AUTHOR: Aeriel Holman

ACTIVITY: Character

Approx. Words: 595

DATE: March 4, 2012 (created)

NOTES: This particular assignment was to create a character and articulate his or her personality, likes and dislikes, and being without explicitly saying "So and So is brave and handsome and blah blah blah." It was an exercise in Shot-Not-Tell (something I am excellent in… almost detrimentally so). Well, my best friend and I wrote out all the character that are similar to us and then made a list of those characteristics. By rolling dice, we randomly had a generated character sheet. When I saw the completed personality, I instantly came up with this narrative. The traits I have for this character will be listed at the bottom, just so it doesn't color your perception of the tale. Feel free to tell me if you noticed any or saw different ones that unexpectedly cropped up in development.

The Colors of Coffee and Rose

The mugs of various shapes, sizes, and colors in the porcelain sink had only one thing in common: the dark brown ring of coffee stains lingering at the bottoms. The kitchenette was as sparse as the rest of the studio, save for the scattered white rose petals (eternal, pure, true love) that curled up in death. White was the color of choice it seemed, from the tile to the walls to the tarps and sheets draped haphazardly over the cheap wood flooring—even the rejection letters wafting in the artificial wind of the dozen or so fans were starch white. He never picked them up, by the by. The letters just accumulated, becoming part of the extensive covering of his barely furnished home.

Well, "barely furnished" in the typical sense. There were the mugs, the fans, the canvases, the mattress, the unopened boxes that were tombs of unborn tables and chairs and dressers. He preferred to sit at his skylight window, sipping his coffee, staring at whatever creation he was working on. That was the method of his life.

At the moment, though, he was sitting at his normal spot without a mug. A thin brush was clutched in one creamy-mocha colored hand, dangling off the edge of his knee as he stared unblinkingly at the canvas a few feet before him. With a sigh, he stood from his spot and sauntered to the front of the easel. Then his rough, eggshell tunic tugged tight with controlled strokes on his current piece of art. His other hand was curled beneath his chin, cradling a busted cellular phone. As if awaked by the heavy decision to resume the portrait, it rang shrilly.

Without glancing at the screen, he brought it to his ear, thumb twitching on the "answer" button. An involuntary and dimpled smile came to his face as he greeted the person on the other end of the line with a too casual, "Hey, mon cher."

There was silence in the studio, save for the wet scratches of bristles on acrylic on thick woven fabric, and the hum of plastic blades moving at a factory standard medium pace.

"Uhhh," he suddenly answered. Puppy-dog like eyes never left his work. "Non, non. I-I'm not workin'." His hand pulled back from the canvas and he tipped his head to one side, using his thinning shoulder to trap the cell phone to his burning ears. Switching hands, he maneuvered the brush at a different angle, carefully edging the fine point across the plane of colors upon colors.

"Wazzit that bad, cher?" he asked in his southern speckled tongue, popping away from the canvas and easel immediately at the ready. Nodding to himself, he set down the brush and dashed across his studio, searching for shoes and a coat. "Non! You must keep goin' to dese counselin' groups…"

Once more, all grew inhumanely quiet in response.

"I promise it'll help. When have I ever steered you wrong, eh? Why doncha meet me for coffee in five?" he suggested, glancing back around for a clock that wasn't on his cell. Then, like a blur of washed out colors and hopeful words, he was out the door.

In the midst of his creation, he left behind the portrait of a pale woman, with fiery bundles whipping about her face, and azure eyes staring without seeing past the freshly washed windows. The artist's newest mark was the obvious slash of an angry rust-brown line cutting across the delicate brow, straight over the bridge of the nose, and down to a white-rosy cheek…

END

Character Traits: loyal, adorable, easy to frazzle, good guy, addicted to coffee, secretly mischievous, accent—Creole, understanding, forlorn in love, loses often, funny, go-getter, smart.

Notice any of these? Saw more? Curious as to what characters I used for spring boards? Let me know. I'd be happy to answer.