Side Characters 5
My next side character from An Extra Topping of Horror actually devolved while I wrote the book.
I had the idea of a cat that hung out near the Pizza Joint and loved to play with Brian on his breaks. When Brian wasn’t working a dark mysterious female would come in asking about him. Later it would be revealed the cat was the witch’s familiar and the witch checked to see if Brian working so she knew to hang out near the break area.
The problem with this was it would set up an unnecessary love triangle between Brian, Amanda, and the witch. Amanda isn’t the jealous type, but even having Brian rubbing a strange girl’s ears and belly then hugs and letting her sit on his lap while purring could make the most self-assured girlfriend wonder.
Still I really liked the idea and she couldn’t be one of the bad guys, cat’s aren’t evil (except for Bob). So I was looking for a spot to put her when I started writing about Brian and Amanda’s first night at his apartment, that was the perfect spot:
Brian dreamt of the time when he was 10 years old and his mom got stranded at work, leaving him alone during a terrible thunderstorm. He hid under the kitchen cabinet when the power went out, until he heard a small noise over the rain. It was the sound of a small kitten obviously as scared of the thunderstorm as he was.
Even though the thunder and lightning terrified young Brian, he grabbed a flashlight and went out onto the small porch. On the driest spot on the porch he could see the glowing red eyes of a tiny, helpless kitten. It was so shocked by the storm that it didn’t resist as he picked it up.
He brought it back inside and toweled it off so that it was somewhat dry and gave it a bowl of milk to drink. Taking care of the little creature made him lose his fear of the storm. It also helped that the kitten’s eyes continued to glow letting him know where it was.
After the kitten had its milk, Brian found some string and played with the kitten. Brian was able to ignore the thunder and lightning and just think about playing with the little animal. With his fear gone Brian got very sleepy and picked the kitten up and snuggled with it in his bed. The kitten curled up and purred him to sleep.
In the morning after the storm passed he woke up to find an 8 year-old girl in his room. She was dressed in flowing black robes and a large pointed black hat.
“Thank you for bringing me in last night,” she said. “My bratty little sister steals the human body every time it rains leaving me with the kitten body. Just wait until mom finds out about this.”
With that she stormed out of the house leaving Brian wondering if it was dream or really happened.
Motivation – Survival.
Actions – Letting Brian take care of her.
Obstacles – None really.
The thing I love about that scene is it really foreshadows Brian’s early relationship with Amanda. He takes care of her when she is down and out and gets nothing physical in return. But the act of taking care a living soul when they are in need, helps Brian face his own inner demons and fears.