Wednesday, February 17, 2016


My buddy Jon McGoran (you're reading him, right?) clued me in to one of Microsoft Word's stranger functions: AutoSummarize. It combs your document and spits out a computer-generated... synopsis? Tone poem? Schizophrenic rambling?

Whatever it is, it's a riot. I ran THE KILLING KIND through the AutoSummarize wringer a few times, and achieved maximum hilarity by selecting "500 words or less" for the output. (Check your Tools menu for for AutoSummarize if you'd like to play along.) The results are below. Spoilers, I guess?

by Chris Holm and Microsoft Word

“We’re a go,” Hendricks said. When Hendricks pulled the trigger, Cruz’s head exploded. “Good,” said Hendricks. Hendricks asked.

“This Engelmann?” Engelmann asked. Evie called. The man shrugged. The man bristled. Engelmann did. Engelmann asked.

Engelmann smiled, showing teeth. “Excellent,” said Engelmann. Thompson swore. Garfield grinned. Garfield shrugged. “This time,” Thompson amended. Thompson asked.

“Nope,” said Hendricks. Hendricks shrugged. “I didn’t,” Hendricks said.

Lester was right. “Agent Thompson? Agent Garfield? Thompson winced. Garfield snorted. Garfield replied.

Engelmann smiled. “Pass,” Hendricks said. Hendricks finished his beer. “I’m fine, Les,” Hendricks replied. Engelmann tsked. Hendricks felt for the kid. The thought pleased Hendricks. No point dwelling, Hendricks thought. Hendricks smiled. Lester laughed. Leonwood. Hendricks asked.

Hendricks wasn’t here to shop, or to kill time. Hendricks wasn’t surprised. Hendricks flashed him a smile. Purkhiser cursed.

Hendricks sighed. Purkhiser replied. Hendricks raised his hands above his head.

“Sure,” Hendricks said. Purkhiser laughed. “Please, Officer, call me Kent,” Hendricks replied. “No,” Hendricks said, fixing Purkhiser with his gaze. Hendricks asked.

“No,” Hendricks replied. “Yeah,” Hendricks said. Purkhiser shrugged. Hendricks told him so.

“Damn right. Hendricks shook his head. Purkhiser said. Garfield gulped. The man smiled. Purkhiser exclaimed. The man smiled. Like Purkhiser.

Hendricks wasn’t surprised Purkhiser called. Hendricks asked without preamble.

So Hendricks played it calm, cool.

Hendricks should have said no.

Hendricks didn’t like it.

“If?” Thompson said.

Thompson asked.

Figures, Thompson thought. Purkhiser whined. “All right, all right,” he said, showing Hendricks his hands. “Then?” prompted Hendricks.

“Eddie,” Hendricks echoed. “Right. Hendricks had Leonwood in sight as well. Garfield, perplexed.
Hendricks never saw the waitress coming. Garfield, worried. Purkhiser, Hendricks thought, must still be alive.

Purkhiser reached the door. Purkhiser closed his eyes. Thompson frowned. Hendricks had hoped to sever Leonwood’s spine. Hendricks didn’t even flinch. No doubt the female agent’s doing, Hendricks thought. Hendricks was in the stairwell.

That weasely bastard, Hendricks thought. Hendricks was on the seventh floor. Hendricks wondered if they’d ever take another one.

Hendricks asked.

Right. “So arrest me,” Hendricks said. “Agent Garfield? Right.” “Careful,” Engelmann said.
Engelmann smiled as well. Hendricks asked.

“An accident,” Hendricks echoed. Garfield paled. Hendricks smiled too. Hendricks asked her. Hendricks plugged in the phone. Hendricks sighed. “Yeah,” Hendricks replied.

“No,” Hendricks said. “Sure,” Hendricks said. “Thanks,” Thompson replied.

Thompson shrugged. Thompson nodded. Thompson asked.

Hendricks turned on the radio. A helpless dread gripped Hendricks. Hendricks sized him up.
Hendricks exclaimed. Hendricks mistook Lester’s gesture as protective of Hendricks.

Hendricks froze. Hendricks assumed Engelmann would be on it. So Hendricks took the bat. “Coming for you,” Hendricks corrected. Engelmann needs Evie. Hendricks shrugged, his nonchalance forced. “No,” Hendricks replied. Hendricks asked Evie. Hendricks shut it off.

“Right. Hendricks called Stuart into the room. Eventually, Hendricks knew, he’d come. Engelmann grinned. Engelmann smiled luxuriously. Hendricks asked. Hendricks shrugged as if to say we’ll never know. Engelmann laughed. “I’ve paid my share,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said nothing.

Thompson wheeled.

It was Hendricks.

“Evie’s stubborn,” Hendricks said. “Save your breath,” Hendricks said.

Michael Hendricks was gone.