by Joni Abilene

I always wonder if it’s fair to love one character over the other. In a way they’re like children: born from me, developed by me, sent into the world by me. Then I must allow them to be picked apart by an editor who may change some of their lingo in favor of  a more sophisticated sound, or perhaps a more universal appeal. My poor, simple characters with their views of small town life and broken relationships that are like knotted threads. They’ve endeared themselves to me, and I love them all. But one does lie closer to my heart. I think of her when I go about my daily chores, when I’m depressed, when I need a laugh or little bit of inspiration. Pepper Rollins. There, I’ve said it. I love her more than the rest. Her humor, her willingness to endure, her mothering ways, her maturity yet ignorance toward realism—the kind that hangs on her ankles and which the rest of us can see, but would never tell her. She’s witty and kind; voracious, yet starving. I love her.

I sit here waiting to be published, yet I could only love her more for never being known by any other human.