1. LBK

    LBK Member

    Jul 26, 2007
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    Comment on this Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by LBK, Jul 26, 2007.

    In my novella, "Decropolis" there is a character who I feel is somewhat unique and I look forward to any comments or critique possible.

    Here is a rather lengthy excerpt describing this character.

    The candy-eating mafia hitman, Maltie

    I am interpolating some of this data because as soon as I saw the boys start throwing, I ran from the edge, knowing that trouble would soon follow their careless and violent actions. So, while running away from the edge of the building, the blast of light which I had described zapped the delinquent individuals, most of whom had their top button unbuttoned. I noticed that there were mafia men barring all of the stairway access points. They were beating and shooting and knifing anyone who had an intention of getting off the rooftop. I was in a tight spot. That was certain. I reminded myself out loud “This could all just be a dream. If I die, I’ll be just fine. I’ll wake up.” A bullet nicked my upper arm and I shuddered with pain. I decided that although I will be completely secure after death, I wasn’t exactly keen on getting shot to pieces.
    I ducked behind a large ventilation apparatus and watched furtively as individuals who bore strange resemblance to an earlier era of myself were slaughtered while trying to make a blitz for the stairs and ladders which led off the rooftops. These were not like me, past or present. Nor were my companions from that era of my life like that. Those few who were, in the face of this dilemma jumped off the building rather than have the pain of being beaten to death. They saw their life to be transient and they disregarded the possibility of salvation in favor of making their short existence more pleasurable. I’m sure they enjoyed the adrenaline rush of jumping off the building before they met the ground.
    There seemed to be no answer to the situation but to charge the nearest exit and hope for the hopeless hope. Then I considered the effect that some flowery words had created on the entire populace of this hopeless city. I think that the criminals were innately smarter than the soldiers due to the fact that soldiers only had to follow orders and criminals have to chose which orders they want to disobey. But the hopeless hope rose from the depth of my psyche and I prepared for a verbal battle.

    Chapter Four:

    “Gentlemen, I would like to commend you on your excellent performance here today. May I inquire as to which one of you is the brains of this operation? I would love to praise him in the superlative manner which only the knowledge of a name can allow.”
    As expected they stared at me blankly for a few seconds but then, not as expected, they brought their guns to target my intentionally eloquent personage. There was no going back from here. “Nice, nice boys, you really do that well. Scary and all that. I’m a talent scout from the boss. I’ve been sent down to check out which one of you guys is doing the best work. You both have some good stuff, but I have to say that one of you has got the stuff the boss needs for his VP. Yeah, it’s gonna hafta be… I pointed at them with an aimlessly wandering finger.” I waited for something to happen that would give me enough of an opportunity to run down the stairs.
    “I hafta say…” waving my finger again.
    “Me?” one of them lowered his guard and said. As soon as he had let this interrogatively oriented pronoun escape his lips, the other enormous man at his side raised his fist into his abdomen, winding him. Before anything else could be said by anyone, the attacker had knocked his companion off the edge of the building to mingle with the more Epicurean of the prep school graduates.
    “That was the first time in the twenty years that I’ve been working with him that he left his stomach unguarded. Well, I suppose we can’t be perfect…. All the time.” I looked in shock at the triumphant co-worker killer as he offered his gigantic hand to shake.
    “So, how’s the boss doin’ then? I haven’t seen him in weeks. Been taking orders over the phone and I don’t even know whether they were his orders or not. He last said something about a suit of armor. I said yeah watevah. So, I guess we’ll be headed to see him?” I stared blankly for a second and then resumed the talent scout act. “Yeah, yeah, he’s waiting for us over there.” I pointed vaguely in a direction towards the center of the city.
    “Oh, he’s gonna meet us at the old asylum? I’ve always loved bringing guys there when they knew too much about the operation. Do you have a limo?”
    I squirmed inside and wanted to run but there really was no viable means of escape. “Yeah, um… I mean no… All the limos are booked for the big uptown show tonight. Right?” This would be either horribly insufficient or just barely passing.
    “Yeah? Well, the asylum ain’t that far. Let’s get going then. Anything for the boss. Right?”
    “You got it,” I agreed in a very charismatic manner. I hated the sound of an asylum where the local crime lord had imprisoned all of his major opponents. He broke the silence with:
    “Sh*t! I forgot to introduce myself! They call me Maltie.”
    I was beginning to feel more confident now and said, “Oh yeah, why they call ya that?” I was preparing myself for an answer of great brutality or injustice so I almost lost it when he told me:
    “I really like these chocolate covered malt balls. Ya know. The ones that they sell in candy stores. It’s like cigarettes to me. I could probably get drunk off of these things if I tried.” He reached into his pocket, produced about twelve in one handful and offered them to me. “Want some?”
    I was not laughing as some might in a situation like this. I was realizing more and more that this guy was very similar to me and yet he can commit these inhuman atrocities. Was I capable? I thought to myself. I was becoming more and more certain that I was. I accepted the offer while trying to keep up my casual and congenial countenance. I was getting close to breaking.
    “You ever been to the asylum before?” Maltie asked me.
    “Well, I’ve been to a few in my day… I mean, a good boss needs to be a little bit crazy, right?”
    “Right, right, right…” he agreed. “We’re getting close now.” I hadn’t even been conscious of how we were progressing. I didn’t even notice that we were traversing this distance on the roof-tops. There were literally roadways on the tops of these buildings. We were walking ever closer to a large clock tower. With every second that I continued to look at it, I felt a strange presence all around me. Then, there was a cold breeze, a wet breeze, like the kind of breeze that you feel before a thunderstorm. There followed a vocalization which, though perhaps not physically cold, turned me to ice. I heard a whimper in the breeze.
    “What was that?” I shouted hurriedly.
    “Oh the voice, that’s just Crazy Anne.” Maltie said calmly. I was by no means reassured.
    “Help!” a voice whispered. The whisper contained within it the energy of a plea but the frigid nature of a depression.
    “Yeah, so… Crazy Anne… Is she dangerous?” I asked with no semblance of any composure.
    “Nah, just walk right past her.”
    “Past her!!” I shrieked and stepped backwards. Maltie grabbed me before I fell and pulled me back to my feet. I had almost fallen off the roof. Or, so I thought. Maltie looked at me in some pity and some disgust. Then he added,
    “And don’t look at her neither.”
    I froze. I stared ahead. I heard the voice once again.
    “Help me!” It was slightly louder this time and more imploring. I turned my head with a mechanical measure that allowed it to move at a completely consistent speed. By this motion, little by little I turned my head and viewed the area to where I had almost fallen. There, lying on the floor at the bottom I saw a figure clad in white rags. They were not rags as we think of them. The collection and arrangement of these rags hardly deserved the ignominy of that term. These “rags” were a gown of ethereal design. They flowed and billowed around the female form on the cold, smooth cement floor. The wind seemed to be coming from her hair and it made my body convulse when I saw the eyes that appeared from beneath that hair. They were simply made up of light. There was no pigment and no pupil or retina. There was only the depth of pure white. She stared at me for a while but then resumed her position on the ground with an epilogue statement of “Help me.”
    “Come on. Whatza mattah wit you? You gone soft?” Maltie woke me from my state. “Just ignore her. She’s one of those depressed freaks.”
    I lost all my fear and sympathy at the sound of those last two words. I fumed inside and looked at Maltie in a whole new light.
    “Wait a second. You feel bad for her, don’t ya. You’re probably one of them freaks. I didn’t recognize it at first because you were talking so fancy and acting so natural. You must be like Crazy Anne. She’s always depressed but… What?! Aaaahhhh!!”
    I couldn’t control myself. My anger had reached a point of no return. Without any thought as to my principles, my morals, or my ethics of any kind, I turned to Maltie. I put my arm behind his back and kicked his legs out from under him. He fell off the cement edge and quickly was introduced to the rather snippy cold cement floor of Anne’s cell. Well, at least he didn’t have to talk to a wall. Crazy Anne changed that. While her gown billowed and glistened around her, the breeze became a gale. Maltie had been groaning and coughing up blood as soon as he reached the bottom. I cried at what I had done when I saw that his nose was broken and several teeth swam in the pile of blood in front of him.
    Anne then crossed her arms across her chest and looked at my victim. The light from her eyes grew brighter and the wind seemed to lift Maltie’s broken yet still breathing body. It rose higher and higher up until it was on a level with my face. I was compelled by some supernatural malicious force to look straight into his eye as he paused before me. The body could not speak and the only apparent movement was his eye. That eye spoke to me an infinite story, and not of anger or malice. It did not speak of grief or sorrow. As may be assumed, it spoke of no great joy or glee either. That eye rolled and pleaded with every empathic force that could be mustered from the body that it belonged to and screamed and screamed in utter terror. As I tried to tear my gaze away I realized that this was not fear of me or of the beautiful rag clad figure lifting him. Such a large man and ruthless man had not feared either of us while standing on the rooftop around the asylum. Why would he fear us now? There was fear of one supremely important question. What’s on the other side? As his body rose higher and higher it passed by my eye-level slowly with gentle determination. Perhaps predestination would be appropriate in this situation. It looked imploringly back down at my face. I was unable and even unwilling to offer it any mercy. I beg God for forgiveness every time I say or write what I had done only to have the Bride of Christ reassure me. She tells me that the only occasion of sin in dreaming is of fearing that those sins are real.
    Maltie’s body spun and spun faster and faster. It was like he was a discus for some titanic and invisible discus thrower. The eye screamed. The wind from Anne nearly knocked me over and when it did, the discus in the sky became silent except for one question that we all ask sometime in our childhood. Humbly, innocently, childishly he asked me… “What happens when I die?”
    There was an explosion of crystalline light from the discus and the athlete released his grip. The crushed body of Maltie, the candy eating mafia hitman, was rocketed far out in the direction of what I knew to be the ocean. He was soon out of sight. I felt no remorse. At least at this time, even with the disturbing graphic, telepathic and preternatural elements, I felt not the slightest guilt or discomfort regarding what I had just witness.
  2. natureday

    natureday New Member

    May 17, 2007
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    Wa state- Whidbey Island
    Wow! I really love your story! I think there are a bit to many descriptive words though. Otherwise it was fun reading it!
  3. Funny Bunny

    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

    Sep 20, 2007
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    Too many Nouns?

    I think it is humorous how you mix the bombastic "over-inflated words" with the Mafia Vernacular. Like:

    “Gentlemen, I would like to commend you on your excellent performance here today. May I inquire as to which one of you is the brains of this operation? I would love to praise him in the superlative manner which only the knowledge of a name can allow.”

    Is this guy a robot? No one talks like that except a guy who wants to get his toes blown off by the boys.

    It might be more readable if each quote that is a full sentence starts on its own line. Quotes that are separated by an attribution or a "beat" if they are the same piece of dialog can stay on the same line. Oh, there is no rule that says this. i think some style guide has it in there.
  4. TheFedoraPirate

    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

    Oct 11, 2007
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    Dude, I absolutely love this. Though I admit I'm biased, I like anything with organized crime.

    Also, I didn't mind over the top nature of his dialogue nor did I any have trouble reading it. It's in the style of writing that I really enjoy.

    I'm actually a bit surprised to find myself liking it so because (despite my affinity for your style and subject matter) I typically hate first person POV. I personally find it very jarring but I get no such feelin from this and it was actually my second read through when I realised it was first person.

    When you have more (or when you're done) I'd love to read it.
  5. BotSmash

    BotSmash New Member

    Nov 11, 2007
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    Character was good, but story had too many descriptions. Limit them so the reader can create images for him/herself from time to time.

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