I'm writing the script for a murder. Nothing too fancy; the sort of thing you see on Crimewatch.
Speaking of which. Friend of mine; budding actor. Got a job as a reconstruction artist; playing the criminals on true-life crime shows. Problem is, there aren't enough criminals that look like him, so the work's a little sparse.
Then he hits on a bit of an idea. Commit a few crimes himself, making him favourite at the audition. Genius. Won't he get caught? No. When people call the hotline, saying it's him committing the crimes, the police will answer "No dear... he's not the criminal, he's just the actor in the reconstruction." The perfect alibi.
What happens when you go to prison? Maybe I'll get a lawyer.
Once, a man got some bad advice from his lawyers. So he sacked them, and got a second set of lawyers in, to sue the first for giving bad advice. Only he wasn't happy with the approach the second set of lawyers were taking, so he re-hires the first set to sue the second... for bad advice. He employs both law firms on a no-win, no-fee basis and instructs them each to sue for full costs. Then, he backs slowly and quietly from the courtroom and leaves while they're arguing.
They're still there for all I know.
But he soon grows fed up with muggings. Wants to widen his repertoire. Needs crimes with more dramatic tension, a bit of intellect, something he can use to show off his art.
That's where I come in. He knows my writing and wants me to script the crimes; crimes he will commit to memory, commit, then commit to the small screen. He lets me in on the secret, offers a share of earnings. Stupid I know, but I'm skint and anyway, what budding writer wouldn't want to see their work on TV?
So: Stunt-laden car chases. Elaborate bank heists. Morally-ambiguous kidnaps. Once, I even had him practising soliloquies in the mirror. Well - it's certainly method acting, I'm sure De Niro would approve.
Maybe I'll find religion.
Once, a group of people decided they'd had enough of existing belief systems and started their own. Rather than the unassailable word of God, their sacred text would be one they wrote themselves. What with God's tendency to spell things out at the beginning then thoughtlessly disappear, having missed out a few commandments that might have otherwise been handy - like "Respect the environment" or "Don't be racist" - Did you ever notice how they're less ten commandments, more seven commandments and three End User License Agreements? And even amendable constitutions can leave you lumbered with rules that have outlived their usefulness (The right to bear arms?). So they built a people's Talmud, an open-source Koran, a wiki-Bible with commandments that anyone can edit. The final rule was the greatest. It said "If you agree, you can change all the rules, except this one." Things worked out pretty well.
And in this religion there were no schisms, only different version numbers.
After a while I tell him: this has to end. We're gonna get caught.
OK, he promises. We'll make this the last - just write me one more crime, something huge, then maybe I'll finally get a proper gig: The Bill, CSI, maybe even Prime Suspect, then I'll stop.
But the proper gig never comes. And by writing the crimes, I've effectively planned them. An accessory. He tries a new role; blackmail - keep writing or I tell the cops. Truth is I've grown to depend on the money.
Maybe I'll write a book.
Once, the cleverest man in the world wrote a book. It was the cleverest book in the world. It sold only one copy - to the second cleverest man in the world, who wanted to better himself. The second cleverest man in the world wrote a book. It was the second cleverest book in the world. It sold two copies. To the cleverest man, who wanted some light reading, and to the third cleverest, who wanted to better himself. The third cleverest man wrote a book. It sold three copies - to the first and second cleverest, and also to the fourth, who wanted to better himself.
Some books sell millions of copies.
Eventually I've had enough. Running out of ideas. This is story is starting to tell itself, and I have to break the cycle.
He's got to be stopped. Whatever it takes. So - like we agreed, one last crime, something to really stretch him. Speaking of which.
I'm writing the script for a murder. Nothing too fancy.