Sharon’s Note: This is the first installment of a story I’ve been working on for a while. I’ll admit, that I was a little hesitant to put it up because it hits really close to home, dealing with a disabled character. It’s going to be a long haul, folks, so I hope you enjoy the journey with me. Warning: Author working through her issues on paper.
“Hey, Hop Along.” Frank shot me with the fingers of his real arm as he walked across the parking lot.
By way of a greeting, I silently flipped him the bird and pulled the bag with my lunch out of my car before grabbing my cane. I didn’t like Frank. Nobody liked Frank, but this was supposed to be his last week at Hunter’s Hearth before he was cleared for the field. I could tolerate anything for a week.
Hearth was a tall, square building, made almost entirely out of boring gray cinder blocks with no windows and two doors. The front door was a single metal door, with a small square window cut high in the center. It was kind of like a little speak-easy window, but instead of an open hole, there was a mesh of wire sandwiched between God knew how much bullet proof glass. From the outside, Hearth was ugly. Honestly, it was ugly on the inside too, but it was safe from all the monsters that haunted the night. For a lot of us, it was the closest thing to home we had.
The door was doubly locked, requiring both a key for the actual lock, then a card for the mag lock. It was a pain to juggle, requiring me to hook my cane and bag over an arm, then lean against a wall for balance. While I turned the key with one hand, I awkwardly ran my card with the other. With the five seconds that the door stayed disengaged, I had just enough time to drop my card in my bag, swear apathetically, and use the same hand to grab the handle and wrench the door open enough to jam my foot it. The door was heavy and squished my foot uncomfortably. I’d done this enough times that my blisters from where the door hit daily had turned into calluses. It was a good thing that my left foot was mostly numb.
Thus stoppered, the door remained open while I shifted everything around again so that I could switch my cane back to my right hand and give the wall some personal space. I pulled the door the rest of the way open and walked inside, only to face an agitated Seth.
Seth came up to my shoulders, which was saying something because he was in a wheelchair. His face was heavily lined, even without the thick scars across the right side of his face. The stories on how he’d gotten those scars ranged from a harrowing fight against a master vampire to a harrowing fight with with an ex-wife. I knew the ex-wife in question. Carla was a little psychotic, so either story was possible. Either way, Seth was like the rest of us who guarded the Hearth, broken by a job that was unforgivingly hard on those who pursued it. Thus was the life of a monster hunter.
“Joy.” There was admonition in his tone, and I fought to keep my head from hanging. Seth was not my father. He was just the man who had saved my life several times and given my life a purpose when I thought it was over. The fact that he looked like I imagined my dad would have he had lived to see sixty didn’t help. I respected the hell out of him and the last thing I wanted to do was disappoint him. However, I had to remind myself that this was a fight about my principals, not my worth.
Hard Hunting Pt 1 Pt 2 Pt 3 Pt 4 Pt 5 Pt 6 Pt 7 Pt 8 Pt 9 Pt 10 Pt 11 Pt 12 Pt 13 Pt 14 Pt 15 Pt 16 Pt 17 Pt 18 Pt 19 Pt 20 Pt 21 Pt 22
Bravo Sharon for tackling this subject about a protagonist with a disability. I’m looking forward to reading your next installment.
Thanks. Every time I read about a character that is disabled of injured, I’m sitting there saying that there’s a lot more to just every day life for someone with that issue than the author’s putting in. I wanted to see an actually disabled character dealing with their issue in a realistic way, and well, if you want something done . . .
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