Howdy all! (Yes, howdy. I blame the Veggietales silly song my brother is watching.)
So it's been a while since I've done a Character Encounter, but I have one for today! For the record, the character I encountered today didn't exist at all, (not even as a tiny little plot bunny) until I saw this month's prompt. I'm pretty sure that's not the way it's supposed to work, but... *shrugs* Oh well. She's really very interesting, from what she's told me about herself, and I'm considering her story as an option for NaNo this year.
Fun fact: this is the first Character Encounter that I haven't completely written/rewritten twice.
Now for all of you who maybe have no idea what I'm talking about, Character Encounters is a monthly link up hosted by Kendra on her blog Knitted by God's Plan. She gives us a prompt, and we encounter one of our characters at that location. This month the location was "The Road", and I chose to interpret it quite literally.
Ok, I'm done talking now :) Enjoy!
I can be rather oblivious at times. Now is apparently one of them. I don't know exactly how long it took me, but I've been staring at this bird frozen in midflight for... well, longer than I should be.
Because it's frozen in midflight. Just sort of hanging there.
I drop my backpack and gym bag on the ground next to my trumpet case and look around a little bit, slowly spinning in a circle. Everything is still and frozen in time. Except for me, I think, until I see the girl standing in the middle of the road. Her hair is so blonde it looks white, and she's wearing black sweatpants with electric blue stripes down the sides. Her black jacket covers a tank top of the same blue shade.
"Hey," she calls when she sees me.
I lick my suddenly dry lips. None of this is normal, and I've gotten used to some abnormal stuff recently. "Hey. Who, uh, who are you?"
"I am Alishna," She announces regally, but her voice cracks on her next words. "W-where is this?"
I study her curiously. Her voice is a combination of weariness, and a touch of... fear? Not surprised, what's-going-on-none-of-this-is-possible fear, but... the other kind. Yeah.
"You're on Earth." I say. She waits, and I continue, "In the United States. Of America."
"And who are you?"
"I'm Era," I say, giving the name I use with all my characters, though I don't have a character by the name Alishna. Wait a second... it's October now, I realize. I only glanced at the notice declaring the probability of encountering characters, but didn't it say something about a road?
"Do you know why you're here?" I ask.
She sort of shrugs. "Not exactly."
I hesitate, then venture. "Does this sort of thing... happen often?"
She sighs and sits down in the middle of the road. I look both ways before stepping out into the street with her. "Hey, don't you think it might be better to-"
"It happens a lot," she says softly.
I kneel down next to her and rest my hand on her shoulder.
She keeps talking. "It happens at random times and I get sucked into another time and place, and I'm supposed to do something, they all want me to do something, and what if I mess it up? But it keeps happening, and we're all still here, so I can't have messed thing up too badly, right?"
I put my arm around her and she starts to cry. "I just can't do it! And Dalton, he... he..." She chokes on a sob.
I hold her as she cries. Finally she wipes her eyes and looks around. "We're on the road. We should probably move, huh?"
"Probably. In case time starts up again," I agree, and help pull her up.
We make it back to the end of my driveway, and she sniffs and wipes her eyes one more time. "Sorry for falling apart back there. I didn't mean to, it just... happened."
"Hey, no, it's fine!" I reassure her. "And if you can, come back and visit me sometime."
She smiles. "Thanks. I will try. Maybe I'll be less of a mess next time."
I step forward, prompted by the sudden urge to hug her. She stiffens at first, but relaxes after a second. I let go and step back, and she says softly, "I should probably get back."
I turn suddenly at the sound of the bus approaching. Time has unstopped, and when I gather my stuff and look back, Alishna is gone.
What did you think? And is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?