creative writing homework / totally uninteresting
- include a smell as an agent of change
- '... had succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting' as first line
So in this slightly old piece Brandon Edwards is hunting vampires. This was the first thing I ever wrote about this character and it's only recently that my backstory and context for him has sort of evolved, but this piece still holds enough relevance to the more recent pieces that it can be included in this compilation.
He had succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. Which was what he needed as he ambled along the country road, the Arizona sun beating down on the tarmac like a dying heartbeat. He drove just fast enough so as to look purposeful, but slow enough that they'd ask him to stop.
Uninteresting was, in Brandon Edwards' line of work, his best means of employment. His hair was brown, cut short but not in any nameable style, his skin was tanned but not enough to mark him as coming from a particular region, his clothes nondescript; t-shirt, jeans and plaid were his uniform. The only comforts he allowed himself were his boots: heavy, leather working boots, worn with age and wear. He frowned as he noticed a fleck of dried blood on the toe and leaned down to pick it off, easing his foot from the accelerator as he did so.
When he stuck his head back up, Brandon saw a girl, little more than seventeen by the looks of her, standing by the side of the dusty road, a faded pack that was half the size of her strapped to her back, her arm extended, thumb out.
He smiled, grip tightening on the steering wheel.
Slowing to a stand-still, he leaned over to talk through the window, a pleasant, concerned smile alighting his forgettable features. "You okay, missy?"
The girl was small, blonde, with a gap between her two front teeth which gaped as she talked, "Could I get a lift?" She asked, shielding her squinting, brown eyes against the sun as she looked up at him.
"I'm stopping at the next town over," Brandon told her, "Where're you headed?"
"A little past that."
Brandon smiled, shrugging as though working the thought through his head. "Hop in."
With a flash of gappy teeth, the hitchhiker clambered into his functional, yet generic, truck.
Hot, desert air stuffed itself into the truck along with her, stagnant and scentless. Despite the frayed look of her clothes and the unbrushed quality of her straw-toned hair, the girl wore a distinct, sharp-smelling perfume. The aroma ticked fiendishly at Brandon's nose.
He shook off the feeling. "D'you want the radio on?" He asked as he pulled away. A quiet drone of country music weaved itself around the cab.
The girl shrugged against the heated leather seats —one of the few luxuries he'd allowed himself. If his work demanded he all but live in this truck, he would have good quality seats.
"I don't mind," she said, looking out of the open window.
"I'll leave it on then." He murmured, as though the conversation soothed him. As though he hadn't done this exchange countless times before. "I'm Bran," he said. "I'd shake your hand, but I, er…"
She softened at his embarrassed smile. "I'm Agatha."
"Agatha. That's a nice name. Old-fashioned."
"After my grandmother."
"Ah." Brandon drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. The smell caught his attention again, that sharp scent of contradictory freshness. Impossible to place, impossible to keep up. No perfume smelled like it. Not mint, eucalyptus, lemon… It was unnatural. It was unmistakeable.
Agatha's fangs peeled back just as Brandon reached under the seat for his stake.