um... not sure if this should go here....
its a kind of possible character introduction that was suggested to me earlier. the character in question is simply called The Caretaker (his job speaks for itself, really).
i havnt really gone into much detail about his looks and past as i thought that it might be something to develop later.
also... the thing is, all of you produce such exceptional work that im not sure if this comes up to scratch. i call it a "drive-by typing" because it was basically shot out quickly without me thinking about it too much. or editing it much, for that matter.
if i stop to think about what im actually *doing* my mind goes blank.
im still not sure if i am doing this "right", but i hope that you have a good read. feel free to comment and critique too!
(PS.. apologies if its a bit of an epic...i have yet to get the hang of writing short stuff!)
With a rattle of keys and a decisive clunk, the Caretaker locked another door. He was halfway through the nightly lockdown of the site with only an hour to. The site was huge and he faced yet another corridor. It stretched before him, an endless supply it seemed. Flicking the light switch, the Caretaker was instantly plunged into gloom; only the dim moonlight was left, leaving the Caretaker as a shadowy form.
The faint jingle of the Caretakers keys and the squeaking of his shoes made a strange counterpoint to the eerie sounds of the building settling for the night. Lights that had been on all day creaked and ticked as they cooled, the slow, archaic heating system grumbled and moaned through the pipes. Sometimes it sounded as if there was someone there. Hiding in the darkness. Even though the Caretaker recognised the sounds for what they were, they still sometimes disturbed him. His imagination was sometimes too vivid for his liking.
The lockdown was always simple. All the Caretaker had to do was to go from one end of the site to the other and lock all the doors as he passed them, and turning off the lights as he went. The important thing was to make sure that he had not locked anyone in, and also making sure that nobody could break in either. Intruders were always a faint possibility, either thieves or bored troublemakers. The Caretaker took his job seriously, although he was not quite sure what he would do if he ever found someone lurking. What he *did* know was that he wouldn’t and couldn’t back down if challenged, no matter what the odds. The Caretaker had been through some dark times in the past and now he simply refused to let anyone dominate him ever again.
As he walked down the corridor he could see his next destination. Another set of double doors lay ahead of him, the light from the corridor beyond glowed through the window panel of the door. The Caretaker felt a strange trepidation as he approached. The two squares of light, surrounded by near darkness seemed to him to look like demonic eyes. He thought it odd that the prospect of leaving the darkness and stepping into the light should make him feel nervous.
Shaking off such irrational thoughts, the Caretaker strode through the doors. As he selected the key from the bunch clipped to his belt, the doors swung shut and slammed with a loud boom that echoed down the corridor. One more section of the old building was secured. Only the theatre and Library to go.
The Caretakers route was such that he entered the theatre from the rear of the stage. There always seemed to be something very powerful in the air when he entered the theatre at night. It wasn’t just the primordial nervousness that darkness brings. It was almost like the stage was a funnel that sucked in and stored all the emotions wrought within such a place. For years, hundreds of people laughed and cried here; almost daily the actors put their souls into their chosen parts, willing themselves and the audience into realms of imagination and disbelief.
The Caretaker, wreathed in darkness and silence, stood centre-stage, he could almost feel the walls of the theatre projecting all the past feelings at him. Standing there, with a shivering tingle racing through his body he could almost believe that the theatre was alive. His vivid imagination was awash with the emotions that were brought forth from the actors of the past. He could almost see the wraithlike figures, translucent, and shimmering, eternally acting out their scenes upon the very stage which he stood.
It was the sharp jab of fear that brought him out of his reverie. Feeling nervous but shaking his head ruefully at his thoughts, the Caretaker started walking again. His last location, the Library was just ahead.
Strangely, the Library at night never bothered the Caretaker. It always seemed to him a place of introspection and solitude. A place of peace and safety. The eternal stillness of the place made him realise just how lonely he was. Not just lonely, but alone. Away from the routines of his job he was adrift. No lover to comfort him, no companion, no real friends that he could call upon. Just himself, the Caretaker. It seemed to him that at times he was as visible in the daytime as he was while he was locking up in the dark, that he only noticed when there was something menial, or something “sticky” to clear up.
It was a very rueful and melancholy Caretaker that finally arrived at the library entrance. He was used to ruminating over such thoughts and was not averse to “facing his demons”. He also knew that some positive thinking would bring him round. Stepping quietly through the library doors the Caretaker paused for a moment. He always felt like a welcome stranger here. Although the Librarian practically lived in the library, he was very rarely seen by the Caretaker. When seen, he was usually busy with his books. The Caretaker was used to being on the outside of social circles and he felt certain empathy for this quiet, unassuming person. The Caretaker also suspected that the Librarian had more depth than he showed, and that if his books or Library was threatened in any way, he would defend them with ferocity.
Quietly leaving the Library, the Caretaker went back to his quarters, resolutely thinking that no harm will come to that library. At least not on *his* watch………