Introducing the Character Breakroom

"And here," I say, as we complete the tour of carsoncosta.com, "is the character break room."

Gwen perks up at this. She'd begun to slouch as soon as she'd heard I would be dragging her around the internet on a tour of my website, and her shoulders had only dropped more and more as we'd gone on. I'm not entirely sure what her problem is, it's not that big of a website, and I didn't even make her read any of it. Nevertheless, she was miserable. Until now.

"Breakroom?" she asks. "Does that mean I can break it?"

"No," I answer, glaring to make sure she takes me seriously. "If you break my site, I will point-blank refuse to write your book. You will waste away in the back corners of my computer for eternity."

"But it's called a break-room," she protests, poking the walls experimentally.

"Yes, it's where you take breaks," I explain scathingly. I'm not being very patient with her, but honestly. This is a new kind of ridiculous. "You come here to relax and chat with the other characters."

"Why would I want to do that?" She sounds genuinely taken aback.

"Because maybe you'll learn something. They're pretty interesting, you know. I wouldn't write them if they weren't interesting."

Gwen hums non-commitedly.

"Right, well, if you're going to insult me, I'm just going to leave. Have fun."

Gwen spends a few minutes poking the walls, then turns on her heel and falls backward, intending to flop dramatically onto the hard, cold, digital floor. But a plush, beat up couch appears under her, and she pats it with a pleased look. Oh, the wonders of the digital age. 

New ideas about breaking things fresh in her mind, Gwen hops to her feet and concentrates, pleased when two sawhorses appear with a cinderblock bridging them. Without further adieu, red hair flying, she proceeds to break and conjure cinderblocks at a rapid pace, until the entire break room is full of rubble. She becomes so engrossed in her commitment to breaking things that she doesn't even notice when the door opens again.

It's me. I've brought Lyra, having given her a tour of the site, too. Part of me is curious to see what these two will think of each other, and part of me really doesn't want my website to implode.

"What the fuck happened in here?" Lyra asks me, one corner of her lip drawn up, a match for her eyebrow. Otherwise, she sounds calm enough.

"Gwen happened," I say simply. Then I smile. "Have fun," I say, and give her a good push into the room. Then I leave them to it, and watch from the safety of the Real World.

"Are you Gwen, then?" Lyra asks.

Gwen starts, glares at Lyra, smashes the cinderblock with a hammerfist, and then turns to properly stare this new adversary down. Her hair is sticking to her neck and shoulders, now, and I can't help but think that she looks more like a drowned cat than a fierce, fiery warrior princess.

Lyra obviously agrees with me, because she laughs.

And I realize this was a stupid idea, because now I'm going to have to find a new protagonist for The Suicide Club (Working Title) as Gwen is going to brutally murder Lyra.

Maybe this "Character Breakroom" thing was a poorly-thought-out idea. 

Gwen balls her fists and snarls, making for the smaller girl.

Lyra laughs again. "This is what you do for a break? What the fuck is wrong with you?"

Gwen frowns. "Nothing."

"Nothing my ass. You're completely off your rocker, aren't you?"

"I'm what I have to be."

"Oh just shut up and let me teach you a game. I think you'll like it. It's called Sorry!"

"What would I enjoy about apologizing like a weakling?"

Lyra laughs. "Just trust me."


Well, it's been an hour, and they've been playing Sorry! the entire time. I think Lyra may have created a monster, though. She not only taught Gwen a highly competitive game, but a number of cuss words along the way.

"Take that, bitch!"

So now, instead of a trigger-happy warrior princess, I have a cussing, trigger-happy warrior princess.

But at least she stopped breaking things.

Oh, never mind, she just smashed the game board.