This post is part of the April Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s challenge is to describe one of your characters in 50 words or less and then have that character interview you. Mine is below and I have to say this was really fun!
David Heiland is anything but your average high school student: State track and archery champion, honor roll student, and oh, yeah, heir to a multi-million dollar fortune. He never dreamed he’d soon add protecting a magical, parallel world on the brink of annihilation to his list of achievements. When a traveler snatches David and his best friend, Charlotte, and ferries them to Fallhollow, David discovers far more unsettling truths: his arrival has awakened a vengeful dragon, a magic man is out to kill him, and his entire fifteen years of life has been nothing but a gargantuan lie.
Today didn’t start out great at all. I burned my thumb on the frying pan, the dog puked all over the living room rug, the cat fell in the fish tank and I spilled coffee all over my blouse.
I kicked my shoes into the corner as soon as I entered my office and opened the blinds, but the warm sunlight on the butter-colored walls did little to fix my mood. I sat down behind my desk, my fingers pressed to my temples, confident the day couldn’t get any worse. I was wrong.
I had just opened my e-mails when this teenager pushed through the door and walked into my office. No knock, no nothing. He just strutted in like he owned the place. Normally, this would have irritated the hell out of me, but in this case, I didn’t mind. This kid was gorgeous. Tall. Short, dark hair, intense blue eyes and was dressed like a million bucks.
“Ms. Ford?” he says to me in this smooth, honey-sweet Tennessee drawl that made my insides all gooey.
“Don’t you know how to knock?” I had to sound like I was in control. In all actuality, I was wishing I was thirty-five years younger.
“I need to speak with you,” he said.
“And you are?”
He sat down across from me his elbows on his knees and twisted his Rolex on his wrist so the hands faced just so. “You don’t recognize me?”
I shook my head. “Should I?”
His eyes drifted to my coffee stain and then he looked away as if embarrassed by my slovenliness. I hugged my legal pad.
“You wrote a book about me. Word is, you’re writing another. I want to know why?”
“I write books and stories about a lot of people. That doesn’t tell me who you are.”
“I’m David. David Heiland?” His tone carried that “duh” factor.
I gagged on my own spit. “What?” I said. “I-I don’t understand. What are you doing in Florida? You’re supposed to be in Havendale, Tennessee.”
“I had to come see you. I had to find out why you’re doing this to me.”
I leaned forward, confused. “Doing what to you?”
“Messing up my life. Why did you wait until I was almost sixteen to tell me my parents were alive, and what is it with this paladin crap? And Eric?” He looked away, searching for words. He finally found them. “I don’t know what you’re doing, but if Eric takes Charlotte away from me . . .”
I gave him a wry smile. “Um, how can he take something away from you that’s not yours?”
“She is mine. You know how much I love her. Now, thanks to you, the whole world knows, too.”
“Why don’t you tell her how you feel?”
He looked at the floor and tumbled his thumbs one over the other. “I don’t know. Scared, I guess.”
“Admitting your feelings is a scary thing to do. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”
“Yeah, well I won’t have a chance if you keep Eric hanging around.”
I nodded and smiled. “I think I understand what’s going on here. Do you mind if I give you a bit of advice?” He sat back and gestured for me to continue. “I think you’re allowing your fear to overshadow your faith. I learned long ago fear and faith cannot exist together. You’re doubting what you have to offer. Trust me when I say you either have to believe in you, believe in what you are, or let your fear take over. Only you can choose which one will be your ally.”
“Fine, but why did you have to tell the world about it? Don’t you have any respect for privacy?”
“I’m a writer, David. You have a unique story. It needs to be told.”
He chuckled, but there was no humor in it. “Yeah? What’s so unique about it?”
“Don’t you see, David? You’re different. Most people we read about don’t have the finer things in life. They are always striving for something more. They want the dream. They want to amount to something or gain acceptance or wealth or love. You, on the other hand, already have it. Look at you. You’re good-looking. You’re an honor student. You’re a champion athlete. You’re rich, you have a beautiful home. You’re surrounded by love, and yet, in spite of all those things, you long for something the rest of us have and yet take for granted: parents. I know what that feels like. Both of my parents are dead and I know how much I miss them. I couldn’t see you suffer anymore. It was time you knew the truth and give you what you want. You’ve missed almost sixteen years with them. I couldn’t have you miss more time.”
“You couldn’t just have them come home? Why did you have to put me in danger?”
“What kind of story would that be?” I set the legal pad on the desk. “Surely you don’t think I was just going to hand this one over to you. I mean, sometimes you do have to work for what you want.”
“But you opened a portal to a parallel world and threw me in it without any warning. Now there’s a dragon and a warlock trying to kill me! I didn’t ask for this!”
I stood up and walked around my desk and sat on the corner. “No one asks for the bad or the unexpected to happen, David, but it’s life. How we deal with those events is what shapes us, defines us, makes us who we are.”
“But what about Charlotte? Why did you thrust her into the mess with me? She doesn’t deserve this.”
“No, but she is your friend and friends stick together through the good times and the bad times. She’ll also come away from this with some valuable lessons. What the two of you must decide is whether you will be victims or victors. No one else can make that choice for you.”
“Which one do you choose when things go wrong?”
“After I have my pity party?” I smiled. “I always fall back on faith, so I guess that makes me a victor. Whatever will be, will be in the end. You just have to believe and never lose hope.”
“So how does it end for me? For Charlotte?”
I shrugged. “Exactly the way you want it to, I suppose.”
He nodded and stood. Damn, he was tall, and I have to admit, my heart fluttered. The kid was a lady killer. If only I was only 16 again.
He held out his hand. I shook it. “Thanks, for talking to me,” he said. “I have a lot to think about.” He walked to the door, paused and looked over his shoulder. “Can I just ask you to do me a favor? Make sure Charlotte gets home safely. That’s all I really care about.”
“It’s your story, sweetie. I’m only writing it.”
He nodded, gave me that ‘see ya’ wave, and closed the door behind him.
Be sure to check out the other entries!
orion_mk3 – link to this month’s post
Yoghurtelf – link to this month’s post
xcomplex – link to this month’s post
pezie – link to this month’s post
aimeelaine – link to this month’s post
auburnassassin – link to this month’s post
Proach – link to this month’s post
allmyposts – link to this month’s post
jkellerford – link to this month’s post