Quartz: Why? Why did I even try to talk to that woman? (Quartz strides back and forth through the steaming fog background of the Cauldron.) What was I trying to prove?
Christopher: (He blinks as if waking and becoming aware of his surroundings, including the presence of a character from not only different stories, but a completely different universe.) Hello, Quartz? Shouldn’t you be interviewing someone for Secondary Characters Speak Out right now?
Quartz: I am. At the Formely Forbidden Cauldron right now. Or I’ve already done it and I’m having an after the interview lament on the scribbler’s Facebook Author Page. (He looks up to glower at any readers who might be at this blog, beard bristling.) That’s right. If you want to know what I’m talking about, go inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. Unless you’re reading the reflection at K.S. Trenten’s Amazon Author Page. If the latter is so, it’s afterwards for you, too.
Christopher: What happened, Quartz? Why are you here?
Quartz: Exactly! Why am I here? Why am I talking to you? It was your villain’s suggestion I do it!
Christopher: My villain?
Quartz: Yes, your villain, antagonist, foil, father figure, lover, cousin, master, whatever! (He balls his hands into fists.) Don’t expect me to make sense of your relationship with him. You can’t even make sense of your relationship with him!
Christopher: That describes a lot of ‘hims’ in my existence.
Quartz: I’m talking about Dyvian. Sometimes he swaggers around, calling himself Once Upon a Time or the Voice of Seraphix, but you know him as Dyvian. You do know him, don’t you?
Christopher: Of course I do.
Quartz: Don’t “of course” me. Memory is a funny thing with you. Anyway I’m trying to talk about me here. Not you!
Christopher: I didn’t-
Quartz: Typical main character, trying to make it all about him. (He grumbles.)
Christopher: You’re becoming a main character yourself, remember?
Quartz: If my story ever gets told. It may not. I’m just a minor, deceased character in a Nine Star Press anthology and Nine Star Press is no longer accepting stories, except those having to do with holidays. I shudder to think what sort of a festive situation I’ll be crammed into with Nimmie Nott. Especially if Oriana decides to join in the fun.
Christopher: I’m getting more and more confused. What happened?
Quartz: I talked to Oriana. Had her a guest on Secondary Characters Speak Out.
Quartz: Don’t look at me like that! It was all Dyvian’s idea. He made me think, well, wonder if maybe it would be better to face Oriana. If I wouldn’t get stronger if I finally did it.
Christopher: And Oriana agreed to meet you? To become a guest on Secondary Characters Speak Out?
Quartz: Not only that. She agreed to just about everything I said.
Christopher: Perhaps she means it. Perhaps she’s sorry for what she did to you and Briar.
Quartz: Hah! It’s more like that she’s up to something.
Christopher: She could be, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t sorry. Her story is over, Quartz.
Quartz: No, it isn’t. It’s never over. Not in the scribbler’s head. Now Oriana is threatening to become part of my story!
Christopher: Well, she might be part of your story. If you relive part of your life with Briar at the cottage, she will turn up.
Quartz: Turn up and ruin our lives. I don’t want to go through that again.
Christopher: I don’t blame you.
Quartz: Only she says she’s going to make things better. She’s going to prove to me she’s changed.
Christopher: Do you believe her?
Quartz: No, of course not! Well, not really. Actually I don’t know. I don’t know what to think. (He tugs at his beard as if he were Garnet.) I’m so confused!
Christopher: Welcome to the ranks of our scribbler’s main characters. (He offers Quartz a weary grin.) We’re usually confused.
Quartz: (He stops in his tracks.) Really.
Christopher: (He nods in comforting certainty.) Really.
Quartz: Thank you. Y’know, for a shadow, you’re not so bad.
Christopher: (He smiles a sweet, yet sinister smile.) Oh, I am, but I appreciate the thought.
Quartz: Right. (He tries not to shudder.)