Author Archive: Dix

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#5 Elle (or Kaye)

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

Elle is Clo‘s older sister, the middle child of three.  She prides herself on being a go-getter, an energetic professional type, an independent 21st century woman.  Arguably, she forms this image based on her relationship with her two sisters – slightly whimsical, flippant Clo and their older sister, Atty, who is, well, not good at much of anything – but steers clear of them most of the time, despite living in the same city.  Her family life is behind her; she’s moved on.

With that transition came the latest in a string of reinventions of herself: it’s only been recently that she’s gone by the nickname “Elle”.  Throughout most of school she went by “Kaye”, and this is still how her sisters know her.  (Less often, they might call her by her childhood nickname, “Sissy”, usually if they want to get under her skin.)  Elle’s sense of fashion and identity change with the times, never wildly out of left field but always a little individual.  The persona she shows the world is malleable: her core is not.

Elle has always had an intuitive sense of how things fit together, and as such has always excelled in technical fields.  She’s an excellent networker, as well, making friends with all the right people.  She’s the sort that is not only enviably talented, but knows it and flaunts it.  She is a rising star at a prominent architecture firm and hasn’t looked back once.

#4 Clo

| November 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

Clo is the youngest of three sisters.  Bright-eyed and optimistic, and crafty, above all.  In the year since she’s moved away from home and found a studio apartment and avant garde boyfriend, Clo’s taken to an eclectic assortment of artsy hobbies, from glassblowing to paint-mixing (but not actually painting) to papermaking.  As such, she tends toward a utilitarian wardrobe that won’t be damaged by sticky layers of dirt and grime that accumulate throughout the day, and she doesn’t much care how she looks when people see her: that would require a lot of washing.

Quick to being things but slow to continue (much less finish) them, Clo’s living and working space is littered with the refuse of passing thoughts and ethereal dreams, projects only half-conceived.  Sometimes potential is greater than achievement.

#3 King, the Locksmith

| November 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

Once upon a time, there was a town in Kansas.  Seriously.  Kansas.  A town that was not Kansas City or Topeka or Lawrence or Smallville.  And this town, despite being geographically anchored in Kansas (of all places), was quite adrift in time, which caused no end of confusion.  This also caused certain criminal elements in town to be composed of, at least in part, sentient dinosaurs.

King, an albertosaurus, took the name because of the number of people that mistake him for a tyrannosaurus rex.  It might also help that the moniker matches up with the sort of role he sees himself in.  Most anyone engaged in criminal activities around here answers to him; I mean, it helps that he’s the biggest and toothiest of criminals.  Though he’s “a very reasonable creature” by his own admission, his rather morbid predilection for impaling those he dislikes on several ivory spikes – perhaps to suggest his own toothy maw – has earned him a level of Machiavellian respect.

Those who do not wish to invoke his chosen name often called him “the Locksmith”, a nickname which has stuck for years and, like many nicknames, has its origins lost to the mists of time.

#2 Father Heffernan

| November 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Amon in the Ars Goetia

Once, Father Heffernan had a crisis of faith.  This was before he took up the reins of his modest congregation in their modest Pittsburgh borough.  They could hardly guess at his sordid past, his doubt.  And even if they did, who could blame him?  God gave man free will, and sometimes that meant mistakes.  Father Heffernan took responsibility for his.

He was ashamed, however, that his faith had returned only in the face of the sort of hardship that could only come from Hell itself.  Was it faith anymore if one possessed irrefutable proof that He exists?  Maybe not.  But Father Heffernan had faith not only that God exists, but also that His grace would carry Father Heffernan through this dark time, as He had many times before.  No other power could have held his hand through a loveless childhood, a turbulent adolescence.  Of that, Father Heffernan was sure.

The kettle whistled, a shrill scream.  Father Heffernan watched as the vile creature – he called it a demon, though it named itself Amon – moved to the hotplate and lifted the kettle away from the heat; its scream died.  He poured two cups, each with a bag of Father Heffernan’s favorite tea.  Aromatic steam filled the air, enough to cover Amon’s sulfurous stench.

Father Heffernan knew it would do little good, but he pleaded with Amon anyway.  Have mercy.

“Please.  This is what I do,” Amon said.  Father Heffernan felt the icy voice on his teeth.

Father Heffernan might’ve struggled harder than ever, had he not become so weary.  Amon had waited until Heffernan was too tired to resist before he made clear his real, terrible intentions.  “You still have a little time to pray, or whatever it is you need to do,” Amon continued.  “Prepare yourself.  The first time is always the hardest, if you’ll pardon the cliche.”

The demon drew a handful of berries out of a pocket, squeezed them into pulp.  Father Heffernan tried to stop him, but his limbs would not respond.  Amon stirred the mixture into one teacup, a pleased smile on his face.  “Nightshade,” he said.  “Belladonna.  Poetic, I think.”

By the time the deadly poisonous fruit had vanished into the dark tea, Father Heffernan was praying harder than he ever had.  English, Latin, even a little Coptic, which he’d picked up at seminary.  If he had a crucifix to hand he’d have brandished it at Amon.  But he could only ask God, Stop this.  Prevent what I cannot.

There was a knock at the door.  Amon opened it.

“Good afternoon, Father,” said Angela.  She was young, eighteen, about to leave for college in a matter of weeks.  Though Father Heffernan had never entertained a lecherous thought in his life, he knew that many of the young men of the church considered her exceptionally attractive.  “You wanted to see me?”

Run, Father Heffernan shouted.  You are in danger!

“Yes, dear, come in,” Amon said from behind Father Heffernan’s eyes.  “Tea?”

#1 Valerie Wolfe

| November 2, 2011 | 0 Comments

“Me, take electrical engineering?  Like, at school?  Yeah, there aren’t words for how bad an idea that is.”

For reasons unknown, Valerie’s body produces an extraordinary amount of bio-electric energy for a human being.  Normally this manifests as a strong static field all around her – making doing her hair in the morning an absolute nightmare, she would observe – capable of delivering a painful, though not dangerous, shock to anyone who touched her.  At times, it can also severely interfere with electronic equipment.

Val’s condition is no secret amongst her family and some close friends; as she lives in a world where such abilities are completely unheard of outside of science fiction, being the subject of medical research has been a reality for most of her life.  Still, despite her relative celebrity in certain scientific circles, her identity is generally kept secret to protect her family’s privacy.

A tall, attractive blonde, Valerie easily drifted into the popular kids’ clique in school.  She enjoyed her status and participated in numerous popular extracurriculars, cultivating a sort of “head cheerleader” public personality – often at the expense of the opportunity to attend advanced academic programs.  Though she kept her intellect under wraps, she privately pursued a hobbyist interest in matters electrical, for obvious reasons; Valerie taught herself from internet resources and YouTube videos.  She experimented with using her natural bio-electric field to power small devices.  Her parents urged her on in this pursuit; despite numerous attempts, however, no one was ever able to convince Valerie to engage this hobby in a more public setting, for fear that it would tarnish her reputation.  (She had already raised a few questions when she cut her hair very short because of the havoc her static field played on it otherwise.)

Now nineteen, Valerie is heading to her first year of college.  Less than a year ago, her parents separated, leaving Val uncertain about the stability of family life.  She has brought along some of her favorite gadgets – fingerless gloves with built-in electromagnets and shoes to match, which allow her to adhere to anything magnetic when she powers them on – but is still uncertain how much to reveal her peculiar circumstances to classmates and teachers.  But this taste of freedom may also raise more questions – about herself, and about her origins – if she is compelled to seek the answers.

2011 Challenger: Brandon Perdue

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

This probably won’t actually post until November 2nd, but what the heck.

I’m currently a grad student working up to game design, more on the writing & world building end of things, so this kind of challenge is definitely in my wheelhouse.  (I’ll admit it’s also maybe a salve for the fact that I yet again can’t swing NaNoWriMo.)  I don’t art but I do write, so expect to see some character profiles and maybe some flash pieces, depending on what strikes me at the time.  My genre taste can get eclectic, so I won’t make any guarantees about what kinds of characters to expect, but were I a betting man I’d wager there’ll be one or more dragons.

Good luck to all!