Desert Tribes, Accidental Death and Black Coffee: Not an interview with WMR’s main character

Ok, you’ve read this bit before. DLB witches sit down with the resident main character, may or may not get some questions answered. This one…well, this one takes the cake. Hang on to your hats, folks. Enter psycho, stage left.

DLB:  Welcome to the Dirty Little Bookers Main Character Interview forum! Our guest today is the main character from the novel, WHERE MADMEN RULE

Let us start by saying that you, sir, do NOT look anything like we thought you would. Taller, and a good bit more muscular, like you spend a ton of time at the gym. Please, if you would, state your name for our reading audience.

GX: I am called Xandro. General Xandro. The “X” is pronounced as if a man were clearing his throat. If anyone should mispronounce my name, I will see to it that they do not do so a second time. 

 DLB: Wait…what? You’re Xandro—er, we mean Ch-chhhandro?

GX: Did I not just tell you so?  Do you doubt my word?

DLB: No, it’s not that, it’s just… Look, this is embarrassing, and we’re terribly sorry, but apparently there’s been some sort of scheduling foul up. We’re supposed to be interviewing the main character. Did you see him in the lobby?  Can somebody check and see if Mike Hayden is out in the…

GX: I am the main character.

DLB: No, you’re not. We’ve read the book; you are the antagonist. Mike Hayden is the protagonist, so that makes him the main character. In fact, at one point you and he get into a fight and he…

GX: I will tell you this one more time—and one more time only—I am the main character. If anyone has told you differently, then they have lied. It will be best for all concerned—the crew, the studio audience, and certainly for you—if you proceed with the interview with no further delay. I will tolerate no disrespect. In fact, perhaps, now, I will give you a small demonstration of what happens to those who attempt to belittle…

DLB: Hold it, General. No need to get excited. Sit back down. Stay calm. We can…ah… Well, we’ll just go on with the interview. No problem.

Staffer: (Do I need to call 911?)

GX: What is your servant whispering?

DLB: It’s a minor technical difficulty, General; nothing to be alarmed about. (Yeah, like five minutes ago. In the meantime keep the camera rolling. But for God’s sake keep your eye on this guy!)

GX: What do you have in that cup?

DLB: It’s coffee.

GX: If a different main character were being interviewed, would you offer them a cup of this coffee?

DLB: Most of them stop at the coffee shop on the way in.  But yes, sometimes we might offer someone…

GX: Then you must offer me one as well. I tell you this again; I will not be disrespected.

DLB:  Okay, sure, no problem. How do you take it?

GX: How do most virile, dominant men take it?

DLB: Uh, black, we guess. Yeah, probably black.  Our husbands like it black and they’re pretty…

GX: Then I will drink it blackly as well. And I will drink it more blackly than anyone.

DLB: Okay, hang on. (Bob, get him a cup. And freshen ours up, too. Wait! Better make ’em Irish.)

Staffer: (Got it.)

GX: I wish for the interview to proceed now—at once.  Let there be no more delay. Ask me another question.

DLB: Sure, sure. No problem. Don’t get excited. You just caught us a little off guard there. The questions are around here somewhere. Let’s see… What is your name? No, we already did that one. Okay, here’s the next one. Do you have a nickname?

GX: I am called General Xandro.

DLB: Right. You already said that. But do you have a nickname?

GX: I do not understand. Do you make sport of me? Because, if that is your intent, I assure you I will…

DLB: No! Don’t get up!  Sit back down! No disrespect intended! There you go. Now lean back and relax.  Isn’t that better? It’s a comfortable chair, isn’t it? Good. Now just stay calm. We’ll ask the question a different way; what do your friends call you?

GX: Ah! I begin to see. In an informal setting such as this, you may refer to me as The General, or perhaps simply as General.

DLB: And where were you born?

GX: I am of the Chakrisi tribe, on the planet Sunworld. And all true Chakrisi men are of the desert. Therefore, when my father saw that his concubine—my mother—was near her time, he ordered that she should be removed from the subterranean city of Hyumbar and taken to our tribe’s homeland in the desert. I was birthed there in the traditional way. The Lord of Lords of the Chakrisi tribe may be born in no other setting.

DLB: But wasn’t that a little dangerous? Wouldn’t it have been better for your mother to deliver someplace where there were trained physicians, you know, in case there were any complications?

GX: I was my father’s designated heir. If my mother had failed to deliver me alive, then she would have been punished—with death. This she knew.

DLB: What? But what if… Never mind. Skip it. Asked and answered. We’ll, uh…w’ell just move on. Next question: Who is your best friend, and why?

GX: My best friend was called Servanto.

DLB: What do you mean “was” called? Has he passed away?

GX: That is correct.

DLB: All right then, how did he die?  And how did you feel when he died?

GX: He was killed in the sparring arena when he and I were both thirteen. His death was…a pivotal event in my life. We were learning a new fighting technique that day, one that involves seizing your opponent by the neck and applying pressure in a certain way. When he tried to escape my grasp, feinting in one direction, I twisted in the opposite direction and…

DLB: You broke your best friend’s neck?

GX: It was an unfortunate accident, yet a Chakrisi man must not pall in the face death. Perhaps, if he had been less weak, or I less strong… But I was a physically dominant man, even then.

DLB: And why do you consider him to be—that is, to have been—your best friend?

GX: He was my first kill in the sparring arena. For that reason, the memory of his death marks an important milestone for me.

DLB: We’re almost afraid to ask this next one. What makes you laugh?

GX: When we have reduced a northern village to rubble, collapsed all their tunnels, and one of the captured women has been brought to my tent—when I am done with her, then, sometimes, I laugh.

Staffer: (The cops just pulled up in front of the building! Keep the bastard talking for a couple more minutes…)

DLB: Where do you go when you’re angry?

GX: Go? When I am angry? I go nowhere. It is those in my presence who leave.

DLB: Do you have any scars?

GX: I have many scars, all from the traditional Chakrisi sparring knives that are used in the training arena. But while my scars are minor—mere reminders that a man must be quick with his weapons—those I haveinflicted are not. Once, when I was fourteen, I struck another student in the neck with such violence that his head… Why do you stare in such a manner? Are you ill? All at once you seem ill.

DLB: Forget it. Ah, let’s see, next question.  Where you live—wait, we know that one, in the desert. Where you work—in the desert, okay, yeah. We’ll skip those. All right, do you have a secret?

GX: A secret? What sort of secret? Is this a sexual question you ask me now?

DLB: What? No!

GX: Women are drawn to me. If you, yourself, feel compelled to ask such things, I am not surprised. When the interview is concluded, you may accompany me to dinner, after which, I will afford you the privilege of…

DLB: Not on your life, Pal!

Staffer: (The cops are in the building! Just keep him busy for one more minute!)

DLB: What makes you laugh? No, wait—we already did that one. It’s Sunday morning, what are you doing?

GX: Cleaning my weapons. Practicing with my weapons. Perhaps I am also planning the next military incursion into the territories of the northern tribes.

DLB: You’re getting out for the night. Where are you going?

GX: To the sex worker district in the Old Quarter of the city of Hyumbar. There, a woman will be procured for me and…

DLB: Jesus Christ! Moving on, what is your most everlasting childhood memory?

GX: Ah yes. On the day that I killed my first man in the sparring arena—my best friend, Servanto, as you recall—my father decided to mark the occasion. A woman was procured and brought to my quarters, at which time I…

Staffer: There he is! Watch him! He’s got a big knife on his belt!

Cop #1: Okay, Buddy.  Just keep calm and stay where you are. Keep your hands where we can see ‘em.Hold it! Stay in the chair I said!  What are you doing! Okay, that’s it! On the ground! On the ground I said! GET ON THE GROUND NOW!


Cop #1:  You heard him, punk!  ON THE GROUN… KNIFE! KNIFE! Taze him! Taze him—YOU GOT HIM!

Cop #2: You over there! Turn that goddamned camera OFF! Do it NOW!

StafferJeez! Look at him twitching and jerking! Just like on Cops!

Cop #1: Keep the juice on while I get him cuffed, Harry!

Cop #2: Lady, get the hell away from him! You can’t kick him while we’re handcuffing him! Now get back!  Dammit lady I ain’t kidding! You kick him in the crotch one more time and I’ll run you in for obstruction!

Staffer: Boss, calm down. Come on now, step back like he said. Here, take another sip of your coffee…

DLB: This interview is over, people! Jesus Christ! Who in the hell booked that psycho?

Staffer: I’m gonna find a different job.  I mean it this time…

Hayman wrote that whole thing, give or take a few exclamation points. You’re typing ‘amazon’ in a new tab? Don’t-just click HERE for a copy. He’s awesome.

Where Madmen Rule