Peril, Hero of “Blacktop Styx” by Blackie Noir

Who are you?

Just a girl named Peril. Yeah, the name is Peril. Never heard such a name? Course not. It’s definitely unique. Just like me. Long story short, my mom was a big Janis Joplin fan. They used to call Janis “Pearl.” Mom wanted to name me after Janis. Misspelled the name on the birth certificate. There you go . . . I’ve been Peril for twenty-three years. I don’t mind though. It fits me to a tee. In fact, I tell everybody my middle name is ‘Rue.’ As in . . . “rue the day.” Ha! That fits too.

Are you the hero of your own story?

What kind of question is that? Course I’m the hero of my own story! Wouldn’t be “my own story” if Kim Kardashian was the hero. Wouldn’t be much of a story either.

What is your problem in the story?

Trying to stay alive. I know, sweet as I am it might be hard to believe, but there are at least half a dozen people, if you can call those psychos people, trying to put me in the dirt. Well, they’re gonna have to catch me first. Even then, there ain’t no guarantee I’ll go easy. Just the opposite.

Do you embrace conflict?

Like a long lost lover. Nobody, I mean nobody, is ever ready for what’s gonna happen if they get in my face.

How do your enemies see you?

They don’t. Not until it’s too late.

How does the author see you?

Blackie? That lazy mutt? He sees me as some kind of a slave. He’s supposed to be a writer? An author? A dude with imagination? Get real! Let me clue you on how it works:

We’re all there, all the characters. On time. I mean, we never leave! So, what’s happening? Nothing. We’re all standing there, restless, milling around, waiting to get to work. Looking to Blackie. Waiting for some . . . direction!

Nothing. Finally one of the other characters, maybe LaWanda, Mallet, or Griz (they all have little patience, and very short fuses) will say, “Hey, Blackie! C’mon, let’s go. Give us something to do!”

Blackie, he gets pissed, now comes the rant . . . “How many times I have to tell you people? I ain’t a @#$%&%$ outliner. I’m not a ponderously plodding plotter, bound by the confines of a structure sculpted in stone. The work is character driven! Just do something! Anything! Peril, you know what I’m talking about, act out! You’re the only self-starter here, I depend on you. Go for it!”

Translated that means . . . Blackie doesn’t have a clue. He’s only capable of writing down scenes / dialogue / action, after the fact! He should have been a reporter, except he’s too slow and lazy to meet a deadline.

Yeah, Blackie sees me not only as his star player, but his prime motivator as well. Jimmy Gee is supposed to be the protagonist, but it’s me carrying the weight. Jimmy’s got the muscle, and the mean to go with it, but, baby . . . I’ve got the panache!

Do you have a hero?

Yeah. I see her every day. In the mirror.

Do you have any special strengths?

I don’t scare, and I don’t quit. Ever.

Do you have any skills?

You bet. I was a street skater, a thrasher, for years. Skates or boards, doesn’t matter, I could do it all. Call me fearless . . . got the broken bones and scars to prove it. I was a tomboy, better athlete than most of dudes I grew up with. Better fighter too. Of course once past puberty, the boys became men, too big to match strength with. But, that’s what weapons are for. I’m pretty proficient with everything from a brick to a .357.

I used to be an ace video-gamer, but I lost interest. Yeah, lost interest just about the time I began developing a new skill-set . . . in the bedroom.

Fast cars? Put me behind the wheel . . . see ya!

Do you have money troubles?

No and yes. No: I have over half a million dollars in cash. Yes: The animals me and my boyfriend stole it from want it back. And, they’ll kill me to get it. How do I know? They already killed my boyfriend.

Are you lucky?

Not lucky . . . competent.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

You mean besides these? *smiles wide* Ha! Don’t worry, you’re not the only one to freak. I mean, if these fangs were real they wouldn’t be shiny green, they’d be white. No, these are stainless-steel implants, anodized green. The color matches the streaks in my hair, ya think? And, *opens shirt*, it matches the green on these tats. Like this green lightning bolt from belly to boobs. By the way, the fangs are implants, the boobs are real. Now, here’s a dragon on one, a winking eye on the other. I like green.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Everyone knows me thinks, “Peril’s hard as a diamond.” They’re right. Not that I was always that way. No, actually I was pretty sensitive. Little tom-boy on the outside, marshmallow on the inside. Till I was eleven.

I had a dog, named him Panic. Peril & Panic . . . cute. This slimeball my mom was with, a lump of vomit called Creel, he broke Panic’s back. Yeah, then he forced me to shoot the pup, put him out of his misery. Creel’s idea of my taking responsibility.

My mom called her ex, a dude called Slash, they took care of Creel. Mom too had ideas about responsibilities. She made sure I got to see it go down. Slash hacked Creel up with a machete. That was a turning point in my life. I learned about disappointment . . . Slash had refused to turn over the blade, let me administer the coupe de gras on Creel.

What is your most closely guarded secret?

You serious? That just happens to be a “closely guarded secret.” Next question.

How do you envision your future?


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