AW Blog Chain May — Character Relationships

so playful

This month’s prompt: Relationships

Show a character’s approach to relationships in a short scene.  Use your characters’ interaction to show the dynamics of their relationship, show how they’re growing together or growing apart, or just have silly fun.

Character descriptions at the beginning are forbidden this time around–let them speak or act for themselves!

I was preceded in the chain by Yoghurtelf and will be followed by Aimeelaine.

While I can’t tell you about the characters, I’ll just say this is a scene I’ve whittled down from my / Iris’s in-process young adult novel, working title Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (and no, it’s not about gays in the military).

*****

Ellen and Rex

By the time I climb to the top of the iron geodome, Gracie and Lizzy have locked onto each other while their mounts, Rex and Tyler, attempt to maneuver them into strategically advantageous positions.

“I think you can take ‘em both. ”  Mark throws down his cigarette butt and gives it a quick twist with the toe of his shoe.  He presents his back to me and says, “Get on.”

“Come on, Ellen!”  Lizzy yells.  She and Gracie have broken apart but their horses are snorting and pawing the ground, ready to charge again.

“Uh-oh, uh-oh, here come Ellen and Mark.  We can take ‘em can’t we, baby?”  If Gracie’s little girl voice cracks my reluctance, Rex’s theatrical snarl pulverizes it to smithereens.

I lower myself onto Mark’s offered back.  He’s large and strong and takes my weight as if I’m no heavier than a gym bag.

We hurtle toward our opponents.  I use my leg like a jousting pole to knock Gracie loose.  She struggles to stay on Rex’s back but manages.

Like the good mount he is, Mark spins and charges me in for another attack on Gracie.  Lizzy takes the other side, and between the two of us, we easily unseat her.  Rex laughs and extends a hand to help her up.

“I want a new partner!”  Gracie shoves Rex away and stomps toward Tyler and Lizzy.  “Switch!”

Mark taunts them.  “Doesn’t matter if you switch or not, we’ll beat all of you, no matter which way you pair off!”  He prances around in a tight circle and I can’t help but chortle.

I lightly pound a fist against Mark’s chest.  “We’ll kick your ass, no offense, Rex, and you too, Gracie.  My steed is fearless!”

With a grim look on his face, Rex marches over to Mark and I.  “It’s a three-way switch, so we’ll see about that.  Get off him, Ellen.”

Well, someone’s a bad loser, methinks.  “Fine,” I say, and squirm free from Mark’s grip.  I hope my glee over the switch up isn’t too obvious.

Rex plucks me away, and still holding my hand, spins his back toward me.  I hop on.  He’s warm and firm and sports a slightly damp spot on the back of his t-shirt.  I inhale where his shoulder meets his neck.  His scent is all boy—a little sweat, a little shampoo, and a hint of shaving cream.  Spicy. Earthy.  Rex.

“Hold on tight, Ellen, because we’re going to be an unholy blend of cunning strategy, power and beauty.”

“Yeah?  And what will your contribution be?”

I like teasing him.  His neck is next to my mouth.  If I were a vampire, I could bite him.  If I were a poet, I could whisper melodious adorations.  If I were his girlfriend, I could give his earlobe a gentle nip.

But I’m none of these.  I can only recant my taunt with, “…other than being the best mount in the stable, of course,” and wonder where in the world I’ve dredged up the chutzpah.

We attack.  Rex steers me first toward Gracie and I handily drop her to the ground.  Lizzy isn’t as easy because her mount is both strong and ferocious.  But if Mark is a grizzly bear, Rex is a badger.  He’s agile and relentless, and in no time, he’s maneuvered me into a position that allows me to pry Lizzy off.

“Victory lap!” Rex runs around the perimeter of the playground with me clinging tightly to his back.

I bounce with each downbeat, a vibrato in my tuneless hum.  I don’t want to let him go, don’t want this moment to end, but he isn’t mine no matter how much I might wish it. 

You had your chance.  Your chance you had.  Had you your chance.  Your chance had you.

The words collide and reassemble in my brain, their cadence in sync with Rex’s movements.  But their meaning never changes.

He slows to a walk and we rejoin the others where I imagine he holds me on his back a little longer than necessary.  Foolish girl.

*****

The complete list of blog chain participants is:

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Proach – http://desstories.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Yoghurtelf – http://thefarseas.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
AuburnAssassin – YOU ARE HERE
aimeelaine – http://www.aimeelaine.com/blog (link to this month’s post)
Della Odell – http://dellaodell.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – http://www.katherinegilraine.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pezie – http://www.erinbrambilla.com/ (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Inkstrokes – http://drlong67.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
ElizaFaith13 – http://www.girlspwn.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post)
Steam&Ink – http://steamandink.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)

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AW April Blog Chain–The Character Interview

Secret Admirer

Image by Synorama via Flickr

Blog chain time again.  Preceding me in the chain was Aimee Laine (whose paranormal romance Little White Lies comes out 7/1/11, plug, plug) and I will be followed by Della Odell.  Wow, talk about a talented pair of brackets.

Here are this month’s blog chain rules:

Prompt: The Character Interview

As with last month, this will be two parts.

Part one is optional: describe one of your characters in 50 words or less.

Part two is where things get fun: have that character interview you! Using whatever format you like (Q&A, prose), make a little interview with your character as the interviewer and yourself as the subject.

Part 1:

Ellen from Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a sixteen year old girl, living under the sole guardianship of her older brother.  Her father is dead; her mother is a nearly homeless addict.  Ellen ended her Junior year hiding out in the Girls’ bathroom after rejecting the advances of her teacher.

Part 2:

Hi, I’m Ellen and I’ll be interviewing you today, Ms. Gillian.

I’m actually Iris, Iris St. Clair.  Claire Gillian is my (air quotes) mother.  She writes for adults and I write for young adults.

Oh, wow.  You look exactly alike.

I get that a lot.

OK, so let me get my interview notes and questions…

We don’t have to be so formal, Ellen.  We can talk about anything you like, such as boys or high school or whatever…

(Rolls her eyes) Gah, why do adults think that’s all teenagers want to talk about?  We don’t, you know.  Some of us have a little substance to us.  Some of us have hopes and dreams that don’t involve prom or driving or boys.

True.  When I was your age, I used to think living long enough to experience the turn of the millennium was going to be the most amazing feat ever.  It seems so trivial now but at the time it was a big deal to me.

I get what you’re doing here.

Do you?

You’re trying to trick me into thinking it’s ok to talk about typical teenaged things.  But you’re probably too old to understand what it’s like today.  You didn’t have Facebook or email or Twitter when you were a teen did you?

Well, no.  But the emotions behind our communications and relationships weren’t too different even if the means of transmitting them has changed.  For example, if I had a crush on a boy, I’d want to know everything there was to know about him.  It was much harder to do without Facebook.  In a certain sense, you’re lucky.

That’s not always a good thing though, people knowing your business, especially people who say they want to help you but really only want to help themselves.

There are predators out there, that’s for sure.  I hope you’re careful with what you reveal online.

(smirks and looks away) It’s not the online people I’m talking about.  I already know how to avoid pervs and spammers.  It’s the ones I’m supposed to be able to trust, the ones who are supposed to love or protect me…  Never mind.  Forget I said anything.  (Ellen shifts in her chair and shoots a glance over her shoulder before turning back, arms crossed at her chest.) So, Iris, since you brought it up, tell me how you went about  getting a boy to ask you out.

I’m not a good one to ask. I was never very adept at that in my youth.  My shyness was deemed non-interest and I was often written off as ‘just a friend’.

The dreaded “Friend Zone”.  Yeah…  So you never figured out how to turn that around?

I managed eventually; grown men are somewhat easier to figure out than teenaged boys, but not much.  My timing always sucked and I was an extremely late bloomer in terms of recognizing the signs of attraction.  Usually by the time I figured out a boy was interested, he’d have already given up and moved on.  I got plenty of attention, including the uncomfortable kind, from the ones I considered ‘just friends’, however.  Oh, the irony.

Yeah.  Irony.  That does suck–the ones you don’t want, want you, and the ones you want, want someone else.  I hate that…just hate it. (Ellen chews her thumb nail and drops her eyes.)

A word of advice from someone with 20/20 hindsight?

Sure.

Tell him. Take a chance.  Worst case scenario?  The misery you wouldn’t have known had you not taken that chance doesn’t feel much different than the misery you already know by staying silent and wondering “what if”.

Huh?  I’ll try to decipher that later on because I’m not sure what you mean by…  Wait.  You’re going to spoil my story if you interfere, aren’t you?

Oh geesh.  You’re right.  Forget I said anything.

(pulls out list of questions) Listen, this has been fun and all, but I really need to get your answers to these questions.  I got a 4.0 I need to hang on to if I’m gonna have any chance of getting a scholarship to somewhere other than the local college in this crappy town.

I understand. Ask away.

*******

Here are all the blog chain participants.  Won’t you give them a read and a comment too, please?

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Yoghurtelf – http://thefarseas.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
COchick – http://joannchaney.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Steam&Ink – http://steamandink.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
xcomplex – http://www.arielemerald.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
pezie – http://www.erinbrambilla.com (link to this month’s post)
aimeelaine – http://www.aimeelaine.com/blog (link to this month’s post)
auburnassassin – <<–You ARE HERE
Della Odell – http://dellaodell.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Juniper – http://www.katjuniper.com (link to this month’s post)
Proach – http://desstories.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
allmyposts – http://becomingprince.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
jkellerford – http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
LadyMage – http://katherinegilraine.com (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)