Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Character Study: Craig Fontaine

This is the seventh in a series of character introductions associated with my book, My New-Found Land.

During the darkest days of the resource wars, when secession movements were splitting the nation apart, the army couldn't stand on niceties. James and Delia Fontaine had a young son to care for, but that was what grandmothers were for. Fit young people were needed for the war effort.

Craig never saw his parents again. He and his grandmother weren't even given bodies to bury.

His parents' last instructions were to stay in school and study hard, so Craig did. And when the wars ended, he found himself in the vanguard of a new elite of young men and women who were ready to rise rapidly through the ranks of local and national government. With few members of an older generation to slow them down, they could rise as far and fast as their abilities would take them.

And so at only twenty years old, Craig found his success hindered only by his grandmother. The woman who had raised him and been strong for all those years of doubt, worry and loss, had succumbed to the temptations of the bottle and the bitterness of her memories. Caring for her while holding down a job left Craig no time for a girlfriend or even much of a social life. By the time he finished a long day at the office and stood in line at the stores for whatever food might be available, what little time he had for himself was given over to the needs of his increasingly senile and drunken grandmother.

Sometimes he wishes she would die, then he hates himself for thinking such a thing about the woman who sacrificed so much for him. Then just as things might be looking up, Grandma goes and scares off another potential girlfriend, fires another cook or cleaning lady, and Craig wonders once again if he shouldn't just dump her in a displaced persons camp somewhere and pretend he never knew her. He can't even have a girl stay the night as a guest without his grandmother thinking the worst and attacking the poor girl, calling her filthy names!

It's just too much some days. Craig owes his grandmother a heck of a lot, but he deserves a life too.

REMINDER: My New-Found Land is available in print or download at my Lulu Storefront. If you buy in September, let me know so I can enter you in a drawing for promotional giveaways!

1 comment:

Alice Audrey said...

That really was a hard scene to read. His situation is so bitter.