22 Dec 2016

The Soul Blade Chapter 12 - Commentary

Brenna tells the police how she knew about the body, in The Soul Blade Chapter 12.  The commentary continues after the break; it's longer than normal today.

Brenna stopped her investigation, with some prompting from Grace, but the police are still at it.  McCoy is chasing down every lead he has, and a woman who has knowledge of a body and can piece out that there's a serial killer gets to be a suspect.  Brenna coming clean about how she knew doesn't help.  Serial killers already aren't known for having a strong grasp on reality.  There is a masquerade in urban fantasy, the supernatural hanging off at the periphery of human society.  Most people aren't aware, and dismiss claims as stories and mental problems.

McCoy has many questions.  He wants to understand, but his experience as a police officer really hasn't prepared him for the supernatural, even with Brenna and Joni before her around, protecting the city from ghosts.  There have probably been odd reports that could be linked to their doings, but nothing that would result in arrests.

Brenna finally gets a dinner date with Matt.  Sure, she can't dress up for him like she wanted, and her skirt's damaged, but it's a step forward.  The name of the Chinese buffet comes from the Arrogant Worms song, "Wong's Chinese Buffet".  If there is a real Wong's, it's a coincidence.  I chose a Chinese buffet because finding vegetarian options at one is easier, especially in the middle of a writing frenzy.  All I had to do is take a look at an online menu or two.

Matt managed to fluster Brenna, which, admittedly, isn't difficult.  The change he sees in her reflects how the character evolved over time in my head.  Brenna's original concept had her in her mid- to late-teens, and as I used her elsewhere, she kept aging up.  For a comparison, here's an early appearance, at age sixteen, from 2000:

"Bren, what's wrong?" Sylvia persisted.  "I've never seen you act that way."

Brenna buried her head in her hands as the elevator continued down.  "I -I d-d-d-don't kn-know."  The impulses she felt for Colin still tugged at her, but not as strong as they were around him.  "H-h-he p-pr-probably h-h-hates m-m-me."

"He didn't seem to hate you.  Missy and I were more surprised about what you said than he was.  I never would have expected you to suggest he join us on the roof."

"I d-d-d-didn't m-mean to s-s-say that."  Brenna blushed bright red.

"Bren, it's okay.  I almost made the same suggestion."

"You d-did?"

Sylvia took a step back as Brenna's expression turned fierce.  "Brenna, get a grip.  I'm only joking."

Brenna blinked, then realized what she was doing.  "S-s-s-s-sorry."

The elevator door opened on the ground floor.  Sylvia led Brenna out of the building to their bikes.  "Brenna, we have to talk.  Something is not right with you."

"I kn-kn-know." Brenna stammered.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm n-n-n-not s-s-sure."

"At all?  Nothing to do with that Soul-thingy?"

"I d-d-d-don't kn-kn-kn-know."  Brenna felt tears in the corner of her eyes.  "I h-h-have to g-g-get h-home."

"Call me, Bren," Sylvia said.  "We need to talk."
The stutter disappeared for the sake of typing speed.  In my head, losing her stutter helped her seem more mature and in control.  Brenna still has issues, but is more able to deal with most of them.  Being called attractive isn't one she can handle, but she's not alone.  It's a trope that attractive women aren't always aware of their looks, or are far harsher on themselves than other people, but it is based in reality.

Dr. Womack's prescription is working.  Brenna's still seated, and she's able to ask the questions she wants answers to, even if there's the possiblity that she won't like the responses.  As a result, she does build her relationship with Matt.  Her duties have her out and about at odd hours, and she's trying to make a living off her craft work.  They have a chance at making the relationship work, as long as Matt has no problems with her abilities.

Tomorrow, Tricia's back on the prowl, in The Soul Blade Chapter 13.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, darlings.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, The Real Ghostbusters.

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