Blog Chain: I'm scared... are you?


Hello again everyone! I'm back with the blog chain. Let's get to the scary, teeth-chattering, make-your-hair-stand-on-end, heart-stopping question of this post. This round's question was posed by Christine as she asks...

What is the main character of you current WiP MOST afriad of, and why? Don't use a previously finished work. This is all about discovering the inner motivations of your current characters - the ones you dn't know that well yet.

I had to think about this question, not so much about the character's fears, but which character I should base this blog chain on. A lot of my projects are completed, and the stipulation had to do with talking about a character's fear from the current WIP still rolling around in the bubbly stew juices on the back burner inside my head. But I decided on my character called George Bastion.

He's something of a mystery in himself, a janitor working in a music theater. He is an oddball, someone who seems harmless yet has such a commanding presence when he wishes to show it. Think of Forrest Gump with a push broom. George has a secret crush, an obsession, on a theater actress named Mabel. Borderline stalker? Yes, but there is more to it than this.

Mabel is the typical egotistical actress who wants her name in the spotlight, but is upstaged by another theater diva. Mabel begins to have thoughts of getting her time in the spotlight, even if it means getting rid of the competition, and she has big plans to use George in her scheme.

Sorry, I've digressed. I don't really draw up character sketches of the WIPs. I'm the type of someone who doesn't WANT to know how the story goes before I write it. I want the story (or blog post) to flow off the top of my head. I seem more creative in such a manner. So, at the moment, I'm just working out the plot, and the plot gets stranger.

Although I've portrayed George as a simpleminded janitor being taken in with a scheming actress through his puppy dog adoring love, don't let this deceive you. Like any great actor of the stage, George is one of the best. He has to be, since he isn't exactly human... or rather, he is not even alive.

Did I just confuse a lot of people?

Okay, George is... I don't know. I haven't really hashed it out yet. An alien? No. Zombie? Nuh-uh. Bloodsucking Twilight pretty boy vampire? Sorry, no available donors around.

He's... I haven't really established this bit about him. But I do know a bit of his fears. He doesn't have any guilt. He isn't afraid of losing his love. The greatest fear my character has is... cats.

Yes. Cats.

Cats reveal who he is. Cats... well, let me show you a sample from the chapter that talks about it.


With hands jammed into my jacket pockets for warmth, I strolled down the street while whistling and humming. She lived closer than I had expected, as I walked the four blocks until arriving at a large three-storey house sitting a little more alone than the other buildings nearby. No lights brightened the rooms inside. I knew she was unmarried from the letters I had read in the glove box. Miss Cameron Weltz. A pretty name. Not as pretty a name as Mabel, but she was not as pretty a woman as my Mabel.


I walked along the pathway toward the back of the house as I found a locked fence door and climbed over it using one hand. The building had a stairwell leading toward the locked basement door. A pathway brick worked well to break the door knob off and one swift kick had the entry open. I shuffled my way past stored furniture and boxes toward the steps, where I heard a growling sound from the other side of the door at the top.


I grunted and turned the knob without hesitation. The laughter burst out from my mouth before I could stop it as I entered the kitchen. The little Pomeranian hopped in place by the livingroom entry, its fierce yaps directed at the intruder. I strolled toward the refrigerator, found a Tupperware bowl of chicken salad, and dumped the food on the floor in front of the dog. Then I laid the empty container into the sink. She ate the salad up immediately, her tail wagging happily.


 I stepped over the lapping hairball and turned on the light as I studied the living room. It was a very nice house. The style bordered on industrial frou-frou as the bold colors on the walls accented the paisley-colored drapes and upholstery. Surrealism paintings sat at deliberate angles while shelf units held cherub figurines and china teacups. Lace doilies rested on the coffee table shaped like a giant hand with fingers holding up the glass. My face frowned at the contradicting sights. Then I sighed in comprehension.


The woman had a roommate.


This news should have made me happy. I was hoping the man lived with her as a steady boyfriend. Yet nothing in the house supported this possibility, especially when a feminine voice shouted from upstairs.


“Pipple, stop making all that racket!”


Pipple? I scratched my head before scrambling out of the way of the rushing dog. The Pomeranian dashed toward the stairs and wagged her tail again while staring upward. She sat on hind legs with front paws boxing at the air as the stairwell light flicked on. A sleepy yawn told of the roommate’s descending body.


I shifted back toward the kitchen. I closed the basement door then lifted up the tablecloth and scooted underneath. My body knelt under the table and my ears listened to the footfalls of someone entering the living room. Then a hissing noise caused a shiver through me. I shifted around on my heels.


The Persian cat sat curled on a kitchen chair, his fur fluffing out as the feline looked twice as large. His yellow eyes dilated as he fastened his perpetual glaring face at me. In fascination, I dared myself to reach out toward him. My hand neared, as I watched the skin flake off and the bones of fingers dry as they began to crack. The painful groan lifted from my throat as I snatched my arm back. I shifted my bony hand into my jacket and hissed at the cat, unable to scramble from under the tablecloth as the roommate’s footsteps entered the kitchen. He hissed back, too frightened of me to run away. We were at an impasse.


A door clicked open and clinking rattles filled the kitchen as the roommate huffed. Then the door slammed and her footsteps strolled toward the sink. A growl escaped from her mouth.


“Ah. Cameron! You knew that chicken salad was for my midnight meal at work tonight. And you didn’t even bother washing the dish out. Again!”


A faucet squeaked and water splashed into the sink. A plastic bottle made a raspy whooshing noise distracting the woman’s ears from the low growls erupting out of the cat’s throat. I sneered and scratched at the air with my fine hand. He mimed my action, his foreleg held out and clipped claws no longer a threat to a normal person. The tablecloth rustled at one side and Pipple’s face appeared. She gave a yap, the cat growled, and I rolled my eyes.


“Pipple, leave Sydney alone.” The empty kitchen chair scraped across the tiles as she pulled it out. Then the chair rammed back under the table and struck my arm. I held in the grimace as the second chair pulled out carrying the cat along. His claws clutched the seat as the roommate tugged him up. She gave one big yank and pushed the chair back.


“There, there, Sydney. It’s all right. That naughty Pipple won’t hurt you.” The roommate crooned at the cat before her voice barked louder than the dog’s yaps. “Pipple. Go to your bed. NOW.”


At a chastised whine, Pipple retreated from under the tablecloth. I followed after, shadowing the roommate’s footsteps as she walked out the kitchen. She dumped the cat on the couch, as he scurried into the litter box to hide out. The roommate took the steps slow as I paused by the answering service, staring at the blinking red light. 


That's about all I can tell you, literally. This chapter ends here and I haven't gotten back to it yet. But if George becomes afraid of something else more than cats, I'll let you know.

Anyway, you can read Eric's post tomorrow. And Sandra posted about her character's fears and it is quite interesting!
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Blog news! I have the special honor of being a host to Author Michelle McLean's book tour. So stop by, share in the wonderful new book release smell, and give your congratulations (I also hear that if you leave comments, you can win nifty stuff from author Michelle). Come on and share in the fun!

6 comments:

  1. Intriguing premise! I wonder what George is -- and how the cats know.

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  2. Wow, this is amazing stuff Michelle. Of course, I always like off-the-wall ideas like this. How the heck am I supposed to follow such an awesome post though?

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  3. Ha! George is my kindo of character!

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  4. Cats--LOVE IT!

    Great excerpt, as always. ;)

    I love how you introduce this topic too. Nice post!

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