I must admit to feeling a certain amount of levity from my decision to cull my overflowing ideas to a more manageable number. I assure you it was no easy task, but I can now dedicate myself to the stories that have real possibility.
With my new found freedom I’ve decided that I will write something for each of the five story ideas during the week. It may be background, dialogue, or just snippets of imagery; but I will write down what ever comes to mind that day for that story.
Of course, when deciding which ideas to keep, I found myself unable to leave Francois and the gang behind. I simply have way too much fun writing for them. I’ve wanted to do some back story for Charlotte, but she is so mysterious that even I don’t know who or what she is. So we’ll keep her under wraps for a little longer.
In the meantime, I hope I can tide you over with a little exchange between our resident spook and the timid archaeologist.
She held the stake in her hand. It was old, rubbed smooth and gleaming from years of handling. The intricate designs were all but worn off with only the faintest traces that they had ever been carved. Charlotte had given her the case containing this and other weapons with the instructions that she “become familiar with them.” Amanda hadn’t actually thought she’d be doing any slaying of beasts; she would gladly have left that duty to François who seemed to radiate an unhealthy glee whenever he was sent on assignment.
Amanda had been in the company of the strange couple for two months and, she had to admit, she still felt like a complete stranger. Both François and Charlotte were friendly, but there was something in their gestures, their mannerisms that belied a sense of formality. She had the overwhelming feeling that she was a peasant in the company of kings.
“To a point, chère, you are correct.” François informed Amanda when she accidentally let her feelings be known. “My family were nobles, back when that sort of thing mattered. But I have spent far too many years living in dank squalor to let that sort of pride back into my life.”
“What about Charlotte?” Amanda knew very little about her benefactor and the curiosity was welling up inside her.
“You know as much as I do. Miss Charlotte is a guarded woman, she keeps many secrets.” François let his pale eyes dance over Amanda’s slender frame and took wicked delight in the slight shiver that shook her body when she felt his eyes on her.
“You, on the other hand, wear your feelings too freely; I can see your every thought plainly.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “Your uncertainty around us is due to the fact that we are so completely different from you.”
“How are you different?” Amanda knew she would probably regret asking, but she had to know so that she could adapt and cope.
“Charlotte and I may look normal, but there is no mistaking it. We are as much monsters as the pitiful creatures we hunt. The only difference is that we are paid to do it.”
François left with a wistful smile and Amanda felt suddenly and terribly alone.