Wrote this for a “character interview” thread on the Critique Circle forum. Thought it would work well for the “About Brandy” section of the website.
Brandy studied the tiny “interview” room the silent agent had escorted her to five hours earlier. She had pretty much memorized every crack in the wall by now, but you never know. She could have missed something. Grey walls. Darker grey carpet. Ugh. Carpet. She supposed they needed padding in case of a good ol’ fashioned throw down with a “guest.”
Finally, the door opened and a different agent walked in. He was young. His hands were shaking – he almost dropped the file folder he was carrying. What had they told him about her? That she could grab a piece of paper from that file, make an origami throwing star from it, and pierce his jugular in ten seconds flat?
She couldn’t, of course. That was absurd. But it was a good story, so she had let it spread.
“Admiral Grey,” the young man said, fumbling through the papers in the folder. “I’ve been assigned to take down some basic information from you. A personal history, if you will.”
“You mean SI doesn’t have every detail of my past recorded somewhere, like the crazy peeping toms they are?” Brandy asked, glaring at the two way mirror across from her. She hoped they’d enjoyed watching her snore earlier.
“I -” the agent’s voice squeaked, and he closed his mouth.
“Fine,” she said. “Where should I start?”
“Oooh! Atropos! Get out here!” Lachesis stood for a moment and looked into the villa. “They’re starting a clip show! You don’t want to miss it.”
“What?” Clotho asked, trying to find a good brown to go with the orange she had on the wheel.
“A clip show! Didn’t you hear him? He’s asking her to talk about all her past lives. She’s going to hit the highlights. It’ll be just like those episodes TV shows have around the middle of the second season, when the ratings go up and they suddenly get a bunch of new viewers. You know, like after they get the post-Superbowl spot or something.”
Clotho frowned. “Brandy did something after the Superbowl?”
“No, no, it’s just going to be like that. The baby-faced agent is going to ask her questions and hit all the highlights of her lives. I know ‘Tropo will want to see this.” Lachesis stood again. “Atropos!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Atropos came out of the villa with a large bowl of popcorn. “Did someone say something about a clip show?”
“Yep. Let me rewind it.”
“Where should I start?” Brandy asked.
“Well, let’s start with the simple things. Name, date of birth, place of birth. Ah, make that all applicable to your first life, that is.”
Brandy sighed. It was going to be a long interview if he was going to go through all of them so far.
“My name is Brandy Grey. Technically it’s Bronte, my mom named me that in honor of my grandfather, Zeus. Bronte means storm, or something to that effect. I guess I should be glad she didn’t name me Stormy.”
The agent laughed, the nervous kind of laugh that made it seem like he thought she would hurt him if he didn’t. This was ridiculous.
“What’s your name?” Brandy asked.
“What?” he asked, staring up at her like a deer caught in headlights.
“Oh. Uh. Smith.”
Brandy frowned. Right.
“Okay. Anyway, Agent Smith, I was born April 12th, 1983, in Hades.”
Smith jumped, knocking his folder to the floor. Brandy resisted the urge to help him pick the papers up. He might think she was trying to get a piece of paper for that throwing star.
“Sorry,” she said. “That always gets people. My mom, Athena, being a virgin goddess, had arranged for Aunt Persephone to give birth to me. So, yes. I was born in Hades. Not a bad place, actually. I spent most of my first four years there.” She paused, expecting him to ask a question, but he just stared at her. “Mom decided I should go to school in America – something about a vision Apollo’s priestess had back when they concocted my soul -”
“Uh, what?” the agent asked, scribbling something in his folder.
“Oh, sorry. Mom had her siblings – and a few others, like Aphrodite, though sometimes I think she cursed me instead of helping me – create me out of the aether, kind of like they had created Pandora out of mud. Er, earth. I’m just waiting for someone to decide to create a chick from fire, so we can all get together and create a new version of Earth, Wind, and Fire.” Brandy looked expectantly at Smith, but he just stared at her. She sighed. “No one ever gets my humor. Anyway, Apollo’s priestess saw that I would be born when men flew the skies on metal eagles, and there were huge metal buildings that touched the sky, and all this other stuff, and so put my soul in a pyxis – kind of a clay box – and sealed me up until the prophecy came true. And apparently part of it made her think we needed to be in America.”
“So you moved from Hades to Dallas?”
“No. We were in Seattle for a little bit.” Brandy didn’t want to think about that. “It wasn’t a good experience. Mom blocked my memories and took me to Dallas. Me and Alma.”
“Amalthea. The reincarnation of the goat who raised Zeus.”
“You were raised by a goat in 20th century America?” Smith put down his pen.
Brandy sighed and rubbed her face. “No. He brought her back as a human. Can we stop for a few minutes? I need a glass of water.”
“Sure.” Smith motioned to the window.
to be continued…
Have questions for Smith to ask Brandy? Just leave them in the comments!