Author Topic: Character Sketch (written...) for a DG game  (Read 3663 times)

MisterJuan

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Character Sketch (written...) for a DG game
« on: September 06, 2016, 07:13:43 PM »
Now, I don't normally do this, but I wrote a little piece of short fiction for a character intro for a Delta Green game (that never really took off, unfortunately). I came upon it again today, reread it and felt like sharing it. Now, I rarely share what I write, but I thought it would be a good idea to get over that hump. If anyone has any feedback on it, I welcome it. English isn't my first language, so I might have fucked up on a few things, and I apologize for that. I was thinking maybe I should continue it, write more. I don't know.

----

She flexed her hands. Knuckles ached and joints felt stiff. The water helped a bit. She let it run over and across the back of her hands, feeling every little trickle works it way between her fingers. It rolled off and disappeared down the drain, leaving behind brown stains and what sounded like a shy waterfall. The neon tube over the mirror flickered briefly, humming and buzzing to life, making her look up at it instinctively. Across, she caught a reflection in the mirror; her own face. Frozen in place, she looked at herself in the blue-green glow of the light.
Tired. She looked tired. And older. Weathered skin stretched a little too tight over her skull. Her hair frangible, thin, wisplike, with nothing left of the healthy luster it carried before. Pores clogged with grime from a day’s and a night’s work. Dark circles under bloodshot eyes, sunken in their sockets. She looked and felt like death and couldn’t completely bring herself to care. She leaned forward and tried to catch a glimpse of who she had been for a time. Or maybe it was who she had chosen to be, or pretended to be. With all the lies and hurtful truth, it was getting hard to keep track.

**

“You sure no one’s going to find us here?” said Darren

He glanced out the window of the parked jeep. Sunlight filtered between the high branches. He could almost smell the pine through the door.

“Yea. I’m sure.” she said, turning off the ignition.

They sat in silence a moment, her looking at the key in her hand and him looking outside.

“This is my turf. Once we get deeper into the woods, we’ll be off the usual trails. No one goes off path unless they’re lost.” she said.

The keys went inside her jacket’s pocket, next to a pocket knife.

“You know” he started “I came to a park like this with Karen and the kids, a few years ago. Road trip.”

She nodded. She felt like there was something she was supposed to say. All she could think of was that night in Reno, about 2 years back. Cheap motel on the side of the highway. The smell of the desert. The buzzing of the flies. A moth hitting the window, repeatedly. The smell of cheap booze on her own breath as Darren kissed her. Her back hitting the wall, hard. Two people just glad to be alive. The black and purple bruise across Darren’s chest as she broke the buttons off his shirt. The thud of the Glock hitting the floor as she pushed him into bed.

She nodded again to something he had said but she hadn’t heard.

“We better get going. Once the sun’s down, it’s easy to break a leg.”

It was his turn to nod. He twisted in his seat and glanced at her.

“Thanks.” he said.

Darren screaming at her to get down. His firm hand pressing down on her shoulder as he shoved her behind cover. Flashes. A shriek. Something from elsewhere.

“Sure.” she said. “We’re in this together.”

She pushed her door opened.

**
She sat on the edge of the bed, in the dark. Nightlight from the city came through the glass patio door. Police siren howled in the distance, for a beat. She looked down at her bare feet and the blue-green triangle of neon that crept from the ajar bathroom door. She flexed her hands, looked at the palms; looked at the lines. Looked at the little bumps where fingers met palms. She rolled her shoulders and something popped, loudly. A baby started wailing outside the door, down the hallway. Someone was watching television, in Spanish. She looked outside and remembered how much she hated the city. The smell, the sound. Always something happening. Always something to keep track of. In a few days, she’d be back on post, utterly alone and completely glad for it. She still had to burn her clothes.

**

Darren slipped a few times, and she caught him. Hiking had never been his forte, even though his regular job probably kept him in peak shape. She didn’t know exactly who he worked for, although she knew it was federal. He’d let that slip a few times. She knew his real name, his wife’s name, and his kids'. When you did what Darren and she did for long enough, you did get to know each other. The group forced them into secrecy, for its and their own benefit. It felt like the right thing. But eventually, people were people, and in all the horror, you looked for a bond. When Max had died, in Reno, Darren and she had found that bond. They had sealed it in flesh and paid for it deeply. Closeness in misery.

“So, this is what you do for a living?” he said.

“Yea.”

“Wouldn’t have guessed…” he said, reaching down to help her up the incline.

She wanted to smile but couldn’t. She climbed up without his help

“Fell into it.”

“I somehow always pegged you for a spook.”

She adjusted her pack. Moss squished under her hiking boots. Darren was breathing a little harder.

“EMT in Chicago. Moved out to the country. Found a job with Forestry.”

Darren made a sort of surprised “humph”.

“That would explain those legs of yours.”

She pushed deeper into the forest.

“It’s just up ahead.”

She unzipped her jacket partially. The snub-nosed felt like it weighed a ton.

**

She laid on her back. Her top clung to her tightly. The fan was spinning slowly and the air made her feel sick. She was already starting to sweat. Again, she made sure the burner phone was on. She made sure the sim card was in. It was late. Or early. At some point, she should have cried, but she couldn’t. Max had been dead almost a year. Now so was Darren. And she still couldn’t be sure why they had died. Or for what. It felt like some sort of grand design was hidden, behind it all. Something bigger. Something cosmic in scale. Or maybe she was just getting more and more delusional. At first, when they had recruited her, they had chased a lot of shadows. And then it had become real, all too real. Everything had shattered. What she had thought important wasn’t anymore. Eventually, everything would cease, and all she could really do was choose how she’d go out. Or at least, try to choose.

**

“No one knows about this cabin.” she said.

“How come?”

“The government bought the land in the late 30s. Lots of trappers’ cabins and such around. Eventually, some just dropped off the map. This is protected land. No one goes this deep. Not anymore.”

She put down her pack on the folding table.

“I like to come here, sometimes. It’s off the path. It’s quiet.”

Darren looked around the cabin.

“Cozy.”

It wasn’t. She made a few steps towards him. He looked tired.

“I have to know.” she said.

Darren was putting down his own pack.

“Know what?”

He stood up, slowly.

“The book. Did you look at it…”

He started to lie. She had seen him do it a thousand times, to others. Never to her.

“No. I didn’t. You know I didn’t. We were told not to.”

“You were in there a long time. Did you look at the book?”

Outside, she could hear the birds singing. He wasn’t sad. He wasn’t tired anymore. His eyes roamed around the cabin briefly. His Adam's apple bobbed up and down. He reached for his service weapon, lighting fast, and she punched him in the throat before he could draw.

**

She sat on the edge of the bed. She had the small tv set. Colors were off. Sickly yellow and green. Muted commercials of hot babes waiting for calls and billing by the minute.

**

Her elbow caught the side of his head just as he was managing to kick her thigh. Her yell was short and more surprise than pain. He crashed against a camping table. She stepped on his right wrist and struck him three more times on the side of the head. Her hands were already hurting.

**

The burner phone started to hum.

**

“Zoey please!”

Rasped breath, half conscious and choking.

“YOU LOOKED AT THE FUCKING BOOK DARREN! WHY DID YOU LOOK AT THE FUCKING BOOK!”

Spit was running down her mouth. Her knee was on his windpipe. Her hand reached in his holster. The handgun landed in a corner of the cabin. His eyes started to roll into the back of his head. His lips moved but nothing came out. Her eyes clouded with tears. He turned red and pushed her off, rolling her onto her back.

**

Just a night in Reno. He rolled her onto her back. She kissed him back, felt his hands roam around her. She heard the thing shriek in the back of her mind, saw Max getting torn to shred by it.

**

She cried and screamed and tucked her head behind her forearms as he started to beat her.

“You fucking bitch Zoey! We were in this together!”

**

“Charlotte” she said, using her cell’s codename.

“Has the vector been neutralized.”

A voice modulator, like always.

Tears rolled down her cheeks, silently.

**

She raised her knee into his groin and as he doubled over, she reached into her jacket. This close, she felt his life turn into mist. She tasted Darren’s blood. The hollow points crashed into his face, making smalls holes and a big mess. He collapsed on her.
Dead weight.

 **

“Yes.” she said, her voice sounding alien to her own ears.

“What about the book?”

“Buried with Agent Charlie.”

“We appreciate how hard this must have been for you. You did a good job. Go back to Michigan.”

She took the sim card out, broke it in two and flushed it down the toilet. When she walked back in the bedroom, she took the book from the nightstand.

trinite

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Re: Character Sketch (written...) for a DG game
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 10:45:38 PM »
That's really good! Well written, too. I could follow all of the time/scene shifts. Great job!
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