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Writing Life

Character Look-a-like

I’m not sure what started it. Maybe it was viewing other people on fictionpress putting up pictures of their characters. I usually didn’t look at the photo links until I was done reading the story. By then, I had a solid picture of characters in my head and I’d compare with the photo links to see if my image matched the author’s image. Later, I  started looking for character pictures of my own. I have a folder with pictures that make me think of a character I’ve written.
However, there are people who also talk about seeing someone who’s their character’s doppleganger. Exactly how they pictured him or her. That, I had never experienced until today. Granted, it could have been all in my head because

1) I got very little sleep last night because I was having interview jitters
2) After the 4hr interview I’d had, I was a combination of drained and woozy 
3)My ipod was dead and I had an hour+ bus ride back home from company 

Anyway, there was a guy on the bus standing a few feet away from me that I kept being drawn to. I couldn’t figure out why. I guess I don’t notice guys unless one of the three things listed above happened.

I stared at his face. I definitely had never met him before. Then his hair, his clothes, his posture (his i-pod  was WORKING so he didn’t notice this) and then something in my head screamed "Ian".

A college-age version of Ian but still … If you have no idea who Ian is or what I’m blabbing on about. Here’s the teaser from my first Mystery Monday. It might explain why I was excited about real life Ian.

Ian crammed more belongings into his suitcase wondering for a brief moment whether he was doing the right thing. Then he reminded himself a whole week had passed since the funeral and his mom hadn’t come home. If that didn’t mean she didn’t give a damn about anyone but herself, he didn’t know what did. He made a sound in his throat, not believing he tried to defend her actions to his dad’s parents. They gave her until today, the end of the school year, to return. Now they were going to file for custody.

“Your mother thinks she is out saving the world but if she wanted to save anything, she should have started with us.”

That was his dad’s anthem. Sometimes Ian believed him. Other times, Ian remembered vividly when his mom spoiled him rotten and he in turn did everything she asked him to. He forced haggis down his throat so he didn’t hurt her feelings. He couldn’t believe she chose work over family. He had seen her once since the last fight. That was a year ago and he’d grown almost three inches since then.

With a pensive frown, he gave one last look at his room, staring at his posters, and his desk crowded with soccer magazines. Lifting his backpack from the floor, he swung it on to his shoulder shrugging to distribute its weight before turning the knob and shutting the door behind him.

“Hey!” Ian called out downstairs to where he knew his bodyguard was waiting. He couldn’t stand the officer left behind to watch over him. Hey, he tried to be nice but the man made sure Ian knew he thought this was nothing more than a glorified babysitting job. A job he was assigned because he was a rookie.

“Hey” Ian called out again with less gusto as he lifted his suitcase and carried it down the stairs.

The living room was empty. Ian shook his head puzzled. The rookie wasn’t happy with watching over him but he was serious about his job and wouldn’t have gone out without telling Ian. Array was a small close-knit town and the Sheriff hadn’t minded sending someone down to take him to his grandparents. They were expecting him within the hour.

Ian took a harried step towards the window and tripped, the weight from his backpack pushing him forward and he landed on his knees. He smothered a lengthy curse, glaring at the laces that somehow got undone as usual. Frustrated, he pushed the rope edges into his trainers and grimaced as he stood up. His knees throbbed but he ignored it continuing on to the window.

Peering out, he saw no signs of the car or the rookie who sometimes stepped out for a smoke. He groaned, pushing back the bangs from his forehead. The rookie more than likely took off to teach him a lesson. Leaving his suitcase behind in the living room, he headed out the back door. He had one more thing to do. It didn’t matter if they got to his grandparents’ place a bit late.

The forest behind his wooden home was a complicated maze but Ian trampled through the forest easily, avoiding the potholes and swamps. He learned to recognize them after his many trips through the woods that he kept hidden from both his parents. Ian smiled. It was one of the few times they agreed on anything. They wanted him to stay away from the woods. There was always something on the news about kids being found, shaken up, and dehydrated days after getting lost in the woods.

He climbed up the ladder to the abandoned tree house picking up the extra cash from his hiding place along with the antique watch his father gave him on his birthday. Gulping air, he fought the tightening in his chest and wiped the tears that followed. Shit. Lucky no one could see him now. .Taking a deep settling breath, he clasped his dad’s watch on his wrist and reached into his pocket for his cell phone.

No signal. He might have missed a call from the rookie. He had to head back. Leaving the tree house, he started to make his way out of the clearing. A rustling sound seemed to come from the bushes. The woods tended to be quiet and Ian paused mid-step.

“What the—” He staggered as someone grabbed him from behind, crying out as a cloth was placed over his mouth and nose. Struggling, he pushed his arm back to elbow his assailant but met empty air. Whoever it was dodged his move. Ian closed his eyes with a grimace and bit into the hand covering his mouth. He heard a loud curse. The voice belonged to man and Ian didn’t recognize it.

The cloth was pressed over his mouth again with renewed force jarring his teeth. Ian thought he tasted blood, he must have bit his lip. Then he smelled the funny odor on the damp cloth and held his breath.

The man growled. His other hand squeezed at Ian’s throat. Ian gasped and inhaled. The substance on the cloth acted quickly. His stomach churned and his eyes refused to stay open.

He continued to fight back. Squirming. Punching. Kicking. It was useless. His strength was fading, his muscles became limp and then there was darkness.



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