This week we were supposed to be writing a character description so that is what I give you. Tell me what you think and let me know what age group it comes across as being for. I'm not sure it's right.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
There’s a girl who lives in the walls of the subway. People pretend she’s not real, but everyone knows she is. If the platform is empty enough, and it’s late enough in the evening, you can hear her moving about inside the walls when you’re waiting for the train. On the quietest of nights, the nights when you feel as if you’re the only person awake in the entire word, if you have a little food, you can tempt her out of the walls.
She always materialises out of nothing. One moment there is shadow and the next there she is. She scurried over and snatches the food from you before scurrying into a corner to eat. She scurries everywhere. She gnaws on the food, nibbling at it with her front teeth. She seems more rat than girl.
It’s not just the way she moves and eats, she looks almost like a rat. Her nose is long and thin, and her eyes squinted and startled as if she spent her life hiding in the darkness of the subway tunnels. Then again, she probably had. Her hair was that undefinable almost grey colour that is somewhere between blonde and brown. She looks about eight years old but she’s been living in the walls for as long as anyone can remember.
Her name is Trim. Everyone knows it, no one knows how, they just do. Trim the Rat Girl. Trim the Rat Girl who lives forever. “She can’t be human” people whisper on the rare occasions that they acknowledge her existence.
“What else can she be?”
“I don’t know. Don’t let the children near her.”
And what else can she be, if not human? People have all kinds of stories; that she really is descended from rats, that she’s an otherworldly spirit, a monster, alien, brownie, fairy, some kind of magical being. I think that she is Trim. Not defined by other names. Not catalogued into some group of mythical species. But there is no denying that she is special.
I wonder if she is happy; living such an unusual existence. She has no friends or family, unless the rats of the subway count. The subway patrons certainly don’t count. It’s only ever the really curious and fanciful commuters who ever try and tempt her from the walls and she’s more interested in the food than the person who gave it to her. She doesn’t talk to you, doesn’t answer your questions.
Sometimes you ask a question and she looks up with you with the brightest grey eyes. They’re so inquisitive and intelligent that I wonder if maybe she wants to answer you but she can’t. Perhaps she is mute. Perhaps she never learnt to talk.
She’s a mystery. Sometimes I think she should stay like that. Sometimes I want to know more. I want to know all there is about her. So I try again. I bring butternut cookies, her favourite from my experience, and go down to the subway after the late train is gone and all the commuters have left. I tempt her from the walls again.
Next week is picture book week. Not sure how well I'm going to work the illustrations, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.