. Black didn’t bother pursuing them since they were no threat. Who were they going to tell, the police? When were the police ever a match for Hunter Black?
The next afternoon, Connie came over to get Simon so they could spend the day together like they had planned. Simon’s mother let her come in. “You’ll have to go upstairs and wake him up, dear. He was up working on his new book last night. I don’t think he got to bed until late.” Connie smiled a little. “Okay, thank you, Mrs. Griffin.” She came in and went upstairs to find Simon in his room fast asleep at his desk and wearing his clothes from the day before. Then she saw the newly-typed pages before she went to Simon and shook him a little. “Come on, Simon! Wake up! Remember? We’re hanging out today. Get cleaned up. I’ll still be here.” Simon yawned, got up, and staggered to the bathroom. As soon as she heard the shower going, Connie picked up the pages and read them. Simon never cared if she read his work since she kept it secret. He usually let her read his drafts to get her input. She had just finished when Simon returned. “What do you think?” he asked, when he saw her with the pages. “Wow! You’ve really put a lot more on Hunter Black this time up,” Connie replied. “Especially the way he just shows up to the Polomo family gathering and starts killing everybody.” “I’m thinking of calling it Black’s Revenge,” Simon said. “I already wrote how he was screwed over and survived. Now it’s just a question of him getting through everybody close to Boss Polomo in order to get to Polomo himself.” They talked more about the story as Simon got dressed. She helped him brainstorm new ideas as they left his house and walked to downtown Strickfield. “Looks like the new typewriter’s working good, by the way,” Connie commented. “Like a dream,” Simon agreed. When they reached Denoyer’s Grill, they walked in. Much to their surprise, there weren’t that many people there. Usually, many Strickfield High students came to Denoyer’s for lunch on Saturdays. “You can sit wherever you like,” Martin Donnerly told them as he tended the front counter. Connie and Simon sat at the counter. Then she gasped when she saw the morning headline in the Strickfield Journal that was close to her. Massacre At Friday Night Party She pulled the newspaper to her. As she read the article, her mind suddenly drifted back to the pages that she had read at Simon’s earlier. The article mentioned a barn, so did the pages. Black had used a Tommy gun. Tommy gun shells were found at the scene of last night’s party. Black had used a laser machine gun in the pages. Multiple burns were found all over the barn and on many of the victims at the party. Were these events merely a coincidence? Then Connie recalled how the previous book ended when she got to read those chapters. Detective Richard Hartman was making out with his girl Friday in the back seat of his car. Hunter Black surprised them and killed them both at the end. Coincidently, Dana Shackleton and Nathan Coaver were both killed in the back seat of Nathan’s car. Tommy gun shells were found at the scene and the bodies were burned beyond recognition – in both scenarios. Connie had a great time with Simon, but she just couldn’t shake that feeling of déjà vu all day. At the end of the day, Simon and Connie were standing on her front porch. “It’s awful dark in there,” Simon observed. “You going to be okay in there by yourself?” “Oh, my parents are usually gone on weekends,” Connie said. “Work-related shit . . . Anyway, I’ll be all right.” She yawned. “I’m probably going to go to bed.” Simon smiled a little. “Okay . . . I’m probably going to work on those ideas we talked about today. You’re right, it’s time to bring Felicity Scorne back.” That seemed to give Connie a second wind. “You want me to come over and work with you?” “You sure you don’t mind?” he asked. She raised an eyelid. “You know me better than that.” Simon smiled more now. “Okay, let go up to my room.”
The two of them were sitting in Simon’s bedroom talking about Felicity Scorne, the female counterpart and potential love interest for Hunter Black. Simon said that since Connie was the inspiration for the character, Connie would become Felicity Scorne. Simon wrote a few scenes involving Hunter Black as he interacted with Scorne. The two of them had even talked about having the two characters finally get together romantically. The more Simon had written, the more Connie would read and make suggestions. This new book was really starting to come together. Simon and Connie had finally taken a break after hours of making more of Hunter Black’s world a reality on the printed pages. And before Connie realized it, she moved into Simon and began to kiss him. He kissed her back. Then they continued to kiss with heavy passion before they both fell onto his bed.
Hunter Black and Felicity Scorne met up during a revenge killing. As it turned out, they were both looking to kill another member of Boss Polomo’s family, one of his daughters. Boss Polomo had severely wronged Felicity Scorne as well. Black and Scorne were at a standoff and pointed their weapons at each other, neither one willing to back down. Finally, they both lowered their guns knowing that they were good enough to have ended each other’s lives. They ultimately agreed to partner up in their quest for vengeance and decided they were better off working together than being enemies. After killing a few more members of the Polomo family, they went somewhere and ended up consummating their new partnership.
Connie yawned and woke up. She realized that her head was resting on Simon’s chest. Then she sat up and remembered that they had made heated passion together. As she got out of bed, she saw the bags of money and piles of expensive jewelry in the closet and gasped. What did we do?! she thought to herself. She had to think. She put her underwear back on and sat down at Simon’s desk. She took some deep breathes and cleared her head. What did we do?! she thought again. Then the images all started coming back to her. She and Simon had gone out. They had gone over to Strickfield Commons, where two of the jocks and three of their girlfriends lived. She had gotten into Monica Van Dreer’s house quite easily, in spite of the security measures. Finding Monica in her bed, she yanked the covers off and relished the look on Monica’s face when she was staring into the barrel of a modified laser Uzi. She remembered talking to Monica, but she sounded nothing like herself. She had even seen herself in Monica’s mirror. “I was Felicity Scorne!” she mouthed to herself. “I was really Felicity Scorne!” Felicity gave Monica a deadly smirk before she riddled her full of lasers. She went throughout the rest of the house and took care of the rest of the family too. She had found the safe and easily got it open. From there, she had helped herself to a hefty score. After leaving there, she would meet up with Simon, who was now Hunter Black. They would have their standoff, but they would decide that they were better off working together. From there, they would go and collect on a few more lives . . . and more hefty scores. Connie looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t look anything like Felicity Scorne now, aside from the fire-engine-red lipstick she wore. She got up and returned to the bed to shake Simon. When he finally woke up, Connie explained everything to him. She even showed him the money and jewelry. She ended her explanation with a realization. “Simon, the typewriter brings your imagination to life somehow. Everything you type happens!” Simon further listened as Connie explained all of the coincidences between his pages and what had actually happened. Simon was amazed with Connie’s revelations, but he really didn’t seem to care when it came to those who were murdered as a result of his writings. “Those people never cared about me. Why should I care about them?” Simon sat down at the typewriter and loaded a sheet. “You know, I think I’m feeling some new inspiration. I think maybe Hunter Black and Felicity Scorne should just burn Strickfield High School to the ground – with everyone inside.” As Simon began to type, it seemed that everything in front of him had suddenly become a huge splash of crimson, speckled with some gray. Simon sat motionless for a moment before his body slumped to the floor, minus the top half of his head. “I feel just . . . amazing!” Connie purred softly as she raised the modified Uzi she had just dispatched Simon with. “After we fucked, I did some writing of my own, lover,” Connie said, but she sounded more like Felicity Scorne now. She smirked in the same sinister way that Scorne did. What was more, she felt positively no remorse for anything. Not even what she had just done to Simon. “I know we promised we’d always be friends. But promises . . . are made to be broken.” Connie looked at the old typewriter. Then she smirked again as she relished the horrible mess that she had created. She opened the desk drawer where she had her pages stashed and felt the excitement of knowing that everything she had typed had come true. “Why should we share this incredible power – when I can have it all?” She read the rest of the pages and knew that she would have one more thing to do. She proceeded to find Simon’s mother downstairs and kill her as well. With nothing to stop Connie, she got dressed and managed to smuggle the typewriter and all of the pages that were typed on it to her house. After cleverly hiding the pages, she set up the typewriter. Now that she had ultimate power at literally her fingertips, she could use her imagination to fulfill all of her dreams. What was more, Connie would discover that by burning the pages that Simon had written using the typewriter, the events that had occurred would be erased and the lives taken would be fully restored.
One year later, Connie was sitting at a table inside of a major bookstore in Shore City. People lined up around the block to both buy her new book and get her to autograph it for them. She had written the first book in an ongoing new science fiction series starring Felicity Scorne, which quickly outsold even the first Hunter Black novel. Her book was also #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, something Simon had never done. However, Connie also kept the Hunter Black series going, using what was Simon’s pen name and cashing in on that as well. Yes, Connie Graves truly knew of the ultimate power that she possessed with the typewriter. All she had to do was simply take it away from Simon. Money, power, luxuries, new lifestyles, a permanent vacation – everything that she could ever want . . . was literally at her fingertips. And her imagination . . .
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