Exercise 10-5 – Three characters do a dead-drop.
It has been quite some time since I posted anything. Sadly I fell out of the daily exercise of writing during the month of December (it was very busy along with winter blues). I am trying to pick it back up and hopefully make it a habit once again. Some of my hesitation was that I was stuck on this exercise and could not finish it for some reason. I finally realized that this is NOT a project of perfection but merely creativity, so I should just post what I have and move on. I am not happy with what I have and will want to get back to it BUT if I can move on then the ‘battle’ is won.
On to this weeks exercise…are they truly weekly exercises if I am doing them with sporadic frequency? According to the exercise I do not have to continue using the same characters and story ideas with each set of exercise but I am enjoying the development that will hopefully yield a story at the end of this.
The stated exercise says : Take three different characters and walk them through a scene. Convey their emotional states, their jobs, and their hobbies without directly stating any of those. The scene in question: walking through a marketplace, and they need to do a dead-drop.
I do not know how long these are supposed to be but I wrote about a half or three-quarters of a page.
I do not think the scenario will fit any of my ideas but this exercise will help me develop the characters that I would consider using. This development will help me decide who would be the most interesting in the role of the protagonist.
I decided to focus less on their jobs and hobbies and more of the different emotional states as it is with whatever is taking over and how they each encounter and respond to that.
Using three of the five characters from from the last exercise, I will start with Samuel. In the idea of a monster within, I worked out this brief description. I am duplicating it here for simplicity
Joseph (gender swap?) – Joseph has always been the athletic sort. He excelled at almost everything he put his mind and body to. He was a swimmer and cross country runner. He even went rock climbing at one or two weekends a month. His body was in peak physical condition. He never had a problem with confidence either. This week though he began to get some strange urges. Aggressive tendencies at the most random times. He decided to increase his physical activity thinking it was just some excess stress that needed to be worked out. That was until last night. He was out for his run, and he remembered another runner on the path with him. He thought he had met her on time, he thought her name was Denise. Then he had apparently blacked out shortly after that time. Then next thing he remembered regaining …awareness on the running path near the more heavily wooded area. He was on his knees and covered in blood. He looked at his hands, covered in red, still warm blood. It wasn’t his as best as he could tell. Then whose was it. He could even taste it in his mouth. What was going on and why was it happening?
Joseph made his way through the crowded open air market. He has just finished a morning run, his breathing slightly labored from exertion. He walked among the crowds of people but obviously not part of them. He felt out of place, isolated, and it showed. He was also nervous, his eyes never resting on a single thing for long. His eyebrows lowered in both confusion and concern. He held a small package, about the size of a paperback novel, in his hand. He nervously moved it from hand to hand unsure of what to do with it. The slight weight reminding him of its presence and his eagerness to be rid of the vile thing. He almost laughed at his characterization of the package as vile, as if he knew anything about it.
“What am I doing here?” Joseph thought to himself. “I don’t remember even getting up for my run this morning” He pulls a crumpled slip of paper out of his pocket and read it yet again. It was something he had done so many times that the words on the page were already committed to memory. The act of reading was merely a formality.
Take box to Market square.
Drop it next to “Francisco’s Veggies”
Money will be transferred when drop is confirmed.
He wadded the paper in his fist and stuffed it back in his pocket. It made no sense. He “woke up” at the end of his jog just outside the entrance to the market. This was his favorite spot to stop after his morning job. He would pick up a few items needed before going home to start his work day.
Who gave him this package? How did they know he frequented Fernando’s Veggies? If they know that, what else did they know? They must have been watching him for a while to learn his patterns. In fact, they could be watching right now. This thought alone stopped Joseph immediately, his eyes beginning to dart around frantic. Was it one of his clients? No, that made no sense. He scanned the crowd. It could be anyone, he didn’t know who he was trying to find and even how to recognize them if he was staring right at them. What was going on. Did this job have to do with the blackouts that have been happening. Am I going crazy? There is no one at the gym that I can talk to. Who would I go with this? Anyone I tell is going to think I am going insane, and maybe I am. Oh god, don’t let me be losing my mind. This can’t be happening, not now.
The second character :
Rachel – Life was never good for Rachel. Sure she grew up popular but that is just a facade. People didn’t really like her for who she was, they liked her for how it would elevate their status by being seen with her. Things got to feel so empty. The doctors really just gave her medication to help her not embarrass her parents in front of their friend.. That’s why she stopped taking them. She was tired of being what everyone wanted her to be. She decided she would show them, she would teach them a lesson, one that they couldn’t pay enough money to hide. She took all of the pills she had left. It almost felt like sweet release from the stress of life. She embraced the darkness that came for her and brought her into the blessed darkness of unconsciousness.
Then she regained consciousness after what seemed like a briefest of moments. This couldn’t be right she thought. I should be dead. That is when she noticed the subtle difference. She was in fact awake and aware but she was not in control of her body. Someone else was piloting her actions. She screamed at the grotesque images that lay out before her. She saw the now bloody, gore filled remains of her parents that lay on the floor. She held a large kitchen knife. Her body looked up into a mirror and she saw her body standing there, covered in the blood of her parents. And she did not recognize the eyes that stared back at her.
Rachel opened her eyes. Rather, Rachel became aware that her eyes were already open. IA fog lay over her mind, like waking from a nap that lasted too long. She struggled to hold onto a coherent thought. Nothing seemed to makes sense or have any context. The scene before seemed to be an open air market. Its small temporary stalls set up with their goods on display. Most of them were filled with a variety for fruits and vegetables, but occasionally a stall had hand crafted items for sale. This place looked familiar but she could not say why. She was apparently walking through the center of the market as
She groggily reached for something to make sense. She was in an open air market, each of the stalls lined both sides of the walkway she was on. She thought she remembered this place but something didn’t seem right. She was walking casually through the crowd, like a cat on the prowl. Her steps, her pace didn’t feel natural, rather it didn’t feel like her. She didn’t walk like this, a provocative “come hither” sway to her hips inviting all to look and lust after her. Sure she didn’t mind an occasional peek or gaze but this was not subtle. That is when the fog seemed to clear. She was not the one doing the walking. She could sense everything but had no control. The nightmare returned to her. She had been this way for two days now. She had died in a stupid suicide attempt and then had awoken at her desk with no control of her body. Something else had taken over and she was just a consciousness along to witness everything. In that time she had done a lot of things that scared her.
This must be the latest in a string of confusing events. There was an email saying to pick up a package that would be dead dropped at this market. Fernando’s Veggies she believed. Her body decided to tease the forty something man looking over some produce. It, could she call it an IT even though it controlled her body. It picked up cucumber and did some rather provocative things with it. Rachel felt embarrassed for the man. And that she was doing this. Although the man seemed to be enjoying the show, at least until his wife noticed and he began to get an earful. Rachel wanted to apologize for causing the scene but the voice, her voice, just laughed and walked off.
“HELP!” she screamed although nothing came out, it was all internal. Was this Hell or punishment for what she had tried to do? How long must she endure this? And what they hell was she doing? There was the Fernando’s Veggie that she saw mentioned in the email but why would she be picking up something here. She didn’t have the whole story. It was as if she had walked in during the middle of a movie and didn’t understand why.
the third character
Suzanne or Suz to some of her friends was always shy growing up. She submersed herself in her books finding fantastic worlds that seemed better than her real life. There were heroes who could do fantastic things, go on quest of epic proportions. When she was in class she could never truly find her voice. She knew when what was being done wasn’t necessarily the best option but she could never say things like that out loud. Those type of statements lead to conflict and that wasn’t something she was accustomed to. People like Denise obviously liked taking charge and was doing such a good job at it, who was she to question her. But in the last week a strange feeling was taking over. There was the one incident when the guy in the line grabbed her butt and just smiled knowing that she wouldn’t ever do anything. She felt so angry, more than she had ever felt. She remember slamming the book she was reading with such sudden force its clap startled the guy briefly. Then he stopped and turned her way smirking that infuriating pompous smirk. He quit smiling quickly with the spine of the book slammed into the bridge of his nose with an audible crack, followed by a second then a third time. His smile turned to a fearful surprise. The blood flowing quite freely from his broken nose and he started running from her. Suzanne panted heavily from the sudden exertion a smile beginning to grow on her face. This felt good….real good
Suzanne looked around the market quickly. Letting out an exasperated huff, “I do not have time for this crap,” looking at the time on her phone, “I am already late as it is.” Looking over the email for the fifth time.
Your skills will be very useful to us. It will be very profitable
to you as well. All you need to do is pick up the package left at Fernando’s Vegetable stand. Take package and neutralize any resistance
Bring to Wharehouse on bay 11 and the $50,000 will be given to you.
‘That is a ton of money for me right now, so I am willing to give this crazy thing a try.’ Seeing a man in his late 20’s who seemed to be walking with a purpose grew near her, Suzanne reached out and grabbed his shoulder.
“Hey buddy, where do I find Fernando’s Veggie place?”
‘Wha..? Oh um Fernando’s … that would be the stall right at the end of this row. It has the big picture of a tomato with a mexican flag. Yeah Fernando is a really nice…”
“I really don’t care.” Suzanne said and turn away leaving the man standing shocked at the abruptness. She smiled a satisfied grin. She liked this new aggressiveness she had picked up. No more shyness. No more being the one who gave ground to make the group happy.
Now to find out who the hell had the package so she could be paid.