Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Andy And Bobby by Christopher Grant


They were crime fiction writers that thought it would be cool to be career criminals. They were good friends, both on the internet and off.

One night, Andy and Bobby’s fictional worlds exploded out into reality.

It was Andy that had the plan.

Gas stations, from Los Angeles all the way to the border.

The first dozen or so went smoothly, no resistance, no heroes.

The media tracked their every move, starting out as a local interest story, gaining steam as they knocked over one gas station after another.

By the time they got to San Diego, they were national news.

And the FBI and California Highway Patrol were all over their trail.

Both Andy and Bobby agreed that their timetable had to be sped up.

“Last one,” Bobby said.

“I don’t like it,” Andy said.

“Last one, promise,” Bobby said. “We gotta get gas besides. Never make it to the border if we don’t.”

Andy relented and, twenty miles later, they pulled into what would be their last gas station. While Andy pumped the gas, Bobby went inside. He browsed through the store until the patrons cleared out.

And then he pulled his piece.

Bobby had done this dozens of times in a dozen other gas stations, and hundreds of times in the mirror ala Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (Bobby didn’t do a half-bad impression of DeNiro).

He kept his eyes focused on the clerk behind the counter. As a result, he didn’t see the bag of Ruffles Potato Chips and ended up slipping on them on his way to getting paid. The gun went off, sending a round into the ceiling tile.

Outside the store, Andy heard the gunshot and panicked. Gunshots were never in the plan. For a moment, he wondered if Bobby had gotten unlucky, getting a hero clerk bent on protecting the till, and had lost his temper. Quickly, he removed the nozzle from the tank of the car and put it back on the rack on the pump. He screwed the cap back on the tank and slammed the little door shut.

When Bobby came bursting through the gas station door, Andy hopped in behind the wheel of the car and didn’t bother waiting for Bobby to shut his door before pealing out of the lot.

They were five minutes down the road when Andy looked down and noticed that they had only gotten a half tank of gas.

“Shit,” he said and Bobby looked where he was.

“Shit,” Bobby echoed Andy’s sentiments.

Looking back up, he saw the roadblock and the heavily-armed FBI agents.

“It was fun while it lasted,” Andy said.

“Yeah,” Bobby said before tossing the gun out the window.


They were fictional characters who always wanted to be real-life fiction writers. They just had no idea how to go about doing that.

One night, reality exploded into Andy and Bobby’s fictional world.

It was Bobby that had the plan.


Lots of them.

Lots of death.

Lots of just plain old cold-blooded murder.

Until they wormed their way out of fiction and into the real world.

It may have been Bobby’s plan but it was Andy that initiated the whole thing.

His first target was his father.

What’s that they say about wanting to kill your father and fuck your mother?

Andy wasn’t all that interested in fucking his mother and he couldn’t if he had wanted to anyway. His mom had been dead for the past twelve years, the victim of a writer’s pen. No one had ever explained it to him beyond that. He thought that his father would help him understand and grieve. He thought wrong.

So his old man had to go.

Surprisingly, though he’d never fired a shot before, he scored immediately with a headshot, almost perfectly between his old man’s eyes while he slept on the sofa.

Unfortunately, someone had a flight of fancy because Andy’s father didn’t die with what, in the real world, would have been a killshot.

“Gonna have to do better than that, son,” his father said, his eyes slamming open. He got off the couch and grabbed Andy’s wrist, twisting it roughly to the side. A fist to the gut winded Andy but he didn’t go down and the sweep of his father’s legs finally felled him. Andy was quickly on top of the old man and had the gun in his father’s mouth. Two shots, just to make sure that he’d killed the bastard. A check of his pulse confirmed it.

Andy picked up the phone and dialed Bobby’s number. On the third ring, Bobby answered.

“I did it, man,” Andy said.

“Did what?” Bobby asked.

“Killed my old man.”

Heavy silence on the other end and then, “Cool.”

Andy hung up, sat down on the sofa and had a beer.

Three hours later, the phone on the coffee table rang. Andy was so wasted that he couldn’t find the receiver until the sixteenth ring.

“Hellso?” Andy said, slurring his speech.

“The entire neighborhood is gone,” Bobby said, sober as fuck. “I just kept firing. Even when the guns should have run out of ammo, they were still blazing, man. It was fucking...cool. What about you?”

“Ainch got offch the couch,” Andy said.

“Well, fucking do it already,” Bobby said. “How the fuck are we going to get to the real world if you don’t do your part?”

Because he lived in a fictional world, all it took for Andy to sober up was his willpower. The pep talk that Bobby just gave him did half the job. Standing up went the rest of the way.

Andy grabbed his gun and said, “Let’s rock.”


Two million, three hundred and seventy-four thousand, eight-hundred and eighty-six corpses later, Andy and Bobby stood on the edge of reality.

Reality wasn’t quite what they had imagined it to be. The veil separating the fictional world and the real world was a Jell-O-shimmering membrane.

“So all we do is just step through, huh?” Andy said.

“Guess so,” Bobby said.

“Think we should leave the guns?”

“Probably can get guns on the other side.”

“Ready?” Andy said.

“Think so,” Bobby said.

Andy stepped forward, put his hand against the Jell-O membrane and pushed through. It was like swimming in lard but eventually his hand broke out on the other side.

Andy smiled back at Bobby and kept going through the membrane, his entire body pushing through as he held his breath.

Bobby quickly followed.

On the other side, Andy turned to cinder in front of Bobby's eyes. Bobby tried to scream but couldn’t for fear of getting Jell-O in his lungs. He couldn’t turn around and go back to his fictional world, either. The tide already had hold of him.

Before he reached the other side, he figured that if he was going to die, he might as well go out screaming and he opened his mouth. The Jell-O was lime.

He heard a voice in his head.

“Relax,” it said. It was a soothing voice and Bobby felt calm.

The tide took him to the reality side of the Jell-O membrane and through to the real world.

Standing next to Andy’s ashes, Bobby braced himself for the same fate. When it didn’t come, he opened his eyes and looked at the real world.

It was very similar to his fictional world.

“Now what?” Bobby called out to the voice that he’d heard in his head.

No answer came.


  1. I found that printing out both stories and reading each page alternating with its corresponding page (you know, read page one of story one then page one of story two)lets the reader appreciate how much like a Miles and Coltrane duet the stories are. Miles hitting a high. 'trane answering low.


    "It was Andy that had the plan."
    "It was Bobby that had the plan."
    "Gas stations, from Los Angeles all the way to the border.
    The first dozen or so went smoothly, no resistance, no heroes."
    Lots of them.
    Lots of death.
    Lots of just plain old cold-blooded murder."

    Now that's some bop and re-bop of the finest kind.


  2. Wow. That second story is some crazy shit. Talk about an upward spiral!

  3. I just love these two and the way the action steamrolls. It is real, it sounds like two poeple I know and that is the appeal you can actually imagine this happening and the two paths.

  4. AJ, I'm honored to be compared to Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

    Chris, yeah, that second story is some crazy shit but fun, crazy shit. Upward spiral until Andy and Bobby get to the other side. Then it's ashes to ashes and a whole lotta Ooops for Bobby.

    Richard, I think, perhaps, for my next story (not necessarily at AE), I might have a little fun with Bobby now that he's in the real world and walk him past his creator, who may be Andy and may be Bobby, the real world version. Perhaps Bobby, the fictional-now-real-world Bobby, becomes a lawyer and represents Andy and Bobby when their case comes up.