Week 1: New character week

It’s time I started posting some of what this diary challenge is helping me produce! I’m not going to spend this whole year apologising for my writing being rough and crap so I will just warn you the once: this stuff was all written with very little planning and has been barely edited. Don’t expect to see polished stuff from this diary challenge. Also, everything is limited to an A5 page so some things will seem rushed at the end. This is all for practice and anything good enough for polishing will get made shiny later. There, you’ve been warned.

I was going to do a big ‘January roundup’ post, but I thought that might get too long very quickly, so over the next few days I’ll just do a week at at time.

If we can remember that far back, the challenge for the first week was to come up with a new character and write some stuff for them. The character I created for the purpose is Indigo Avalon. Don’t ask me where the name came from, my characters tend to name themselves and I don’t always agree with their choices at first but it usually works out for them.

I started out with the idea of the Enchantress type character from Beauty and the Beast – the old witch who tests people’s character and transforms into a beautiful woman before cursing them – and decided I was going to have a witch who could change forms. Here’s the description I wrote for her on the Monday:

They say she has two faces. One is thin, deeply etched with the lines of ages, obsured by ragged silver-white hair that’s thick and tangled as string. From deep set sockets two mismatched eyes peer out, the right one sharp and yellow, the left white and unseeing but yet seems to always focus on you. She walks hunched forward with the aid of an ancient twisted walking stick with a crow’s head carved on the top. She wears a black robe and matching shoes with curls on their toes, but as the fabric shifts with her movement hints of colour below are revealed. She likes to wear purple and tangerine, and tights with bright stripes. On her long, boney fingers she has rings housing colourful stones that are nothing more than cheap glass, but she wears them with pride. If you ask about them she will give you a toothless grin, but say nothing.

They say she has two faces. The other is lovely and youthful. Ivory skin framed with sleek raven hair. Her straight fringe falls in front of her golden cat-like eyes when she forgets to pin it back. She paints her full lips purple and kisses the boys on their cheeks just to leave violet smears. She wears short skirts with knee length socks and too big workman’s boots polished to a shine. She never wears coats with sleeves. She likes to show off the tattoos on her arms, mostly celtic symbols, except for her wrists which she’ll hide with leather bands. Her right bares a cat and her left a crow. Why does she hide those two? Rumour says sometimes they’re not there and she fears their absence will be noticed. She owns a pointed hat that she likes to wear to parties sometimes. She jokes that she’s a witch. If you don’t believe her she’ll pull a twisted stick from her colourful bag and cast a spell. She’ll laugh if you flinch, and maybe give you a kiss. She’ll claim it’s just a novelty pencil.

They say she has two faces. No one knows which one is real.

After I wrote this I decided that witches in Indigo’s universe actually have three forms they can take: maiden, mother and crone. They can also have a familiar for each form. Indigo has lost her Mother form, and the novel idea I had for her largely revolves around her trying to get it back and defeat the warlock who took it from her. She has two familiars, a cat referred to only as Miss Kitty (if you think that’s a direct reference to Willow and Tara’s Miss Kitty Fantastico you’d be right), who is aligned to her crone form and has been her companion since very early in her life, and Corvain the crow, a much newer acquistion who has been bonded to her maiden form under questionable circumstances that make Miss Kitty doubt his trustworthiness. In fact, this was the topic of the conversation I wrote between Indigo and Miss Kitty on the Tuesday :).

On Wednesday the scene I did was of parents’ night at Indigo’s school. It doesn’t totally suck, so I’ll just post it:

“Mrs Avalon?” Indigo’s teacher looked unsure of the old lady sitting in front of him. Most of the students had accompanied their parents. That wasn’t an option for Indy.

“Yes,” Indigo replied with a toothless grin. She could have easily got dentures for her elderly persona, but she enjoyed the reactions she got.

“You’re Indigo’s…”

“Grandmother,” she helpfully filled in. The teacher looked relived. “Her parents are no longer with us.” Technically true.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. “Perhaps that’s why she’s been struggling since she moved here.”

“Oh yes, it’s been very hard on my little Indy,” she commented, trying to contain a smirk as she spoke about herself.

“She seems smart enough. She’s great at history. She’s just not motivated, she never does homework and she’s having difficulty socialising with her peers.”

Indigo tried to look like she was taking his concerns seriously. Of course she had trouble socialising. Teenagers were entertaining enough with their dramas but they weren’t on her level.

“She seems to…intimidate them.”

He wanted to say ‘frighten’. It was okay. Indy didn’t think of herself as scary. Well, not her teenage self anyway, but she could see why her teacher would think that. Not many sixteen year olds had tattoos.

“I think she would benefit from counseling,” he went on. Indigo tensed. That could be a problem. She didn’t want the school meddling in her life that much.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that,” she said, raising her twisted walking stick to channel the spell. A blank expression crossed the teacher’s face, then he shook his head.

“Nothing, Mrs Avalon,” he said. “Everything is fine with Indigo. Thank you for coming.”

And that’s pretty much what I did for the first week of the challenge! The flash fic mostly sucked, but it was about a young man who wakes up to find that Indigo has turned him into a toy racecar driver as punishment for nearly running her over on a pedestrian crossing, and the less said about the poem the better. Seriously.

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