Short Stories

Writing: Character Sheet: James Hardrick

Hi everyone! Sorry about the odd posting time. I’m going to have a weird day ahead.

It was due time to reveal another one of my characters. This one has a minor role, and all this history I wrote will not show which is a shame as I can see James’ life folding before my eyes. But maybe in my fourth or fifth or sixth book. Who knows.

Anyway, here is James Hardrick:

Role in Story: Minor

Occupation: Chief of the prison censored is staying in. He established the penitentiary. Before becoming the head of the prison he worked as a missionary worker for the church of Kraken but found he wasn’t doing any good overseas, and the natives were a bit hostile about introducing a slimy god with tentacles, and the thing was his wife wasn’t that happy visiting in uncivilized parts of the world like Leporidae Lop. So they came back home. He didn’t have the stomach to go back to the church as his beliefs had begun to waver, more so after he had started to read books about the mind. Books some thought contained heresies. So, he bought the prison with the help of his wife’s father and began to put those heresies in a test.

Physical Description: Hollow cheeks, dark circles under his eyes from the excess reading. Average height bit on the scrawny side of weight. Always dresses on suit, but the outfit looks cheap and old (to his wife’s dislike. And he refuses to use any money to buy a new one. His wife brought home a new suit, it still sits in the closet after six months, making his wife want to scream her lungs out.) Grayish hair. Chortles when laughs.

Personality: Cheerful, friendly, obsessed doing the right thing, emphatic, and gives full attention to anything he is doing. Finds everything he does important. Calm in the face of danger and obstacles. Extroverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving.

Habits/Mannerisms: Hums when he is thinking. Sways back and forth on his feet when he has stopped and always looks deep into your eyes. Apologies and a lot.

Background: Born in the lower-middle-class family. He was the only child, and his parents made everything they could to get their son into the University of Necropolis. There he studied pharmacology never finding the field as a calling, but his parents had insisted it would be the best profession in the future. They were right. The need and sales for medicine that influenced the diseases spread by rotten bodies, spores, and other fungal infections had rocketed high. And there wasn’t enough of those who knew about drugs and their compounds in Necropolis. But it wasn’t for their son who had decided to get married to the first girl who glanced towards him who happened to be from the upper-lower-middle class and willing to travel abroad with him after he had found his calling, the Kraken.

Internal Conflicts: Need to do good. Need to find a reason for co-operation. Need to understand the human mind. Need to make everything better. Need to save the world.

External Conflicts: Getting the prison running. Acquiring enough money for the prison which everyone expected to fail because of his unconventional methods and ideas. Need to prove them wrong. Needing to pay back the loan he took from his father-in-law. His marriage which isn’t happy as he keeps ignoring his wife, who expected more from her life. Their life. That they would move from her upper-lower social status to upper-upper-middle class at least, or some days, she dreamed about knighthood, that never happened and not as long James keeps being the laughing stock of their social circles and the whole city. The newspapers kept reporting about his kind touch to prisoners. The caricatures they drew of him weren’t flattering. And to her dislike, they were catching and caused a great interest towards her husband and not in a good way! He was a disgrace. How could she show her face anywhere? She stayed scooped inside their home, waiting for him to come home in the wee hours of the night, and then they would argue. Mr. and Mrs. Hardrick didn’t have children, causing even more discontent with them two. Some nights she accused her enjoy this. That he thought she deserved all he put her through. But he didn’t see it that way. He was just trying to do his best for both her and the prisoners. One could say James life was complicated.


James Hardrick twisted his hands as he waited in his wife’s father’s office. He had bought with his own money the castle for the prison, but now there was no penny left to run the prison. He needed a loan to get by the first year, and then he would get enough money from the city to get things up and running. All the banks in the town had laughed him out, saying he should turn the place into a spa as it sounded more like that than a prison. At least, then there was money to be made. When he refused, they weren’t willing to give money to a man who proposed to pamper prisoners. James had been mortified. But he couldn’t let his wife down, and here he was becking for alms from the last man he wanted. But it was this or ruins, and he wasn’t willing to make his wife a beggar.

His father-in-law kept him waiting. James knew the man knew why he was here and how everyone in the city had reacted to his proposal. His wife had made sure he knew how they were laughed at and had begged him to change his plans. Couldn’t there be just light torture to make everyone happy? No, he had said, and she had looked like he had hit her. The image made his stomach turn. James wanted to puke, but his father-in-law decided to walk in at that precise moment of self-hate.

“Good evening Mr. Hardrick,” his father-in-law said.

“Sir,” James said.

“I think we better go straight to the subject why you are here,” the man said, and sat behind a large desk and solemnly looked at James.

“Yes, sir. I have—” James began.

“I give you the money. But you better prove you are worthy and repair the damage you have done to my daughter’s reputation and state of mind. You have a year to make things better,” his father-in-law said. Even when they were words James wanted to hear, they sounded more like a threat than a loan offer.

James hummed. That didn’t make his case any better. His humming irritated the older man as it had done when he had given his daughter’s hand in marriages on their wedding day. He had stated there and then that if James had been his child, he would have beaten such ill habits out of him, but he wasn’t.

“Thank you, sir. I won’t let you down, sir,” James said.

“We will see.”

James lingered there in the room, waiting if the social interaction would go on, but when his father-in-law grunted he knew he had overstayed his welcome. “Goodnight, sir,” he said and slipped out of the study. His legs trembled, but not from fear but from excitement. He had a year, more than he hoped for, to prove he was right!

Thank you for reading! Have a nice day ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

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