Richard Pierce


Day 247

Just continuing the train of thought from yesterday about writers, and how there is something of the writer in every character they write. It follows on from that that the writer must have empathy with every character. Extrapolate that even further, and it makes the writer an empath by their very nature. And I think now that what I sometimes think of as my erratic style of parenting (and possibly relationships in general) is down to me being able to see both sides of every coin (because isn’t that what empathy is), so I might be really angry with someone one day, but the next day feel sorry for them because I am suddenly seeing things through their eyes. Please note this does not apply to inhuman Tory politicians. Just a thought.

I am enjoying Author, Author, and reading it, for me, slowly, savouring it, although I have to admit I do want to get it done and move on to something that reminds me less of my relationship with my writing. Some chick lit next for me, I think. Something that allows me just to escape from the real world for a few half hours in a week. Some chick lit is actually very good. I have tried my hand on “throwaway” stories but they always seem to end up going down the path of becoming something more hefty. The Immortality Clock was meant to be just one such throwaway story and ended up being an allegory about Brexit and politics in general, and The Mortality Code follows that path (you’ll have to wait for that to be completed (I’m almost three months behind on the time table of my choosing on that). Distracted by Aggie and life in general, I suppose. That’s one thing, actually, about Author, Author that I kind of envy – most of the people seem to have time to do nothing but be creative. Yes, they do have money worries on occasions, but, in the main, they are almost of independent means (that may of course all change by the time I get to the end, and I do have to remind myself that much of it is “just” fiction based on reality, something I myself am familiar with in my writing).

And, finally, an admission – most of the chapter below was written yesterday. I got so carried away when I was writing yesterday’s episode that I didn’t realise how many words I’d tapped out, and, when I finally looked up, realised I’d written almost 1k. So I split it – just over half for yesterday, and the rest (plus some added today before I started writing all the above).



Aggie reaches for her backpack.

Marion pulls her back. ‘That one then,’ she says. ‘You were going to get one of those files out of your bag, weren’t you? You brought one with you, like Cassie and I knew you would.’

‘Aren’t you puzzled by them?’

‘Of course we are. That’s one of the reasons your here.’

‘There’s more than one.’

‘Oh, yes, my dear, there are. The issue is this … Oh, look, the White House. What a coincidence.’ She points out of the window and shakes her head as if to clear it. ‘The man we had in there until the last election was no better than any of the drug dealers who wander round this city in cars like mine. And he made it his business to stick his nose into things that might bring him some cash on the side, if you know what I mean. Rummaging round the archives to see if there was any information he could sell to his buddy across the water.’

‘Putin, I assume.’

Marion nods. ‘And he discovered one half of a set of files that no-one should ever have touched, that previous administrations really would have done better to destroy than keep.’ She sits up straight, raises her right index finger. ‘But the problem was that we only had half of the archive. You English…’

‘I’m not English,’ Aggie says.

‘Oh, piffle.’ The almost snarl is back. ‘You’re as English as they come. Listen to the way you talk. And that lovely smile. That complexion.’

‘Whatever,’ Aggie says. ‘I’m not here to play games.’

The smile is back. ‘Cassie chose well, didn’t she? A lot of people are intimidated by me, you know. You obviously see through me.’

‘You called yourself a dumpy old lady, not me.’

‘I must change that line,’ Marion says. ‘I forget.’ She waves her hands at Aggie. ‘Anyway, we didn’t destroy our archive, nor did you yours.’ She nods in satisfaction when Aggie doesn’t argue back. ‘But your guys hid their files, or what was left of them, once Cassie got wind of them, and stole the most of them.’


‘Well, the guy who used to be in there, that snake oil selling son-of-a-bitch Donny, decided he’d have some of the action, and gave a few of them to his friend Vlad.’ Marion sighs. ‘And apparently he liked them so much, he decided he wanted them all.’


‘But the seller decided he’d ask quite a hefty price for them. And in the meantime hid them somewhere, or had them hidden. And then, in the rush of losing the election and trying to prove he didn’t, they somehow got lost.’ She signs inverted commas in the air.

‘He must know where they are.’

‘He probably does, but he’s not telling anyone. And in the meantime, Ukraine gets invaded, and we’re stabbing in the dark. The current administration has no time to do anything, nor is it necessarily interested in doing anything, because world peace seems like a bigger priority. But, we think these files have a direct connection to Ukraine and world peace.’

‘That’s ridiculous.’ Aggie can’t stop the disbelieving words from bursting out of her.

Marion raises her already raised eyebrow even higher. ‘How so?’

‘Because that makes me central to all this.’

Marion nods.

‘And that’s just … just impossible. I’m not important.’

‘That’s where you’re entirely wrong.’

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  1. Larry Dietz

    4th September 2022 at 18:13

    I am finding that my characters sometimes come with me and whisper ideas.

    1. Richard Pierce

      5th September 2022 at 07:35

      That doesn’t surprise me 🙂

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