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That Character

I gave him a name. Arthur Pender. He’s from somewhere around here, and his father was a racist SOB. It’s 1957, and Artie is wandering the world, until something happens. Not a real thing, it’s inside him. He has some letters that he kept. One he got from his father while he was fighting in Korea, and the other from his platoon lieutenant who is something else (we’ll find out later).

Artie Pender is a type. He’s not the anti-hero, but almost could be. He comes from the same stock as bad people, and even alludes to it. His great-grandfather murdered his first wife and their first born, before finally fathering another son and vanishing. His grandfather was a Klansman. His father was a dirty drunk who beat the crap out of him, finally driving him out of the home.

So who is Arthur Pender? Not me, that’s for sure. I never lived that life, and would never have consented to it. At least not the details I have scribbled so far.

He’s a guy who could go either way. Full on bad, or sick of it freedom fighting revolutionary. Maybe he stops mid swing and ends up in the middle?

So here is the list of people he has interacted with so far (in some kind of order)

Front end: Artie is old and it is present day
Andrea: His daughter-in-law who rushes downstairs after he collapses (he’s about 80 years old at this point).

Flashback: Artie is in New Orleans and it is 1957/1958
A hooker: She has a cut on her lip and he might have hit her
An older man: Advises him to take the “Silver Comet” and get a sleeper car on the way to Atlanta
A storekeeper: Tries to talk religion to Artie and he shuts him down
A conductor: Helpful type, but Artie finds him a nuisance
An old black man/vagrant: Artie is somewhat nice to him, seeing as the old guy is crashing at the abandoned house he used to live in.

There is another flashback. This one from Korea:
Sgt Sutter: Arthur likes him, but is guarded
Private Holloway: Arthur tries to protect him
Lieutenant Garrett: He’s the antagonist, right now Sutter and Artie view him as weak, at least in this memory.

How I see Artie: He’s a sometime drunk, most of the time introvert. He doesn’t like it when bad things happen to good people, and hates it even more when bad people do the bad things. For some time he has tolerated it, but at this point in his life he doesn’t have the resolve to withstand it. He will start doing something about it. And that’s a good thing, we can all agree on that. However…

Is he a racist? Probably not. Is he violent? I think so. When push comes to shove, I think I’ll have Artie be not only shoving but also swinging a blade or pulling a trigger. Is that good or bad? Doesn’t matter. He’s a character, doing what I tell him to do. I see him leaning more towards King David (hence the Arthur Pender/ Arthur Pendragon reference) but not so much that the morally wrong is beyond him (just like the King David of biblical history). Not just morally wrong, as in “Oh no! That’s wrong,” but “Oh my God! Why would he do that?” Maybe he should be an “ends justifies the means” kind of guy? He’s definitely going to murder somebody, or maybe he already has. You haven’t seen the plot scheme/storyboard, I have. I made the thing. Trust me, you’ll like it. You might not like Artie, at first, but in the end you will wish he were real.



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