Day 63 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character with bad intentions.
Shannon: I make a living off of sabotaging others, and that’s not an exaggeration. I get paid a lot of money to mess with strangers by causing a few “random” acts of chaos. My employer gives me an assignment much the same as an undercover agent, or so I can assume. They give me a name and where to find the victim, and then a job description of what they’re trying to accomplish. I’ve gotten anything from a simple time-stalling distraction to creating a “fake” bad day for another person. Only it’s all too real for them, and there is no blame pointed back at the people who use my services.
So how did I get into this industry? Well, I found a recruiting card with a website and a password in my jacket pocket once. These people are everywhere, and they’re good at keeping their existence a secret. We go through a little training, but we’re naturally good at this. They scouted us for the job because we demonstrated strong observation tendencies. The policy is based off the fact that strong observers can never be customers, so why not keep them on the company’s good side.
My task for the day was to ruin a woman’s morning at her favorite coffee shop by making everything go wrong. I started with my usual tactics to secretly mess up her order by adding a sour, overpowering ingredient. She took a sip as soon as she got it, and puckered. “This is terrible,” she set it back down. “Make another,” she demanded. “This time don’t use expired ingredients,” she accused the barista in front of the line of customer. I could already tell she deserved everything she had coming for her.
Erin: “What do you think of this one,” Jessica stepped out in the most gorgeous ball gown I had ever seen.
“It’s a little over the top,” Lexus gestured her finger down the back of her throat as she made a gaging noise.
“What are you talking about. It’s her wedding day. It is the perfect amount of over the top,” I defended my sister.
“No offence Jane but you’ve never had the best taste,” Lexus transitioned her idiocy to me.
“It is a ball gown Lex. Ballgowns for weddings are timeless and this is a Vera Wang from this year’s collection. Are you trying to tell me that it is even possible to have bad taste when you are buying a Vera Wang wedding gown?”
“Come on Jessica, are you really the type of bride who wants to be this stereotypical,” Lexus gave up on me and moved on to my normally more impressionable sister.
“What do you mean,” she pulled at the top layer of skirt fabric.
“You are not the type to be a princess bride,” she rolled her eyes. “Don’t you think Gavin would love you in a nice sheath dress?”
“Gavin would love her in any dress,” I corrected. “She is the most beautiful woman in the world to him and even if she wore a garbage bag she would be the only girl he’d bat an eyelash at. Now shut up and at least let her give her opinion before you shut it down.”
“Jessica,” Lex’s mouth hardened into a horizontal line.
“I don’t know,” her hands stroked over the bodice as she looked in the mirror. I knew the sparkle in my sister’s eyes when she pulled back the curtain to show us. The reason there was a somber hesitation was due to her so-called best friend.
“How about you go put on Lex’s choice. We will come back to this one,” I offered. My sister was always the one who needed to see all the options before settling on one. That’s why it was so vital for Gavin to have cared about her and understood her enough to stick through their break. He was smart. Even with her quirks he was a very lucky man.
“That sounds like a great idea,” Lexus continued to stroke her own ego.
When Jessica slipped back into the curtain dressing room I grabbed onto the collar of Lex’s sundress. She looked terrified as I yanked her up and dragged her to the first nook in the wall, out of earshot. “You know as well as I do that Jessica does not have the body shape for a sheath dress. You also know as well as I do that a sheath dress is so far to the left of her style. You want to explain that to me?”
“She’s drowning in that ball gown,” she looked to the ground as she smoothed out the collar I had crumpled up in my sister rage.
“My sister is 5’ 11” she is carrying that dress just fine thank you,” I raised an eyebrow as I planted my hands on my hips.
“You think just because you’re her family you are so much smarter than me. Don’t forget who has been by her side for the past four years of her life,” Lex sassed.
“Don’t you get the distance between us confused with the distance of our bond. I was there for her for the past four years just as you were. I know about the time she was fired, I know about that time she nearly failed physics, oh and I know about how she was dating your fiancé before you ever met him.” Lexus went white. “I’m not only a good listener, I’m perceptive. Jessica told me about your wedding dress shopping experience. You are two beautiful, but different brides. Neither of you is going to take away from the other by both wearing ball gowns.”
“I just,” I could tell she didn’t know what she would say either.
“You’re just going to go back there and keep your mouth shut until you see a smile or a frown come to the face of my precious sister. She loves it, you love it. She hates it, you hate it. This is her day. You are here for support and assurance, not to be the fashion police.” She just nodded.
“Jane look,” Jessica was in tears laughing as we strolled back to the platform.
As she spun in circles I started giggling as well. Not long after Lexus joined in. “Okay maybe that’s not your dress,” Lex chuckled as Jessica shook in a manner that had her body giggling all over. She still looked beautiful, because someone as silly and happy as Jessica could not help but be beautiful. I agreed though, because I knew that was Jessica’s opinion as well.
The goals of character’s should be different. Write about one who may have goals most would consider off base.
Poised in a perfect lotus pose, I focused only on my breathing; in with this mortal-tainted air and out with the magick-imbued. Though this land was tedious in its most egregious form, I enjoyed watching them attempt peace and fail miserably when they couldn’t draw on their inner power. What inner power could a mere mortal possess, anyhow? My mind was wandering, the electrical energy around me fading along with my focus. Sighing, I opened my eyes to re-center myself, twisting my shoulders and sore neck while I had the chance. A few inches away was a pane of mirrored glass, one of five surrounding my meditation, meant to reflect and intensify my power exponentially.
When I stared at it, into the unblinking black hole eyes I knew so well, I felt the energy starting up again from within. The power I felt surge was something dark and spine-tingling. Winking at me, the girl in the mirror smirked with the side of her mouth, letting the exhilaration encompass her entire face. Gently shutting my eyes, laying my pale hands on my knees and taking in an energizing breath I relaxed back into a silent trance.
After what seemed like hours recharging my growing power, a forceful knock came on the door, shattering my concentration and halting the flow of energy. Reaching out a stiff hand to touch the mirror girl, our fingers met and the glass disappeared like the literal illusion it was. When the solid steel door swung open, crashing against the expensive armoire, I had to physically force the fury out of my muscles. “What!?” I bellowed, unable to look at the intruder lest I accidentally bash his unworthy head in.
“Mi-” the man began, voice cracking with fear. When he spoke again the words blurred together, “Miss Cor, uh, Serena, uh, there’s a naiad here to see you. Claims she wants to fight you in return for leaving the town. She says her name is Sav, uh,” panic set into his words as he rambled on in gibberish.
Deliberately getting to my feet, stretching every rigid muscle along the way, I twisted to face the door, a wicked grin involuntarily taking over my expression, “Savean. Her name is Savean and I’m about to tell her the worst news she’s ever heard.” With a flick of my wrist, the bulky man’s neck cricked and he crumpled to the polished onyx floor, blocking the doorway. As I ghosted around him the room became pitch and the heavy door slammed shut.
Down the extravagant, dim hallway and around the corner I paused before a great oak door struck through with gold flecks and set with precious stones. All around, chandeliers dripped from high ceilings like moss hanging from tree branches; they cast sparkling shadows across the marble tile floor and reflected in the bronze wall sconces. Everything I had designed in this building made it feel like a castle to remind me I was of royal descent and to never forget that.
As I let my hair flow freely, black ringlets falling down my back and stark bangs covering part of my face I addressed the rest of my appearance. Tight yoga pants and a loose-fitting tee flared out into an obsidian ball gown with an intricately embroidered bodice to remind this rabble they were addressing a rightful queen. But, swiftly conjuring a mirror on the wall, I peered into the dull eyes of a woman who fell from her throne, not one who had yet to be given the chance to rule. I could feel my blood boiling as the woman’s eyes deepened to match the dress; a porcelain doll dressed for a funeral.
When I smashed the glass, letting shards drop where they may, I turned back to the door. Shoving the two sides apart without laying a daintily-gloved hand on the wood, I tore into a grand two-storey ballroom complete with original roman columns and slate tiles. The entire room was bathed in brilliant sunlight shining through ornate stained-glass window panes set into the second storey. Across the hall was a lanky woman with striking blue skin and dark eyes, standing stiffly in the mystical setting I’d created for the final battle. Though I didn’t know Lily’s actual plans, I could’ve guessed her boo would play an important role.
“Serena!” she shouted, her feral tone echoing around the lofty room. As my boot heels clacked across the room, I could make out silver armour, gleaming from her shoulders to knees, like a fairie knight might wear. Drawing a sword, silver with gemstones set into the ornate hilt, she rested the tip before her and leaned her arm across the guard. “I challenge you to a duel for this fair town of Briarwood!” though she didn’t need to raise her voice, with any sound being amplified nicely by the room, it must have made her less afraid to face me.
Stopping dead halfway down the hall with blinding light nearly burning my skin I planted my feet and let out an elongated sigh. I mustered my wickedest smile and bared my teeth at the heathen, “I’m afraid, my dear Savean, I cannot fight you. I must deliver the most dire news; you have already lost the town.” When I cocked my head to the side, keeping the grin on my lips but staring daggers at my enemy, I could almost see the waves of pure rage rolling off the naiad’s form.
She bolted forward on sturdy legs but just as she raised her sword, intending on slicing through my head I’d guess, I whispered, “Nunc prohibere,” and she froze, mid-stride. As I stepped curiously to the frozen woman, watching with delight as her arctic face began to turn rose, I took the blade from her fingers. After a few seconds of admiring the shine on the sword and watching tears form in the naiad’s eyes I released her.
Falling to her knees, coughing and gasping for air, she was powerless to stop me from running her through. In fact, I feigned doing it a few times before I knelt beside the defeated woman so I could look her in the cobalt eyes. I pressed the blade under her chin, forcing her gaze upward when I told her the real news, “I’m really not sorry to be the bearer of this bad news but, your lovely little Lily is no more.” But instead of sorrow, I observed a ferocity I hadn’t expected.
With her breath coming back, she laughed weakly, “No, that’s probably just a part of her plan.” Aggression was beginning to return to her tone but there was a sliver of doubt floating around. Chuckling darkly, I stood up, nicking her chin as I shifted the sword, and took a careful step backward.
“Well,” I stated, stroking the reflective blade serenely, “then my cousin was far more clever than I gave her credit for. Because,” staring at the naiad’s eyes, I used her telepathic connection to replay my defeat of her lover, “I definitely pierced her heart this afternoon.” As the truth dawned in her eyes I watched the stages of grief pass across her features. The emotions were so delicious but I could already hear a commotion outside in the hall; one of the other little soldiers was attempting to breach my sacred space before I was ready for them.
Lifting the woman and casting her limp body into the far corner of the room I let her weep without further intrusion. When the doors finally gave way, a small woman stood framed with light streaming about her. But when I blinked she was gone. With only the sounds of her work boots thudding against the floor and heavy breathing to let me target her, I threw out a small lightning bolt. It hit her straight in the chest; short-circuiting her invisibly and cardiovascular system. Using the same spell as I had on the naiad, I deposited her beside the other.
Furious at my henchmen for their inability to keep my enemies at bay, I silently vowed to destroy them all when I was queen. As I was about to move on to the next stage in my takeover a figure stalked into the room, wearing mortal’s steel armour that barely covered any of his vulnerable parts. He stood like he had just defeated a dragon and was expecting a reward before shouting, “Serena, I challenge you to-” cutting him off with gesture, I watched him mime feverishly across the hall.
Though it was hilarious watching the young man jumping up and down, attempting to keep my attention seriously, I had business to attend to. “Yes, well, I don’t have time for that. You can join the others,” I stepped forward to curse him when he furrowed his brows in confusion.
“Where’d ya get that sword? That’s Savean’s sword! You must give it back!” Screaming across the room, he tripped halfway and his iron blade went flying. When he swore I rolled my eyes and threw him against the wall with the others. I absolutely didn’t have time for any of this foolishness.
When the wolves came in, howling and growling savagely, I blinked as I took in the animals. They stepped into the room on velvet paws, their brown fur sticking up at odd angles. But they were no match for an electric cage; I was beginning to think my cousin couldn’t have won if I’d stood still and let her attack me. With all these sad excuses for magickal beings I figured the battle was over.
Glass shattered and rained down around me as the beast crashed through the roof and landed squarely on my chest, puncturing a lung. Unable to cast and with splinters sticking into my back, I lay there motionless as all the so-called defeated enemies gathered around me. The dragon roared into the ceiling, making the entire building tremble. When the boy, Riley stepped forward, with his arm still protectively around the naiad’s shoulders, I flinched away from him.
Laughing at me heartily he spoke in even tones, “You, Serena Cor, will leave us. We have frozen the entire town using a little luck and some ice. We’ll be unthawing them as soon as you leave.” Jaw set, he continued, “Did you actually kill her? Your own cousin? Where is Lily?” To my right her girlfriend was breaking down again, unable to keep it together; I wanted to laugh at her.
But I could already taste my own metallic bile in my mouth and smiled up at everyone, blood sticking to my teeth. They knew they’d have to release me if they wanted to know; it was just a question of whether they wanted to know badly enough or not. What they didn’t know was that this stain of a town wasn’t worth the effort I’d put into it and I didn’t care to waste another second on a place that couldn’t fend for itself. Scowling up at them I dared them to let me go.
When the dragon eased her claws off my chest, I gasped and clutched at the holes it had cut in my chest, seething. I sat up to quickly being healing my own wounds in order to speak. As the feeling numbed in my crushed body, my breathing became less laboured. Bones in my legs were fusing together but I held onto my composure better than any of these sissies. When I was healed enough for my liking, I spat, “Six feet under in the family plot.” Cackling maniacally, I was gone into the abyss of a silent transportation spell and never saw that silly little town again.
(May not be easy to see, but Heather’s trying to get August to leave. The only way it’s ‘bad’ is because he needs to help her.)
Created to Write:
August walks down the stairs, rubbing his eyes.
“You shouldn’t be here.” He looks around the dimly lit kitchen. Heather is sitting in her wheelchair at the opposite end of the small table. She isn’t looking at him, but still sensed his presence.
August walks over to the fridge, “You need a friend around-”
“You are not my friend,” Heather says, at the same volume as the first thing she said to him since he arrived. “…You know nothing about me.”
August agrees that is true. He starts to pour some cereal, then milk. “Want me to get you something?”
“I want you to leave,” Heather answers. August puts the milk away. “Josh is a friend to me, but he isn’t here. Why?”
“He has responsibilities back home. He wanted to, but he needs to finish school and there’s the team-”
“Aren’t you the leader?”
“He’s the leader in my absence.”
Heather scoffs, “You should just go home, August. That’s where you belong.”
“What makes you think that?” August says, sitting across from her.
Heather laughs wryly, “…Maybe how you are picky about touching anything with dirt or manure on it. Maybe how you take more than one shower throughout each day. Maybe because your friends said that you are the least likely out of all of them to leave New York. You’re a city boy, you’re more comfortable there.”
“…As that may be true,” August says, “you need someone here that understands what you are going through.”
“And that’s you?” Heather scoffs. “You don’t understand! You can’t possibly understand! You weren’t there!”
“You don’t know me, Heather,” August says, his quiet a generous contrast to her outburst.
Heather cross her arms, looking down passed the table’s edge, “Let’s keep it that way.”