Sunday, September 30, 2007

Character Study: Euclid Tanner

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

He had no idea where his parents came up with the dumb name Euclid. That’s why he made sure people called him Tanner. Just the one name, like people did in some of those foreign countries he heard about.

Tanner was always hearing about things. He had to keep his ears open and his mind sharp because you could never tell when some random piece of information might save your ass. He had already perfected his listening skills by the time he left his mother’s house at fourteen. She ran a business in drugs and black market goods and Tanner learned everything he could from her, especially the consequences of getting addicted to your own product.

Tanner wouldn’t make that mistake.

Clever and with a gift for telling tales, Tanner honed his skills at cheating, stealing and dealing in stolen goods on the streets of cities all across the Southwest, moving on whenever too many people got wise to his ways. A rootless life suited him. It was a grand way to be young.

But then he reached his thirties and began wondering if there wasn’t more he could be doing with his life. His desire to scam his way into respectability dovetailed neatly with the ambitions of one of his street buddies, who knew of a tent city growing up around some lakes near Roswell. “Where the space aliens go, you know,” Gilchrist said.

Tanner wasn’t sure what space men might need from a store, but humans always needed something and the tent city had nothing. It was a golden opportunity, and if there were aliens around, the more the merrier. Tanner would take anyone’s money.

And so would Gilchrist. Their store had no sooner began to prosper when they began arguing over who was entitled to what. Old habits die hard, and Tanner took what he thought was fair (which was anything of value he could carry on his person) and snuck out into the cold winter night.

Tanner was clever, but so was Gilchrist, who sent a posse to catch him. Tanner escaped with his life, but just barely. It would’ve been a disaster, but for the fact that his rescuers were two pretty girls traveling alone in the mountains. The brown-eyed ex-soldier clearly didn’t trust him, but the other one-- the cute blonde Texan from a rich family, was a total innocent and might just be good for something.

And sex, though it would be nice, wasn’t quite what Tanner had in mind.

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...

This really rounds out his character.