I missed a couple of blog posts this week. I blame my getting acquainted with Twitter and reading all of the fun tweets. I can see how easy it is to scroll through things and get caught up in the short, simple messages. So, back on track, back to the words and the typing and the creating of word soup or maybe word vomit. I’ve had a lot of different characters come down and sit with me lately, all trying to get an edge in over the other, trying to sell me on why they should hit the page. Some have definitely not made the cut, others are getting fleshed out (this is a strange and creepy expression if you ask me) and others are quiet. It’s those quiet ones I worry about, they grow into the loudest voices after a while. They kick the chair over they’ve patiently been sitting in and then demand the attention in the room. And you know what? All those other voices, primary, secondary, maybe even the tertiary ones, they all shut up and listen.
I thought I’d share a small sample of a character I killed off a couple of years ago when I was fooling around with darker characters. I loved Nigel, I still love him in some small way since he pops back up in my waiting room of characters. I went through a phase and read a fair amount of Regency romance and other historical romance novels and like I do with everything, I wondered if I could write in that genre. A little backstory, Nigel was a Victorian doctor. He lived on the outskirts of London and after aiding a few prominent families be began to make a name for himself. He rarely accepted dinner invitations as he held a dark secret. He lost his wife, he was unable to heal her and now he’s taken on the idea he can craft her spirit a new body, from his patient’s bodies. Even if his patient’s didn’t need to lose a body part, he made it happen. He was unable to shake the spirit of his wife and move forward, the pain too deep.
This is Nigel’s last scene:
There was a heaviness in the air, a finality that weighed down the ruined estate even further in its despair. The secrets that the estate held, they whispered excitedly to each other as a realization shone through the darkness. The image at the bottom of the stairs, what did it mean?
The day had been ordinary, dull. The same stagnant breath that slowly repeated day in and day out, uninterrupted unless the owner decided to haunt the premise. The owner had not been out to visit of late, the house accustomed to having only the ghostly tenant wander through the halls. The air rent with a strange tingled sensation as the owner suddenly appeared by horseback, his body slouched and inebriated, the horse slowing and stopping to bring its swaying rider to a stop in front of the broken, unhinged doors.
The doctor fell to the ground with a resounding smack. The harsh, hard earth did not even register though the alcohol daze that he had drowned himself in that morning. He lifted his head and squinted through the door and down the great hallway. Rusted suits of armor, rotted tapestries and countless other remnants of his former life taunted him to enter, to lose himself like he always did when he returned to wallow. Arm over arm, he crawled his way in to the hall. Slowly pushing himself up to his feet, he walked towards the back hall where he knew his darkest demon would find him.
“Nig!” the tinkling tone broke through the silence. A sounding of a bell, but not quite a perfect ring. “Nig!” she called again. The doctor felt his body convulse as her voice beckoned him more fervently. He stumbled down the hall and towards the mess of bottles, his boots crunching on shards of glass. She appeared from around the side, ethereal and beautiful as always. His breath knocked from his laboring chest. He reached for him and screamed in torment, agony from her chase of him finally beating him. He fell to his knees, collapsing in grief and hurt. He could no longer continue, he had to be free.
The drug moved slowly through his body, he was slightly conscious of the fact his fuzzy mind may be hallucinating due to his delusional thoughts or the poison working itself through his system. He could no longer take a full breath, he closed his eyes and waited. Suddenly a laugh broke from his throat, he covered his ears and screamed again as he could not stop her voice calling him back to her. He grabbed blindly for the shards of the discarded bottles from previous visits, raising a jagged end, he pressed deeply into his wrist, no pain registering. He sliced across both his wrists and felt only relief, the end to a torment. He felt her presence as his heart pumped precious blood out through his open wounds. She stroked the hair from his forehead. “Finally, Nigel, baby. Come back to me. Please.”
With a confidence that he would finally be free, he exhaled and closed his eyes, leaving behind only a trace memory of his existence.