"Fritz lay on the front porch swing, his body turned sideways, aligned lengthwise with the swing, and his legs propped up against the swing’s back.
He was in the midst of his daily school assignments, and how he despised them. Algebra, in particular. The 14-year-old boy sighed, bored, staring down at the book propped up on his lap. Why did that mother of his have to give him so much bland, dull, tedious work to do? It wasn’t even a sort of work that would help him in everyday life, either.
He rolled his eyes, rehearsing in his mind the many reasons why learning algebra was a stupid waste of time. One of these days, he’d present that lengthy list to his mother and try to convince her of his rightness concerning the matter.
Sighing again and running his slender hand through his cottony, messy white blond hair, he cast his eyes off in the distance, unable to focus on the arithmetic.
He was trying to surmise, for the hundredth time, how many orange trees exactly were in the citrus grove across the street, when suddenly his attention was caught by something else.
He swallowed, and as he did so, his Adam’s apple bobbed up and then down on his throat. Suddenly, he realized his mouth had become dry.
His eyes locked on a tall, full-figured girl with coffee-colored hair tied in a bun on the nape of her neck. She strode up the street purposefully, a sense of command and power in every step. She wasn’t wearing anything special in particular, certainly no silk ball gown or fancy Garibaldi blouse, but Fritz didn’t really care at the moment. She was, in actuality, wearing faded, stained old work clothes: A blouse and skirt with an apron over top. No hoopskirt, probably no corset, either. Truth was, this girl was rather a mess, and quite obviously a country girl who had been working in the okra patch all day.
But Fritz didn’t take note of any of that.
Wow… He breathed, his heart nearly stopping at the sight of her. He propped himself up a little straighter on the swing, his pale blue eyes taking in every inch of the girl. She was none other than the captivating Emma Darson.
Oh, he absentmindedly noted, there was somebody with her. For a brief moment he pulled his gaze away from Emma and to the person walking alongside her. It was another girl, one possessing a head of bouncy auburn waves and a face chalk-full of freckles. He could tell by her rapidly moving lips, she was talking up a storm and would soon be doing so with him.
His shoulders slumped.
It was Lydia, Emma’s 13-year-old sister. She was a spritely girl, extremely energetic and a wee bit crazy, fun to be with for the most part. Or better put, amusing.
And despite the fact that she was now waving at Fritz and grinning broadly at him, he could not stop himself from locking his gaze back on Emma.
He swallowed again, hardly daring to blink. Stray bits of hair fell loosely around her hairline, framing her face. Her eyes were a mesmerizing shade of grayish blue and he was suddenly aware that they were looking back into his own eyes. He continued to stare back at her, locked in a moment of eye contact and wishing the moment could last for eternity. She was perfection.
Ah, but the kind of look she gave to him was not the sort he extended to her. He sighed to himself, still looking intently at her face.
She looked back at him with a rather emotionless, tense expression on her face. Her eyes were hostile and fierce, boring into his for a brief second before she then broke eye contact.
He slowly exhaled. She didn’t seem too pleased to see him, unlike Lydia.
Nonetheless, he let his gaze fall from her face to the rest of her body. Shivers ran up and down his spine. Wow. He found himself grinning. Every inch of the 15 year old girl was simply incredible. As she and Lydia walked up the little path to the front porch, he observed the way she walked, the way she swung her arms back and forth. Her long legs, concealed by the dirty work skirt.
“Hullo Fritz!” At that moment, he heard Lydia’s vivacious voice.
He forced himself to turn and acknowledge the spunky girl. “Hi Lydia,”
Emma didn’t say anything except a very cool, impassive “Fritz,” and with that, she quickly trotted up the porch steps and into the trading post. He swallowed, watching with disappointment as she left his sight. His body still tingled with excitement at her presence even though he was stuck with just Lydia now."
I wrote this one evening just for the fun of it, because I thought it might help to gain a better perspective of Fritz, a boy in my primary novel The Rebels of Florida. He's very much a minor character in the scheme of the story. He is Emma's annoying lovestruck stalker, the insipid cottony-haired boy who has been pampered to no end by his ever-doting mother. He's the rich kid among a community of cattle-ranchers and citrus farmers. He is starved for adventure and starved for attention, even though he technically gets far more than his fill of that.
I'll have you know, this little blip above is NOT in my book. The story is not written from Fritz Faircloth's POV. I like to leave a shade of mystery behind minor characters who are not being written about from their own perspectives.
Do you ever write just for the fun of learning more about a particular character, or just to see how they might react to a particular situation? It can be an enjoyable, eye-opening exercise.
Hope y'all are having a wonderful, blessed week so far! I just turned seventeen yesterday so I'm feeling pretty ancient today. Oh, but God is so good. I am so beyond thankful to Him for letting me be alive another day, another year!
P.S. Want some cool, Western/rock music to listen to? Ghostriders in the Sky - The Outlaws is one of my favorites to listen to as well as play on guitar. (There's also a good Johnny Cash version, which I also really like...the guitars sound so uniquely Western and eery in it, I love it.)