Short Stories

Writing: Character Sheet: Hortensia Caster


It is time to reveal another character. I know as a writer I shouldn’t have favorites, but I cannot help but like Hortensia. She has potential for later books, and she is almost the only decent person in the whole book.

A quick update about the state of the book. I’m done with the first round of editing. Now I’m reading aloud the book and doing minor fixes before I find myself beta-readers. I think I can soon move to write my third book which I have already outlined while I do the mechanical tasks to get my second book publishing ready. I have to say things are looking good.

Before I let you read about Hortensia, here is a great tip I got from my professor: read aloud your text. That is the best way to catch mistakes, useless words, broken and non-fluent sentences, words and ideas that broke the flow of the text and so on. It has been the best writing advice anyone has ever given to me, and it works.

Hortensia Caster

Role in Story:

Semi-minor. A comical relief, makes the story go on, and at the end has significance.


Junior Police Officer.

Physical Description:

Red hair, freckles, big eyes, small face, and under a five and a half feet tall. Lean hard muscles. You can’t see them under her loose blue uniform. Even the police helmet is too big for her. Kind face, rosebud mouth. One might call her awkward looking, not her though. She would call herself tough, resilient, sharp, but never awkward, junior, or female. Yes, she was a woman. She didn’t deny that, but that word doesn’t belong anywhere near her professional description. She is an officer at work and home she could be a woman if she liked so.


Kind, friendly, helpful, eager, resilient, sharp, someone who gets things done. A bit too trusting and a bit too eager. Extroverted, sensing, thinking, judging. Confident, dutiful, reliable, trusting, keen, bossy. Titters when she laughs.


Constantly correcting her uniform, helmet, when she forgets herself and her surroundings. Speaks fast as if everyone is in a hurry to get away from her.


Only daughter of a police officer (evening star.) Comes from a long line of officers. Her parents planned her to become a witch hence the name, but she never felt witchy or had an urge to cackle. So she followed her father’s steps and made sure the police officer in their family line continued on. Recently graduated. Father is in an old folks’ home where she visits him. He has lost his marbles and fallen into the curse of Alzheimer. Mother has died.

Internal Conflicts:

Needs to be best of the best. When do I grow up? Money, bills, her father.

External Conflicts:

The burglar at the banking district. Kitty, Morris. Her senior officer. Ghoul invasion —> quickly catches on what is good for her, the city, and in according to the law. Taking care of her father.


Hortensia got up from the bed at the crack of dawn. It was the normal time most people in Necropolis went to bed, but her shift would start soon, and before work she liked to do her exercise routine and see her father. Unlike most Hortensia found early rising invigorating. She even managed to steal a moment of peace before she left the flat.

She joked that she lived inside a kitchenette. She would wail if she knew the truth from what her landlord had turned this place into her home. The stench on a warm day was a clue she liked to ignore. But she couldn’t complain there was just enough room to do her jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, and the rest. Not forgetting stretching to get the blood flowing and her body nimble.

Hortensia jumped off the bed and began to jump up and down before her breakfast. When she had done her repetitions, she walked to the washing bowl and splashed all over her yesterday’s water. When she was satisfied with her hygiene, she finally settled down on her bed to eat her breakfast: a sandwich, glass of milk she kept between the windows, and egg she boiled yesterday. While she ate, she kept her mind blank, concentrating on having a calm experience. She would have liked to gaze out of the window, but it was pointless as you could only see the wall of the next house. After that peaceful moment, she got up and dressed on her oversized police uniform. She tied a black leather belt tightly around her waist to keep everything up.

Then it was time to see her father. She fretted that, never knowing how he was. There were good days, but lately, he had been getting worse not even remembering who she was. Before she had put his father into the old folks’ home, she had tried to take care of him at their home. But her studying and then work had made it impossible to monitor him and stop him accidentally burning the house down. She had been forced to sell their home to have enough money to provide him adequate care. The money would last for four years. Then she didn’t know what she would do. Hortensia sighed and ran to the old folks’ home to be able to see her father even for fifteen minutes.

Have an amazing day!

© K.A. Ashcomb

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