“So,” the Emperor says dramatically. “I see you have been plotting to murder me.”
“It’s true,” I reply. “I am responsible for the conspiracy against you. You’re getting in my way. I’m afraid I have no other choice but to kill you.”
“How dare you be so ungrateful to me after everything I’ve done for you!”
“Oh please. You have done nothing for me but get in the way right from the very start. It is decided. You will have to die. It’s the only way I’ll ever be rid of you. Now the only question is, should I have you murdered by a rival drug cartel or stabbed in the back by your right-hand man?”
The Emperor pauses and strokes his beard thoughtfully. He takes a seat beside me on the bed and wraps his arm around me.
“Here’s what I think you should do,” he says. “The guy working for me is a double-agent and turns me into the rival cartel. They ambush me in an alleyway while I’m on my way to meet you for a beautiful, romantic dinner. When I fail to show up, you get angry but start worrying. When you get back to the hotel room, there’s a box waiting for you on the dresser. In that box is a single severed ear with a solid gold hoop earring and a note informing you I’ve been brutally murdered, cut up into little pieces, and fed to a pack of wild boars. You are defeated and regret the moment you ever wished death upon me. Suddenly, you are hit by a sense of alarm and blind panic. You are now all alone in a sketchy foreign country where your boyfriend has just been murdered by a local drug cartel. You have no money, no papers, and no plane ticket home. You are lost and all alone.”
I stare up at him in shock.
“Luckily, right at that moment, the Owl appears at your front door. He tells you to a pack a bag quickly and come with him. There is no time for questions. You must get to the airport as fast as humanly possible. You try to make a run for it in the car, but the bad guys start following you. The Owl calmly reassures you he’s done this on several occasions before. He outmaneuvers the bad guys and their cars go sailing off the cliff’s edge into the water below. You make it to the airport and make a mad dash for the last flight out of Belize before the hurricane. When you run out into the hanger, you see me standing there with Mad Dog next to a small private plane. Surprise! It’s me! I faked my own death and got away with all the cash! We have a romantic embrace before I lead you onto the plane. We take off just as the drug cartel blows up the hanger behind us and just make it past the hurricane. We fly off into the sunset, never to be seen or heard from ever again. The End.”
I continue staring at him with my mouth hanging wide open.
“And it’s a movie,” he says, nodding his head enthusiastically. “And the Owl is flying the plane.”
“Wow,” I say. “That was amazing.”
“It was nothing,” he says with a shrug. “Just reminding you why you still keep me around.”
“If you killed me now, all of your inspiration will go away. Admit it. You want me to stay. You need me to stay.”
“I suppose you’re right,” I say reasonably. “All right. I’ll give you one more chance, Andrew. As long as you keep inspiring me with something new every day.”