Supporting Characters: Liquid Death

In this “supporting characters” series, I am going to highlight the side characters in The Edinön Trilogy, starting with Liquid Death. The side characters include one-shots and recurring characters in the series; basically everyone (except the two main heroes and the main villains) who plays a significant role in the protagonists’ lives.

Liquid Death front cover

Liquid Death can be found on Amazon: Kindle | Paperback

The entire cast of Liquid Death:

Kandi, Juan, Leyla (Dr. L or Ms. Hendricks), Kyle, Eliza, Brock, Sam, Ned, Isaac, Jim, Jeremy, Talia, Traci, Alice, Sarah, Bill (Dr. B), Ashley (Dr. A or Miss Eddington), Marcy (Patient 100), Trevor, Owen, Time, Jun, Gabe, Alec, Carlos, Eliza’s mother, Mrs. Jameson, Chelsea, Michael, Principal Walker, Tim, Mac, Gran, Grandpa, Mr. Brown, Annoying Classmate, Destiny, Raul, Emanuel, Dr. Boon, Zeke, Emilio, Chuck

HIGHLIGHTS:

Samantha (Sam)

First appearance (Chapter 12: Juan – The Date): 

              A thud on the other side of the cellar abruptly startles me. I shrink into myself on the couch and cease breathing, hoping whoever made the noise doesn’t discover me here. Whoever lives here – I’m speculating an old man – would likely shoot the likes of me on the spot.

              “Okay, let’s see…” mutters a young woman with a Southern drawl. She trips on something and cusses. “Stupid Ned. He needs to clean up this dump before I kill myself.”

              She is talking to herself. How funny.

              I hear the clattering of glass bottles. “Ah, here it is,” the girl brightly remarks. She is behind the couch,and it sounds like she’s inching way too close for comfort. Her footsteps are light and delicate. I hear her shallowly breathing for a moment, and then she begins walking slowly around the couch…

              Nukes erupt in my head. Crap!

              I close my eyes.

              I feel a soft, round pair of buttocks press against my face before they suddenly fly into the air. The girl screams more profanity and steps back a few feet.

              I quickly open my eyes and sit up,but realize the moment I do this that I just made a terrific mistake. I’m going to throw up.

              “Who are you?” the girl squeals,clutching a bottle of wine in her hands as she looks at me with wide cerulean eyes.

              I cough and groan, unable to speak. My head falls back to the arm of the couch.

            “Oh, my gosh,” she gasps, cautiously walking toward me. “You don’t look well.” She hesitates before placing the bottle of wine down on an old coffee table. “I’m… I’m going to fetch Ned. Stay right there,” she orders before zipping off into some fairy tale land where someone named Ned might exist.

Liquid Death, page 145

***

Samantha is introduced as a potential “love interest” for Juan. Her purpose in the story is to challenge Juan’s loyalty to Kandi and provide him a semblance of normalcy (at least compared to what he is accustomed to) for a short period.

Brock

First appearance (Chapter 10: Juan – The Death Sentence):

              Someone flicks my forehead.

              “Hey, dude! Wake up!”

              I crack an eye open. A skeletal face framed by dark brown dreadlocks grins triumphantly, displaying yellowed teeth. My arid lips part, and a croak escapes. I feel like I’m waking up in a freezer six months after perishing in the Sahara. My skin is brittle and covered in ice. “Brock?” I whisper, 98 percent positive I am hallucinating.

              “That’s right. You share a room with me now. Pretty cool, huh?” He distances himself from my face, his eyes casually igniting in flame.

              I sit up and observe my surroundings. We share a small space – a padded room about fifteen feet long and ten feet wide – with no beds, just bedding, and a toilet and sink in the corner. Terrific.

              “So? What do you think?” Brock questions anxiously.

              I frown critically. “I suppose it’s an improvement.” Our previous shared accommodations had indeed been less agreeable. At least now we have a toilet.

              “Yeah, it’s pretty freaking great!” He laughs and purposefully bangs his head against the wall. “It’s soft, ha ha!”

              If an outsider were to tour this facility and meet only Brock, they would be convinced Blue Skys is a mental hospital. He is certifiably nuts. He watched his parents burn to death when he was only six, and has since been obsessed with and aroused by fire. He is currently my only friend. I flimsily pat the wall. “Yep, it sure is.”

              He squats on the floor like a monkey. “I am glad you’re back, 108. This place isn’t the same without you.”

              “Sorry, buddy.” I smile slyly. “But guess what?”

              “What?” Brock must be at least twenty-one now. He still looks thirty years older.

              “Guess.”

              His eyes illuminate. “Okay, okay! Um…” He puts his finger to his lips. “You… tried spinach, and you liked it?”

              I shake my head. “Nope. Try again.”

              His breaths accelerate. “You can control fire, too?”

              “Strike two.”

              He laughs and throws up his hands. “I give up! Tell me!”

              I scoot my body against the wall and sigh, my eyelids sagging with exhaustion. “I met Patient 1. She is here, in Blue Skys.”

              Brock’s jaw drops. “You’re joking.”

              “No. It’s true.”

              A tray of food and water slides under the door. My roommate ignores it. “What was she like?”

Liquid Death, pages 114-115

***

Brock was introduced as an example of what Theratocin, the main drug experimentally administered to the Patients of Blue Skys, can do to a person over an extended period, namely: make them crazy (a side-effect that is intensely amplified by Zidivin). He also serves as Juan’s friend and a source of critical information in the middle of the story.

Kyle Smith

First appearance (Chapter 1: Kandi – The New Aide):

              The doorbell rings then, shocking me into full alert. I slip on a ratty pair of jeans and an old sweatshirt before crossing the rickety house to the front door. I hear my uncle snoring like a chainsaw in the back room, which elicits a nauseating twist in my gut. I swallow bile and open the door. Ms. Hendricks stands on the other side in a lavender suit, her dark skin radiant in the early morning light.

              “Good morning, Kandi!” she greets with a smile that could blind half the block.

              I mutely follow her to her silver sedan and climb into the passenger seat. She buckles my seat belt for me, carefully avoiding physical contact. I lean my head back and close my eyes.

              “Kandi, I’d like you to meet your new aide, Kyle Smith.”

              I squeeze my eyelids together so tightly my eyeballs should be rolling free in my cranium.

              “Hey, Kandi. I’m Kyle.”

              This must be some kind of joke. What happened to my former aide? I keep my eyes closed through the duration of the ride, hoping they take the hint and pretend I don’t exist.

              “Don’t take this personally. She doesn’t talk to anybody.”

              “Oh, it’s fine, Doctor Hendricks. I’ve done my homework.”

              “Of course.” The car slows and halts. “Come on, sweetie.” I hear unbuckling seat belts and opening doors. Ms. Hendricks’ distinctive heel-clicking on the asphalt follows as she walks around the hood to open my door. My new buddy Kyle beats her to it.

              “You don’t need to worry, Kandi,” he assures me. “I won’t touch you.”             

              I open my eyes and slide out of the sedan, almost slipping on ice in the process. I catch and steady myself before I lower my gaze and follow them into the school.

Liquid Death, page 10

***

Kyle (or Dr. K) is one of the supporting antagonists and the catalyst for Kandi’s readmission into Blue Skys. His main purpose is to serve as Juan’s polar opposite in order to highlight how different Juan is from most guys (including Kandi’s former aide, Zach) around Kandi, and therefore reinforce the idea that he may be the One for her.

Eliza

First appearance (Chapter 4: Juan – The Girl):

              In Spanish class, I don’t see the kid who bothered me on my first day. In his place is a niña bonita with smooth black hair, heavy eye makeup and a low-cut, form-hugging top. Thank goodness.

              “Hey,” I whisper in her direction, “what’s your name?”

              “Eliza,” she answers while texting on her phone.

              I turn around and offer my hand. “I’m Juan.”

              She takes it slowly, brown eyes lighting up with intrigue. “Hola, Juan.”

              “Are you new here?”

              She shakes her head, earrings clinking. “No, I just switched classes. You’re the new kid everyone has been talking about, right?”

              “Everyone has been talking about me?”

              “Yeah.” She props her elbow on her desk and rests her chin on her fist. “You are the hot new muchacho malo from San Diego.”

              “Oh. Well…” I say, grinning humbly. “What lunch hour do you have?”

              Eliza simpers. “First. Same as you.”

              I narrow my eyes with pseudo suspicion. “Have you been stalking me?”

Liquid Death, page 51

***

Eliza is a friend of Juan’s, a Patient, and, like Brock, a source of information regarding Kandi.

Ashley (Dr. A or Miss Eddington)

First appearance (Chapter 2: Juan – The New Prison):

              The redheaded chica who brought my daily meals in Blue Skys happens to be my therapist. She is hotter than I remember, I suppose due to an abrupt alteration in outfit and hairstyle. Her fiery hair is loose and curled, and she is wearing a white blouse under a dark blue suit coat and matching skirt. A pearl necklace drapes over her prominent clavicle, and she has left one too many buttons loose on her shirt, making it difficult to concentrate. She welcomes me into her office and asks me to get comfortable on the flower-embroidered sofa under the window. I lie on the couch with one arm behind my head and close my eyes, prioritizing questions in my mind.

              “So, Juan, how has your first week with your grandparents fared for you?” she inquires as she sits demurely in a chair very close to my face. She has a clipboard on her lap and a black pen in her hand on the off chance I have something interesting to say.

              “It’s been great.”

              “I see you have put on a little weight since your release. Gran must be feeding you well.”

              I nod once. I have gained a total of one pound this week. It must be all in my face because apparently it’s quite noticeable.

              “How did you feel about your first day at school?”

              “I’m confused why I have been enrolled as a senior when I don’t have enough credits. Couldn’t I just take the GED and put my high school education behind me?”

              “You earned the credits required during your sophomore and junior years while in Blue Skys,” Doctor Eddington replies. My sight is glued to her red lipstick. “And we thought it would be ideal for you to finish your education in a social setting so we can monitor how you interact with people before you are granted total freedom.”

              Ah. Now everything makes sense. “Who is ‘we’?”

              “Doctor Hendricks, your social workers, and I. We are highly invested in your full recovery.” When I open my mouth, she raises a hand to stop me. “Let me ask the questions for a moment, Juan. Tell me more about your day. Did you meet anyone at school?”

Liquid Death, page 33

***

Ashley Eddington (Dr. A) is a supporting antagonist alongside Kyle who has a history working with Dr. L (Ms. Hendricks) and Kandi’s father. She sold her soul for the Fountain of Youth, aka Kandi’s blood, in order to look young forever. In the first draft of Liquid Death, I actually wrote a flashback that showed how Dr. A was Kandi’s adopted mom’s friend when they were in college. 

That’s all for the first book in the trilogy. Which character highlighted above is your favorite?  Comment your thoughts and opinions below! 🙂

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