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Dead Enemies

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“Snicket? Isn’t he dead?”

“Is he?”

Olaf frowned. Was he? Maybe there had been something about it in the papers, but that would involve reading and who had the time these days? Literally nobody, that was who. Newspapers were good for nothing except fuel for fires, the sparks that would ignite a blaze. He especially didn’t rate the theatre review section, forever slating him and misinterpreting his visions. His art . They didn’t understand.

...and the topic of theatre review columns brought them squarely back around to the matter of Snicket. Dead.

It was convenient, for sure. Not to have that infuriating, walking-thesaurus making snide comments about his ‘lack of acting prowess’ and such like, interfering with well-polished schemes and truly throwing a spanner in the works. It was perhaps a little too convenient. Not to mention disappointing.

Snicket was supposed to die dramatically, begging for his life while Olaf laughed heinously and he would then go up in flames. Snicket, not Olaf, that is. Specifically Lemony Snicket, though Olaf didn’t much care for the other brother Jacques. And the issue of Kit was something else…

But this Snicket, this particular one, was so frustrating he had to die in some impressive way. Not be written out of the script off-screen, given some half-hearted death somewhere far away. It was convenient. Because much as Olaf wanted Snicket dead, he knew if he’d personally tried to kill him some plot contrivance would get in the way and it’d be beyond an annoyance. It’d be a travesty .

Dead.

That got one more irksome volunteer out of the way, didn’t it? Shame it felt so unsatisfying at the same time.

“Boss? You okay?” His hook-handed companion seemed to have snuck up on him while he was lost in thoughts.

Olaf gave a small shriek and then stifled it. “Don’t you dare do that again. Ever.” His subordinate opened his mouth to speak and he shushed him. “Ever ever ever ever ever ever ever. Ever.”

“I mean, if you say so.” He shrugged. “What’s on your mind?”

“I was thinking how pathetic it is that one’s enemies go and die rather than face one in person. One is not amused.”

“Who died?”

“You know,” Olaf hissed. “ You-know-who .”

His subordinate blinked. “Voldemort?”

“No, you buffoon, not Voldemort. Although I admit, he did die in the last movie so I’ll give you that. I mean Snicket .”

“Didn’t you date her?”

“Not that Snicket! The other one!”

“The taxi-driving one?”

Olaf rolled his eyes. The imbecility of some people was astonishing. “The one whose name we don’t say in my presence. The one with the ridiculous speech patterns who thinks he’s so clever because he says ‘which here means’, which here means he’s not clever at all. Oh for God’s sake, the one who’s named after a damn fruit. Lemony .”

“What about him?”

“Where you listening to nothing I just said? According to that moron back at the Anxious Clown, he’s dead.”

“Isn’t that...a good thing?” His idiot accomplice hazarded.

Olaf sighed. “Well duhhhhh. I just expected it to end differently. Still. Good riddance. If he’d ever found out what we did to his darling Beatrice and what we’re currently doing to her darling children he’d probably-” he shuddered. “I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be good.”

“Write a successful thirteen book series about it, that gets an unpopular movie adaptation and a somewhat more well-received series?”

“What?” Olaf eyed his subordinate dubiously.

“I mean- I don’t know either. That seemed...probable. Maybe by a popular streaming service?”

“I doubt it. There’s no way it’d be approved for publication, let alone be successful enough for a series.” Olaf grinned. “After all. Nobody wants to read a story where the villains win.”

His subordinate coughed. “One minor, glaring problem, boss.”

“And that is?”

“We haven’t won yet.”

“We will,” Olaf replied, grinning even more wickedly, if that could somehow be possible. It could be possible. He was a wicked man, after all, and not in the dated slang sense where wicked means cool, but in the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’ sense, although less likely to have a major Broadway hit about him. “Oh, we will. I can assure you of that.”

He could assure him, for sure.

But thankfully, that would never make him right.

At least, not altogether.