If you know anything about my friend Sabrina and I, you know that we’re never going to have a normal conversation. Ever. When you put two weird people together on Skype, add in some crazy ideas, and some characters with personalities ranging from Victorian and medieval sensibilities to the moral compass as your average high school party girl, there’s a very low possibility of anything normal lasting for very long.
Another thing that’s not going to happen is going to be killing someone. Obviously, this is a good thing when talking about real life. Not only is it illegal in most situations, but I’m terrified of the dead. Not death, just the dead. If there is a corpse, human or animal, lying in front of me without moving or breathing, I’m going to start screaming and trying to get away by any means necessary. Unfortunately, my inability to kill also applies to fictional characters. I have too much of a conscience and a deep connection with all my characters. So, unlike certain people who often kill someone in the first chapter (Sabrina), I can’t bring myself to kill off anyone of even partial importance, unless they’re coming back in some way or another. If the deaths I have planned, one is resurrected by magic, one is reincarnated, and one occurs in the last line of the last page of the last book, so I believe barely counts. If anyone else dies in any of my stories, they will probably be minor characters who are either mentioned once and disappear, or their mention is the fact they are dead.
So, when I thought I had experience my first kill yesterday, I was overjoyed. Obviously, it was not part of a story (unfortunately, she has the potential to be important again). I was on Skype with Sabrina, and out characters were fooling around as usual, when Sokola started asking if she could meet a character named Livia, and yell at her for “being mean to Vaughn.” If you read my interview with Vaughn on Monday, you might remember that Livia is Vaughn’s ex-lover. She is an evil, heartless bitch by creation, and as I learned while writing her first and thus far only personal appearance in my novel the other day, she can become downright psychotic when the right buttons are pushed. We (at least, my characters and I “we”) were all a bit nervous about letting sweet, (somewhat) innocent Sokola meet her, but she she did come, with the precautions of having three adult male characters looking after Sokola, and not letting Livia carry her weapon on her person.
Everything started out pretty much as expected. Livia insulted Vaughn and talked about what a weak traitor she thought him, Sokola started yelling at her, and everyone else just sat back waited to see that would happen. That was about the time that Livia decided to grab Sokola by her extremely curly little head of hair and give her a lecture on respect to her superiors. Vaughn issued a couple of warnings for Livia to release Sokola, but it was finally Mordecai, using a spell that caused Livia’s hand to burn, that caused Sokola’s hair to be freed. That didn’t stop her from going back to insults and rude comments, so for a bit of fun, Mordecai turned her into a pig. Because Sokola loves pigs, and he thought she would enjoy playing with one, while Livia learned a bit of a lesson in listening to undead men with magic. After that, Mordecai passed out, and the wheels in Sokola and Vaughn’s minds started to turn, their idea of fun turning to gorier things than any of us probably expected.
While chasing the bitey little woman-turned-hog around the Box, Sokola asked a simple question: What happens when you drop a piggy from wayyyyy high up? Vaughn answered simply that it would probably splat…and then offered to make piggy splatter art with his ex. When Sokola expressed that she would enjoy such a thing, the two winged characters grabbed the pig and flew up to the ceiling of the room and prepared for their crime. As the authors, Sabrina and I could have stopped them, but she’s a fictional character, so why should it matter? Gideon (Mordecai’s younger brother) could have easily stopped us, either verbally or by reversing the spell, but after an attempt to flirt with the scantily clad demon scared the womanizer a bit, he was not too eager to get near her. All the other characters were out of the room, so Vaughn let go, and the piggy hit the floor. Then, Vaughn and Sokola started planning a ham dinner (because it’s not cannibalism if she’s not a demon when she died, right?). I’m really scared of the way our minds work sometimes.
Before I continue, with the story, I wish to say that I was totally fine with this turn of events. She was a fictional character, and a character I totally hated on top of that. Killing her for fun over Skype would not affect my story at all, as I’m not even sure if she will show up again, and even if she did, it isn’t as if murdering her over a chat is going to make it impossible to resurrect her for a page or two when I’m writing. After seeing her making two marginally helpless young females miserable fairly close together, I was actually eager to see her suffer. I was happy about her piggy death. I’m actually tempted to make an offhanded reference to Livia being in a freak accident in which her wings cramp up, sending her falling over the cliff that her barracks are built on, just to make it canon and give her what’s coming to her.
When Mordecai finally woke up, however, he did not share my pleasure. He got the horrific surprise of finding the body of the former demon still in the middle of the floor. As he was asleep, and could not have had any idea of what his feathered friends were going to do, so I tried to reassure him that he had nothing to do with Livia’s death. He was still upset, though, so I made the offer to bring her back on the claim she was injured and unconscious, but alive, to ease his mind. He left it up to me to decide, though, so I poofed Livia off to an infirmary that I don’t even think actually exists in her universe, and began setting off to make my decision.
So, is Livia a dead pig? No idea. After I got rid of her still-swine-shaped body, I put her out of my mind, not giving two bits about her fate. To give Morty peace of mind, I said she would wake up with broken limbs eventually, and gave Vaughn a ham to cook (or, as it would have it, for him to leave in a fire hole to cool, and Aria to scurry off to watch it). As I use her more over Skype than I have in the current draft of my novel (she did have a more important role in the first draft, but as the plot and how the characters affect it changed, she was relegated to background character, though it came with a promotion from the Haelian army), I really didn’t particularly care either way. As Sabrina added a character in her own novel that she describes as “Livia Lite” “Diet Livia” and “Livia Jr.” today, we joke that Livia died and was reincarnated as the miniature psycho who just began to appear. But, for the time being, Livia herself will just be floating between life and death until I need her again. Or, until I decide her death was deserved, and decide to cramp up her wings just a bit while she’s running errands. [cue evil face]
So, discuss if you will: do kills still count if they come back, whether it be through resurrection, reincarnation, or zombiism? Does it count if it happens just between you and your friends, and isn’t canon (yet)? How important do characters have to be before their deaths count for your kill count? Have you had your first kill, and if so, what was it and how did it feel? Also…want a bite of ham?