It’s time for Beautiful People, a monthly link-up hosted by The Notebook Sisters and Further Up and Further In!
Also, it’s time for Character Encounters, another monthly link-up hosted by Kendra at Knitted by God’s Plan.
They’re both ways for authors to get to know their characters.
So, I decided to combine them.
I blink up into the apple tree. A man clad in bright green is up there and he has a fiery orange bird on his shoulder. Not only is it odd that someone is in the tree, but that bird looks… like a phoenix.
The man sees me. He smiles a little. “Come on up, Robyn! There’s room.”
“Claudius? Is that you?” I start climbing up. “What are you doing here? You aren’t supposed to be time-traveling, yet.”
Claudius cocks his head. “Time-traveling?”
I wince. He’s not supposed to know that. “Never mind.” I sit on the branch on the opposite side of the tree. “How are you, Mavis?” The phoenix squawks then takes off to the sky.
“She’s not talkative,” Claudius replies. He looks around. “I wish these apples were ripe.”
“They will be soon enough. Hey, Claudius, since you’re here, would you mind if I ask you a few questions?” I pull out a notebook. I had written down some questions to think through. But I hadn’t actually expected to meet my character face to face.
He gives me a strange look. “Don’t you already know everything about me? You are my author, aren’t you?”
I have to keep myself from snorting. “I wish that I did know everything about you. But I don’t. So can we talk?” I pull out my pen hopefully.
He shrugs. “Sure.”
“So, what do you regret the most in your life?”
Claudius’s eyes grow huge. “That’s a very deep question for a discussion in an apple tree. But… I’d have to say that I regret not taking my sister with me when I left my home a few years back.”
“You have a sister?”
I write down what he says.
“What is your happiest memory?”
“Um… I’m not sure. Probably when I found Mavis. She’s a good friend. She’s good at getting rid of ducks.”
“Yeah, you’re not fond of ducks, are you?”
“They’re a nuisance!”
Before he can begin a rant about ducks, I ask the next question. “What’s your sorrowful memory?”
“The death of my parents. But can we not talk about that now?”
“What majorly gets on your nerves?”
“What annoys me? I don’t know. I’m usually pretty easy-going. But I’d have to say that Sand-Wizards forgetting their jenfoil annoys me. No jenfoil, no sand power. And they know they need it.”
“Do you act differently when you’re around people as opposed to being alone?”
“I think everyone does. But the difference isn’t that great for me. I tend to talk to myself when I’m alone. And the only times I’m alone is usually when something is wrong. I almost always have Mavis with me. So I’m usually trying to talk out a problem. Other than that, I think I also feel more relaxed when I’m alone. There’s a lot of pressure to being a Sand-Wizard overseer.”
“What are your beliefs and superstitions?”
Claudius is silent for a few minutes, a thoughtful expression on his face. “All of them?”
“Are there a lot?”
“No, but I don’t… it’s hard to describe what exactly I believe right now. As for superstitions, I’m in the habit of sprinkling salt on the threshold and windowsill of my room.”
“To keep away demons or Fey or something?” I don’t remember planning demons or even Fey for this particular story.
Claudius shakes his head, much to my relief. “To keep away sand dragons. They don’t like salt. Which is only partially a superstition.”
“What are your catchphrases, or things you say frequently?”
“You don’t want me to talk about my swearing habit, do you?”
“Nope. Let’s move on.”
“Are you more prone to facing fears or running from them?”
“These are very probing and personal questions.” He runs his fingers over the tree bark. “In a way, I guess I run from my fears. But I try to do what I feel has to be done.”
“Do you have a good self-image?”
“Um… yes, I suppose. I mean, I’m good, I think… this is a complicated question to answer. “
“Do you turn to people when you’re upset, or do you isolate yourself?”
“Again, I am very rarely completely alone. But when I’m upset, I tend to conceal my feelings and finish whatever duty I’m working on at the time. Then I isolate myself, though that isolation includes Mavis.”
“You do not completely conceal your feelings.”
“Your swearing habit.”
“That depends on your definition of upset. When I’m sad, I conceal and then deal with it later. Angry or very frustrated… I swear and then try to shove my feelings down. Want to know another regret I have? I wish I hadn’t gotten into the habit of swearing.”
“I was a bit surprised to find out about that habit myself. But at least you’re flawed.”
Claudius gives me another odd look. “That’s a good thing?”
I look down at the last question in my notebook: “If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry?” That’s not exactly a question I can directly ask Claudius. That’s actually question for me.
I look up to see Claudius staring at my notebook. “You have nice handwriting.”
I smile.”Thank you.”
“Claire can’t read, you know.”
“So?” he asks.
“Do I make you laugh or cry?”
I grin. “Laugh.” I reply.
Claudius smiles back at me as Mavis lands on his shoulder again. I blink and they are gone. And I am still in the tree, surrounded by apples that are not yet ripe.
(Sorry for the weird formatting. I have no idea what’s going on or how to fix it.)