26 July 2021
Posted by Tabby Hayward
In the final session of the summer term, we were looking at character...
To begin, everyone came up with a random character name and put into the blog. These varied from the simple but mysterious 'Sarah' to the noble 'Lord Percy' - and of course, Eve's very intriguing 'Trenton Colon' (thanks random name generator!)
Everyone then chose someone else's character name and thought about the following questions...
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- Where did they grow up?
- Who gave them their name? Why?
- Do they have any pets?
- Do they have any siblings?
- What is their job?
- What is their best childhood memory?
- What was their most embarrassing experience?
- What are they most afraid of?
- What is their life goal?
- What is their relationship status?
- What is their favourite song?
- What is their favourite book/story/film?
- What is the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning?
[Trenton ‘Colon’ O’Nulley]
Residence: 1 Guinness Street, Castlebar, Ireland
Previous Residence: 6 Mary Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Name: The name “Trenton” was his great-grandfather’s name,
who died in the potato famine. The nickname ‘colon’ is due to his failing
health, which is well-known at the bar he frequently drinks at
Pets: 1 estranged child and 2 estranged grandchildren
Siblings: None, he was an only child
Occupation: Used to be a doctor, now is an independent
brewer in his retirement
Childhood Memory: Remembers his first kiss at the age of 17
from a pretty girl in a beer garden
Embarrassing Experience: Was once so drunk he stumbled home,
knocked on the door, then, as soon as it opened, fell backwards onto the road
Biggest Fear: Responsibility, he was not a good husband or a
Life Goal: To drink the damned best beer in the world before
his health gets the better of him
Relationship Status: Single, divorced
Favourite Song: 9-to-5, Dolly Parton
Favourite Story: That one his grandpa used to tell by the
fire when he was 3 before he passed away
And George didn't have 'all
the details but Trenton Colon seems like a tired cargo spacefarer to me...'
Even I couldn't resist trying to solve the mystery of Trenton Colon, who in my imagining was a retired secret agent, now residing in Corfe, recently separated from Dmitri, an interior-designer and the love of his life, and now lumbered with the responsibility of caring for their cat, Clarissa, single-handedly!
Once we had these characters worked out, the young writers set to work writing more about their character, some focusing on background, others writing diary entries, or continuing their story. Here is Charlotte's exciting first chapter...
“Holly. Holly. Holly!” A familiar screech came from Co-worker Steve. You know Steve, there’s always a co-worker Steve wherever anybody works. The one that always wants to get people into trouble no matter what the cost.
And I was brought back to real life again. Well the present anyway. Still stuck in the same job that I’ve been in for the past five years since I left college. Guess what I am. A reporter. Sounds exciting right? Wrong! I mean it really depends who you ask but if you ask me about it then I would say it is very boring! It might be the place I work. A small town newspaper isn’t exactly The New York Times or The News or the World. Well I suppose as the News of the World has been shut down, I guess it wasn’t that popular.
“What is it Steve?!” I yawned very loudly to show him my annoyance of being woken up. “I was busy.”
“The boss wants to see you.” Steve looked too smug for words! I wish I could get my hands on a cup of coffee and I would throw it at him.
“Any idea what about?” I asked, packing up my stuff into my arms so I looked like I had been doing some work and not daydreaming.
“He didn’t say.” Steve shrugged. I bet the boss did say and Steve was just being annoying on purpose. “But you’d better hurry up though.”
“Why’s that Steve? Can you read the boss's mind?” I tried to keep my anger hidden which didn’t usually work very well.
“He said he wanted to see you an hour ago.” Steve finally admitted still looking smug and even throwing in a chair lean for good measure.
I really wanted to swear when he said this but I thought better of it. I might lose my job by being late. I didn’t want to lose it over a little petty fight. Well that’s what the boss would say anyway. I made a weird face at Steve before leaving him to whoever was left in the office for him to be annoying at. I gave out my prayers to them. They would probably need them.
I made my way down the long winding corridors on my way to the dreaded boss’s office. It was like going to the headmaster's office! Of course I never went there when I was at school. I’ve just seen it on TV. When you spend a lot of time at a fire station, you watch a lot of TV. The boss technically is nice. Depends how you define nice I suppose.
So I sat there as the assistant, who always seemed to be doing her nails, told me. 25 years old and stuck outside the boss’s office. I had worked in the same place since I had left school! So you can imagine how many arguments I had had with Steve over the years! Well I suppose he wasn’t so bad when I started, just kind of got worse over time. At least my friend Allie had joined me.
Allie Dickens. My best friend since junior school. The only one I could talk to these days. She just got me, you know. I could talk to her about anything and we could both winge about Steve when we were on a break. However, now she works for the sports column of the paper. I don’t see her as much. That’s the problem when you get moved to social events! Don’t ask.
“He’s ready to see you now.” The rudest receptionist ever said to me, rolling her eyes as I nearly fell off my chair.
“Thank you.” I smiled sarcastically, just to show how I felt about her and how I was plotting her downfall.
When I managed to untangle myself from the chair, I strode to the door. I didn’t know whether to knock or anything so I just walked straight in. He was expecting me so why should I knock?
“Holly, my favourite reporter. Come in.” Simon Colon said with a smile which never ever happens. Something was bound to happen whenever he smiled.
Simon was the worst boss in the world but he could be in the competition for the moodiest. He seemed to never be happy. Even when he was giving you a complement his frown was present.
“You wanted to see me.” I said sitting down, trying not to lock my legs with the infrastructure of the chair. “Steve told me you sent for me an hour ago but he only just told me.”
Simon just raised his eyebrow. I really wanted to tell a tale about Steve. Simon was used to getting arguments from both of us nearly everyday.
“Yes well I have a new story and I thought you were the best person for the job.” Simon continued trying not to say anything about what I had just told him.
“I’m sure whatever it is, I’ll be up for it.” I sounded confident as I really wanted my job in fashion back and this might give me a chance.
“Yes well” He started. He stammered a bit before continuing in what he was saying. Why does everybody do that these days?!
“The job is to write an article about a certain job. I thought you might like it as it’s a bit on the quiet side of things.”
“Right. So what’s the job?” I tried to get an answer out of him before I died of boredom from just waiting.
“Firefighters.” He finally blurted out trying to hide his face behind a book he got off his desk.
“No.” I quickly said, folding my arms in protest. “I’m not doing an article about them. I’ve told you that already.”
“I know but there is no one else to do it and I thought it might be good for you.” Simon sweetened the blow.
“So I wasn’t the first person you thought of then? Well thanks a billion but the answer is still no.” I shook my head in more defiance.
“Unless you can think of anyone else to do it.” He left it up for suggestions even though he already knew there weren’t any.
I thought about this for a minute. There was Steve, true he seemed to always have some article to write. This week's theme is carrots and why they help you to see in the dark. Karen. Okay maybe not Karen. If the boss actually saw what she does all day then he wouldn’t employ her anymore. I mean how many cups of tea can one person make in a day?! There was Archie, true now he’s broken up with his boyfriend I don’t think he’s up for much right now. That was it unless Martin came back from holidaying in Snowdonia. I sighed once I reached this conclusion.
“See I told you there was no one else from your section.” Simon said once I gave him a ‘I gave up’ stare. “Now I know you have a history with fire stations..”
“History?!” I scoffed trying not to hide my true feelings towards fire stations and firefighters.
“But I think you’ll like them. Plus it’s a nice job. Just got to follow them around for a few months and see what they do.” Simon ignored my somewhat attitude.
“A few months?!” I nearly shouted. I then saw the receptionist outside staring at me so I thought better about it.
“It’s not that long.” Simon could see the argument I was going to have with the receptionist outside so paged her to go away instead. “Just do it for a week and see how you feel. If it goes that bad then I’ll find someone else. Okay?”
“Fine but I’m leaving if it gets too stressful.” I threw up my arms as I left the room to go back to the office as I realised I was now late for my coffee break.
I really wanted to slam the door behind me. I didn’t in the end but I really wanted to. I was glad when the receptionist didn’t suddenly run back from what she was doing to taunt me in any way. True, I would lose my job if she ever came near me again. You can guess from that what I would do.
Luckily for me Allie was waiting for me when I got back. Coffee already in hand. She was a star sometimes. She could see the anger and somewhat hurt on my face so took me off somewhere to cool down.
“What’s wrong?” She asked in her most concerned voice. She didn’t exactly give out much sympathy. “It looks like someone has given you the sack.”
“Close enough. The boss is sending me to a fire station for a few months.” I said taking a slurp of coffee to make me feel better.
“No! Why has he done that?” She said still not sounding too concerned. “It’s like he doesn’t know your history.”
“You’re telling me.” I scoffed once again, still trying to get my head around what was happening. “He said I could leave if it was too bad but I’m sure my level of bad and his are completely different.”
“What’s your mum going to say?” She asked. I hadn’t thought about this so the answer I was going to give was words I had only just put together.
“She’s going to hate our boss. Pure and simple.” I came out with and was pretty proud of.
Allie patted my back when I said this. Her pager then went off and I apologised knowing I had been late. She was probably needed back in the office again. She sighed as she made her apologies back.
“Big story this week.” She ended the apologies. “Something about our home football team getting into the big league for once.”
She said her goodbyes and then left for the office. I watched her go and then turned back to my coffee. It tasted somewhat different today. No idea why but just different. Maybe I should put more sugar in it next time. My pager then bleeped and caught my attention. Back to the grindstone.
Karen was waiting for me as I got back to the desk. Another four cups of tea in her arms. Probably made just so she didn’t have to write anything. Steve was typing something but I was sure he was still listening to whatever questions Karen was going to ask me.
“So what did the boss want?” Karen asked in her usual squeaky crass voice. “Anything we need to know?”
“Not really. True I’m sure you’ll find out somehow even if I don’t tell you.” I poked back at her.
Karen was such an annoying person. Just I wish she would actually do some work for once! Steve was the annoying one. True since he had worked here, no one seemed to be happy with him.
“I’ve got a new article to write if you really want to know.” I said closing down my laptop for the day. “I’ll be out for a few months.”
“What why?” Karen asked and Steve stopped typing for once. He looked up to see what the answer was going to be.
“I’m going to research firefighters.” I said I was a bit more proud then I was when I first heard that I was doing the task. “Wish me luck.”
“I thought you wanted nothing to do with firefighters anymore.” Steve buted in as usual! “I thought that was history.”
“It was but I want to keep my job.” Mostly saying this to Steve as I knew he would have turned this job down.
“Well good luck. We’ll be here if you need us.” Karen hugged me. I didn’t really like Karen that much but I just took it.
Have a lovely summer, we'll be back in September!