Quartz is back and he’s seated in a chair too big for him, scowling at the slender youth sitting opposite him.
Quartz: One, I’m still not convinced you’re a Secondary Character, Christopher.
Christopher: It depends on what book…or story…I’m in.
Quartz: You’re the main character in Stealing Myself From Shadows, which our slug of a scribbler is still revising.
Christopher: You’re the main character in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, congratulations on the rough draft, by the way.
Quartz: Doesn’t matter. The scribbler wants everything in the plot and its subplots just so so she’s rewriting the whole thing. Right. I’ve seen how she dithers over your stories with that excuse.
Christopher: Like The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, which I am a secondary character in.
Quartz: As if you have anything to complain about. I was a deceased secondary character in Fairest which is once more homeless and off the market.
Christopher: I think our scribbler is realizing she’ll have to deal with self-publishing. She’s running out of excuses to put it off.
Quartz: Aye, which is why she picked up Stealing Myself From Shadows, returning to its long-neglected revision.
Christopher: She’s working on a draft that merges Waiting for Rebirth, Unwilling to Be Yours, and Be My Valentine…Snack with the rest of Stealing Myself From Shadows.
Quartz: Makes sense. Waiting for Rebirth shows your major motivation for everything you do in Stealing Myself From Shadows, being Damian, Damian, and oh, right, more Damian.
Christopher: It’s not all for Damian.
Quartz: Right. Some of it’s for Danyel and Tayel, some of it’s for Peter, but it’s mostly about Damian.
Christopher: True. Sort of like how you’re trying to make your motivations about family, the crystals, living a simple life until your Fairest comes along. It’s never about Nimmie Not, at least you won’t admit it is.
Quartz: That’s nothing alike! Well, perhaps a little but not much!
Christopher: Quartz, readers will see things from your perspective in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, events which were seen briefly or summarized in Fairest. There’s no point in denying your feelings.
Quartz: I’m not denying them!
Christopher: We’ll also learn the origin of Oriana’s magic mirror, won’t we?
Quartz: Shards, the amount of junk in Prue’s lair mixed up with treasure is staggering. Seems any kobold can just walk it and carry something dangerous out…hold your boulders! Stop distracting me!
Christopher: I’m distracting you?
Quartz: Aye, not just from your needling, but from my original second point!
Christopher: Which is?
Quartz: Two, I usually do Secondary Characters Speak Out at the end of the month! You booted me out of my usual spot with your multi-part vacation with Damian.
Christopher: Oh, sorry, did you want to go on vacation with Nimmie Not? It’s not my fault if you missed your opportunity.
Quartz: (nose turns a furious shade of red) That’s not the point!
Christopher: First, I didn’t exactly go on vacation. That journey with Damian was all part of Conversations with Christopher. Second, Mondays at the Cauldron are not your usual spot. Your usual spot was taken from you when the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron ran dry due to upgrades. You came here after that happened and started booting me out monthly for Secondary Characters Speak Out.
Quartz: You get so sassy after spending time with Damian. As if you’re not here most Mondays.
Christopher: There’s been booting on both sides, thanks to our scribbler.
Quartz: Right. It’s all the scribbler’s fault. (He pauses.) Come to think of it, it is.
Christopher: Isn’t it usually?