Every so often, I run into the really interesting problem of needing one of Caitlin’s characters for my own work.
Usually, we write in tandem, so any time this comes up, I had the narrative over to her. But for the purposes of NaNo, that feels like cheating. Last year, I ran into this difficulty with Myles. As an aspiring Academic witch, that should have put him firmly into Cait’s territory. But I wanted to write all the words for my NaNo myself, so I floundered on and had her double check my work, as it were.
This year, I’ve come up against another Academic, but with any luck, she’ll be more of a behind the scenes kind of character.
NaNo, day 11
Jon left the magistrate’s office with the beginnings of an enormous headache. It wasn’t the red tape and paperwork- it was the lack thereof. Jon’s brows were pinched tight in thought as he made his way back to his truck, manila envelope tucked under his arm. Naturally, it would take days or even weeks to release the full list of Myles Ashford’s assets, if he was indeed dead as the sample Jon brought in had indicated. But the cleric who’d taken the proof amulet from him had handed over the list of known residencies without batting an eye, suggesting Jon try checking them, just to be certain the witch was dead. Jon had been fully prepared to reach through the glass and shake someone, to shout that the man had been lying on his front porch, but no one had protested his claim in any way, other than the usual bureaucratic mess sort of way.
It was unsettling.
As he crossed the lot to his beat up old truck, he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched, of metaphorical daggers aimed at his back. Jon knew he was the overly-paranoid type, but sometimes, you had to go with your gut.
Which was why the witch leaning up against his truck didn’t really phase him at all.
“Can I help you?”
She cut straight to the point, which Jon appreciated. Posturing was such a waste of time.
“Myles Ashford, what do you know?”
Simple enough. “Man died on my property. His wife and daughter are family friends of mine. I’m doing the widow a favor.”
Her face stayed a blank mask, and Jon did his best to do the same. Schooling his features was easy enough, but he knew the witch was looking at him with more than just her eyes. Finally, she spoke.
“Risky business, favors. Always hard to tell when something is actually worth sticking your neck out.”
And without another word, she turned and walked away. Jon watched her go, memorizing her look, her feel, any minor detail that might spark a memory in Rook. Because if anyone would know what the hell that had all been about, it would be Rook. Jon had never seen that woman before in his life. Aside from a sense of contained power, he read nothing off her. But there was no telling what Rook might see that Jon didn’t understand, so he committed the woman to memory, and took her face and the files back to their temporary base of operations in the dead man’s house.