Fiction Friday

This Week’s Theme:

Choose one of the following odd character names and create a character sketch to go along with it. The genre, if any, is up to you. I leave it up to you to decide exactly what the sketch includes, but don’t just give us a physical description and a career, tell us about the character. Some common features of a character sketch: physical description, job, hobbies, education, family, habits, fears, dreams, history and anything else that helps you understand the character better. Make it an interesting character because we’re going to use them in a future [Fiction] Friday.

Marmalade, Zilch, Silence, Gerund

Minty, Wicked, Electron, Ism

Broke, Hex, Yule, Eave

Siren, Parsley, Tart, Deal

Ebb, Surreal, Tepid, Dime

Hi. My name is Silence Golden. I can wait while you compose yourself, I'm used to it. My parents, as you might imagine, have a rather odd sense of humor. Either that or they're big proponents of the "Seen and not heard" method of child rearing - I never really could decide for all I grew up with them. There certainly were times when they wished I would just hush, but I think my name brought out an extroverted streak in me that they never could have anticipated. But for all of the eye rolling that I do about my name, it's never really crossed my mind to have it changed. After being 'Silence' for 28 years it's tough to imagine responding to something as normal as Diane. And, once you get past the inevitable attempts to make a joke you haven't heard, it's kind of fun to know you're unique. Or at least mostly unique. If I recall correctly, the Quakers used to think Silence was a perfectly good first name. But don't quote me on that, Earth History was never my best subject.

Since I don't allow photos - and I appreciate you respecting that condition of this interview - I suppose it's only fair to send you a description, though you have to understand that what I look like today in no way guarantees what I'm going to look like tomorrow. Or for that matter, later on this evening. But right now I'm about 5'10", on the thin side, with shoulder length pink hair. Yes, pink. Since I'm not out on assignment right now and thus don't really need to try and blend in overly, I thought I'd try out something fun. But I could get orders at any time and then it'll be back to something more normal most likely. Though I did actually have one assignment...well, I don't think that's been declassified yet, but the hair was excellent. This is my favorite height, so I choose it a lot when I'm on leave. I can't get much taller without appearing too thin and giving away that there could be something amiss, and being shorter, well that just makes me feel entirely too average.

My eyes are blue, always. It's a side effect of the blindness, which is a side effect of the Chameleon Mutation. They tell you all of this before you enlist, but it's the only thing I regret. My eyes used to be a very pretty green. Still, there are lenses - today I've matched them with my hair just for fun - so you can play with all the different eye shades you could possibly imagine. In fact, you really have to have lenses in at all times, apparently there are some complications that can arise if your eyes are unprotected.

How are you an agent if you're blind? Well, that's one of the trade secrets. They cover it in orientation once you've recovered from Mutating. But essentially it's to do with other characteristics they look for during the selection process. An ability to adapt, if you will. In fact, if you're not already chamelon-like, chances are the selection committee would never approach you.

Other than my work and my unique physical characteristics, I'm just like anyone else. I keep in touch with my familiy - they're still back home, and no, I won't tell you where home is and don't bother searching records. There are no links between Silence Golden and my family anymore - and it's not like Golden is a particularly uncommon name; not since the re-naming initiative. We're a pretty typical family: one boy, one girl. My parents didn't bother trying to get permission for more children than replacement quotas allow - they said something about us being a handful as it was. My brother is older, though he hasn't quite decided what he's doing with his life yet. I think me joining the C-corps threw him off his stride. I feel bad about that, but this is where I was meant to be - I've never been more sure of anything in my life. Beyond that, I enjoy all the usual things - travel on and off planet, watching sports, and I play a mean game of poker. My initial degree was in journalism so I'm a bit of a news junkie. My secondary and tertiary degrees are all part of C-corps training, so I can't really talk about them.

Habits, fears and dreams, hm? They train you out of habits that would identify you, it's one of the reasons I'm so good at poker, so if I have any and no one in our standard evaluation has pointed them out, then I've got bigger problems on my hands than a habit. As for fears, I'd just as soon not say explicitly, but I've seen what can happen if the mutation goes haywire and I've taken precautions to see that I don't live through it if it happens. Dreams? What could be better than being in C-corps? I'm living my dream.

Ok - that's really all the time I have, I'm sure you had more questions but I've got another comm light flashing. The transcript will be reviewed by security, edited, and once it's approved you'll be allowed to leave the holding area with a copy. Anything edited will also be excised from your memory, like it said in the release you signed when you asked for the interview. Have a good one.

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paisley said...

oh my, very sci-fi... i am wondering what it is exactly that she does.....hmmmmmmmm....

Lynellen said...

awesome, beth! gonna submit it ot the lgp specfic site?

Finn said...

I like this one too! Well done.

lissa said...

She sounds fascinating, someone who can change her looks just like that.

pjd said...

You got a lot of detail into that, and a lot of personality. Her quiet self-confidence rocks. This could be a character at the center of a very interesting story.

beth said...

Thanks, folks. I like her a lot - she kind of grew while I was typing but I have a couple ideas of how to use her that I'm going to play with.

Tammi said...

I like the interview approach. Her voice is so real that it makes the whole thing believable.

The notion of Silence being blind is very interesting to me. I also like that she's so into color in spite of her blindness.

Can she let me in on how to get taller?

Jeff said...

I was fascinated with your story, can't wait to read more!

~willow~ said...

... this is when I should have allowed myself to see others' works before sitting down and writing my FF for the week ... reading this would have blown my writing blocks and obstacles away! I certainly would like to see/read more about your character :-)

d.challener roe said...

The interview has never worked for me to help discover my characters--but it obviously works for you.

My method, is to close my eyes and imagine them moving through their daily lives and make them interact with others.

jeni said...

very well written! i like how you really are aren't sure where you're at when reading this. i'd love to find out more. :)

thanks for stopping by!


Rach said...

Let me know when the book comes out!

Gwynne said...

For sci-fi, this is very personable and Silence is an intriguing character...you're off to a great start!

Eric said...

Good stuff...very good!