Day 20 and it was difficult to pin down an idea to the page today. I was editing my WiP and this is a new character who will need to be threaded through the narrative. Using the backstory idea as a way to getting to know a character, here’s an introduction to Priss, the white stoat helpmeet who belongs with Simon.


Simon turned the stereo down, and wished he hadn’t. The noise was worse. So much worse. Pressing his hands over his ears, he pleaded, ‘Priss, please stop singing! You’re making my ears bleed. Honestly.’

The snow white stoat stopped dancing, but her singing did not cease. She turned to face her Awakened, as the most excruciating sustained sound – no sane person could call it a note – spiralled up in volume. She crossed Simon’s bed, the sound not improving as she stalked towards him. Standing on her hind legs, she reached no higher than Simon’s knee. Despite her diminutive stature, with her fangs in full snarl, Priss was a formidable foe.

Especially when she sang.

Priss was so focused on her musical attack that she didn’t watch her step. Her claws caught in a crocheted throw and she fell on her face with a flump.

Blessed silence reigned. And then Simon sighed and flumped face-first onto his bed as well, making the stoat bounce a little and come to rest again.

She curled round and freed her toes from the unravelling yarn. Simon shifted to look at her. ‘Priscilla, you know you can’t sing.’ His eyes were soft with worry. ‘I know Cilla Black is your favourite singer, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert is your all-time favourite film, but really.’ He reached out and stroked her soft fur, hoping it would soften the criticism. ‘But you’re tone-deaf, you can’t find a note, let alone hold it, and it just really hurts.’

Priss sniffed a little, stung. She shuffled up towards Simon’s face, her bright black eyes looking into his blue. ‘I know, I know, you’ve told me this before.’

‘Several times. Several dozen times, I’ve lost count.’

‘And I know I’m terrible at it. But, I really, truly enjoy singing. It’s cathartic for me. Helps me work through ideas and problems.’ She stroked his nose in imitation of his petting. ‘Besides,’ she said, pausing to smile, ‘I really thought you were out.’

Simon snorted and shook his head, smiling. ‘Okay, fair point. Just – for my sake – keep it down, even when I’m out.’ His grin turned impish as he said, ‘You can’t hear if my brother comes home over that horrendous racket.’

The room filled with giggles and yips as Priss shot down Simon’s collar and proceeded to tickle the Awakened teen, while Simon struggled to de-stoat his jumper.