This week’s writing challenge: create a character for Grandma Scheiffer’s rooming house. Search your memory, scour your experience and make a character who lives on the margins of society - come to life.
The character below is based on a handyman who once helped out around the bar I managed and is pretty much a real story.
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Nobody knows where he came from because he never talks about his past. He might be five feet tall, but I doubt it, and I don’t think he weighs more than 125 pounds but he always manages to lift the heaviest loads and keep going from dawn ‘til dusk. His thinning, reddish hair is an unruly mop and I don’t think it’s seen a comb in years. He’s missing three of his front teeth and we know that because he’s always smiling -- nothing seems to get him down.
We also know he can fix almost anything because he’s been helping Grandma Scheiffer build walls, run electrical wiring up and down the building, and even managed to get the old furnace to put out some heat the past few weeks of cold weather.
Right after he moved in one of the other residents mentioned that he looked a lot like the Keebler elf on the cookie packages and that name has stuck with him ever since. I’m sure even Grandma Scheiffer doesn’t know his real name and I think the rest of us would be disappointed to find out that he had some kind of common name such as Greg or Len.