Like it says in the title, this week’s flash fiction challenge is to create characters and convey them in 250 words or less. I’ve had a few knocking around in my head recently, and I decided to let two of them out. I’ve already written stories about both of them before, which you can find (amongst others) right here.
Sarah is a cobbler, and skilled at working with leather. Sadly, she spent the last bit of her money to get here, leaving her home far behind, and the job she’d thought she’d have doesn’t exist. No one is looking to hire her as a cobbler, and she has next to no connections here.
Finally, desperate, she tried her hand at mugging. That went wrong, and now she’s a murderer instead, though she doesn’t think anyone has found her out.
Sarah loves working with leather and making shoes. She dreams of running her own shoe-shop, though she wants to make shoes more than she wants to sell them. She doesn’t know how to turn her life around, and is frightened of the violence that she committed so easily. She doesn’t want to live a life of murder and deceit, but fears that that is what lies ahead of her. She is truly uncertain of how to make her way in the world.
Jerome is the scion of a wealthy merchant family, expected to assist his sister in growing the family’s fortune, groomed to act as her right hand when she inherits. He was raised on the stories of his uncle, thrilling to his adventures around the world while on business on behalf of Jerome’s mother. Jerome thought that he wanted adventures and fame like his uncle has had, but his journeys thus far have left him confused: he doesn’t understand that the only time he truly feels rewarded, like he’s done the right thing, is when he’s helped his family and his sister.
Jerome is unable to help his sister or family in person these days, having anxiously fled his home in guilt after accidentally committing a terrible crime. He hasn’t yet come to terms with the disconnect between what he truly wants (to help his family and his friends) and what he thinks he wants (fame, fortune, adventure, and “the good life”). Sometimes he finds glimmers of the joy he’s looking for, as he does when he’s helped his friend and travel companion, Andre. But when he lies awake at night, wondering what went wrong and why he doesn’t feel like he’s succeeding even as he makes a life for himself out in the wide world, he thinks of his family and of his sister, and desperately hopes that they’re alright.