Sunday, June 11, 2017

Character Coffeehouse - Phoenix

It's that time again... Character Coffeehouse! As a reminder, the rules are simple:
1. Pick a character of your own creation or otherwise
2. Place them in the setting of a coffeehouse
3. Write! But no more than 500 words.

This particular CC for me is eye-opening. Someone who I have struggled empathizing with is becoming a little more human...

“Coffee. Black.”
Phoenix Handler didn’t overuse words. The barista was likely not smart enough to benefit from the extra effort anyway. In any case, language was important to her. The right words could soothe, inspire, or placate. The wrong ones could incite a riot.
It was one of the first lessons her Elder taught her as Matriarch of Genesis. Women saw her as cold, Phoenix knew, but that wasn’t true. Priscilla Handler - leader of the city - simply didn’t have time to make friends. And Phoenix agreed.
“Here.” The barista offered the cup of coffee meekly, refusing to meet Phoenix’s green eyes. She took it briskly, tossing black hair over one shoulder.
Head up. She straightened her back, looking steadily ahead as she located a table. Another lesson she’d learned. When you look like you know what you’re doing, like you’re on a mission of the utmost importance, people will believe you are important. It’s about more than just oozing confidence; you don’t simply expect respect, you demand it.
It certainly had worked so far. From the time she was twelve years old, Phoenix Handler was top of her class, admired by all and feared by nearly as many. She was first pick in her Partnering Ceremony, the highest honor a Youth could be given in Genesis. Some might celebrate that fact, but Phoenix was quite different. Her accomplishments were momentary happinesses before they became motivation to do better, be better.
She was aware that at this point, she wasn’t even competing with the other girls; she was competing with herself.
“A competition that you will never win,” Priscilla had pointed out to her once. It was a rare moment of affection, one that Phoenix quickly dismissed.
“One I’ll never lose, either.”

The memory tugged gently at Phoenix’s heart, and for just a moment, she let herself close her eyes and remember what it felt like to have an Elder. Before anyone could see, though, the black haired beauty of Genesis was leaving the little coffeeshop, green eyes as guarded as ever.