Wednesday 30 March 2011

Writing Exercise - Character Development - The Graverobber

[My prediction is that Sarah will read this title and get very perplexed. To put her to rest, no, not that Graverobber. This Graverobber is blonder, taller and 80% more sacrilegious.]

That’s a many-layered word, Graverobber thought to himself while he shuffled his pack of cards. I prefer “man of ill-repute in regards to religious means.”
With a pause in his thought, he added; Graverobber, for short.
The man in front of him held his hat and quivered. Quivered like a man would, were he playing a game of Go Fish for his life. Unfortunately for Shamus Macleod,  that’s exactly what was happening to him.
Leaning back into his high-backed wing chair, he tilted his flamboyant top hat forward over his long, blonde hair. His ridiculous Mad Hatter motif, from his shiny red tie, to his black buckle boots, to his half-black, half-chequered pants, and even the tall red and black top hat, suited him. It was…silly. Darling. Affectionate and alluring. No wonder the women loved him. He leaned forward, shuffling the white feathers on his rather enormous wings. “Shay, now.” He said, smirking and cracking his knuckles. His skull rings clinked together. “Your position is dire, that it is.” He was mocking the man’s Irish accent rather harshly.
Dealing out the cards quickly, he picked up his hand.
“So.” He said. “Got any threes?”

“Please sir,” begged the frightened man. “Have mercy on me, sir. I’ll pay you back! I swear!”
The word struck a chord with the angel. His feathers ruffled, his round, yellow eyes turned a gory red, and he lurched forward towards him, landing on the table on all fours, only inches from his face.
“Mercy?” He spat. “What do you know of mercy? Then take the universe, and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy! There is no mercy. There’s-”
“There’s just us.” came a female voice from the shadows of the room. She stepped forwards, very small, childlike and dark. “Yes, Jacob, we have all read those books. ‘For what does the harvest have to hope for, but the care of the Reaper Man?’ I know. Get off the table.”
Graverobber hissed softly and waved his hand as he got down. His - whatever word one chooses to use, lackeys, goons, guards, mobsters. It’s all the same - dragged the pleading man out the back door.
“Lilith.” He growled, plonking himself down. “What are you here for?”
The girl, with her long, black hair, grey eyes and pale skin, came and sat opposite. Neatly, she tucked her legs to the side. “You take your hat off in the presence of women, Jacob. You know that.”
Snatching his fabulous hat off, he glared. “What do you want?”
“Currently? A cup of tea. In general? My chimney fixed. Specifically? You to sit up straight. It‘s not good for you to sit all half-draped like that, regardless of how handsome you look when you do it.” Her large black cat jumped into her lap as a cup of tea was brought to her.
“Lilith!” He snapped.
“Patience, and ask me the right question if you want the right answer. And don’t make it so amusing to annoy you.”
Sighing, he straightened himself up. “Why are you here today?”
“Your little speech about mercy created quite some noise. You know using that little magic trick tends to shake up the fabric of space-time.”
He eyed her. She was thin-shouldered, and wore a neck-to-shin black dress. Her waist was impossibly small, her cuffs tight on her wrists. Her skirts were flounced by petticoats, and her stockings striped, black and white. Her little black boots looked slightly battered. In truth, Jacob “Graverobber” Angelicus had always - well, all of her adult life - found her arousing and attractive. He didn’t ever make a move, though.
“Have I ever made the point that you should try more low-cut blouses and shorter skirts? It’s not the eighteen-eighties. You never even saw the eighteen-eighties. You’re nineteen.”
“Have I ever made the point that I have worked out how to manipulate things so that you wouldn’t have worn pants this morning?”
He bit his lip. Witches were tame compared to her. She could remove humans from existence, but not things that existed outside Logic - angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, bogeymen, anthropomorphic personifications, so forth. Although she couldn’t remove them, she could remove clothes. Skilful manipulations of space-time.
He opened his mouth to talk, but drew a blank.
There she was, the “witch” who could work against physics, who could take the iron out of someone’s blood, who could remove a brain before a birth that happened twenty-six years before she was born, was holding her enormous, black Maine Coon over her head, cooing and baby talking to him.
Well, he reasoned. It could be worse. At least there were no babies or kittens in the nearby vicinity.

Lilith left eventually, and Graverobber went back to relaxing in his chair, hat cocked on his head. He had two dice in his spindly, spider like hand, which he shook and rolled.
Snake eyes, he thought.
His gambling room was the back room of the underworld bar. “Underworld”, of course, here meaning “bar for dark creatures outside of Logic”. He could see the light from the neon sign outside the small window. From the front, it read “Blood Bathers”. From the side, it rather looked more like “|” with some funny colours coming off it.
Cracking his knuckles, he looked up as the door opened. In came a young man. He was as pale as Graverobber, but far more sullen. He had scruffy black hair and red eyes.
“Grimm.” He said, sighing. “What now?”
The vampire sat down. “New York City is rough, mate. I prefer London more. Can’t we go home?” he asked.
“You know we can’t.” He replied, recalling the whole “accidental mass murder of a bunch of demons” thing that had forced them to leave in the first place.
“How about France, Grave? French girls.”
“The Fursuit Incident hasn’t quite blown over yet.”
“They’re still a bit sore about the time we spent at the cabarets.”
“There is a whole family of Italian women after your head.”
“I’m screwed, aren’t I?”
“Yes, Grimmshaw. Very, very screwed.” He leaned back, stretching. “I heard you like it, though. So, what have you done?”
“Hm? Nothing. Nothing. I just, uh. Lilith’s….she’s warm, her apartment is cold, and it was snowing outside. It’s not my fault her lot took that the wrong way.”
“Are they trying to rearrange the placement of your limbs?”
“The latitude of them, I think.”
Graverobber jumped up. “Right-o, then.” He pat his friend on the back. “Let’s go get slaughtered with dignity then.”



SarahWalrus said...

Your a mind reader! xD

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

XD I just hope you enjoyed it. And of course I am. I am a cat. I'm reading your mind right now. You want to rub my tummy. You want to rub my tummyyyyy.

KingHarlequin88 said...

Brilliant stuff. I'm fond of the self-mocking style, and the peculiar mix of sci-fi terminology in a supernatural themed post is most delicious.

I don't suppose there's anymore morsels like these simmering around here?


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