#AmWriting Exercises: Character Sketch – “Telling Half a Truth”

This sketch was written for the fiction writing course I am currently taking through FutureLearn. For this exercise, you had to write a character sketch (300 – 500 words) using one or more methods of creating characters, and show elements like appearance, feelings, current circumstances, occupation, voice, attitudes, hopes and fears.

Character Sketch – “Telling Half a Truth”

Markus looked at himself in the mirror for a moment, taking in the gaunt features before starting to apply a thin layer of makeup. Through the years he had learned well how to mask the signs of what little sleep he managed to get. He sighed as he put the makeup back in the drawer. So many of the spirits would just not leave him alone until he’d listened to their messages.

The face that looked back at him from the mirror had a healthy glow now – now he could start seeing clients. His cheap plastic watch beeped the hour and the carnival music started playing outside. He pulled at the white shirt he was wearing. He preferred calling his work clothes costume-party-gypsy-chic. It was what people expected him to wear.

He walked the short distance from his trailer to the tent where he plied his trade. Some of those who had arrived early at the carnival grounds already gazed at the red and purple tent with curious expressions. Markus knew that, before the end of the day, at least one of them would have come to visit him. It was like people just knew when spirits were there to speak with them.

Markus ducked into the tent, bending almost double because of his height. Green eyes that had seen too much of life darted around the tent to make sure everything was in its place before he sat down at the table and ran a hand through dark shoulder-length hair.

Tightness gripped his chest as the spirits closed in around him. He sat down at the table, drumming his fingers on the wood.

“You’ll have to step back,” he said to the spirits only he could see. His voice had a subtle English lilt to it, betraying a youth spent in England.

All but one of the spirits stepped back — an elderly man with a thin grey moustache and a birthmark covering part of his face. Markus glared at him.

His first clients — four bubbling teenage girls — entered.

“So,” one said, sitting down and sticking out her palm, “what does my future hold?” She giggled and Markus wished his childhood years had been so carefree.

The elderly man stepped forward.

“I am her grandfather,” he said.

“Coming to… take her to the light. There’s going to be a car crash this afternoon.”

Markus took the girl’s hand and stared at the lines on her palm.

“In your future I see a lot still happening,” Markus said. “You will have one great love in your life.” The girls giggled.

“And Peter is here, hoping to see you. You’ll find him by the cotton candy.” Markus grinned at the girl’s surprised expression. It was difficult as hell being a real psychic, but when he could give someone some happiness it seemed worth it.

The girls paid and rushed out of the tent.

“Thank you for not telling her,” the elderly man said and Markus nodded.



Categories: Fiction, Writing

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. Wow this is amazing! Sombre and sad and really deep but amazing nonetheless. What a curse and a gift that would be.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Writing Update: End of May 2017 – Hersenskim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Richard's Blog

A quiet corner to talk about my varied thoughts.

Tammy's Reading/Writing Life

A mother, wife, writer, teacher, coach, book fairy, and runner that has random thoughts about lots of topics!

The Official Blog of Horror and Fantasy Writer Lionel Ray Green

"Life is horror and fantasy, not necessarily in that order."

Thoughts of a Bored Writer

My writing. Mostly.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

READER - WRITER - RESOURCES - & MORE

Hersenspinsel

Afrikaanse fiksie deur Carin Marais

irevuo

art. popular since 10,000 BC

Travel With Nano B.

Travel | Food | Lifestyle

KRISTINA STANLEY

Best-selling Author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series

Quiet Water Craft

Official crafty blog for my Quiet Water Craft Etsy shop

Julia's Creative Year

my year of trying to be more creative in different ways

Confessions of a Readaholic

Book Reviews | IAuhor nterviews | EST 2013

Art of Shaima

Fantasy Art and Illustration

Jo-Creates

Knit one, Crochet too, then go make something to eat!

whit::knits

(and crochets, and stitches, and is otherwise generally crafty)

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Flash-365

Oh! Take a shit, read a story. - My Mother on flash fiction

Down the Crafting Rabbit Hole

Take a tumble down the crafting rabbit hole, you never know what you'll find.

The Not So Romeo & Juliet Story

love, life, hate, adventures, problems

%d bloggers like this: