Experimenting with characters 2-The meat on the bones.

Yesterday I showed you how I built up Tony my little character into something I hope is a likable chap. Once I created him I had to give him some traits to make him real. Which meant I had to reinvent the whole species, including giving him a partner to love. (The examples are from across his various incarnations)

Pixie traits with an example of each:

Ridiculously long names

He stared at the labels, Edie Buttercup, Melvin Snowdrop & Lindy Cowslip, Bryan Holly.

Throughout the multiverse everyone knew that Pixies had the longest most unpronounceable names going. The Pixie civil service had solved this with its usual ruthless efficiency.

Each Pixie shortened his or her name to a simple human one like Kevin or Tracey, then they added their middle name which was usually a flower or shrub and dispensed with the surname all together.

He remembered the night they had finally wormed a middle name out of Bernie, after several bottles of Gussies Gold. They had fallen about laughing, when the cigar chewing Pixie had finally admitted to Bluebell, and he had never heard the end of it!

Tony had also been a bit cagey on the subject of names, it had taken some time but eventually he had fessed up to Catkin, apparently his mother had thought it was cute. He took the teasing with his usual good humour, and said that he was better off than his brother Nicky who rejoiced in the middle name of Pussy Willow, which he never used!

Family Orientated

He picked up a chair and set it right. Whoever lived up here had to be able to fly, there was no other way up or down that he could see.~

It was oddly touching, there were little shelves made from the ledges in the natural rock. Odds and sods were placed at intervals. Things that could only have come from below. Acorns, a shiny pebble, bits of moss and most bizarrely a teapot with a broken spout, inside it was a bunch of dried lavender.~

A small piece of driftwood had fallen off, he bent and picked it up. As he turned it over he knew, a Pixie had lived here. Burned into the wood was a single word~‘bardh’, it meant home. It was Elvish, there was no Pixie word for home. Every Pixie knew that home was what you carried inside you, wherever you went in the world. It was rooted in memories and family, but you always put up a little sign, usually made from some natural object, wood or stone, just to remind yourself of where you came from.

He smiled and tucked it into his pocket. His own little~‘bardh’ sat on a shelf above the Aga in the kitchen at Huw’s Cottage,~a pebble he had picked up years ago from his parents garden. He was choked for a moment, and so distracted that he never saw the shadows moving at the back of the cave, or heard the dry slither of approaching scale on stone.

Loyal Kind and Loving

The car door opened and a young woman struggled out on crutches.

The young man sighed, I told her to stay in the car until I found out that we had the right place, why won’t she ever do anything I tell her to!

Tony grinned, I think you picked the wrong one for that Kit, I’m assuming that’s Jody coming down the path!

Just then a voice from deep inside the house called,

Who is it Tone, shall I come out!

No, he replied firmly, stay in the warm Joe, they are coming in anyway.

The Pixie rolled his eyes, I have one of those too, you have to love them for trying, he lowered his voice, even if you could cheerfully fucking strangle them half the time!

Kit laughed, oh yeah I’m so with you on that one!

Come on in the pair of you, out of the wind, the log burner is on in the study, make yourself comfortable and i’ll fetch his lordship, he’s up and about, but he’s got a couple of cracked ribs and it’s making him quite slow, not that he doesn’t try!

You honestly never met a man as stubborn as the Professor, I’m Tony by the way, be back in a tick!

A long fuse but they have a temper if you light it!

So what are you doing here little man, the Elf continued. This is a rather dangerous place for a Pixie to go exploring, haven’t you got a mushroom you should be sitting under. I’m sure there’s a fishing rod missing an owner somewhere, he said with a wink!

That’s Gnomes Tony said, and if you don’t stop patronising me, I will show you exactly where you can shove your fishing rod, followed by the mushroom-sideways!

Oh how funny, he’s a feisty little fella isn’t he, he said to Marc, directly over the Pixies head!

The big man sighed, realising that Tone was about to lose the diplomacy and go full Pixie on him. He’d seen Bernie lose it a few times and it wasn’t pretty, about as pretty as Gala would be after Tony nutted him!

Excitable

He had come to with a start to find Tony standing over him with a cup of coffee and a lit cigarette, he was beaming from ear to ear.

He repeated-Dave said, I know it’s early but tell the grumpy old bastard that he’s a Grandad, baby girl 7lb 2oz Sarah Elizabeth, everyone is tired but fine.

Now shove this in your gob and have a smoke, then drink your coffee Grandpa Freeman the Pixie said cheerfully. It’s 5am and today is a special day.

He handed Joe the cigarette and put down the mug before climbing back under the covers himself.

Neither of them could sleep after that. Tony was ridiculously overexcited, and there was no way that he and his own little pink cloud of happiness would be allowed to doze. In the end they had gone for an early but surprisingly pleasant morning walk up the mountain, where they had watched the sun rise on a beautiful winter day.

It’s no good, I’m so excited I just have to do it. Do you mind Joe, Tony had said.

Knock yourself out he grinned, nobody around but me, I’ll just sit here and watch. Tony had taken off and was soon happily zooming through the trees, wings catching the early light.

Extremely clean in their habits

Pixies are really funny about bathrooms, everything has to be spotless to the point of obsession. If you live with one you soon learn that it’s easier to let them have their own, if you can afford it! Molly always shared with the kids and let Bern have one to himself. She reckoned it was worth the sacrifice of always having to queue behind seven children just to keep the peace.

There were two bathrooms at Hugh’s cottage, he took Mollys hint on Pixie living arrangements early on and let Tony have his own. He was always in there cleaning and polishing it.

You will wear those tiles out he quipped one day as Tony was heading for his Saturday morning scrub round.

The Pixie stopped short. We just like to be clean he said, how the rest of you don’t all die from some horrible bathroom related disease I do not know. Filthy beasts the lot of you!

Thanks, we all manage to keep going somehow he said, one eye on the rugby!

Tony snorted, anyway I’m not doing my bathroom smart arse, it’s yours I’m after.

Tony in particular hates the cold now that he lives in the human world-he goes home for a month every winter.

Now don’t wear yourself out Joe, oh I put your tea in your Sunday mug, it’s lighter on those broken fingers, damn I forgot the biscuits, won’t be a minute. He bustled off again!

Tinker-bell was a bit of a surprise, he seems nice she said with a smile, love his taste in chunky knitwear by the way!

Yeah he’s a total sweetheart, and he’s very fond of that zip up cardie. It was a Christmas present from a friend of ours who knits. She was married to a Pixie for many years, and she knows how to scale things down to fit them. Tone is just about 5ft 2 that’s tall for a Pixie, my friend Bernie was only just 5ft!

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