A week into NaNo & how things change in big ways & small way. Being a pantser I jump in with ideas period. No names for characters or no professions. Quickly those things appear, as they need to appear. Jobs are only important because characters have to have jobs, whether that job relates to the plot is irrelevant but it can inform our hero’s actions. But when events only happen to them because of their job it can seem a bit hokey – serial killer profiler who gets stalked by a serial killer.
Names are important as they can inform readers of nationality, gender, class but, for my liking, have to be easily pronounceable if they re going to appear more than once. So my character’s names have changed a few times already. For my secondary characters I’ve decided to use names drawn from either Frankenstein or Dracula to pay homage to two of the inspirations for Blludstun.
I was going to have a gay male triad but found that three voices striving to be heard was too much work & also distracting. Two is enough. Professions are falling into place. I have my hero, Matthew Taylor, as a transcriber in a hi-tech security firm – he makes hard copies of investigators’ written and/or dictated findings. His partner, Gabe Zhang, has become a 2nd generation Chinese, doctor doing the final year of his residency as St. Michaels (a hospital here in Toronto). This gives both of them ages, locations & tells us something about their background.
Progress is being made 🙂
please note Don has been renamed Gabe – it’s established that he is Chinese & that he is in last year of residency at St. Micheal Hospital. Also keep on mind this is unedited cookie dough – I put things down in rush as images came to me.
“How long was I … in a trance?” Gabe sat in his armchair.
“Less than two minutes. I wasn’t looking at the time.”
“Two minutes! It felt like hours. It had to be longer than that. My legs are aching from all the walking. Even doing the morning rounds was this exhausting.” Gabe rubbed his calves.
“Walking? You were out this afternoon?”
“No! In the trance I found myself in a … house. No outside of a house. It looked like one of those ultra-modernity places only it had some deco touches around the door frames.
“You were with me for the first moment then you went into the house so fast I lost sight of you. The front doors were shutting behind you as I ran up the stairs to follow you. It’s all so vivid. I can smell the lemon polish on the door. It hadn’t quiet shut and opened with just a gentle touch.
“I was surprised because it was a massive door. Thick, twice as tall as me. It shut noiselessly once I was inside. I was in a foyer that had a pair of stairs curving along each wall like arms reaching down to hold me. There were doorless rooms on both side.
“I looked into each to see which room you had gone into. I knew you hadn’t gone up the stairs. There were two regular doors in the middle of the wall under the stairs. I wanted to study the furniture it all was in the same style as the outside of the house. Lamps, side tables, even the carpet seemed to repeat those same deco details. I was thinking someone very rich must have really loved that deco look.
“I also thought it was odd that there was no other detailing, you know, like floral sprays or abstract patterns. Everything was along the edges while the body was in solid colours. Mostly deep rust with gold detailing but there were some in a garish yellow with blue detailing.
“I could hear someone walking quickly away from one of doors. The foot steps were on marble. I opened each of the doors and the first opened to carpeted hallways and the other opened to a marble floor. I could hear your footsteps. I called out to you but all I heard was my echo. I took my shoes off so you wouldn’t hear me following you. I wanted sneak up to surprise you.
“The marble was warm underfoot. After walking along it I sensed that the corridor had sloped gently downward. There were doors along it either and I was thinking I hope Matt knows where this leads. The floor began to feel less polished underfoot. I looked down and it was no longer that high grade marble but a sort of granite. You know the stuff with bits of mica in it that glitters when the sun is on it. I stooped down to feel it. When I stood I was at a doorway that had a brocaded curtain over it.
“I pushed the curtain aside and found myself in a chapel. There was several rows of pews on each side of an aisle. The door opened into this central aisle. swag lamps on either side illuminated the room. There was an altar at the far end with statues on either side. The light was dim at that end so I couldn’t really make out what the figures were.
“The room was musty, like it needed to be aired out. The pews were dusty too. On the walls were tapestries of forest scenes filled with strange beasts. Not dragons but serpentine horses rearing fearfully. I was afraid. I sensed this wasn’t where I was supposed be. There were no footprints in the dust on the floor in front of me so I knew you hadn’t come into this room.
“The tapestry to the left of me fluttered as if someone had been there watching me. I lifted it and there was corridor behind it. I called your name as I walked down it. You replied ‘Hurry up slow poke’ I walked faster. This corridor wasn’t straight, it had sudden corners. Some sharp other with curves that I feel were taking me back the way I had come. I stopped to catch my breath, put my shoes back on and saw a flight of stairs that lead down.
“I went down the stairs. I wondered where the light was coming from because I didn’t see any wall sconces or overhead lights. The stairs began to curve into a spiral until I found myself in what I assumed was the basement. There were shelves of containers with various dishwater, sheets, household stuff in them. One was filled with what looked like silver spoons with monogrammed handles. I took one and there was were gems in the middle of the top of an ornate ‘B’. I put it in my pocket.
“By now I was exhausted. You know me, five minutes of walking and I’m ready to sit down but I didn’t see anyplace to rest. I thought there would be an area for furniture down here both this other stuff they’s stored in the basement. I figured if I came to another set of stairs I’d sit on them for a rest but I knew I had to keep following you.
“I heard some chanting and followed it. I found myself in another … I want to say chapel but was more of a grotto, a cave. Rough hewn walls, wet and lit by tall candles. When I stepped in the singing stopped. There was about a dozen people in robes and cowls. Just like in the movies I thought. They all turned to me at once and pushed their cowls back. Their faces. Oh my God. Their faces.
“I must have fainted and when I came to you were holding me. I was back here in this room.”
Gabe was trembling so much Matt pulled a blanket from the floor beside the couch and put it around their shoulders.
“All that is those few minutes?” Matt said.
“They were chanting ‘Vos autem non rogavimus – Nolite facere malum in arbitrium’” Gabe sang the words as he had heard them in the chant.
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Both staring into space.
November 1 -30
November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
June – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. capfireslam.org