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Creative Corner

Character Sketches with Dialogue by Sara Bitter

 

Character Sketch #1

Maya had never particularly stood out from the crowd. That was intentional on her part. She has always had the strange ability to divert attention away from herself. It was almost supernatural, but if you were to mention that, you would later forget it.

If you were to spot her, you’d see pale, sunken skin, grey, bloodshot eyes, and thin, hair that travelled long and stringy down her face. She was always hunched over, and you would be able to see the knobs of her spine bulging from her back, if were you to look.

The clothes she wore were whatever was tossed out by other people nearby. Sometimes it was a torn tee-shirt, other times it was a stained dress.

Maya lived in different people’s garages. They don’t know she’s there.

Not much is known about who she is. Nothing is known about how she came to be. Those who saw her would forget her soon enough, and everyone else would never know she was there. She could make sure of that.

Maya does, in fact, have supernatural powers, but nothing extraordinary. Just enough that she can go about undetected, despite leaving evidence of her presence. She doesn’t become invisible, but it certainly feels that way. She can make noise, stand in someone’s line of sight, move their things out of order, throw things at them, etc. The only people that ever notice her, are people that seem to be hiding something themselves.

Maya, though, would rather those people not notice her.

Character Sketch #2

 

James was, for the most part, a very average person.

He wasn’t short, but he wasn’t tall, either.  He wasn’t large, but he also wasn’t tiny. His hair was brown, and not cut to look like much of anything, which seemed to match the rest of him. His eyes, too, were brown, and the perpetual bags from exhaustion you would find underneath them were just faint enough to not stand out. His complexion said nothing to suggest any form of malnourishment.

He only wore very simple clothes. It seemed to be less of a stylistic choice, and more of a decision based on personal comfort.

James was, all around, an average person. If you were to cross paths, he wouldn’t stand out.

Unless, of course, you were dead.

James can see dead people. It’s something he’s always been able to do, and something he doesn’t know how to turn off. The only people he stands out towards are those who have already passed, because he will look at them instead of through them.

To James, though, this has only ever seemed to be another trait about him, similar to being average. He was born and grew up with both, and both seemed to hold just as much credence in his life.

He didn’t see anything strange or impressive about his little party trick. If he were to think about it, he’d realize he’s never actually told anyone about it.

A very average person, indeed.

Dialogue Activity

Character #1: Maya

Character #2: James

Scenario: James sees Maya, but believes that she’s a ghost. Maya knows that James has supernatural powers, and feels threatened by that. She knows that she would fly under James’s radar as a ghost, but not if he realized she was alive, so she pretends to be dead.

 

“There don’t seem to be many of you in this area,” James started, “so, then, what happened to you?”

He’s talking about ghosts. That’s what there aren’t many of. He thinks Maya is dead, and Maya wants to keep it that way.

“Car crash. The weather was bad, I swerved off the road.” It seemed believable enough. It’s a pretty empty area, which is why Maya was surprised to have found anyone in the first place, but weather accidents were common anywhere.

“Ah, I see. Sorry to hear about that.” He didn’t actually sound all that sorry. She figured she couldn’t blame him, given that he’s probably heard thousands of dead people’s stories by now, and hers wasn’t even real anyways.

“What are you doing out here?” She wanted to get to the point, though. She didn’t have anything against this kid, no, but she also didn’t want him to linger any longer. Those with supernatural powers are dangerous, something she has learned the hard way many times.

“I have some unfinished business to attend to.” Was that a ghost pun? She was pretty sure that was a ghost pun. Does this guy only ever talk to ghosts?

“I would appreciate it if I could know what. The people that come all the way out here usually don’t have good intentions. I feel that I should protect the area, if I can.” She’ll play as the role of a guardian spirit. She can work with ghost logic if she needs to.

And, yeah, there was a small flash of comprehension on his face.

“I understand. I mean no harm to anyone here, I’m just looking for something.” She didn’t like the look that flashed through his eye at that last part. Something about it was unsettling, and set off her paranoia.

She’s probably going to give herself away by probing any further, but something about this rubs her the wrong way. If she doesn’t investigate, she feels that she’ll witness something she’d rather not unfold.

“What could you possibly be looking for out here?” She didn’t mean for it to sound defensive, but it was easier to go with that than to backtrack.

“Whoa, okay, territorial I see,” he says, not even bothering to drop the bored tone. “I’m not messing with your haunting grounds, you don’t have to worry.”

“What do you want then?” If it’s not something in the area, then…

“Oh my-” he cuts himself off to pinch the bridge of his nose, irritation now clear in his posture. “Look. I’ve taken on a task for someone, and they require something that only someone with my skill set can acquire. And I have a lead that what I’m searching for is near here.”

Oh. He’s looking for a ghost. By the sound of it, he’s doing side-work for a witch. Which could mean many things– most of them bad– for the ghost in question.

“Are you planning on getting rid of one of us?” Maya presses.

“That is none of your concern. This is a matter that doesn’t involve you,” he grinds out. This is going to turn bad, and quickly.

“I do believe that my car crash was, at least partly, no accident. A witch’s interference, I believe, that I happened to get caught in the crossfire of,” she warns. It doesn’t matter that it was a lie, because he pales slightly and begins to back off. He understands the message.

It’s quiet for a moment.

“I have business to attend to,” James mumbles, turning away in a hurry.

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