Only 2 more Evensong interviews to go! Not going to lie, this one was tricky. Brady and Corey not only have very difference (clashing) personalities, but they also happen to be in love with the same woman: Jasmine Feldall. Both men were already wary about sitting down with me–Corey because he hates the world, Brady because he doesn’t know how to interact with it–but it took all the power of persuasion I possessed to get them to meet me in the same room at the same time. The result … well, you’ll see.
*Setting: Brady’s library in the Keep. I sit on the sofa because the men have taken the chairs. Corey slides his farther away*
KW: I really do appreciate you meeting with me. I realise it might be a little awkward. Considering everything.
Brady: *offers a tight smile, looking both uncomfortable and mildly amused* Not at all. We should be grateful that you think us important enough to visit. Minor players in this whole adventure.
KW: Minor? Hardly. Brady, Maggie confirmed that you helped her find the Meratis spell. That’s a pretty significant role already. And Corey, I know how much you’ve done to try and stop the dragon. No one would be where they are without you.
Corey: *mumbles something under his breath*
KW: I’m sorry?
Corey: I said maybe that would be for the best. Not everyone is where they’re supposed to be.
KW: You must mean Jeff. It must be a bit of a shock to have him here. Especially knowing how he’s sort of … meddled in your lives. You two in particular. Throwing a dragon your way, that’s one thing, but he’s created a vicious love triangle between you two and Jasmine, hasn’t he?
[NB: Even as I asked this question, I knew I was lighting a fuse to a firework, but how could I resist? It was the elephant in the room, so I figured I'd get it out in the open. I remember how Brady's face turned as red as his hair, and--I didn't think it was possible--Corey's expression turned stonier. Both stared at me for a long while without saying anything, until I thought that was the end of the interview. Finally, Brady spoke up.]
Brady: With all due respect to Jeff, his novel, and Corey’s feelings, I don’t believe that anyone will determine Lady Feldall’s feelings. She’s her own woman and will make up her own mind.
Corey: And we both know what the decision will be.
Brady: I prefer not to make assumptions. It doesn’t reflect well on anyone.
KW: Ass of you and me, and what not.
Corey: Are you calling me an ass?
KW: What? No! It’s an expression. Never mind. We’ll step away from the hot topic and move to a potentially hotter one. What do you two think about being characters in a book? Do you buy it?
Corey: *crosses arms* I wouldn’t believe that guy created me if he showed me a copy of the gods-be-damned booked. If he actually created this place, my arm would probably be growing out of my chest. The guy’s an idiot.
Brady: *looks embarrassed by Corey. He clears his throat and shifts in his chair. I see him eyeing a book on the table and know he’d much rather lose himself in a book than deal with Corey, me, or my questions. But he meets my eye* It’s an interest scenario. I’ve had time to give it some thought, and while I can believe that Jeff is able to write our stories, perhaps influence them in the smallest degree, I don’t believe he created us. I have memories from my childhood. I trust my senses and my dreams. I trust that I exist and everything around me is real. On some level. Who can claim to never feel out of place with their surroundings.
KW: *fiddling with my notes * That’s actually very true. I can’t say I ever really thought much about it. Huh. If you don’t mind, I think I’m going to end our chat there.
Brady & Corey: That’s fine.
*The two men glance sidelong at each other and I wonder if the momentary agreement between them will cause the world to implode. The moment passes and we all survive*
Jasmine scowled. “Damned if I’m going to waste my time playing guide. Until he’s returned, we still have a village to run, a dragon to defeat, and missing people to find.”
“I’ll do it.”
The whole room turned in surprise towards Brady.
Corey, who so far had only smiled once, and at Jeff’s expense, sneered. “You would want to buddy up with him, wouldn’t you, scholar? Hoping to earn a few favours?”
Brady didn’t rise to the provocation, remaining detached and watchful.
“I don’t see you offering,” Jasmine scolded.
Before Corey could make amends by taking up the challenge, Jeff jumped in and said, “I’m good with Brady showing me around.”
Of all his characters, Brady, being the most unlike himself, was the most difficult to pin down, and a bit dreary and flat as a result. If Jeff took the opportunity to know him better, maybe he could write a character Jasmine would like. He remembered her threat, but the more time he spent around Corey, the more determined he became to keep his book the way it was.