Pax and Gaea stepped out of the Sweetwater Inn into the cool night air. Quinon and Selene walked just behind them. Both moons had risen and shone down on the empty street. An occasional dry breeze shifted the bit of sand on the stone. Gaea shivered.
Gaea began to make her parting gestures, but she and Pax both noticed a large group of thugs standing in a nearby square. One thick hewn man, in particular, berated the others. He stood flanked by two men in well worn armor, each with long barbed spears. Those he berated cowered in front of him in little more than shackles and loin cloths. He then turned to greet the newcomers.
“Word on the street is you lot is lookin’ to get yourselves sold in Urik”. The large man sneered as he hefted his obsidian axe. “We can help with that.”
Pax Gladius (Formerly: Vulgus Maximus): Vulgus is a tiefling templar of Tyr who supported the status quo and Kalak’s regime but was too unimportant for Tythian to order executed post-coup. Formerly a slave pit guard, Vulgus was bereft of a leader, an order, and a purpose. He shortly shook himself of his ennui, and forged for himself a new purpose. He is a templar after all, and what is a templar’s primary obligation? To uphold the law and order of the city-state. So what if by tradition, templars hadn’t truly done that for hundreds of years. It was time for someone to start. This new purpose firmly in his mind, he changed his name to Pax Gladius. He would fight for the law and see it upheld.
Quinon of the Forest Ridge: A halfling raised in captivity by templars, Quinon was freed by decree of Tythian and the Council. That did not mean he knew what to do. People had told him where to go and what to do his whole life. He looked for the answers to his life questions at the bottom of every cup he could find. Pax found him in this state, and gave him those answers. He would continue to support the templars, at least this templar; it’s what he knows. Besides, the tiefling doesn’t seem to get too bent when Quinon calls him ugly.
The couple sat in their Adirondacks on their back patio looking at their recently trimmed backyard. A cool breeze occasionally stirred the night air. A fire glowed in a nearby fire pit. Each held a bottle of Shiner.
“Nice night.” Kevin said.
“All week’s been good.” Steph replied.
He nodded and stared at the fire. A dog barked in the distance.
“I had to print something earlier,” said Steph.
This assignment was to read Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” and then write a similar dialog driven scene. We were to have between 500 and 1,500 words. We had 72 hours to write this, but I have family coming in for the weekend and a half-marathon on Sunday. This morning was when I could get this done. Of course, this means I haven’t spent near as much time on this as I would have liked, and I reserve the right to sneak in edits.
I tried to obfuscate the topic and depict realistic dialog. My word count is 950, so I’m somewhere between the 500 word scene and the 1,500 word short story. I thought about adding more, but it didn’t feel right. Maybe I escalated things too quickly.
Stu eased the truck into second gear as he pulled out of the hotel parking lot. The F-150’s engine shuddered, and then complied. The baby blue and rust pickup had travelled two hundred thousand miles in its thirty two years. They may be the same age, but Stu hoped he was in better shape.
Stu’s eyes flicked to the Motel 6 sign in the rearview mirror. He’d stayed in the room last night and appreciated a warm shower and a night away from the kids.
His left hand cranked down the window and let in the morning breeze. His John Deer ball cap kept his ear length brown hair out of his eyes. The humidity had finally died down some, and east Texas finally started inching toward autumn. The sun licked the horizon behind him and revealed a clear blue sky. Not a bad day for a fair.
My assignment was to write up a character sketch with a focus on the character’s job (his actual occupation) and his vocation (that which he actually does or wants to do). We were to then write a story or character background that explored the tension or synergy between our character’s job and vocation.
This has a plot in that it follows a day, so it has a beginning, middle, and end. But it doesn’t have a strong climax or anything. I just tried to show Stu’s job and his two, competing, vocations.
I’m not super happy with the title. It is fitting, but it seems a bit bland.
I might skim over too much or too little of his day. I cut out a bunch of things I put in there, because it seemed to drag, but I’m not sure if I’d like more detail or if I should have cut even more.
Oh, I know Stu is an odd nickname for Steven, but Stu insists that’s what people call him.
The Kevorkian Principle
Aiden squeezed his eyes shut and leaned back from his screen. The LCD had shut off, and he now had a mandatory break, complete with ergonomic stretches and focusing his eyes on faraway objects.
As he stood, his gaze fell across the top of the cube farm where his desk sat to the executive offices. He shook his head and began his stretches. He couldn’t afford to lose this job. He should count himself lucky. A data entry position in successful corporate offices was the envy of many of his friends and family.
“Hey, Assface. You really shouldn’t stare at the exec. offices like that. People will think you’re a gunner. Gunners get fired.”