Day 5: Who is your least-favorite character you've written?
Dear oh dear. Can I have a least-favorite-character-I-kind-of-like? No? Well this shouldn't be too terrible hard, as I introduced about a dozen horrid women of all sorts in A Mother for the Seasonings. Of course some of the women were nice, but I had to get rather creative with reasons why all these women would simply *not* do for a mother for the Pot O' Seasonings. :)
There was Lorraine Simms, the dried up, wizened, vixen of an old woman. She certainly was a pill.
There was Widow Tabitha McLurrin who was.....dead.
There was Madame Chantolle Vervay, the "half-gypsy and whole villain" (to quote Miss Pole of Cranford) who the children discover is a fortune-teller by her trying to read Fennel's palm. Actually, one of my favorite scenes with Basil being a protective older brother is at this moment. He slaps the woman's hand away, yells at her, picks Fennel up, and flees the place. It's rather triumphant. ;)
Then you had Mrs. Joan Pringle, the rather slatternly, poor woman who you never met but heard enough about from her horrid triplets to serve you for life.
And of course we can't forget Sali, the native cook who has a love/hate relationship with the children, (especially Dill) and in the end runs off with the butcher man. :P
But of the reams of characters, including the women could possibly have stood for a mother in a pinch (Bessie Hartwell, Mother Ana Vassilieva, Miss Cynthia Lowell, Nellie Stevens, and Miss Lilly Piccalo) the most horrid, evil one of them all was Artemesia Arulia Annabelle Watkins. I shall explain her in Basil's words:
"...A moment later I was pleading earnestly with Miss Artemesia Arulia Annabelle Watkins. Her regal beauty egged me on to complete the proposal without a flaw.
'We really haven't a mother of our own, and we need one terribly, so we were wondering if you wouldn't like to marry Papa.' I finished and my shoulders slumped. It was not as easy as you would think, trying to explain our business to these women. None of them seemed to understand the thinking behind it. It was a perfectly simple idea that even Fennel could understand. Why did women have to be so complicated?
Miss Watkins smoothed her flaxen hair with a lily-white hand and adjusted her locket so that it rested exactly in the center of her white collar. Her eyes glinted like a python's do before it coils around its hapless prey. 'I don't think I'd mind marrying your father,' she simpered, 'But gracious, there are so many of you children.'
I didn't know what to say to this. I exchanged a quiet glance with Rosemary. She appeared just as kerflummaxed as I, as Papa would say.
'There aren't...so many of us,' I said. 'Mrs. Perkins has twelve children. We're only five. Won't you reconsider?'
At the reference to Mrs. Perkins and her twelve children Miss Watkins opened her eyes wide and said in a bitter tone, 'I would call Mrs. Perkins irresponsible. Still, I might be able to reconsider if you all were sent away. I'm sure your father could have no objection. Boarding school is always an option...Yes...that would be just the thing...' A look of greed crossed the no longer lovely countenance of Miss Watkins....
Miss Watkins sat back in her chair, imperious. She might have been made of stone for all the interest she showed in us children. One hand clasped the arm of the chair as if it were gold and she a dragon protecting it.
I wanted to shout that we withdrew our proposal. That we took back everything we had said, but the words would not come. This woman, this dragon, had us in her grasp, and I feared she would not be easily deterred from her object."
See? Hateful woman. That is why I allowed the Seasonings to be the naughtiest they've ever been in the following scene. :) Well, company's here and I've got to go! ~Rachel