Sunday, November 2, 2008

Non-fictional Crime - Mistaken Identity

Word Count Sept 24 (morning): 57, 564
Word Count Sept 25 (morning): 0

Word Count this morning: 0
Word Count now: 1056

2. An irony, that the inaugural post on a crime-writer's blog would be about this kind of theft.
A tale of theft on a blog that is sympathetic to crime shouldn't be an irony, should it, after all what is a theft if not a crime?
But the crime in question is not a fictional crime.
It is a real one.
And it is not an ordinary non-fictional crime.
It is a crime of which I am the uber-unfortunate victim.
The night of August 24 - that makes it more than two months already! - I returned home from a long aimless walk into the city to find that my apartment had been burgled.
Very crudely burgled, too. They (it must have been more than one person - one person could not possibly have summoned the enthusiasm for that) not only broke the lock on my front door and the door into the kitchen, they took both locks away. The entire lock mechanisms.

3. Worst of all, the criminals took away my manuscript. All 57,000+ words of my novel-in-progress. They actually tore out all the pages I had written in, and left a blank notebook behind. I had been working on that manuscript on and off for two years. It was "Birth Certificate, Passport, Favourite Novel, ID Card and Holy Bible" all rolled up into one for me. It was the only evidence that I had been alive over those two years.

I sold my typewriter the next day.

What made the incident painful was this: I am absolutely certain that it was a case of mistaken identity. I swear. A famous (famous enough to own a website, and a now-defunct wikipedia page) children's writer - X. X. Broomington - used to live in my apartment, before I moved in. He was a prolific man, prolific in his words, and in the way he ran up huge debts - everywhere (pubs, bookstores, even at the whorehouse). Every now and then a creditor would invade his apartment and seize his latest manuscript, until he paid.

When he moved out (April of this year) I moved in - something exciting about writing in a house once lived in by another writer - and for weeks after would wander around the house imagining I was him, and that his Muse, and characters, and plots now belonged to me.
It must have worked, half of the words of my stolen novel were written within the first one month of my arrival.

My point is this: Some idiot-creditor somewhere, unaware that the chronic debtor who used to live in this house has moved out, must have broken in and taken my novel. Mistaken Identity. I occassionally get Mr. Broomington's mails, and in the past I have had to fend off a whore or two who came in search of him. I thought of putting up a sign explaining, but never got round to doing that until I lost my novel.

I waited for days hoping the kidnapper of my manuscript would come back, seeking to negotiate. I am still waiting. I have therefore decided to start a new novel.

It will be a sequel to the stolen, unfinished first one. It will start off from where the stolen one would have ended...


R.E.II™ said...

Dont worry, you should aspire to be like nikolai gogol...he burnt a manuscript that was more advanced than you would ever imagine and started all over again and again and again...have you read dead souls? In fact, he even burnt the concluding chapter...
Interesting post but let this inspire you...but I enjoyed this post and I think I should link to this blog. Very interesting character this is, would fit well into my story...:)

iGwatala said...

Accept my sympathy Desiderus. Such happens. Drink some wine, maybe you'll get inspiration.

In vino veritas, lol.

Anonymous said...

Broomington's dead you IDIOT! Some say he was bludgeoned to death, others say he was shot, but whatever happened happened in that house you now live in!
I have mailed you a cutting of his obituary.