Thursday, September 24, 2009

Character of the Week: Gabby!

This week's featured character is the strong and silent Gabby.  We're looking forward to learning all about you.
Most of you know my history - Born in Jamaica - then when I was five Dad moved the three of us to New York where he immediately got run over by a bus so Mum and I were left to make it on our own. I don't know all she did but I was left to run wild and did everything I could to help out. Stealing,- running drugs (never took none) anything that come along.  I got to be warlord in our neighborhood.
Then I killed my mum. Sort of an accident with a chair over her head.

They sent me to this place for incorrigibles.  It's sort of experimental.  Newly built, a million miles from nowhere, in the Faraway Wood.  I haven't said a word since Mum died. Why bother?  But I'm head man around here, just by proving everyday that I'm tougher and meaner than anyone. No kid dares cross me.

Then I snook out of bounds and found the Mystical wood. It's a rare, wondrous place like I never imagined.
The animals accept me as their friend, especially the Unicorn.  But that's the trouble - it woke up love in me and kindness that hadn't felt before. Back at the school,  I have to be always doing something more savage to prove my right to leadership and hide the new softness.  If the gang sees it they will tear me to pieces. Have any of you  had such an inner battle?

40 comments:

Devi Marconi said...

Hi, Gabby. I'm sorry that you've experienced such hardship at such a young age, but you seem remarkably intuitive.

To a certain degree, I, too, have had to face an inner battle. For three decades, I lived a lie - married to a good man that I wasn't in love with, having to raise three children with him, when all along I was in love with another man, someone I'd known before I ever met my husband. It was hard, keeping my real self hidden from the world - as you must do in the Faraway Wood - but things worked out for me, and they will for you, too. Good luck!

Faldur said...

It is a struggle, always, to be near Marenya. I watch her when she isn't looking. I know where she is every moment. I want so much to reach out my hand, and just touch her.

But I cannot.

I must do my duty. And I swear I won't let her be hurt again. I will protect her to my last breath, even from myself.

I have made up mind, and that is how it shall be.

Gabby said...

I didn't know that love caused such trouble, Devi and Faldur. I wonder why? I thought it was just a weak, stupid thing in movies but if all it does is cause trouble what's the point? Both of you seem strong because of it although, like me, you must fight to hide it. Would life be better without those feelings? Will we all someday have to make a decision which way to go in spite of terrible repercussions?

Faldur said...

Gabby, the reason I have decided to remain unmarried is that I am in a very dangerous profession. I am a Ranger, and Marenya's father was my mentor. He was mauled to death by a nightstalker. She was only a young hawin then. She and her mother were left to fend for themselves.

I don't want to be another dead husband and father. I don't want Marenya to go through that again, at least not for my sake. I want her to marry someone who will be able to stay with her.

There is nothing weak about love. Sometimes it requires sacrifice, but those sacrifices are what make us strong. My love for Marenya is what keeps me pushing through from day to day. As long as I know she is safe and well, I can face any danger.

As well, I admit to some fear for my own part. I fear that if I had a wife or family, I might hesitate in a crucial moment. Others might die because I was concerned for my own.

I don't know if it would happen, but I do not want to chance it.

Gabby said...

Faldur, so you are afraid of a weakness because of loving also! I am dreading what violence this new caring is going to drive me to in order to conceal it. I have never loved anything, never hated either. Just fought for survival and that's easier when you're the leader and can get the others to do stuff for you.

Love between people I still don't understand and what I've seen on the streets and with the men my mother brought home disgusts me.

But this feeling I get in the Wood is so ---good. That's the only word I can find.Maybe it's Kindness I find there. It sure doesn't make it in the world I live in outside though!

Faldur said...

The weakness I fear is not in love, Gabby. It is in my own selfishness.

Selfishness is a weakness, indeed.

Lord Synedd said...

The Ranger is weak, Gabriel, too weak to reach out and take what he wants.

You, on the other hand, sound like a wise and capable young man. A warlord, even! Tell me, how many men do you have under you? In what methods of combat are they trained? I could offer you riches beyond your wildest dreams, and as much land as you desire, and the castle of your choice, if you would help me re-take the Kingdom.

What do you say?

I would advise, you however, not to trust that unicorn. They can be very deceptive creatures. It was probably sent to keep you from gaining too much power.

I, on the other hand, reward great deeds with great responsibility. You sound like just the kind of man I'm looking for.

Ginger said...

What is the unicorn like, Gabby? Does it talk to you somehow?

I've always wished I could meet a unicorn some day.

Do you think you could just live in the forest forever, and not go back?

Lord Synedd said...

One more small thing... I assume that since you are human, you and your men are about five and half feet tall, or more? It's so hard to get tall warriors these days.

But if not, that's alright, as long as they are strong and capable. I am not prejudiced.

Devi Marconi said...

I'm sorry, Gabby. I had patrolling and cooking duties that called me away.

But I couldn't NOT answer your questions. You asked, "Would life be better without those feelings?" Heck no! Loving someone else - even several someone elses - has given my life meaning. As Faldur said, "Sometimes it requires sacrifice, but those sacrifices are what make us strong."

And then you asked, "Will we all someday have to make a decision which way to go in spite of terrible repercussions?" I did. I made such a decision. Back in 1980, I finally decided to leave my husband, to release him from our unhappy marriage, and live with Jesse down in Ruby Hollow, where we're been now for almost thirty years. My ex-husband found happiness, too - with someone else. Sometimes, you MUST make the hard decision - or you will forever live a lie.

Kaelin said...

I think demons all live a lie, at least in Sentinel. We're guided by a rigorous code of conduct but our natural anger lingers very close to the surface.

Everyone I know has it.

Except for Aidan.

Marc said...

Yeah, what does that unicorn say to you Gabby? What do you do with it? I've never seen one, but Aidan says you're not lying, so I reckon they exist.

Gabby said...

Hello, Lord Synedd. I don't think me and my "men" would be much good to you as I'm only fourteen and the others, (about thirty of them) are all under sixteen.
Oh, and my name is Gabby. Actually it's not my real name, just what they've called me since I quit talking. I think it's kind'a cool.

Thanks for the offer but I don't think I want riches. Sounds boring somehow. Don't know what I want. never had time to think about it.
How come your people are all short? How tall are you? I'm five eight but I'll grow yet.

Laura Martone said...

I used to love unicorns as a child. I have an old puzzle that features a unicorn, the cake for my eighth birthday had a unicorn in icing, and Legend was one of my favorite movies. Had a book all about unicorns, too, but I lost it in Hurricane Katrina. :-(

I must admit I'm a wee bit jealous, Gabby, that you get to interact with a unicorn.

P.S. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but since we're airing internal struggles, all this time I thought "Gabby" was a girl's name. Until Lord Synedd cleared things up for me. Forgive my ignorance.

Kalila said...

Gabby, don't let the sentimental ones here fool you. Love is a weakness, and it's peculiar to humans, so be careful.

I consider myself fortunate to have no susceptibility to such an odd and dangerous emotion.

Bo said...

Love can get in the way of a good time, but there's nothing really wrong with it.

Hey, Kalila. What did that Shakespeare guy say about protesting too much? Remember that?

Kalila said...

I have no idea what you're talking about Bo,

Keep being strong, Gabby. And take advantage of opportunities to educate yourself. Even we demons find it useful to learn from humans, so learn everything you can!

Gabby said...

Devi, Ginger and Laura, you should always believe in unicorns because I had never heard of such creatures until I met my friend, and he sure is real! He's like swirling sea foam when he moves, all that mane and tail - and fetlocks so long you can barely see his feet which are like a deer's and don't even crush the flowers he steps on. His eyes are huge and dark and somehow we understand each other. No one in the wood talks like people do but we all get along. The unicorn and I play,and explore secret trails and sometimes just sleep and I rest my head on his neck. Sometimes he lets me ride him which is like flying among clouds of mane with his golden horn lighting the way.
And Oh, Lord Synedd. there is nothing devious about a unicorn, it's humans we must beware of, which is why I couldn't stay in the wood. The warden and guards 'ld come looking for me, find that magical place and destroy it for sure. I must never let any of them know of it or its creatures.

Ricky said...

You're definitely in a bad spot, Gabby. I have to lead a sort of double life, too, trying to keep the band from being found out. I'm one of the few humans that knows what they really are, and it's hard to always be covering for them. I mean, how do you hide the fact that the drummer ate the pizza delivery guy's brain?

Lazaro said...

I hid the body, Ricky. Quit complaining.

Hi, Gabby. Are you smart? I like smart brains.

Ricky said...

Lazaro, I thought we had a deal. You can come around here, but only if you promise not to feed on other characters. Or their authors.

Okay, if my author gets annoying enough, maybe her, but no one else.

Lord Synedd said...

Gabby, I am six foot five, but that is because I am of the line of the Kings. All of the royal family are endowed with supernatural abilities and elevated height.

Most of the Hanorja are only about four feet tall. Except for the soldiers, who are descended from the intermingling of lesser royals with the common folk. They are particularly suited for fighting, because of their strength and height.

You, my lad, now you are quite a young child. But then, your people live about half as long as mine, so I suppose that puts you at about the same place as a twenty-eight year old.

Beware the unicorns! I still say, Beware the unicorns! They will turn on you in the most unexpected moment, and drive their horns right through your heart.

Lions, now, those are fine creatures. One can always trust a cat to be clever in a tight spot. Those claws and teeth come in quite handy as well.

Yessir, I am exceedingly fond of lions.

Nighfala said...

Brains? I don't care much for brains.

Give me meat.

Marenya said...

Gabby, please ignore Synedd. I have no idea where he came from.

You must feel really bad about your mother. After all, you must have loved her in spite of what happened.

No wonder you are afraid to love!

But we all do things out of anger and fear at times, especially when struggling to survive.

Have you thought about showing the others the magical wood? Perhaps they would be transformed, too? They can't be all bad, can they? After all, you clearly aren't.

My struggle is Faldur. I don't understand him at all. I wish that I didn't love him, but I do.

It's hopeless.

Devi Marconi said...

I don't know, Marenya. I can totally understand Gabby's reluctance to let others know about the Mystical Wood. That's how I feel about Ruby Hollow - I want others to see for themselves how wonderful it is, but on the other hand, I couldn't bare it if they misunderstood and tried to destroy it. So, its exact location must remain a secret. Only Olivia knows where it is...

Gabby said...

Maryna. I think you are very innocent of the minds of my kind. We don't change easily and most of the kids in this prison have committed murder and think only of violence. If I'd entered the wood with my gang we would have happily destroyed everything in our path.
Somehow, being alone, the wood changed me.

The lions are my friends too, and monkeys and the black panther and parrots - all of them. but unicorn is special.

Marenya said...

I'm sure you know what is right regarding your people, Gabby.

I'm glad that you've found such a special place.

Is there anything else that was special in your life? Do you miss Jamaica? Is it a nice place?

Ginger said...

Oh, I just got it! I don't know why I am so dense.

They call you "Gabby" because you don't talk, right? As in, you don't gab a lot?

If you could talk, what would you say to the other kids? Or to the people in charge?

What are they called, anyways? Are they wardens, or teachers, or what?

Nevin said...

I think it's just lovely that you have a forest all to yourself. My home glen was idyllic, but the animals were sometimes dangerous and we had to practice living in harmony with them. It's an art.

You're very fortunate, Gabby, to have a natural talent!

Aidan said...

We grew up next to Rocky Mountain National Forest. When they shut down the road in winter and the snow started to fall it was the best place on earth.

Ricky said...

Gabby, Aidan brings up an interesting point. What do you do in winter? Or have you had a winter yet, since finding the forest and the unicorn?

Gabby said...

Sorry, had to go run around the playing field ten times, then pull weeds so it looks even more miserable out there.

Haven't had a winter here yet. We just came, in a couple of big school buses, two months ago. May, I guess, 'though you kinda lose track . I have a feeling nothing changes much in the Mystical Wood but here at the school I figure it'll probably be cold and awful.

They call this place a school, but there are no teachers, just wardens who either harrass us or goof off. No one would try to escape 'cause there's no place to run to and North (where the Mystical wood is) has the reputation of being dangerous and full of boy eating monsters so everyone's afraid of it. I keep that story alive, of course.

Actually, Ginger. I can talk, I just stopped when all the questioning started after Mum's murder. To Hell with them all. I don't need to talk and it seems to make the other kids more scared of me, foir some reason.

Marenya, I was small when I left Jamaica but I remember people were nice in Brown's town where we lived. It was in the hills above Port Maria and a easy going life. Dad was the Busha on a banana plantation and I remember both Mum and dad smiled then. So long ago, so much in between. Maybe it was all a dream?
I may have loved that Mum but not the New York one.

Amy Thompson said...

Oh yes! I fight myself all the time for strength to be independent. I'm sure I'm not the victim I'm portrayed as.

But, it's so hard when everyone expects you be a certain person, and when you're not true to everyone's perceptions of who you should be, it's so frustrating.

I want to be me, but I don't want ME to cause anyone else pain, sorrow, or to, to, hurt, anyone else.

Oh, why did I ever speak up? What disaster will this cause . . .

Calvin Mertz said...

Yes Gabby, I know exactly what you mean, and it breaks my heart to admit it.

I'm really a nice guy; responsible, caring, loyal to a fault. My family wants me to be a construction worker, take over the family business, be a role model for the community. And I want that too. Desparately! And because it's such a part of my nature, I can do it; for a while, at least.

But another part of me feels overwhelmed by the responsibility. The guilt is unbearable. And I use; and when I'm using, I'm free. I can do anything! You want drugs, weapons, money? I'm the man who can get anything, make friends of even the toughest mobsters, and nobody has a nose for cops and narcs like me. I'm the best.

But, I'm also the best at construction. I love building homes for families, working a project, putting in the bids, making the world a better place.

Ah, the conflict. Who am I really; mob boss or respected business man?

Robert Crane said...

I fight the good fight within myself constantly. I was born dirty - the child of a heroine addict - and the faithful attention of God and my adoptive family hasn't been able to cure me of my innate flaws.

No, I'm not an addict. I'm an alcoholic. A sinner who would like nothing more in life than for God to absolve me of my flaws and accept me into his bossom. Amy helps me be a real man, and my best friend Cal has never abondoned me since the first day we met in juvinile hall, but it doesn't seem to be enough to keep me on the path God has laid out for me.

If the alcohol could wipe out the voice of God, I'd be content.

If God would just wipe the urge to seek oblivion out of me, I'd be content. Why doesn't God take this from me?

Donna Hole said...

Gabby:

What courage you've shown in recognizing your faults, and making the attempt to be a better person. The unicorn never would have approached you if you did not have redeeming qualities; love, hope, faith, strength. And, despite all your toughness, a sense of innocense.

What a beautiful character you have turned out to be. I'm sure beneath all the violence of self preservation, there beats the heart of a hero, someone willing to sacrifice themselves for the safety of another.

Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

.........dhole

Gabby said...

Thanks, Donna, talking to all of you sure gets me out of myself but I think you see things in me that aren't there. It would be nice if that was why the Unicorn became my friend though...

Here comes the guard for lockdown. He doesn't really lock anything cause then we couldn't get to the jons, but they like to use the term. Want us to remember where we are.Maybe I'll tie his laces together later when he's sleeping and put his gun across the hall so it's the first thing he sees when he wakes up.
G'night all!

Christine H said...

Thank you Gabby, for being our Character of the Week.

Whom do you choose for next week? It's your turn to pick!

Gabby said...

The black panther is my choice. She is very beautiful.

jayda said...

A Jamaican and mystical woods? That's gotta make interesting reading.