Experimenting With Character-giving them a back-story.

I’m New at this and I don’t know the proper way to build a character. I just found a way that worked for me. This little chap is Tony my gay Pixie. Eventually he became a major character. I had to get to know him first so I built him a little back-story.

 

His excellency was awake early, as usual he was alone. Not that he really minded, those days appeared to be behind him, with the exception of the odd adventure which never seemed to last.

It was another beautiful day, when wasn’t it. He had been around a bit and although he hated the cold, he occasionally yearned for a morning when there were clouds in the sky and possibly the chance of rain.

He sighed and got himself up, strong coffee and baked goods were what he needed. He took a long shower in his spotlessly clean bathroom and dried off carefully lamenting the fact that he was still just a little bit chubby.

People seemed to like chubby, it made you seem friendly and approachable. This was always a bonus in his line of work. He had made his way up the diplomatic system from routine paperwork grunt to Ambassador.

These days he left charging around the multiverse to the younger guys. His backside was firmly planted in the parliament building where he gave advice and solved problems. In the evenings he would relax with friends over a beer or a glass of wine and play Quat until bedtime. He had a large and ever-expanding family of noisy and affectionate relatives who came to him with their problems.

He loved them all dearly, but sometimes it felt like he had replaced his mother as family matriarch. He knew that like it or not he was facing a gradual slide into comfortable middle age.

He was destined to be the family treasure, that cheery uncle that everybody loved. One day when he was just about dribbling into his soup, they would all gather round and talk about what a lovely old boy he had been. How he never forgot a birthday, and could always be relied on to put visitors up in his spare room and be his charming twinkly old self.

He drained his coffee and finished his pastry. He liked to cook, he had once been married to a chef who had taught him the finer points of baking. The marriage had been a short one and he had gained 10lb.

The laundry service had delivered his shirts and he selected short-sleeved. Today was going to be a scorcher. He had a meeting at 9 and he wondered if he could squeeze in time for another coffee before the madness of his day began. Probably not, still his secretary always had the pot on for when he arrived.

He strapped on his rucksack, locked the front door and took off, soaring into the blue and heading for the city like everyone else. He liked living on the coast. It was a laid back community and he had made good friends. The commute was a pain that he wouldn’t miss when he retired.

Sometimes he wondered what he would do with himself, open a bakery perhaps. Pixies liked to cook, Shapeshifters and Elves liked eating whatever the Pixies baked.

He flew over the outskirts and the suburb where he had lived when he was young. In those days it had been bohemian, full of young Pixies enjoying life. Now it was just scruffy and it made him a bit depressed which was unlike him.

Still no time for moping, it was back to the grind after the weekend. Although life on the top floor was pretty cushy these days. He nodded to a few beings he knew as he zipped along, including his niece Erica an intern with the Pixie police.

Morning Uncle Atonto she said as she slowed down beside him. Morning dear he said noticing her bleached hair. They chatted for a minute before she zoomed off again to join her friends.

He smiled and remembered that he had once been that young. Finally he made his descent onto the roof of the building, a fine old pile of bricks. There was an executive entrance on the roof and he never had to queue. He had made it, as far as he was going to go. He couldn’t help wondering what was going to be next. Retirement was a few hundred years away yet, unless he wanted to go early.

It was an oddly unsatisfying and unsettling feeling and it made him just a little sad.

Brian Holly handed him a coffee in his favourite mug. He had seen the boss like this before, but not for this long.

Your meeting has been changed, some sort of emergency it’s in Bob’s office. Everyone will be there, three line whip, Pixies, Shifters and Elves, sounds like it’s serious.

Bollocks that does not sound good he said sipping his coffee.

He slipped next door to talk to Bob before the meeting, Pixie to Pixie.

The sign on his desk read ‘Bob Snapdragon head of gardening’

It was an ‘in’ joke as Bob had not done any gardening for years. He was in fact the head of the Pixie Civil Service and the Chief of Police. He did the weeding, he sorted out the really tough stalks and chopped them down to size.

His excellency perched himself on one corner of Bob’s desk.

Care to share Bobby he said.

Bob sighed, looking up to make sure that the door was shut.

Big news he said, old Hugh Lakeman has finally gone. We need someone to go over there and pay our respects Atonto. Apart from the boozing he redeemed himself with a lot of good works, now he’s finally at peace. They are having a wake and we need an Ambassador to do the honours.

Crap, you mean in the human world don’t you.

Yeah, so I’m thinking of sending Monty Cowslip what do you think?

His excellency frowned, at one time it would have been him in the frame.

Is Monty the best you can do?

At the moment he’s all there is, unless you want to do it he said hopefully.

No thank you, I know you liked it over there, but it’s not for me. Load of violent lunatics.

Right Monty it is, he can bring back any news they have.

His excellency left the office with a sinking feeling. Monty Cowslip was a weasel of the first order, and he had the strongest feeling that a huge load of crap was heading his way.

Bob would never dump on him, they had been friends since school, but sometimes he might not have a choice. It was the way the game was played and they all knew that.

He wandered back to his office where Brian was waiting with papers for him to sign. You alright he asked.

The Ambassador nodded, yeah. I just have this feeling that it’s all about to hit the fan and it’s heading my way Brian.

Ah, well sign these and I’ll see if I can find out anything more.

True to his word Brian had done a bit of digging. Bob has spoken to his cousin Bernie. The wake is in a place called Wales, up the mountain where the sleepers are he said. They both stared at a map.

Monty is not happy, he is going to wriggle out of this somehow, I know he will. He’s no more keen to go than you are boss.

The day passed quickly enough and he was on his way home before he knew it. He stopped off at a Pixie bar for a drink and a chat with an old friend, and to pick up some beer for dinner.

Bob was coming over, the Snapdragons had been exceptionally good to him since his last marriage had ended. Maisie Snapdragon was a relative and Pixies looked after family however distant.

He stayed way too long and had to rush, a bag in each hand. He changed from a formal business robe to something a bit more comfortable, slipped on his sandals and got cooking. They would eat outside, with the great green ocean roaring away. Waves crashing onto the rocks below.

Idly he wondered what this ‘Wales’ place was like. Bob had lived in the human world for a time and had said that it was full of mountains and rivers, and it rained a lot.

He was glad he wasn’t going there, his diplomatic travelling days were over.

The moment he saw Bob’s face he knew that they weren’t.

He sighed, come on then Bobby tell me the worst.

Bob put down the pie that Maisie had sent to sweeten him up.

He shrugged, suspected case of Pixie Pox I believe. Nothing showing up yet, but just to be safe he feels like he had better stay home, in case he infects the human world!

Noble of him, the weasel.

He’s got a tame doctor, probably a relation.

So you want me to go

Would you mate, someone has to and it will only be the one night. Pop in, have a drink, pay our respects to Hugh and bog off home again before the monkeys even realise you are there.

The wake will be mainly our sort anyway. My cousin Bernie will be there, he’s a great guy. Don’t get pissed and take him on at Quat though, he will have the shadow off your back before you know it.

His Excellency raised an eyebrow, and how will I know this Quat playing cousin of yours Bob.

Oh that’s easy, just look for a big fat cigar and you will find Bernie on the other end of it. There’s also a couple of other guys to look out for Marc and Jon. Marc is huge, half Elf half shifter and Jon is a half Elf with a touch of Dryad, you won’t miss him because he has bright green eyes. They can help with any problems, I knew them well when I lived in England that time.

He sighed, yes ok Bobby, but I’m doing this for you and not for that fat arsehole Cowslip. If there is a shit assignment coming up he gets it.

You bet, now how about I open a couple of beers and we sit and watch the sun go down before you head off. Don’t get your wings in a flap, your English is beyond excellent and you will be fine. Stay the night with Bernie and his Mrs and come back in the morning.

His Excellency nodded, well that was that then he thought, only one night, how difficult can it be.

A few hours later he landed in what appeared to be an alley. It was dark and nobody saw him. He changed his ears and stepped out, uncomfortable in his human clothes.

There were few humans about, just one or two emerging from some kind of shop. The smell enticed him in. Fish and Chips he read.

He was the last customer and the man behind the counter eyed him suspiciously.

Can I help you he said, his accent strange.

The Ambassador smiled his best cheery smile. I am lost he said, I am looking for these people, he handed over a piece of paper.

The man looked, then he smiled. Oh he said, excuse me a minute and nipped into the back.

His excellency could hear conversation

Ask your Nan a voice said, she knows all about them up the mountain, you know ‘Them’

An elderly voice said, He’s probably come for Old Hugh he has, you know what kept the market stall, liked a drink. Friends with the Professor and that big one that’s always chasing the women. Tell him he needs to head up the mountain, them’s probably having a bit of a wake for the old fella.

What them Nan?

An old voice cackled, oh just them from up the mountain. My granny was one she had the mark. Harmless most of them, we just let’s them get on with what they need to do and they ain’t no bother.

She laughed again, be a right old shindig eh Shirley.

Yes Mam, the fair folk always throws a decent party, be at it till dawn probably. Half the town will be up there. Give him a bag of chips to send him on his way Jimmy. Probably hungry after all his travelling. Tell him he’s always welcome here.

The man came back, up the mountain that’s where you need to go. Mum said to tell you you are always welcome, here have these for the journey he said handing over a bag of chips.

His excellency took one. Thank you, tell your Grandmother I am grateful. He walked out of the shop eating, whatever these crunchy delights were, he liked them.

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