When I was with Anna this summer, we stayed up very early playing Apples to Apples. We thought it would be fun to write down the cards everyone got and create a story character off of them. This is the introduction for the story. I don't really know where this is going, it just is.
Anna is Genevieve, and I am Barney... based off of the cards we won. ;)
Once upon a time there were five people – all were from different places, yet they were destined to meet on a fateful day in London.
“Once upon a time” makes this story sound like it’s going to be a fairytale.
It’s not. “Fateful day” should give you a hint.
And they weren’t destined to meet up – they were predestined.
Anyway, it happened – eventually. Our story starts before London.
Enter the characters:
Jasper was quite a miserable man. He was a small being, his back hunched from years of sitting at desks. His frame was small and frail due to his delicate health. He worked for the CIA – dealing mostly with things like oil spills and computer hackers. His most recent assignment had been to do some research on the Titanic – however, he had not been allowed to know why the Titanic was of such great interest.
Even with a job such as his, Jasper had sunk into bankruptcy the year before this story takes place. It may have been his constant journeys from his home in New York to the Everglades or California. Perhaps it was his love for Swiss Cheese, whips, and Common Loons (some would argue Jasper himself was a bit of a loon). He had had to sell much of his whip and loon collection in order to pay his bills, and had taken up a side job helping rich women with yard work.
The CIA was sending him to England for the Titanic project a week from when the story begins.
Meanwhile, there was Harold. Harold was often described by his friends as selfish, puffed up, primitive, and desperate. A descendant of Henry VIII, he lived in London, and owned the most prestigious diamond shop in the world. He had an intense dislike for fuzz, goldfish, and cold pizza, but his love for bonbons, snakes, and fast food far outweighed these dislikes in his daily life. Born in the 1960s, his father was American and his mother, as British as could be. Harold was quite proud of his relation to Henry VIII through his mother, but often tried to hide his father’s nationality, even though his father had been at the attack on Pearl Harbor and was rewarded for heroic actions there. Harold also happened to own the largest carnival in England, and enjoyed paying the carnival workers as little as possible – hence the description “selfish.” He had a great love for poetry, his favorite poem being “the Old Man and the Sea.” He took pleasure in walking along the seashore, quoting it and enjoying the scenery.
One thing more – due to his immoderate consumption of bonbons and fast food, Harold was grossly overweight – puffy, almost.
He had lived in England his entire life, and had never been outside of his beloved country.
Next to be introduced is Barney. People often classify Barney as overwhelming, depressing, wicked, principled, and eccentric. However, they misunderstand him, except for his being eccentric. Politically on the far left, Barney played the bagpipes, lived in China Town, and took pleasure in silly putty, milk, root beer floats, watermelon, and body surfing. His greatest phobia was lightning. Barney owned a company that sold fresh water pearls – he was not affluent, like Harold, but neither was he bankrupt, like Jasper. No, Barney was strictly middle class.
He was going to England for a week’s vacation.
Perhaps you are beginning to wonder if there are any females in this story. Well, you needn’t fear, for there are two: Genevieve, and Natalia.
Genevieve’s character can be summed up in two words: honorable and industrious. Born in Waco, Texas, she now worked for the United Nations and lived in China. She disliked earthquakes, but hated the ocean even more. Science fair projects had been the peak of her childhood (and her phobias of earthquakes and oceans had come from studying them for science fairs). Genevieve adored her job, had never been to a funeral, loved painting her toe nails, and was quite the pyromaniac. She always toasted her bread, and dreamed of her Superman – or maybe a man and black – coming to marry her someday.
She was traveling to England for a series of U.N. meetings.
Natalia was going on sixteen. Her friends thought her hilarious, yet too often cranky. Her favorite pastimes were going on scavenger hunts, watching highschool football, listening to the public radio, and tormenting telemarketers. She loved glaciers, Swiss chocolate, waterfalls, and Italy. Her father was a judge for the Supreme Court of Alaska. She had no siblings, and was doted on by her parents.
She was going with her family on a tour of England for her sixteenth birthday.
Little did any of these people know what awaited them in London.