During the summer, my wife and I binge-watched all three John Wick movies.
We were astounded by the number of extras that he killed over the space of those collective six hours. Most of them were nameless, and many were even faceless. They were just ... targets.
It made me think of so many extras that get killed by the hero in all these movies. We never are able to see into their personalities, and yet, they are human.
The only time I'd ever seen any sort of personality was from Iron Man 3, in which Tony Stark, using half his Iron Man outfit, is blasting the security guards in an old castle, and he is about to blast one who suddenly puts his hands up and said, "I never liked this job anyway!" (NOTE: Stark lets him go free).
THAT was a brilliant piece of writing, a bit of humor that humanized what otherwise would be just one more body, piled among all the others.
So... I looked up a few sites that counted how many were killed by John Wick during the three movies and received several different numbers. One was 299, another 287. Both counts included the named, speaking characters that he killed. I did not include those on my list, because they are actual characters.
What I did was to give names to the nameless, and a brief depiction of them, to give them ever so slight a taste of humanity. I tried to give the pieces a range: some were final thoughts, some were memories, some were dreams, some were mottos.
Using a trick I loved from Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," I even had some of them talking about others among these numbered dead.
Lastly, while certain copyright laws will probably prevent me from publishing this list as "WICKTIMS" (using the copyrighted name of John Wick), perhaps some day I can repurpose this work as a full-on poetic series in homage to ALL the gun-fodder fallen in our action movies. Or maybe this will remain a piece of fanfic.
Dunno. But hey, at least it's done.
So, here are the first five. More to come in later posts.
Hope y'all enjoy!
1. Desmond Honey. Listened to The Cure’s “Pictures of You” to remember the girl who died in a car accident. The song brought to mind the nights they lay, top down on the Jeep, watching the stars.
2. George Sayaad. Had just started a Nutri-System diet plan, had lost about 10 pounds, and was feeling really good about getting back into shape.
3. Carlton Dean. The previous Saturday, he’d gone with his 7-year-old son to a Monster Truck rally. First time his ex-wife had let him see the boy in months. It was a great day.
4. Liseth Marquez Garcia. Navy vet. Couldn’t seem to fit back into civilian life. Took this job because her daughter has MS and she needed the insurance coverage.
5. Louis McLaughlin. Has a wife and four kids. Prides himself on never having missed a soccer game.