Thursday, September 30, 2010


This little ficlet comes from a future short story/novella/novel idea of mine, entitled Serendipity. It involves a wanderer who calls himself Maverick and drifts into a small beach town and meets Abbigail, a girl who suffers from the monotony of the town she's spent her whole life in. He meets her while she's working her shift at this little diner and leaves his number behind. When she doesn't call him, he shows up at the diner for a week. When she finally agrees to hang out with him, a friendship and eventual relationship blooms. Maverick spices up Abbigail's boring life with little adventures, introducing her to a side of life she's forgotten to sample.


His arms wound around her waist and before she could stop him, she was falling, rushing, senses distorting as up became sideways and she landed with a gasp of breath on the sandy beach. And even in that moment, the brief number of seconds it took to fall from here to there, she didn’t cry out, she didn’t squeak. Though her heart sped up, a sense of security was found in the cage of arms, even though she landed in the sand with no buffer.

She rolled onto her back and there he was, hovering over her, delight in his blue eyes. Above him, a canvas of purple blended into violent into pink into yellow on fire and he was all but a silhouette. Yet, his eyes seemed bright, and as happened often when caught off guard, she sucked in her breath when they made eye-contact. It was horribly corny, horribly cliché for someone to be so gorgeous they stole your breath, and Abbigail resented herself for being one of those people, but sometimes, it really was as if he sent jolts of electricity coursing through her.

“You could have killed me!” she admonished in jest, the right side of her mouth quirking upwards.

On either side of her, his fingers dug in to the sand as he held his body over hers, though he lowered his face towards her. For a moment, a brief moment, she wondered if he would kiss her, even though she’d told him not to, and fire in the pit of her belly betrayed her. Hope doused quickly, though, because he merely nuzzled his nose against hers.

“You’re such a drama-queen, Abbigail,” he pointed out, before he pulled back on his haunches and crouched over her. He tipped his head to the side, eyes serious as he fixated his gaze upon her. Probably not even realizing it, he drew his long fingers through his curls and then he chuckled, a soft noise.

Brows lowered over her eyes, Abbigail surveyed him and a crease formed in her forehead. “Why are you laughing?” she demanded as a self-conscious smile curled on her lips.

Rather than answer right away, he moved to her side, laying on his side next to her in the sand. Propped up by his left hand, he used his free hand to reach over and very gently, touch the cleft in her chin with his index finger. Her breath hitched, caught in her throat, and all she could do was watch him while her stomach vibrated in a manner which may or may not have been pleasant. And even though she resented it about herself and any other girl who thought something so cliché, she couldn’t help but note how very beautiful he looked. In order to prevent herself from blushing, she tried to focus on the hemp bracelet he wore on his tiny wrist.

This focused distract didn’t last long, though. Suddenly, his face loomed near hers, his mouth hovered at her ear. Her toes curled and her breath released in an audible gasp. He responded to this with another dry chuckle and shivers cascaded over her body.

“What’s your favorite word?” he asked her, voice low.

Her brain buzzed, the sort of fizzle of all ideas and every sense of coherency evaporating. Laying perfectly still in the sand, she waited for her nerves to stop dancing, attempted to focus on his speech. A hollow feeling settled over her stomach. She’d expected something more. Something magical, something sweet, maybe romantic. This was Maverick, of the spontaneous ideas, the impulsive adventures, the headstrong ideas. And he wanted to know her favorite word, as if he’d become some sort of freaking philosopher?

It didn’t make sense to her.

Nothing came to her.

“I… I don’t think I have one. Maybe… I don’t know. Asshat?”

Whatever serene moment he’d built was broken and his laughter came out loud and effervescent, reminiscent of a child. It carried no sound of mockery; only pure delighted humor spilled through his loud laugh. Even still, she felt her cheeks flush, warm, aware this mustn’t be the sort of answer he was looking for. It was his fault, she maintained, though. He set the fail up, in the moment his mouth neared her ear and disrupted any sense of cognition she had.

Who tried to maintain a serious, intellectual conversation while trying to seduce someone?

He nuzzled her neck with his nose and shivers trickled along the path he drew.

“You seem flustered,” he murmured.

She felt like punching him.

“Do you know what my favorite word is?”

Avoiding contact with his eyes, Abbigail looked away and pushed herself into a sitting position, propped up on her elbows behind her. Where this conversation was going, she couldn’t tell. Then again, when it came to Maverick, she couldn’t figure most things out. He remained an enigma, like a ball of yarn so tightly tangled she didn’t know how to follow the path. His thoughts lead from one point to another with no clear path in between. To try and jump ahead of him, to follow his thought process, seemed impossible. It was silly to say he was unpredictable, but he certainly wasn’t easily figured out.

When Abbigail finally hazarded a glance his way, she found a serene smile on his face. No mocking smile, no teasing laughter. Just serious contemplation.

“I have no idea,” she finally told him, aware he was waiting on her response.

Again, he chuckled, then he expelled a loud sigh and stretched, his arms reaching for the stars dotting the sky above. With his arms, his shirt rose and the bared midriff seemed to taunt Abbigail. Before she had a chance to reach up and tickle him, though, his hands were back in his lap, shirt covering his stomach and he was talking.

“Serendipity. I bet you didn’t think that, did you? That’s the word.”

She blinked. “Serendpity.”

“You know. Luck. Good fortune.”

“I know what it means,” Abbigail stated, scrunching her nose as she eyed him out the corner of her eyes. “It’s more that… I guess you’re right. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

Now his grin turned somewhat teasing, in that low-key sort of way, as though he was running a million taunting jibes through his mind, shared only with himself. Curious, she watched him, wondering what was going through his mind and why his eyes looked like they were dancing.

“It’s really dumb and I haven’t confessed this to many people, but I like to think I live my life fueled on serendipitous moments. It’s how I get around the country, meet the people I do, manage this lifestyle. And it was sort of serendipitous, wasn’t it, that I met you?”

Abbigail responded with a dismissive snort. “You ate a diner and you happened to think I was cute. That’s not serendipitous, that’s just… I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t even talk to you for like, a week.”

Maverick merely shrugged. “But that’s not the point of it. The point is. I chose that diner on a night you were working. You weren’t even the waitress. But I still got to meet you and I still wound up here. Serendipity. Good fortune.”

And even though she had told him not yet, even though she didn’t yet know what to make of him, even though she felt like a whirlwind around him, his arms were around her waist, his mouth pressed against hers, and somehow their bodies pressed together.

Despite it all, she didn’t pull away and her arms snaked around his neck as she held herself closer to him. Because she had told him not yet and she didn’t know what to make of him and he made her feel like a whirlwind and it was exhilarating and it felt right and her body seemed to burst into the most pleasant of fires. They melded together and their hearts raced each others’ as they lay in the sand and she kissed him hard and realized this was exactly what she was looking for.

And perhaps he was right. Perhaps it was serendipity.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Karma Whitticker (n) undefined

The first thing we need to establish is this: I’m not an elitist nor am I some sort of snob. I know that’s what some of them thought, in school. They looked at me, sitting at lunch with the Booksih Girls, and they saw the way I looked away and they thought She’s a snob. Or a bitch. I guess they could have thought that, and I guess I might have my moments, but I’m not, I promise. But sometimes, I just didn’t have the patience for them. I get it. I know the world judges. It’s what we do best, what we were raised doing; comparing and judging is a way of lives for us. But I hate it, and maybe I’m a hypocrite, because I guess I judged them, too, but that doesn’t mean I can’t say I hate it, okay?

Admittedly, I was different in school, but I have my reasons. Not necessarily great reasons, but I thought them good enough. When I showed up at school, I didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want to be susceptible and I didn’t want them to find anything to pick at, which sounds horrible in retrospect, because why was I so afraid of being myself anyway? They’re just kids I went to school with, y’know? But that’s the thing. The kids you go to school with are sometimes the most terrifying people you know and I knew this. So I didn’t want to stand out and I was content to hang out with the Bookish Girls because they weren’t obnoxious or overly pretentious and we didn’t spend every lunch period gossiping. It’s not like we discussed great literature every time we hung out, because we had crushes on boys and we told each other about it, but it wasn’t like wandering over to some of the other tables where people were talking about each other.

Hanging out with the Bookish Girls made me feel… intellectual, I guess. Higher than a bubbly girl. And that’s the thing. When people first meet you, if you babble and you talk a lot and you laugh that obnoxious laugh, they’re going to think Gee, isn’t she a bubblehead and then they write you off and your opinion has no weight or matter and that’s all you are to them. Just some vapid blonde.

That semester was horrible and I’d never been so happy to get out of a school. As soon as my fingers clutched that diploma, I was free and nobody told me liberty felt so amazing. Like I could do anything and I could finally be who I’d always wanted to be. I didn’t have to pretend to be a Bookish Girl, because while they were fine and they seemed happy with their lives, maybe they weren’t. Maybe they felt stuffy and boring and that’s why they were Bookish Girls: because they were also afraid t be who they were or maybe they didn’t even know who they wanted to be.

So, the very next day, I woke up I bagged up my school clothes and I pulled on a vibrant orange t-shirt and I paired it with the sort of obnoxious yellow jeans that would have made people stare and I slipped in to purple flats and I went to the edgiest stylist I’d found in town and I told her to chop my hair off. Chop it off, make me look different, make me look raw. And after she hacked at my hair, after she cropped it so short in the back and left these long chunks in the front and tapered it up, we added dark pink peek-a-boo highlights, because I’d dreamt myself like that once.

And when I looked in the mirror and we studied myself, me with my pink streaked edgy hair and she in the faux-hawk sharing a reflection, I just knew. I wasn’t wary or anticipatory about my hair. I didn’t feel nervous and I didn’t even feel like I’d made a mistake. Never before had I been so certain about anything. Not even about my Nokia, even though everyone else around me swore on their Canon Rebels. And it wasn’t just the hair or the color. My certainty was of more than that.

It was that I liked who I was about to become. I liked the person inside me, who was ready to finally break free. The bubbly, babbly, intellectual, wise, foolish, silly, loud, obnoxious, nosy, brainy, witty, emotional, edgy, bold girl who had been begging, for so long, to break out.

I didn’t just like her. I loved her.

That was the day I went home and sent that e-mail to Crickette. And yes, I did choose Comic Sans on purpose. And yes, I realized I sounded vapid and ditzy and she would probably judge me. But, maybe it was the hair or a renewed faith in my sense of self, but I could handle it. And, maybe, if I could have my way, I would change her. Change her mind, change her opinion. Take her by surprise.

She could judge all she wanted, but I would prove this girl wrong. I was more than just a vapid bubblehead.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Omegle Dare

He told me it was fun.

“It’s full of hilarious, Crickette,” Chance promised.

I don’t know when I started taking peoples’ words for truth. It bothers me, to think about it, because it’s so unlike me. If somebody told me to jump off a bridge, I never would have said Oh, sure, let me go do that right now! But with Chance, and Karma because she deserved credit for this change in me, in my life, I realized anything the old Crickette might have said or done was invalid at this point. I wasn’t certain at which point it’d happened, but somewhere through this summer I had changed.

I’d shed part of my old skin, and I didn’t know how it felt.

This was a harmless dare, though. Sometimes, I hated the dares. Chance came up with things I’d never thought of – couldn’t imagine. Like the pudding fight. Who found fun in flinging pudding around? And the mess. Oh god, it’d been horrible. But he’d laughed so much and I just… I don’t know. The sound of his laugh, the way his eyes crinkled. Admitting it makes me feel silly, but yes, there were extents to which I’d go if it meant making Chance’s eyes crinkle like that.

But not jumping off bridges.

The dare haunted me all through work. Even though he didn’t work with me that day, it remained on my mind, sitting at the edge as if it was sure I’d return to it. I talked my way through the day, comparing and contrasting the differences between Halo and Call of Duty and which I preferred (Call of Duty, if you really want to know), explaining to a confused mother why her son’s ancient PlayStation wouldn’t play any PS2 games. But all day long, I heard his taunting voice in the back of my mind.

“I dare you,” he’d said.

I sat on my bed, laptop set up before me. An idle Firefox browser sat open, watching me. Waiting. Taunting. It knew. I don’t know how, but it knew.

Where the melodrama came from, I couldn’t even be certain, but I felt apprehensive as I typed the address in the bar. Omegele. Why was I even nervous?! They were people behind their own screens!

And so it began. A series of random, anonymous people. Twelve who started off with “asl” (five to whom I responded with “pdf?” and resulted in confusion). One person warned me against perverts (why did Chance throw me into pervert-ville?!). Three said nothing to me (two to whom I began “Are you there God? It’s me, Crickette”, which resulted in a few humorous moments, if you couldn’t guess).

I don’t know. Maybe Chance and I shared a different sort of humor, because as person after person disconnected, I wasn’t laughing. Drima would have encouraged me to troll, I’m sure, except I had no idea how to respond to people. Even with a screen in front of me, I found myself stalling for something to say. Words never were my forte. Photography, video games, eating pastries til I burst? Those were my talents. I left charisma to Karma, I left babbling to Drima.

If anything, it was humiliating. Even people who didn’t know me didn’t give a damn.

Scoffing at myself, I hit the “x” and closed the browser off. I crossed my arms and stared at the desktop, fuming. I don’t even know what I was fuming about – just… fuming. Maybe that’s what Chance was trying to prove to me. My… anti-social or whatever it was. My inability to understand people, to play along, to let down my guard.

But that wasn’t true, was it?

I had let down my guard – on numerous occasions! In fact, on a lot of occasions this summer. Even though Karma was the sort of person I would have turned away from, I’d befriended her. Even though Drima was one of my best friends, I’d pulled away from her and started to tell her the truth, inclusive of everything on my mind. I’d even been standing up to my mother!

And of course. Chance. Of course my guard had fallen. The entire night after the party would never have happened otherwise.

So what the hell was the point of this stupid Omegle experiment, anyway?

Then, I did something old Crickette never would have done. I pulled out my phone and, instead of going straight to messages, I hit the talk button. While I counted the rings, my fingers drummed against my knees, until I heard a click.

“Miss Crickette!” Chance greeted.

Take that Old!Crickette.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

November Or Bust!

I need to go to Wal-Mart tomorrow. Where do you find coloring books in Wal-Mart, though? Are they in the books section? Oh god, I hope not. Save for the stuff I need to buy for Nilly’s “package”, I can’t spend any more money for a couple weeks. All my petty spending is starting to add up, and my non-petty spending (like that recent 50 for books) isn’t helping at all. :/ At least I could pay for the books with tip money, but I ate out tonight so yeah. I’ve got to reign in the spending a bit. The only other money I’ll be dropping any time soon is to pre-order Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, because I can’t turn down David Levithan, especially with Rachel Cohn.

The closer to November we get, the more excited I find myself about NaNoWriMo. I wish I’d actually tried more last year but the truth was, I was more interested in working on Guardians than I was a new story. This year, though, a rewrite of Backwards Compatibility is exactly what I need. I’m not the only one doing a rewrite of sorts, though. Both Regina and Joana are, so I don’t feel cheap for taking and idea and reusing it. (To be fair, Backwards Compatibility never really developed so much, anyway, so really, I’m starting from scratch.)

I have my characters developed and worked out. I have a basic plot woven and a few ideas set up. While talking to Nella, I found the urge to create a scene with piñatas, which will actually fit in PERFECTLY! We did a bit of minor brainstorming and now I have this scene set up perfectly in my head and I just want to WRITE it! I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling the intense yearning for NaNoWriMo. All the others with ideas plotted out ungh ungh ungh. To hold me over, I’ve been working on drabbles and ideas, so I can play with the characters and get further in to their heads but keep myself from actually writing the novel like I want.

I’m pretty sure I like the direction this is going to go, though. In my first attempt at BC, Chance was only partially fleshed out, Karma became much larger than I’d anticipated and I lost base with Theo and Drima. Other friends I’d created were dropped, more or less, from the start. At least I know where I’m going, I have a cover I’m more or less satisfied with, and a cast of characters I can work with and utilize to their full potential. I’m glad I let Karma become something more, especially because I can never write a straight-up romance. There’s more to it than just the relationship between Crickette and Chance, which in itself is more complex than simple romance. They’re two kids who are struggling to find themselves. With high school over, Crickette is trying to become someone she wants to be, not someone she’s felt she’s supposed to have been all along. And this means changes for her. Changes in who she hangs out with, how she thinks, what she does.

While writing this will be semi-difficult for me, because I’m more of a happily ever after sort of fan, it’s not so much the issues with Chance and Crickette that are causing me difficulty as it is Drima and Crickette, hah. I like Drima as a character, I really do, but as a friend to Crickette, it’s time for her to wake up and smell the coffee.

Over the weekend I finally got back to some reading! It’s about time, now that my bookshelves are packed full and I have a good few still needing to be read. A while back, I bought The Summoning from Wal-Mart, on a whim, which is my curse. I have a horrible habit of going to the book section and grabbing anything that doesn’t sound TOO horrible (sometimes mistakes are made, such as with Beautiful Creatures. Ugh.) and making off with it. And it took me forever to get around to even reading it because the more I thought about it, the more I began to second-guess the book.

Did I really want to read more paranormal fiction? Did I really want to risk lame, boring girl falling in love with lame, boring, beautiful guy and losing whatever plot might’ve started?

Eventually, I caved and I started it. The beginning was much slower than I would have liked, but once I got about 100 pages in, it really picked up and went from interesting to INTERESTING. It turned out to be more than just a ghost book, as I’d been expecting, but it didn’t take paranormal too far, at least for me. In fact, it almost touches in to a Sci-Fi sort of realm. Almost, but not really. Anyway, that’s really rambly without telling much, I realize.

I don’t mind Chloe as a protagonist. I don’t think I particularly love or adore her, but I don’t really dislike her. She’s fifteen and young and she acts her age. She makes mistakes and doesn’t always use her brain but honestly, when I was fifteen, such was my life, too. I like the supporting cast, too. Derek and Simon both had me wary in the beginning, which I think was well-executed. Personally, I was a bit more fond of Simon but I don’t have any problems with Derek, which I love! You know from the start there will be a sense of a love triangle, but it’s not in your face, it’s not the gunning plot of the trilogy, it’s not even so large-scale, which I LOVED! But beyond the romantic interests, there’s Rae, who I guess is the least liked by me, Liz who I absolutely adore, and a nicely crafted antagonist in Tori who I first absolutely loathed but have come to admire.

After I finished The Summoning I rushed off to Wal-Mart after work the next day to buy The Awakening and The Reckoning. I’ve got The Reckoning left to finish and I hope it’s good. The second wasn’t quite as good as the first, but it’s not that it was really BAD, though. It just was different and I fully understand WHY I didn’t like it.

There are cutesy moments. I squealed a lot. I’ve read part of The Recknoning and through the three books I’ve already cried a bit. I wouldn’t call it an amazing series but it was really good. Much better than I expected at least.

I'll try to write a proper review of it sometime after I've finished the series.

Mmm. Tomorrow after work, I need to write letters. Yes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Dare You

“Today is your birthday?” Chance blinked, matching his inquisitive tone.

I shrugged and looked away from him. My gaze came to rest on Karma, who didn’t look so much surprised as she did upset. Narrowed eyes focused on me and her lips pursed with unspoken words. All but stumbling in haste, I moved towards the plate of sugar cookies Drima had set down, glancing instead at Theo. He seemed to share my awkward sentiments, judging by the way he squirmed in place. The tension in the air seemed to crackle.

“Didn’t you know?” Drima’s voice was triumphant, her smile smug. “Gee. I guess Crickette didn’t you’re important enough to tell?”

“Drima! God!” I snapped, annoyed.

Karma ignored Drima’s ribbing. “You should have told me. I don’t have anything for you.”

“I don’t care. I didn’t want anything,” I explained. In my peripheral vision, Drima continued her smug grin and hot anger filled my chest and head. “My birthday is no big. I don’t celebrate. It’s why I didn’t tell anyone.”

“You know I love to celebrate, though! Parties! Fun! Food!”

“And you know I hate attention.”

Something touched my wrist and I jolted, before I found Chance was somehow at my side. Annoyed, surprised, pleased, my stomach fluttered and my heart sped up. Stupid, stupid, stupid, I lectured myself and I tried to focus on something else, like Karma’s pout.

“C’mon, Crickette,” wheedled Drima, in her sugary voice. “I went through all this trouble for you. Just enjoy it!”

I took in a slow, deep breath through my nose.

“It’s just a birthday,” Chance murmured near my ear. “Just have some fun and humor them. They’re your friends.”

But I didn’t want to. Drima was being a brat, doing this not because she wanted to be a good friend, but to mark her territory. And I wasn’t territory to be marked! Never before had she been interested in throwing me a surprise party and had it not been for her alleged fear that Karma was stealing me, she probably wouldn’t have this year, either. Hot-headed, I narrowed my eyes on Drima, opened my mouth to tell her what I thought of this stupid party scheme, tell her I knew her real intentions, but fingers slipped between my own and I froze.

“I dare you,” Chance whispered.

And I swear, I felt lips on my ear.

Peppy Music

Lack of coordination be damned, I loved DDR. Despite my feet stumbling over the mat, my love for Dance Dance Revolution reached beyond and because of it, my mp3 player was filled with the music. I loved driving around, accompanied by happy, peppy, uplifting music. Most was completely nonsensical. Much wasn’t even in English. It was the perfect background music and I had a habit of finding myself seat dancing to it at red lights – a super guilty pleasure of mine that few knew of.

However, I’d forgotten about it this afternoon. The only people I gave rides to were Theo and Drima and they were more than used to my less than conventional driving music and the accompanying bad dancing. As Chance let himself into the passenger side of my car, I thought nothing of it as I turned the ignition. It was about five seconds after the upbeat, computer-generated music possessed my body in a series of shimmying wiggles in my seat that I realized what I was doing. Freezing, I ceased my bouncy dancing, horribly aware of Chance’s eyes on me.

Ignoring the flush heating my face, I stared forward intently, lips pressed firmly together, and I put the car into drive. Resisting the music was difficult and my fingers yearned to drum the steering wheel but my face was burning and I couldn’t dance and I absolutely could not look at Chance and I was horrified and oh my god I had just danced around to DDR music in front of Chance!

I tried to ignore the sound of choking laughter. Mortified, my lips formed a firmer line.

More strangled giggles. A weird, chortling noise.

A snort.

“What?” I snapped, eyes still glued ahead, cheeks radiating more heat.

“That. Was. So. Cute!”

Character Sketches [Backwards Compatibility]

Crickette French: Protagonistic, POV. Socially awkward, nearly anti-social graduate working at PWNd. Doesn’t know how to deal with people, doesn’t connect well with others. Isn’t entirely certain she’s happy any more with who she is and is willing to take a chance with unfamiliar people and living an unfamiliar life to her. Realizing she wants to change and try to open up, she readily befriends Chance and Karma, which effects her relationship with Drima. A game of “dares” shared between she and Chance opens both to new experiences and Chance helps Crickette to catch up on what she missed out on doing in high school.

Chance Folly: Love interest. In school, Chance hardly knew Crickette. A former soccer player who isn’t entirely certain of who he is. After landing a job at PWNd, he strikes up a friendship with Crickette and Karma and is the one to introduce Crickette to everything she missed out on. During the summer, his family is going through a lot of problems, and though he likes Crickette, he finds trouble engaging in anything serious with her, and often appears wishy washy. To pass the time, he spends much of his available time with Crickette and her friends and the two share a game of “dares”.

Karmen “Karma” Whitticker: Bold, vibrant, and loud, Karma stands out where Crickette likes to blend in. Unfortunately for Crickette, Karma doesn’t take no for an answer and she seems utterly taken by Crickette. With her bright pink streaks, her reckless disregard for the opinion of others and her complacency in life, she unsettles Crickette, and intrigues her all the same. Without meaning to, Karma drives between Crickette and Drima, ultimately making Crickette start to reevaluate her relationships and where she stands in life.

Adrima “Drima” Edge: Long-time best friend of Crickette, Drima is pushy, wheedling, dramatic, whiney, but endearing to Crickette. She’s used to being the leader of their trio with Theo and often gets her way. When Karma shows up, Drima is threatened. Afraid Crickette will leave her, she tries to reign Criekette in closer, going as far as to offer an ultimatum which doesn’t end in a desirable note. Has control issues, low self-esteem. Guilt tripper.

Theodore “Theo” : Crickette’s first friend, Theo was the Knight in Shining Armor to her third grade jungle gym stunt. He’s been there for her every time she’s needed and even though she doesn’t always convey emotion very well, he does his best to help her out. A neutral player in the drama erupting in Crickette’s life, he just wants his friends to be happy. As a passive person, this works out for Theo, but only for so long. Even he has to make a choice, and he has to admit, he’s rather enraptured with bold, quirky Karma.

Tanner Sullivan: While Chance’s family goes into crisis mode, his cousin Tanner comes to stay with them with his aunt. Instantly pulled into the niche of the world created by Crickette and Chance. He is rather abrasive, a bit pretentious, and reminds Crickette of the inside of her mind. Offers her an awakening and helps to drive Chance to Crickette. Tanner has a superiority complex, like Crickette, thus struggles to connect with people. Like many, he is easily charmed by Karma, so while he’s initially unwanted by the group, he winds up spending a lot of his time with them.

Serenity Folly: The older sister to Chance, Serenity is the opposite of her name. Impulsive, open, and bossy, she likes Crickette at once, because she reminds her of her former self. Serenity helps Crickette to look at the world differently, to stop judging everyone and most importantly, to just be herself. She also tells Crickette to offer Chance the chance (hehehe pun) that he’s too afraid to take.

Bianca French: Crickette and her mother do not easily get along. Living a delusional life of grandeur illusions, Bianca has always wanted to live up to be something more. She’s a middle-class woman living the life of a wanna-be-socialite. She cares greatly about what other people think and urges others to, as well. With a nasty spending habit, her favorite hobby is keeping up with the Jones. Bianca is far more superficial than the rest of the family and butts heads with her tomboy-ish daughter. Though she doesn’t admit it, it is obvious Bianca always wished her daughter would have turned out a bit more feminine. Their tense relationship provides a faulty foundation for Crickette.

Geoffrey French: It is sometimes wondered how Bianca and Geoffrey married, when she so obviously seems destined for something more than the accountant he is. Goofy and soft-hearted, he is the parent Crickette gets along with best. He is often making jokes where Bianca finds inappropriate and is much more lax with his only daughter. Often, he tries to convince Bianca to lay off and to try to stop pushing her ideas on Crickette. While Bianca works from home most of the time, Geoffrey spends much of his time in an office. Now that Crickette is an adult and finally having a larger social life, he is often helping her sneak by her mother or covering up for her.

Lewis [needs last name]: (28) Owner and night manager of PWNd. Gangly, lanky. Curly brillopad hair. Glasses. Tall. Laid-back, he’s almost too chill about things, but knows when to be serious. Prefers to have fun and to create a comfortable work environment. While he’s perceptive, he sometime forgets to take things into consideration and easily embarrasses Crickette with little effort. Much like an older brother to her.

Charlie [needs last name]: (32) Best friend to Lewis, Charlie is the other main manager, works mostly during the day. Large, round man, balding. He’s very friendly, easy to get along with, and very chatty, but he can also be very anal retentive and has a certain way he likes things to be done. Very silly and goofy, though, described by Crickette as “the silly uncle you look forward to seeing.”

Veronica “Roni” [needs last name]: (27) The final head manager. Initially intimidating, Roni at first comes across as scene, or maybe goth, with her dark, choppy hair, her dark make-up, her often dark clothes, the dragon tattoo crossing from shoulder to shoulder, her face piercings (two lip studs, nose ring, eyebrow pierced, and pierced up ears). Even when you get to know her, she’s at first intimidating, especially if you type-cast her. Brusque, rash, blunt, completely honest, and with a mouth that would make a sailor blush, Roni holds nothing back and gives it to you straight. She’ll argue you into submission, is highly charismatic, and has the intelligence to back up everything she says. With a love for video games (duh), gorey movies, zombies, anime, and a steel stomach, she’s not exactly what one would expect, especially when she shows her feminine side or starts to gush like your typical girly girl. A great person to get advice from, because she’ll tell it to you straight. Very much like the older sister Crickette always wanted.

Brody [needs last name]: (22) A senior in college on the fast track to a five-year-Masters, Brody was Crickette’s first (and until recently, only) crush. Charming but geeky in a way that works well together, he has a smooth way of talking with his nose in a book or his thumbs mashing on a controller. Glasses, curly blonde hair, dark-puppy eyes and an admirable brain, he has easily become a great PWNd companion to Crickette.

Spencer [needs last name]: (21) Indie-boy Spencer loves music you’ve never heard of, movies that don’t make it to the big-screen and shooting up zombies. He’s quiet and more reserved than many of the other employees and for this reason, Crickette doesn’t know him well. His sense of humor is different from most peoples’ and what you find funny, he probably wouldn’t. Don’t try a Your Momma joke on him. Typically, he doesn’t spend a lot of time with the rest of the staff, simply because he never feels he belongs, but no one else knows that.

Tony [needs last name]: (25) Roni’s current squeeze is Tony, whom she has been with for the past three years now. He’s one of the shorter staffers with a keen love for photography and, like everyone else, video games. Like most of the staff, Tony is easy to get along with but has occasional anger outbursts. Also loves football (and most sports) and likes to play rugby.

Pamona Shore: (23) A former employee of PWNd, it is because of her leave that Chance was hired. With a very pregnant belly, she has left the video game store. Somewhat uptight, Pamona has to be in control of everything and makes lists all the time. Often, she takes on too much and struggles to make it all work, but she refuses to give in. Because of this, she’s always overworking herself, stressing to the point of breaking. However, she most likely will refuse your offers of help.