help from the hive mind – characters: Harold Brack & Pain

April 20, 2015 at 2:29 PM // Reply

Harold Brack is a middle aged, slightly obese man, who picks his nose when being nervous. And he is nervous most of the time, being a coward doesn’t help. When not hiding in storage rooms, or lurking in basements, he actually mops halls and lavatories, changes bulbs from time to time.
His dubious hobby -his thrill- is to pick locks, on interesting doors: wooden doors, steel doors, doors on safes, car doors. You see, all doors are interesting, when locked. Then he’s messing with things in the apartments. Small things, like putting the remote in the fridge, switching toothpastes with foot creme, shacking every can he finds. Basically he’s being an ass.
Though he’s never been caught, he has nightmares about being thrown into jail and ending as a finger puppet. A hooded figure named Pain, stalks him and forces Harold (with brute force) to go steal for him. He tries to escape, but Pain seems to read his mind, anticipating his every move.

    • Good question! I haven’t thought that bit through. I don’t see him as an apartment building custodian. When I peak in his life, he mops in museums, libraries, universities, some government buildings…
      On his way home he gets off the bus/metro/train a few stations before his destination and lurks in the shadows, climbs the fire escapes up, or enters randomly apartment buildings. Creepy… I guess he tries to mess with everyone he can mess with. (Insert huge inferiority complex here) But… Why does he bother? Why break in and only changing tiny things? Why staying hidden? Where is the logic in that?
      Family? I think not. He’s not the type for family. He has no girl- or boyfriend, not even a best friend. Is this why he breaks into other people’s apartments? Is he trying to participate in life? through other people’s lives?
      What do you think? Also thanks for the questions! :)

  • Whoa. Caught in the story already here. I love the idiosyncrasies that lead Harold to doing what he does. I love the concept of “all doors are interesting, when locked.” That right there is a terrific hook.
    And Pain. Can’t wait to find out who/what Pain is, and why it’s all happening.

    • Thanks Tamara! Pain is a literal pain in the butt, that’s where his name comes from. I haven’t decided what he is (human, or something else), but I know he is greedy, and he smiles a disturbing smile. His eyes glow from time to time, specially in the night, when no one is looking. Besides that he always wears this black hoodie, covering most of his face. Well, I’m not even sure there is a face to begin with… He likes to hoard things. Shiny things… When I think of him, I imagine Indred Cold (from Mothman prophecies).
      How he fits in? An excellent question. I still don’t know.
      Pain sees Harold while he is spying out a place he wants to break in. A foot soldier/burglar comes handy, and Harold has his ways with locks.(guess there’s his talent) He only has to threaten him, and voila! All the goods and money he wants, and no imminent risk…
      Somewhere behind that, there’s a whole different story, some tremors in the fabric of the story. A darker bit of Pain(Death? Sin?) is behind the decision why he uses Harold, why he stalks him. He could be a cardinal sin projection, or Death itself, or something like that, punishing Harold. Or better, he is an actual good guy and wants to scare Harold (the Small Fry) away from burglary. Sheesh – I don’t know.

  • Wow, I totally agree: that’s a terrific setup and one hell of an anti-hero! I would definitely want to read this one!! When I got to “all doors are interesting” I expected Harold to stumble across a very unique door one day, and the story to take a turn into mystery/paranormal horror… Can’t wait to see how Pain figures into the plot! Can I ask what the genre is?

    • Thanks Robin! Genre? Hmmm… Ermm. I can’t decide if the story wants to be funny or deadly. Maybe both. Paranormal sounds good.
      First I wanted him to accidentally free children with monkeyflu (a retrovirus only targeting human pieces of the genome and triggering mutations – oh the potential) to unleash a world wide pandemic… But that wasn’t my blanky to fly with. A pandemic is scary, I give you that, but boring.
      A hooded figure with supposed superpowers is more likely to scare me (and Harold). So Pain showed up.

      • Aw, you know what – I’d go with (psychological) horror!! Harold’s personality – what he does for “fun” – is so sinister, so perverted that it would be a perfect fit for the genre! And I’d be thrilled to find out that Pain is a vengeful spirit/demon/whatever, there to teach Harold a lesson because once he opened ‘the wrong door’…
        Anyway, you got a really original protagonist there, I’m sure it’ll hook agents! Keep going!!

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