Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Short Fiction: Princess, take 2

The last one of these didn't quite work for me, and I couldn't figure out why.  So over the past few weeks, when I've felt like working on anything, I spent some time working on the character, and I think I've got a better hold of her.  I had to throw out a big chunk of her background, but I think she's a lot better for it.  I mean, what makes for a more interesting character - one who was locked away for millennia, or one who spent all that time fighting to stay alive?

So, without further ado, here's the second take on writing for Princess, or as I call it, "The Right Side of a Conversation":

So, you want to know about Princess.  You could have just asked.  I talk better when I’m not a prisoner.  Fine, kid.  Ask.

Yes, she’s the last of the elves.  You know the history, right?  Elves spent thousands of  years warring with each other.  That was a long time ago, but–

No, I don’t know for sure if there’s any other elves left, but I’d think word of that would get out.  She never talks about it, probably would kill ‘em if she found one.

Anyways.  The war.  The elves had enough of themselves to fight for three thousand years.  Got a lot of people like you and me killed too, but elves being elves, they used their magic on themselves first.  Made a lot of their own kind into living weapons.  She’s one of those.

No, I didn’t hear anything.  Why?

How’d she live?  She didn’t get killed.  Don’t look at me like that.  You know a better way to live a long time than not getting killed?

Okay, okay.  She lived because she’s just that damn good.  I know you think you’re some flashy blade, but she’s killed more people than you’ve got hairs on your head.  She doesn’t talk about it much, but her war stories, they’re all full of blood.  Everyone’s blood.  Some of it’s hers, yeah, not that you’d know by looking at her.  She says elves don’t get scars.

But that’s the thing with her.  She fought in all three thousand years of that war.  And the war ended maybe four, five hundred years ago.  So if you wanna know about her, think of how she lived through all that, and how she’s still kicking around.

I don’t know her real name.  She only goes by Princess.  I don’t know if she really was one, or–

No, that didn’t sound like a scream.  This place creaks like my aunt’s bones, though.  How do you mooks live here?

Yeah, I get it.  Good work and people you can trust, not easy to come by these days.  That’s why I started running with Princess’s crew.  She calls the shots, but she’s seen it all, so she knows what she’s doing.  She lets you in and you do what she says, you live better than most people trying to scratch a living outta the wastes.

And we live big when it goes well.  Baron Brandir’s fortress job, up in the tundra?  That was us.  Brought down whatever the hell that thing was in the basement, kept us in god-stone for months.  The defense at Demman Pass, that was us too.  Believe me, the last survivor of her kind knows how to hold a front and make damn sure nobody gets past.  That was ten years ago, and people still tell stories.  Makes me proud I was there.

We do peaceful stuff too.  Did guard work for the pilgrims of Karra, took those people all the way across that damn cratered wasteland.  Didn’t lose a single one, except for that whack job who ran off and dunked his head in one of the pools.  Never seen skin boil off a skull so fast.

Her secret?  Are you serious?  I thought everyone knew what she did by now.  Okay, listen.  You know how I said the elves made their own people into weapons?  For her, it’s literal.  She makes weapons out of magic.  They never break, and you can’t disarm her, because she just makes more.  And in her hands or out, they hit right where she wants them to go.

What do they look like?

Kind of like that hammer that just broke through your door.

Seriously, kid?  Everything I just told you, and you think that sword’s gonna help?  I didn’t think you were that bright, but damn.  Nobody ever uses their heads in this town, do they?

I told you.  You wanted to know about her, you could have just asked.  Now the last thing you’ll see is why she’s the only one of her kind left alive: because they couldn’t kill her.


  1. Excellent. Great voice and wonderful execution. :)

    1. Thank you. I was hoping the voice would work, as I'm still getting a hold of so many things for this story and world and I wasn't entirely sure how to do it. But the character's tone came out more in editing, so yay.

  2. Yes, great voice. And just how fast does skin boil off a skull?

    1. Y'know, I didn't think about that when I was writing it. But it says something about this world that the guy has a measure for that sort of thing. O_o

  3. At the risk of being an echo, I like the voice. :)

    1. If I've apparently done something right, I have no trouble hearing about it more than once. ^_^ Thank you.

  4. I'm dittoing the others. Love your characters.tv

    1. Thank you. I'm not sure if the speaking character will be in the story or not, but I'm still working out the cast, so we'll see.