Naked in the Pain

The phrase ‘Naked in the Pain’ sounds like a song or a self-help book title, but I haven’t found any proof of that. I’m sure it’s one or both those thing, but it came to me after waking up one morning from a weird set of dreams (most of them being of the conversational sort, which is unusual for my dreams don’t often have conversational tones to them).

The meaning of this phrase didn’t hit me till today at work. In a rare instance of scheduling luck, Abbey and I worked together tonight, at least for a little while. We didn’t see much of one another and I didn’t expect to see much of her, as we were in opposite ends of the store, but we did end up seeing each other towards the end of her shift.

It was at the end of her shift where we ran into two Mormon missionaries, both of them Sisters. They had just come to our area and Abbey pulled me over there to meet them, jokingly telling them that I needed to be converted. The taller one offered her hand and I shook it.

And then Abbey and I began to roll off commentary on where we worked, the area, and it was wonderful. Our natural chemistry, the ease of which we just play off one another and have fun, came through loud and clear. The missionary girls were laughing their tails off, one of them commenting that Abbey and I should do our own standup show — we had great timing with one another.

This felt not only like a complete validation of my own thoughts (look, other Mormon’s AGREE WITH ME!) but also like twisting the knife. I got called away a few times as the two of us killed the better part of 35 minutes with those two missionaries, but I kept coming back, drunk on the opportunity to spend time with Abbey and to be funny.

After that, she went to clock out and I went back to work, only to take my lunch some 20 minutes later. And she was still in the store, shopping around. I grabbed some Starbucks on my lunch break (largely the reason I’m still up now — Starbucks after 8PM does no good for sleep) and, once I got it, she checked out.

She was wearing a Superman shirt (she had been wearing it under her work shirt), which was awesome because Superman is my favorite hero, but I stopped her to ask what her step-count was. She recently got a Fitbit Flex (which measure your steps/sleep activity/ect) and I recently got a Samsung GearFit (which does all that, plus heartrate, plus some smartwatch capabilities) as a grandprize winning.

She had a few hundred steps more than I did at that point, but we were both closing in on our 10,000 step goal (which, for some reason, is the goal to hit each day — I have no real clue why, I suppose I could Google it but that’s a minor point).

And we began talking again. Since it was my lunch break, I didn’t feel bad at all about it. I spent the entirety of that break standing up, talking to her, making her laugh and comparing notes on how our respective religions comes to decisions (and joking about them as well). I kept her there for another half-hour before my break ended and she had to leave.

And this is where ‘Naked in the Pain’ comes in. The phrase had meaning after that. I simultaneously felt as vulnerable as I could be, yet was thrilled to be that with her. I mean, we were good together tonight, like we are every time. It’s probably why she doesn’t want us to spend time outside of work because we’re too good with one another. I have an ability to just suck her into conversations, our chemistry and our timing flowing beautifully, and we lose track of all time.

It’s great and it sucks. It sucks so massively I get this so rarely now.

She is both a reminder of what I don’t have and what I want. Girls like her exist — she confirms this through her existence. I knew they did, logically, but I had no firsthand proof that they existed and would ever be interested in me. Yet, she does exist and was — and still is, to a point — interested.

I get how ‘Naked in the Pain’ feels. I’m not sure I’m describing it right because it’s not like I’m actually naked (that’s not something anyone would want to see) but emotionally? I’m open to all things. I could be crushed by her and I’d let her do it, because she gets that type of rare access. I can only think of a handful of other people (in the low single-digits) that have that type of access, and she does.

I know how my first OC, Hank Harrison, felt all those year with his crush/best friend/eventual wife. They spent nearly two decades dancing around one another until they both arrived in a place that they could be together. Hank spent years, off and on, regretting and wishing away things he had said or hadn’t said. He debated for years whether to say anything, eventually deciding not to until she ended up back in his life — and with her back, the feelings came back in full force.

I wonder if that’s my fate here. Is Abbey my Bethany? Hank’s life, fictional as it is, has served as a bit of a guidepost for me. Hank lost weight after he got out of the Academy (about 50 pounds) and I lost weight after I got of college. Hank had to find his place in Starfleet, eventually getting to a situation where he initially didn’t want to be, but he settled there and grew to love it. It was much the same way when I first went to Virginia — I did want to be there, admittedly, but I didn’t expect to love it or settle in it. It was just supposed to be a port in the storm, much like Hank’s assignment onto the Galloway. That ship was supposed to be a stepping stone to greater things (it eventually did turn out that way after nearly a decade of him being there) and Virginia, for me, was supposed to act as much the same.

Hank eventually left the Galloway to take command of a bigger ship, which ended up having dire consequences for him, his crew, and the universe, but it helped him accomplish the goal of being with Bethany.

Admittedly, I’m probably reading too much into this, but Abbey and I are fictional good together. We’re fanfic good. Yet, we’re not together in the least. It stupefies many in our work place (including the 15-year-old young buck that works with me, who was completely confused that she and I weren’t together. He called me a player and was like “rekindle the fire, man, rekindle that fire!”)

I’m not sure what the conclusion is between her and I; our lives seem to be taking us in different directions, especially since work is cutting my hours back even more beginning in February (I expected as much) and that’ll give me the time (and justification) to look for something else in Virginia.

But I get what ‘Naked in the Pain’ means. It means to be simultaneously vulnerable, thrilled, regretful, hopeful, and good with the pain. The pain can hurt or it can please or it can do nothing or it can make you feel nostalgic or make you feel something else.

Whatever the case, the King of Character Torture has gotten a dose of his own medicine and that’s just fine.

Thanks for reading, folks. God Bless.

The Origins Of Vick And Danny

Well, it’s time for another untold story ladies and gentlemen and this one has to do with my dynamic duo, Vick Johansson and Danny Scott. To sum each up in a sentence, Vick is this uber depressed alcoholic with homicidal tendencies and lots of grudges. Danny is the talktive, eternal optimist, hopeless romantic, who tags along with Vick as they both are on the run from Section 31 (scary cats).

But exactly where did these two come from? Both were and still are rather unique characters in my rather large stable of characters. There hasn’t really been other characters like them; the two are largely codependent on one another. You take one away from the other and things generally don’t go well.

Well, Vick and Danny surprisingly share some of the same origins as Hank Harrison and some of the Pearl crew; they’re from an email based RPG that sadly never got off the ground. There was literally one post from just about everybody involved and then it died. At the time, Vick and Danny were named differently…in fact, they were pretty much different characters entirely; Vick was named Tommy while Danny was named Dan. Here’s the only post I ever wrote in that RPG, over two years ago:


“Oh hell!” The sparks from the console rained on Dan and he threw his arms up to protect himself. “Tommy, we’ve lost helm!”

His partner in crime punched his fist into the console and grimaced in pain. “Damn it!”

Tommy stood up and headed for the escape pod.

Dan stood as well, but got in way. “We’re not leaving!”

“Why not?! She’s gonna crash and burn.”

Dan shook his head. “Come on, we got to try and save her!”

“You try, I’ll run. I’m not wasting time on a broken ship!”

The ship lurched violently and both the men were thrown against the nearby bulkhead. The ship began to spin out of control as Dan watched the stars whirl around them.

He tried to move but the gravity was failing and he was pinned down.

“Damn you and you’re sentimentalism!” Tommy tried to reach for his gun but failed. The gravity was too strong.

“I like my ship!”

The console beeped. Dan smiled desperately. “The ship’s found another vessel!”

“Good, we can take out two for the price of one!” Tommy tried his hardest to pull away but couldn’t.

Dan didn’t even try. Whoever was nearby, it was up to them to save Dan and Tommy.


And that was it. I was the set up post for the entire thing; my dynamic duo of Tommy and Dan were going to get rescued by a Starfleet vessel, their past as former S31 agents would be brought up, they would get captured, and things would go from there. Unfortunately, it never got that far, but Tommy and Dan had been created.

As you can see through some of the interactions, Tommy and Dan had a weird, if not fun, dynamic which I found hard to forget about. I mean, they were just created for an RPG but since it was dead, they had no where to go. I felt bad for them, so I wanted to really use them for something; by this point we’re in late 2009, early 2010. I had just completed the second book of the Star Trek Chronicles series and was in need of a bit of a break…I wanted to write other characters; I wanted to explore other things.

I was a bit burned out on the Pearl crew. I mean, you can write the same characters so often it just kinda grates on you after awhile and this was where I was at. So, I decided to turn my attention to the question of Tommy and Dan but I really didn’t have a place to start.

And then a challenge on Ad Astra caught my attention. It was the Academy Hi-Jinks Challenge and I was looking to actually use Hank initially for the challenge, but it went no where. Luckily, it was extended and I got a chance to start development from scratch; so I decided to take my Tommy character and rename him Vick (because that seemed so much cooler) and explore exactly how he became a Section 31 agent.

That exploration turned into the story One Damned Prank which won that challenge in a close vote and seemed to really make an impression on people. That’s when the rest of the details began falling into place for Vick; I knew I had a character that seemed to be interesting to people (always a good thing) and I wanted to make his story a rather sad and tragic one (very much matching the vibe of the story he premiered in). So, all that being said, I was going to take Vick down a dark and twisty path that offered little hope of redemption; I was going to put this guy through hell and back.

You see, Vick would run a lot of ops for S31, but his first one was written about in Gusts and Gales. It was there were Vick would sell off the first piece of his soul and from that point on the slide began. Vick would engage in more depravity and feel even less about it. He was becoming a cold and ruthless weapon, exactly what S31 wanted; but they misjudged just how dead he was inside when they sent him on a two year undercover mission.

On that mission, Vick was supposed to get close to a very powerful Orion Syndicate family; he married into it and slowly worked his way up the food chain. The problem was, he was given orders to kill them, all of them…including his wife. Here’s an excerpt;


It was later that night when Vick was standing inside the house, his wife in his arms. He had married her two years ago to get into the Syndicate…to go deep undercover. He had never imagined…never guessed the feelings she would unlock in him. And now…those very same feelings he had treasured for these last two years were his greatest weakness. “You have to promise me, T’alyn-promise to keep your end of the bargain.”

She looked up to him, her eyes full of confusion. “I don’t understand any of this…not at all. You have to get me away from here, but I can’t be with you…you have to place me in the care of others, but you don’t who they are or where they’ll take me. Worst of all, you expect me to do this while my family is left behind…and while I leave you behind.” She pulled herself from her arms and stood angrily. “This isn’t right!”

Vick stood quickly, his hands reaching out for her arms, gripping them tightly. He pulled her in close, his face full of conviction and anger. “Don’t fight me on this! You will die if you stay here, do you understand?! You. Will. Die. Isn’t that clear to you? I…I have to get you away, and I can’t know where you’re going…I don’t know even if the people I have coming are trustworthy…but I have no choice. You have to go…and you have to leave me behind. You can’t attempt to find me…you wouldn’t anyway.”

“So what should I do?! Sit and wait for you?! Grow old looking to the sky, wondering when you’ll arrive?!” Tears streamed down her face and she ripped herself away. “I refuse! Do you hear me, I refuse!” She began to walk towards the door, her movement fast and angry.

Vick was left with no choice. He brought a small phaser out and fired it, stunning her to the ground. She collapsed into a pile.

He bent down, picking her up, cradling her form for a moment. He kissed her lightly on the lips and pulled away. “I’ll find you…I swear.” He placed a small holographic chip into her pocket, where she was sure to notice it. That would explain everything…his life, his job…why they were married. He hoped, as much as he ever hoped in his entire life, that she would understand some of it…any of it. He knew though, that the reality was she’d probably hate him for as long as she lived. Maybe he should just let her live the lie…maybe it would be better to keep her blissfully unaware.

But then, love…love had no boundaries, no secrets…if he really loved her, he would have to tell her the truth.

After considering these things, he carefully made sure the chip was secure in her pocket, and then stood. He tapped the combadge for the signal, and then attached it to her shirt. In a glimmer of blue light she vanished.

In those seconds, what was left of his heart went with her.


Vick would carry out his orders, killing the family, but instead of a painless death as S31 promised with the transporter scramblers he was given, the family instead died a very painful death and Vick would have those memories with him for the rest of his life. This is where he began to plan his escape from S31…to get away from them, to find his wife, to redeem himself for all the sins he had committed.

But before I could do any of that, I needed to figure out the other half of the dynamic duo. Dan was going to act as the anchor that kept Vick in this world, I knew that, but as to how Dan was going to do that…what Dan was like…I didn’t know. First thing that had to change was the name though…Dan did not enthuse me so I decided to give it a more friendly flare and changed it to Danny.

But as to why he got his last name Scott, well, that’s due to one person alone, SLWalker. You see, SLWalker had written a lot of great Scotty stories; she really fleshed out the life of that character in a way that will likely never be matched in my mind, it’s just that good. Those stories and more can be found here.

Anyways, Danny ended up with the last name Scott simply because of my adoration for the way SLWalker wrote Scotty. Now, it’s never stated in canon that Scotty ever had any kids or any flings that resulted in kids (I somehow doubt he ever did) and I never make that connection between Danny and Scotty. The extended Scott family carried on Scotty’s legacy and were always looking for the next Scotty. Fast forward a few generations later, and we arrive at Danny who was slated to be the next great engineer from the Scott family.

Except, Danny really didn’t want that. He’d been pushed into it as a kid and he was hugely resentful of it by the time he was approaching his pre-teen years. That resentment and the family discourse in general is covered in Traditions. It’s here that a few things about Danny are revealed; firstly, he doesn’t want to be the next Scotty and secondly, that his mother is physically abusive towards him. This would play a huge part in Danny’s development as a person as hope would be something he eternally held onto for his mother and his family in general; hope that his mother would change for the better, hope that his family wouldn’t force him to go into Starfleet, hope that things didn’t have to go down the path they were seemingly destined to.

Sadly, Danny’s hopes never came true. He ended up at the academy, flunked out after two years, and was recruited by Section 31 to work with them. Danny, who had no future as it was, joined up with them because he thought as least there he could make a difference. He was a disappointment to his family and he felt like he failed them…he wanted to lessen that feeling, hence why S31’s offer to work for them was so quickly accepted.

Danny, being the friendly, talktive, somewhat annoying, blabber mouth that he was was quite intelligent; he was charming, cocky, and not S31 material really…which is exactly why he was made an S31 agent. No one would ever suspect him. Vick and Danny would work a few ops together but when Vick made his escape attempt Danny joined up with him. It was completely unplanned, spur of the moment, but Danny liked Vick; he was his friend and Danny is fiercely loyal to friends. So, he helped Vick escape (much to Vick’s dislike) and the two from that point on were together. They would remain so for many years.

The dynamics between them, their own story, and how they were further explored I’ll get into next time. As always, any and all comments are welcome and thanks for reading.

Hank’s Near Death Experience

It’s not often that I struggle with doing something to a character. I didn’t get the moniker “King of Character Torture” for nothing after all; characters-mine and others-share a particular dislike for me simply because I come up with new and horrible ways to torture them. Conflict breeds a good story (along with other things) and conflict often involves people getting hurt, in one or another, in real life. So, when I write conflict, somebody is usually going to get “tortured” in one way or another; physically, emotionally, mentally, ect. Characters get tortured in my stories and that’s the way it goes.

One in particular however, my very first fanfic character Captain Henry “Hank” Harrison, always gives me trouble when I try to torture him. Now, I could utterly spoil everything I’ve done to him but that’s literally a few stories in of itself. Basically, I’ve made this guy go through a lot of different kinds of hell. Romantically, he’s always pining for a girl he never quite seems to find the courage to go all the way with. In his career, he’s a bit of a black sheep and Starfleet doesn’t really like him, but doesn’t exactly hate him. When he manages to land his posting aboard the Pearl as her captain after serving a few years as captain of the science vessel Galloway, things seem to be looking up.

And then I throw him into a nasty storm of events that has a lot of political, social, and other ramifications at stake. A battle happens, people die, he gets captured, he gets tortured (in more ways than one), and generally his life is complete hell for a few months. All this I do to this guy and I find it hard to.

Which is why towards the end of Star Trek Chronicles: Old Foes and New Allies (the second book of the Chronicles series) I was going to finally do away with Hank Harrison. My valiant captain. My first fanfic character and easily the most likely character I had…he was going to die. His head was going to be on my mantle…he was going to be the first “major” character I had ever killed and it would be a moment that would echo throughout the cosmos.

Okay, maybe not the cosmos, but certainly the story itself. I was dead set on ending Hank Harrison. Why, do you ask, would I kill off my most likable and popular character? Well, the answer is in the question itself. Hank was (and still is) SO likable and SO popular. It frankly annoyed me when I was writing the second book how often people would read a chapter and focus solely on Hank-even when he wasn’t in the chapter.

Book II of the Chronicles series shifted focus on a number of fronts; lots of different perspectives and characters were seen. In retrospect, probably too many were seen, but at the time I thought it was a good play. Hank wasn’t in every chapter; in fact, he probably appeared in about a third of the book. Which is why when people left feedback on the story and the first sentence usually pointed out the obvious fact (to me anyway) that Hank wasn’t featured in that chapter, it got me angry.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love feedback. I love reviews. You could completely trash my chapter and my story as a whole and I’d love the feedback anyway. But as a writer when you focus on other characters and plots in a story and people gloss over them to ask you about one character and plot…well, it gets tiresome. This was a situation where a character had grown to overshadow the story.

Which meant the character had to die, in my mind. Hank had to die in order for the rest of the story to live. So deadset (ha?) on this that I actually wrote the ending of Book II with Hank dead. I committed to it. He was a goner. Don’t believe me? “Oh, trekfan’s not really serious” you say. All right, fine; read about it. Be warned, it was written nearly three years ago, so it’s rough, but here it is:

The death of Hank Harrison-End of Book 2

The bridge was in shambles as the fire around him made his skin burn. Maxwell was still alive but that didn’t matter.

The massive vessel was ahead of them still, destroying Romulan ships without so much as a thought. The Pearl was barely holding her own against the onslaught. Her hull was blackened by burn and hull breeches, but she still fought on. She wouldn’t give up. No one on board would give up.

Hank reached over and rolled Maxwell over. Breathing and awake. “Still…going?”

Maxwell coughed blood. “I can keep going…just the same…as you.”

Hank smiled. “Any ideas?”

Maxwell struggled to his feet. “We’re weaponless with barely any propulsion.”

Hank gripped the arm of the captain’s chair and pulled himself up. “The battle is raging around us…” he winced as he put weight on his leg.

Maxwell noticed. “Maybe you should sit.”

He stared at him with determination. “If you can stand, so can I.”

“Have it your way.” The old man moved towards the helm and looked over it. “We have 1/16th impulse. Barely. Don’t know how the hell we do.”

Hank grinned. “I managed to save some power.”

“Smart boy.” Maxwell turned to him and stood tall. “Only one thing left to do. We can save them.”

Hank nodded. “Yes, we can. The warp core will cause a huge dent in their hull. They won’t survive.”

Maxwell bit his lip. “Those assholes are dead.”

The two men turned towards the viewscreen and watched it as they approached the hull of the ship.

“Do we have shields?”

Hank shook his head. “Nope.”

Maxwell shrugged. “Worth asking.”

Hank slid into the captain’s chair, his mind racing. He was going to die. All the friends he hadn’t seen in months, all the family he wished he could have said one last goodbye to, all of that was wishful thinking. He would never see them again.

He would never see Nick’s smiling face at one of his jokes, never hear Bethany sing again, and he would never see Nick’s child. Boy or girl. Hell, he would even miss Ashley’s sister, Brittany. She did nothing but insult him.

He would miss so much. So much.

He looked at Maxwell. “You said you had family?”

Maxwell barely nodded. “Adopted, yes. Haven’t seen them in three years, but when I did…there was a little boy. It was their son, barely six months old. He was a looker.”

“Was going to get all the ladies?”

Maxwell smiled weakly. “Guaranteed.” He sank down into the helm’s seat and stared wistfully at the screen. “Been one hell of a battle.”

“Sure has.”

“Harrison, you ever think about getting married?”

Hank took a sharp breath. “One day. I hoped.”

“Yeah, it’s good being married. You’ll never quite feel as close to a person as you will to your spouse. It’s why I could never remarry. Things would just get…too messy.”

“I had a girl all picked out, you know?”

Maxwell turned to look at him. “Really?”

“She was beautiful. Wish I could have seen her one last time.”

A hail was coming through. Hank recognized the tone of the computer. Maxwell did too and he quickly put it onscreen.

It was Nick. He was bruised and bloody, but he was still alive. The Pearl was barely in any better shape than they were. His face lit up at seeing him.

“Hank?! You’re alive!!!”

Hank grinned. “I can see you are too. Go figure.”

Nick smiled. “We can beam you onboard. Just activate a communicator and we can hone in on you.”

Hank looked over to Maxwell. “And him?”

Nick shook his head. “We have enough for one. Just one.”

The screen began to fade and then it just went. It returned back to the view of the battle and Hank looked at Maxwell sadly.

The old man just nodded. “I got nothing to live for. My life’s pretty much over anyway. It’s okay Harrison.”

“I won‘t leave you behind.”

“You don’t have a damned choice. You’re leg is bum, I can outrun you all around this bridge until they beam you off.”

“You don’t have to stay, come with me!”

“You heard them, they have enough for one. One Harrison. You introduce another body to that transporter beam and we both die. Or worse yet become fused,” he huffed angrily. “Suck it up and go. Activate the damned communicator. The more time you waste the more likely we both die.”

Hank looked at the combadge on his chest and felt a heavy burden. He couldn’t leave him. He had never left a person behind before, and even though he didn’t like Maxwell a lot, he wasn’t going to condemn a good man to death. Maxwell was a good man. Hank had found that much out in his short time with him.

He struggled to his feet. “You have to come with me. We can risk it, I have faith in my transporter chief. She can do it.”

Maxwell walked to him, still coughing blood. “Damn you, it doesn’t work like that. I’ll activate the damned thing for you if you don’t.”

Hank was left with few choices. He took off the pips on his collar and gave them to Maxwell. He then extended his hand, a sad smirk on his face. “Good luck Captain.”

Maxwell stared at the pips in his hand and grasped them tightly. He extended his other hand and shook Hank’s. “Thank you.”


Karrie watched as she received the signal she had waited for. It was time. There was a battle going on around them and she had to be precise and careful. She only got one shot at this.

Her hands flew over the controls and the transporter whined to life. The power was barely there, barely enough for one person. She had to be careful…

She saw a form began to take shape on the transporter pad and she quickly adjusted the confinement beam, bringing the transporter to its optimal condition just to make sure he got in.

She didn’t believe she’d ever see Captain Harrison again. She didn’t believe he would ever be back.

The transport was done and she looked up.

“Son of a bitch.” The old man sank to the floor his eyes hollow with horror.


“Transport is complete!” Bethany reported excitedly. Nick could understand. The entire bridge was brightened by the news.

“Shields are at 10%!” Mark called.

They had to leave. Nothing more they could do here. They had Worf and the rest of the Valiant survivors. It was time to pull out of this place and leave. He had Hank back. He had his best friend back.

“Sir, receiving a hail from the Hayes.”

 Nick took a sharp breath. “On screen.”

The view changed from the battle to the eyes of a saddened man.

Nick felt like someone had punched him in the gut. He wasn’t prepared for it.

The rest of the bridge went silent.

Hank Harrison just grinned. “I’m sorry. It’s not right for him to have to die. He doesn’t deserve it.”

Nick quickly regained his composure and turned to Chris. “I need more power for the transporter!”

Chris just stared at the screen. “No more. We’re out.”

The realization began to sink in and Nick turned towards his friend confused. “Why?! Why?!”

“I’m sorry Nick. I couldn’t watch him die. The captain goes down with his ship.”

“No…” Bethany stood from her seat, her eyes tear filled. “Please, don’t.”

Hank’s eyes locked on hers. “I wish…” he looked down. “No time for regrets. You have to move on.”

Hank’s eyes turned towards the Walker brothers. “Mark, you’re going to make a great captain one day. You’re going to be the best.” He grinned happily. “Chris, run engineering anyway you want. Keep the ship alive.”

Both of them just stared at him.

“You’re the best crew I’ve ever served with. You’re my family. Goodbye,” he saluted and the transmission cut out.

Nick and the entire bridge watched as the Hayes plowed right into the middle of the massive enemy vessel. The hull of the Hayes tore away and the warp core exploded in a bright flash, putting a huge hole in the enemy.

The ship itself began to crumble from the impact and soon it exploded in a bright orange flash.

The day was saved.

Hank Harrison was dead. 


See, there you go. He died. He was done there and he was never going to come back.

However, there was a problem with Hank’s death; though I had killed him off in the story and the rest of the series, leaving all kinds of things a mess and shifting the focus off him (finally) Hank Harrison WOULD NOT DIE. He kept going in my head. I killed him off in the writing but I could not kill him off in my head. He wouldn’t go away.

Days on end I tried and tried to kill him off in my mind. And for days on end Hank continued going on. It was like I was trying to kill a part of myself off and I couldn’t. I consulted with some fellow authors and they agreed; if the character was still talking to me, if the character refused to go away, it meant that there was still a story to be told there.

In other words, Hank couldn’t die then. He had too much to live for, so to speak. Unfinished business I guess you could call it. I don’t know what to officially name it but he was assuredly not done. So, I amended the ending and restored Hank back to life. I still ended Book II on a cliffhanger, simply because I thought it was cool-which in retrospect, again, may have been a bad call-but I generally felt better with Hank alive than dead.

And that was Hank’s near death experience. He was this close to dying for good. I was going to kill him for the wrong reasons really. I was tired of his popularity overshadowing the story. I was tired of him dominating the conversation when it came to characters in my story. But what it really all boiled down to was that I was jealous of one of my own characters; that’s messed up.

Today, Hank and I are cool. I write him often in various spots-challenges, weekly prompts, and even short stories here and there. But mind you, he was just a few clicks of the mouse away from being dead for good.Thankfully, he’s still alive and well.

But just because he’s alive doesn’t mean he misses out on a eulogy. 😉