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This is the first prompt I tried after becoming a member of Writer’s digest (WD). the exercises are a lot of fun and the other members are both nice and generous with insights and knowledge. If you aren’t a member yet, you should be!

Prompt set up:

You’re sitting at the breakfast table one morning, looking at the top news stories while drinking your coffee. The top story this morning is a crazy fan who was arrested for breaking into a local bookstore and stealing all of YOUR books! He’s quoted as saying “I just want to be their best friend!” Your first crazed fan. What do you do? – See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/crazed-fan/comment-page-1#comment-3561820

crazy fan

Crazed Fan

The first thought that comes to mind is, “What would Castle do?” but then I realize I’m not a novelist in a drama series who writes crime mysteries. Thoughts of murderous fans lurking in wait for the perfect prey to play the part of the penned victim are not a cause of concern for me…thankfully.

Perhaps like him, though, I have a weekly joust with friendly authors who meet to share stories and reflect on these markers of fame. In which case, one might elaborate on an occasion where his first ‘crazed’ fan waited in the parking lot of the bookstore where he had just spent hours signing the inside flaps and making small talk. However, instead of the fan waiting for my friend to exit the building, he stole the signed books right out from under each buyer, then turned around and sold each copy for a profit on eBay.

“Wouldn’t that just make him a thief?” another would reply.

“Well, I suppose, but they were my books he stole!” the other would inject.

Still, another would argue that that would be better than a person who would steal an unpublished manuscript and then publish it as his own!

“Again! Not a fan, but a thief!”

To which I would add “Peeps, can we stay on point here? This fan is breaking into stores and stealing my books. What do I do?”

“I don’t know. Wouldn’t one copy of the book be good enough? Why is he stealing all of them?”

“Don’t know, maybe he thinks they’re like organs and he’s trying to sell them on the black market. He is a little touched?”

“Ok. That’s not even funny!”

“No, he’s just stupid.”

Laughter resonates around the table like the hours on a clock. I couldn’t help but wonder how a simple question could quickly escalate into complete madness in a matter of minutes. Then again, all I need do was look at the faces that occupied the space around the table in answer to my own question.

And yet I couldn’t stop myself. “Are you saying my fans are stupid?”

“No. He’s saying they are thieves. Pay attention!”

“Would you stop with the thief thing already?”

“Well, look at the facts. He stole ALL the books, not one.”

“Yes, but if he stole just one he wouldn’t be a fan, he’d be a thief. Stealing all the books just proves that he’s a fan.”

“Auck! Your reasoning scares the shit out of me.”

“None of this is helping me!” I say.

“Geez louis. Would you like some cheese with that whine?”

“Now that’s cheesy! Speaking of cheese, do we have any? These nachos could use a little somethin’-somethin’.  Anyway, why is any of this your problem?” asks John as he slides his chair away from the table in search of some cheese.

Looking around the table I watched as each turned their attention to me.

“That’s a very good question.” I say in response. “Why indeed?”