Every story needs a moody cinnamon roll side character. The tortured, cynical, anxious one. Enter Earl!
He also may or may not also be my favorite… shhhh don’t tell the others….
Earl is a troubled and secretive young man with an abusive past that causes him to fear and avoid others, especially adults and those in authority. He struggles to connect and form meaningful relationships with his peers, and prefers to seek solace in his own mind. He wages war with his mind and the often anxious and self-destructive thoughts that creep in, which are only exasperated by the whisperings of his abuser that still linger in his psyche.
Earl was born in England, but has lived in Russia for the last five years. He was forced to learn Russian upon arrival but, despite both studying and interacting with the culture for years, is a poor speaker due to his lack of genuine interest. He loves reading, and takes any chance he can get to pick up a book. He also enjoys long walks by himself to contemplate and sort through the tangled mess of his thoughts and emotions.
Here are a few of Earl’s excerpts from the book!
‘Jealousy and longing flickered in Earl’s eyes for a moment, only to be replaced seconds later by something darker and hotter. “You’re lucky,” he muttered. “I wish I had been protected.”
“No, you don’t. Trust me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.” Earl stopped in his tracks and turned to face him. Simond stopped abruptly to keep from crashing into him.
“All due respect,” Earl stated, “but you have no idea how bad it could have been.”‘
‘“I don’t know who you’re used to dealing with or if you’re really just this arrogant, but the world doesn’t revolve around you,” Earl growled. “Other people exist in it, and they don’t live just to please you.”’
‘“This is a more direct way,” Earl said. “I can see a trail.”
“There’s nothing there.”
“Not for you. But I’m a pathfinder.”
“Sorry, I’m not up to date on Kinder lingo. What the heck is a pathfinder?”
“I can see light trails on the ground,” Earl said. “I focus on a person and their trail takes me right to them. It was really annoying when I was little and couldn’t control it. There were paths everywhere.”‘
‘“Earl!” she cried. Hopping from the bed, she ran to him. She hit him at full speed, nearly knocking him over with the force of her hug. He pulled her close, feeling her tears against his shirt as she snuggled into him. After a moment, he pushed her back and brushed a hand over her face. There were no signs of the abuse he had worried about. She glowed, her grin cheery and wide.‘
‘He stole a glance outside as one of the soldiers knocked on a black door. Beyond the pane dulled with frost it was snowing, and the sun peeked shyly from behind frozen grey clouds. Wisps of frostbitten grass quivered in the arctic wind. He longed to feel the breeze’s comforting kiss again.’
‘“Normals are all alike,” Earl grumbled, crossing his arms. “They don’t care about anyone or anything but themselves.”’
‘“Oooooh! Earl look!” She bounced in his arms and swung a hand around to point out a glowing display in a window. Red and green lights reflected on her skin as they stopped next to it, and her breath fogged up the glass as she leaned forward to look.
“Those are Christmas lights,” Earl said with a smile. She furrowed her tiny brow in confusion as they continued.
“What’s Christmas?” The smile on Earl’s face vanished, and he didn’t answer.‘
In everything, Earl gives 110% of himself. He is self sacrificing to the point of destruction. He is closed off and naturally difficult to read, a coping mechanism he developed over the years, which turns most people off of him. At the same time, he is highly disciplined and is able to put on a front to fit in with those around him when he so choses.