Short Stories

Writing: Character Sheet, Ira Worthwrite

Writing: Character Sheet: Ira Worthwrite

Hello everyone, it is time to reveal the “baddy” of my book. Why I put the baddy on quotes was that I don’t really consider anyone in my book to be completely evil or bad. Even the worst fellow has compelling motives to act as they do despite those reasons are sometimes misguided or in contradiction to others beliefs about what is proper and what isn’t. It would be so easy to think evil in terms of black and white, but I think then we will miss something about what is to be human. We all are capable of doing horrible things and yet believe that what we did was justifiable due to our circumstances or something else. Often enough, the perpetrator of some heinous act sees that their choices were forced on them. While I believe we are responsible for our own actions and no explanation will recompensate violence or something similar, I think there are multiple sides to any issue.

Anyway, here is Ira Worthwrite:

Role in Story: Major, is the antagonist of the book, showing the dark side of economic thinking and selfishness and how it will impact the whole society around if the person has enough standing. Also, showing the motivations for his actions.

Occupation: Banker

Physical Description: Undead, rotten embalmed skin, has kept some of his hair, average height, once had a soft belly, but now there is no sight of it. Hollow cheeks, dark eyes and missing a big toe of his right foot. He was never a handsome man, but turning into an undead didn’t make that any better.

Personality: Ruthless, unpleasant, bossy, stubborn, almost always right, can see past people’s exterior and know what they are thinking and what their needs are. Introverted, sensing, thinking, judging. Capable, confident, cultured, fearless, persistent, meticulous, independent, obnoxious, impulsive, conceited, boorish, arrogant, rude, self-centered, stingy, sneaky, thoughtless, unfriendly, vulgar. Loyal to those who he loves. Unfortunately, the only one he cares for is Kitty (and his sister, but they have fallen out,) making his compassion restricted. Ambitious to the point he doesn’t see what he already has. Always pursuing more. Always in motion. Old-fashioned views.

Habits/Mannerisms: Occasional moans, shuffles as he walks, clicks his teeth together, snorts. Brays when he laughs. Gets tantrums. He is brute in social situations. He has never learned to be nice or socially accommodating.

Background: Ira was born into a merchant family. His father dealt with antics, buying and selling them. His brothers went into the same business, taking it over from their father. Ira saw it too small time for him an expanded it first to buying an selling gold and then to loaning and borrowing money. He gradually took over the business from his father and brothers, forcing them to work for him, acquiring gold all over the world and selling it on with a profit. By then he had moved overseas to Necropolis and had opened his own bank there with borrowed money. He married Kitty to have her father to give him a tidy sum to get his business going. The Worthwrite Bank of Necropolis Ltd grew from gold brokers into the biggest bank in the city. That was helped by war efforts spreading all over the world, the so-called magical war. You needed gold to be able to pay for weapons, food, and soldiers, to name the few. That made Ira Worthwrite the wealthiest man in Necropolis and soon in the world. First, he gambled with other people’s and government’s money, and then he continued doing so because no one questioned him. His reputation as a ruthless, unpleasant man grew, but so did the profits he provided. He hid any mistakes, taking money from one person and giving it to someone in need, and trying to ensure enough profit from somewhere else to pay the first fellow.

He feels no love for anyone else than his wife, who at some point learn to resent him and his sister who Ira loved and adored when growing up. His sister moved to Necropolis and married a local aristocrat who he loathes. The pompous man hasn’t worked a day in his life. He hated men like that, wasting their lives on social events and on art and in this sister’s husband’s case to charity. Even thought of his sister’s husband made his heartburn.

He and Kitty have children. Three boys and one daughter. It was like cosmic destiny, following his mother and father. Ira didn’t much care for his offspring, knowing well that one day they would take over his business and butch it up. But luckily in Necropolis, it wasn’t that easy to get rid of him. He made sure he was brought back in case of an early demise and his will stated that the bank would continue belonging to him as long as he was alive or in motion (no madness clause could take it from him.)

Internal Conflicts: Power and staying ahead of the game. Everyone is out to get him, take away what he so carefully built. Kitty is dissatisfied with their marriage. He doesn’t like that. His sister and their alienation with each other bothers him. He needs to get the proposal up and running to take better control of the city’s politics, which keeps interfering with his business.

External Conflicts: Minta’s plans to stop him, Petula’s impudence, his death, Herbert’s revenge fantasies, distrust to Morris, Ignatius, and Wilbur. The ghouls.

Notes: Ira Worthwrite listened to the new girl to present the profits she had managed to make with her speculations. He tried to recall her name, but it had already slipped off his mind along with other non-important details. She was pretty in a mousy kind of way, and he had to give it to her that she knew how to make money. If she continued stepping up the game, she would rise from the junior associates to a manager in no time, and who knew where from there. In five years, she could own her portfolio and clients and manage them for him, if she played her cards right.

Ona, yes that was her name. And she wasn’t that new. She had worked here for at least three years now, but she was new compared to some of his other staff. He frowned as he looked at her.

She flinched.

Ira smiled. It was good to keep them on their toes. He swirled his hand to make her continue on. She fumbled with her words. That had to go. Nothing should be able to throw her off her game. Nothing. He would make sure her supervisors weeded that out of her. Everyone in this bank should know how to compose themselves. There was no room for mistakes with their clients who tried get one over them all the time. Ona soon got back to her presentation.

When she was done, Ira told her where she had done wrong. How she had missed several opportunities to maximize her profits. He could list all her mistakes, opportunities to double play and everything even when he had only been half-listening to her. He was that good. He could smell money. She reeked money if only she could toughen herself.

“Next time I want a ten percent increase. You were playing sloppy,” Ira said.

Ona turned pale.

He moved on to other junior associates, giving them an opportunity to state their cases. None of them did as well as Ona had, but he made sure he praised them more. That sting would make her work harder. Even more so when those who he hailed were all men. He didn’t care about the sex, that much, but he had noticed it was an incentive to make some of his most ruthless women work harder. Ira liked his women, they were more organized and sensed opportunities better than men, but they just had problems taking that necessary last step. Like with Ona, she thought half-way was enough. It wasn’t. Not in banking. Incentives, critique, and the competition would make Ona forget any of her foolish notions.

The meeting ended, and he ushered everyone out. He continued working late that night, going over all the profits the brokers had made and his overseas acquisitions. He smiled as he took a bite from a huge red apple on his desk. A small piece lodged in his throat, making him gasp for breath. Ira rammed against his desk, but the bite didn’t budge. He passed out and died. Because he had instructed not to be disturbed it took the whole day before Nigel, his assistant, found him. By then, he had died.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice weekend!

© K.A. Ashcomb

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