By Sharon Brady-Smith © 2017
I looked around my humble abode, trying to see with fresh eyes; the bookshelf containing an array of well-thumbed reference books with titles such as ‘How to write a better than average, mediocre tale’ and the dining table and chairs supporting my battered laptop. This was my creative office.
It wasn’t an idle inspection, but a critical one. I had to be sure all traces of my previous villain, Evilyn De’ath, were gone. No tell-tale crumpled balls of manuscript lurking in the corners where I had tossed them after our final disagreement. I wanted nothing to taint the mood, for in a few short moments I was to entertain, with the prospect of a new villain coming on board as my prime protagonist.
A delicate cough announced her arrival. I looked up to be captured by huge green eyes, outlined with black kohl and lashes that were too long to be natural. The sensual scents of musk and roses teased my nostrils, and then she smiled, revealing perfect white teeth framed by shockingly scarlet lips. My protagonist didn’t stand a chance.
She sashayed towards me, pale hand outstretched. Her manicured nails matching the shade of her lipstick. I clasped the extended hand with my pudgy, sweaty palm. Hers was cold. Perfect.
“Welcome to my world Madame Villainousa,” I said. Taking in her hour glass figure, poured into a red silk dress and long brunette hair. She was exactly as I’d imagined. “I’m the author. It’s good to meet you in person.”
“Hello Daarrling,” she purred, and air kissed me once on each cheek.
“Please, take a chair.” I motioned towards the table, and moved closer to assist her.
She wrinkled her delicate nose at the visitor chair I offered, glided around the table and slide into my chair. My bottom jaw dropped open. I closed it quickly, before the drool could escape. ‘Fair enough,’ I thought. ‘I wanted a take charge sort of villain.’
“May I offer you a drink?” I asked. “Coffee, something stronger?”
“No thank you Darling. I doubt your budget would run to my tastes.” She smoothed non-existent wrinkles from her skirt and looked me in the eye. “Down to business. Why should I lower myself to take part in your two-a-penny plot?”
I didn’t want to antagonize her before we even began negotiations, but that was insulting.
“Well it can’t be any worse than your last plot, can it? Perhaps you could explain why that was such a dismal failure?”
“Darling, authors write for the villain to fail.” She smiled, showing too much teeth and reminding me of her predatory nature. “It simply isn’t fair. We get a monologue, a few inept toadies and an ego. But no raison d’être or real chance of success.
“If you want me to join you. I want a true motive and an honest chance to succeed. Otherwise, there is no point in playing the game.”
“Forgive me Madame, but I thought this interview was for me to determine your suitability not the other way around.”
“Pish posh.” She dismissed me with a wave of her elegant hand. “Your story NEEDS me. Strong, Beautiful, Resourceful, Clever, Evil. But, why should I agree to take part, only to be doomed to failure simply because of author prejudice.”
“I need a villainess with high ideals. Scruples. Morals. Standards.” I leaned forward onto the table, bracing on my elbows. “Do you think you can pull that off?”
“Obviously, Darling. That’s why I question my involvement. I refuse to stoop to pettiness, or kiciking a puppy to show how evil I am.
“Give me a proper motive and something tangible to gain. I need a heartfelt reason.”
“Madame, what are your guiding principles?”
“Hmmn,” She inspected her blood red nails, polished them against her bodice and inspected then again. “I suppose it would be to do not say. If I’m going to kill you, I just do it. I don’t warn you and then tell you how I plan to carry it out, then stall for half a chapter so you can escape or outwit me.”
“I need a rich femme fatale married to an older man. She has been stepped over in her husband’s will. He has left the company to his nephew, but she feels it is hers by right. She will stop at nothing to gain control of the company.
“She will seduce my protagonist, who will fall in love with her. She’ll break his heart. Thereafter, she will twang those broken heart strings and know the very best ways to hurt and outwit him at every turn.”
“Wonderful Darling. Sign me up.”