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Rated: E · Interview · Contest Entry · #1694592
my contest entry for July 2010's What a Character contest.
“My name’s Kirk Allen. I’m here to ask you some questions – “
“Again? How many more times do I have to answer? I don’t know anything!”
“That may be, Miss…“ He looked down at his notes briefly, “Calhoun, but my superiors want me to ask you.”
“What makes you so special that just reading others’ reports isn’t good enough? I mean, come on! How many different ways can I say ‘I don’t know!’ ”
“Miss Calhoun, I have my orders. Please, may I ask you some questions?”
“Fine! But I want something to drink. Something hot. My throat hurts.”
He nodded to a guard, who left. “That’s a reasonable request. I hope you will continue to be reasonable.”
“I was reasonable the first three times I was questioned. The fourth through tenth interrogations I was unreasonable. After that, I just am plain hostile.” She nodded shortly to the guard as he returned with a steaming mug. “Thanks,” she muttered.
“I can see where your patience may run thin. May I begin?”
Giving a huge sigh, she said, “Fine. Don’t know why you people bother but go ahead…”
“Would you please tell me something about yourself?”
“That’s a different start anyways. The rest of them just spat out questions…” She sipped her mug. “Oh that tastes good! Tastes like jasmine green tea…Something about myself eh? Hm…I suppose you want all the basics again?”
“Whatever you feel comfortable starting with is fine with me, Miss Calhoun.”
“Well, for one thing, stop calling me that. Makes me feel old. I’m only 24, for God’s sake! Call me Kate. Short for Katherine, after my grandmother. I’m a journalist. Freelance for now. I focus mainly on science, the environment, some culture stuff. Sometimes religion. You know, freedom of the press? It’s illegal for you to hold me when I’ve done nothing wrong!”
“Please, Miss – I’m sorry, Kate. We’ll get to that later. Please continue. “
“Damn right we will get back to that! I know my rights! I aced that class! Fact is, I graduated in the top of my class. My family’s not rich so you won’t get any ransom, if that’s what your superiors were thinking! I put myself through school; there’s too many of us for my parents to help.” She took another sip of her mug and looked at Kirk over the rim.
He waited a minute to see if she was going to elaborate. When she didn’t, he asked, “What’s your favorite memory of your family?”
“Well, that’s odd to ask…but hey, your dime, buddy.” She paused to think. “I guess… I guess my favorite memories of my family involve celebrations. We all worked so hard, just trying to keep us all together and all that we really took advantage of holidays and birthdays to relax and just be with each other. That was the hardest thing to do, miss get-togethers. My job keeps me traveling a lot so I can’t always make it home…”
“So why did you choose this profession?”
“Ironically, it’s because of having to go to so many different places and meet different people and learn different things! I mean, I get to see, at the beginning or source, of so many new discoveries or theories or ways to help the world! And on top of that, then I get to tell other people about them! What could be more exciting!”
“Is that what brought you here?”
“No, the damn guards brought me here. There were no signs or warnings anywhere. Last I knew, this was public property. I was driving down the road when I saw this turn-off. And I don’t know what it was that made me turn down it. I mean, I was on my way to the university to meet with a professor about Celtic mythology and folklore. I’m supposed to write a piece for St. Patrick’s Day, you know? So I get this hunch to turn down this back country road. I go down until my car gets stuck. Stupid rental… so I thought I saw a little house in one of the turns down this road so I got out and walked. I was hoping I’d get to it kind of quick. I didn’t want to be late for my appointment. It took months to set it up! Anyways, after like a mile or two, I see this archway-type thing made out of rocks and trees. Really old trees! I could tell because of their girth. So I figure that was the beginning of the driveway to the house I saw so I go through it – “
“Wait a moment. You just…walked through?!”
“Ah…yeah… like I said, my car was broken down. It was just an old gate. Like the kind that used to be for like feudal properties, or old English families or Southern plantations. No big deal. So after I went through – “
“You had no trouble passing through?”
“Why would I?”
“The trees didn’t ah… hinder you in any way?”
“Nope. They were tall enough that their branches weren’t blocking the gate. Actually, that was weird. I expected a gate there but there wasn’t even signs that one was ever built. I suppose it was just to mark the beginning of the driveway or something. It was very natural looking, like it grew there. I was impressed.”
“Like…it… grew… there…” Kirk stared at Kate.
“You ok?”
He shook his head after a moment. “What’s your ethnic background? Your heritage?”
“You’re done with the walking now? Man, you have no logic to your questions… my dad’s side mostly German. I think his family’s been here, oh….four or five generations now. Well, I’d be the fifth I guess. Don’t know much about my mom. She won’t talk too much. In fact, her being so secretive is partially what got me interested in being a journalist. I slowly put together what facts she would drop over the years. None of her family live near us. She won’t tell us their names or anything. Never wanted us to contact them. But I do know that they are from someplace in Wales.”
“Think! Do you know where in Wales? It is very important!”
Kate sipped her tea while she thought. After about five minutes she said, “I think… once I heard Mom refer to Cardiff. I think that’s the capital, isn’t it?”
“How are you different from your siblings?”
“You really are curious about my family. I’m as different as anyone else would be. Um…I’m the seventh out of thirteen kids. I’m the only girl. Ah…I’m the only one who prefers to be a night owl. Well, besides my mom. I’m the only one so far that’s got a master’s degree. I’ve left my hometown. Is that what you meant?”
“How did your childhood peers regard you?”
Kate glanced away. “Same as any other kid would be. I was smart. I wore glasses until I was old enough for contacts.” Kate squirmed as she was silent under Kirk’s waiting. “Fine! When I was little, I had a very active imagination and thought I saw fairies and stuff. I told some kids at school one day and I got teased about it for years! I hated it so much that I stopped with anything to do with fiction or fantasy stuff and just focused on the real scientific world. That’s what drove me to journalism!”
Kirk leaned close to Kate. “Let me see your eyes!”
“They’re a dark brown, like my mom’s. What are trying to find out? What is this place?”
“They’re not dark brown. They’re black, black as a moonless night. You also have flecks of silver in your eyes, like stars. Yes…that would be the reason you could pass through…” Kirk nodded once decisively then looked to the guards. “Let her go. She is no threat to us.”
As the guards escorted her out, Kate looked back and called to Kirk, “What’s going on? What are you talking about? I want answers! I’ll be back!”
Kirk chuckled to himself. “I’m sure you will be.”

Word count 1344

© Copyright 2010 Kris Cooper (kayshan at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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