Writers are pretty much the top of the food chain: we have few natural predators. Our imaginations and Wikipedia keep us, for the most part, out of harms way. We spend the majority of our time in a seated position, scribbling on pads or tapping at keyboards. The most likely hazard of the writing profession is carpal tunnel. And severe caffeine withdrawal. And chairs with poor lumbar support.
Fame changes everything. Sure you want people to read your stories, until they start leaving negative comments and reviews. Or pressuring you for the next release. Or taking your ass hostage and tying you to the bed until you resurrect their favorite character you killed in the last book.
Yes, my wicked little readers, today’s villain is the Queen of Literary Terror and the sexiest thing in denim cotton floral print frock, Annie Wilkes from Misery, played by Maxim 100 beauty, Kathy Bates.
Your girl is avid fan of the Misery Chastain romance series. When she finds out the author, Paul Sheldon, has killed off Misery herself, thus ending the series, Annie is hotter than Twilight fans finding out Kristen Stewart was stepping out on Robert Pattinson. So my man’s car accident that leaves him with two broken legs in the middle of a blizzard down the street from Annie’s house is “fortuitous.”
She does what anybody—and especially a “number one fan”—would do: she bundles Paul up, takes his raggedy ass to her house, and, rather than call the police or the paramedics or even the fucking WonderPets, Annie proceeds to torture the shit out of him until he agrees to write another Misery Chastain book bringing Misery back to life. And I’m talking about withholding care and pain meds or cutting off his thumb when he gets mad about a letter missing on the typewriter. This can’t end well, right?
So while he’s writing, Annie takes a couple trips into town. This gives Paul a little bit of time to go investigating, and he does, Shaggy and Scooby-style. Sneaking around on wobbly legs looking for clues, Paul finds out that Annie absolutely is getting coal in her stocking: your girl is a serial killer in a jumper and has been killing people for years. When Annie finds out about Paul’s little excursions into her private life, she decides to “limit” him. If you watched the movie, this is the part where she ties homey to the bed, places a wedge of wood between his feet, and BREAKS HIS ANKLES WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER! Annie ain’t 100 percent And this is tame compared to what she did to my man in the book: cuts off his foot and cauterizes it with a blowtorch. What kind of shit?
And she goes out like a G: she kills a cop by running him over with a lawnmower (read that again: she rain him over with a LAWNBOY!), takes a typewriter blow to the head, gets choked out and takes a header into a mantle. But she still won’t die! After going two rounds with Paul Sheldon Michael Meyers-style, Annie finally dies while trying to start her chainsaw. I think I heard 50 Cent singing “I don’t know what you heard about me” at the end of the movie.
Annie Wilkes is awesome because she’s a romance-novel reading, Country Living magazine dressed hot pocket of unmitigated crazy. Sports figures, celebrities, and rock stars have the corner on fruitcake fans; you don’t ever hear about authors becoming a victim of their fans. Annie Wilkes teaches us that fame is fame is fame is fame and there’s enough crazy to go around. For all my author friends, I bet you’ll take that one star review over the alternative, huh?
Next up, like sand in the hour glass, so are the days of our lives (yeah, I’ve seen a soap opera before. I’m man enough to admit it)—Victor Kiriakis comes to the Festival!