Extra-special guest post today, my friends! In honor of the last day of her sale for Blessings of Myrillia, I interviewed Crystin Goodwin! And by that I mean I interviewed her characters. And by that I mean I asked her to stick three characters in a room with strange boxes.
This is what I like to call “The Mystery Box Interview.” (It’s great fun for anyone who enjoys throwing characters into odd situations.) I ‘gave’ Crystin three boxes and filled them with objects that I thought would spark conversation. She then placed the boxes and her characters in a room, and – ta da!
“Lucien. Lucien, wake up!”
Grumbling, Lucien rolled over and tried to wave away his visitor. “Five more minutes …”
“Lucien, please! Please wake up. I don’t—I don’t know what to do!” Panic laced the familiar voice.
He roused enough to pry one eye open. “Kisara? What are you doing in my room?”
“This isn’t your room. I don’t know where this is, but it’s nowhere I’ve ever been.” Kisara’s voice trembled, her dark violet hair spilling across his vision. “I keep hoping this is a dream, but I’ve never had to wake someone up in my dreams before …”
“Well, you don’t normally try to wake me in my dreams, either.” Lucien sat up, rubbing his eyes before peering around the empty room.
“Do you know how we got here? Assuming this isn’t a dream, I mean.” Kisara rocked back on her heels, her bright amethyst eyes flicking around the space.
“I have no clue. This place doesn’t look familiar to me either—”
A harsh snarl interrupted them. “Will you two shut up?! I have Council work in the morning!”
Lucien’s head whipped to the right. “Marius?”
The male in question sat up, his expression furious. “Go conduct your lover’s tryst somewhere else! What makes you think you can just barge in—” His face went blank. “Where in Element’s name are we?”
“Good question. Kisara and I haven’t been here before. I take it you don’t recognize it, either?”
“No.” Silver eyes narrowed as he inspected their surroundings. “Where are the doors? Or windows?”
Kisara rubbed her arms as she followed his gaze. “I couldn’t find any. The only things in here are us and those three boxes down there.” She pointed to the other end of the room.
“Boxes? Of what?”
“I don’t know, I was more concerned with trying to find out how I got here.” She shivered, eyes darting around again. “I don’t like the idea that someone—or something—moved me without my knowledge,” she whispered.
Lucien scooted until he sat beside her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “Hey, whoever it was can’t be that bad. I mean, they made sure to bring me along so you wouldn’t be lonely. Right?”
“Or they wanted to get rid of you and Marius. You two are the strongest in Civitas right now.” Kisara’s eyes brimmed with tears.
Marius snorted as he crossed over to one of the white walls. “Right, and they tossed you in with us—why? You’re not powerful. No offense, of course.” He laid one palm flat against the barrier and summoned flames, increasing their intensity until they flared blue-white. The surface didn’t change, not even blackening from the heat. “Interesting. Flame resistant? This must be a dream.”
“A weird shared dream, that’s for sure.” Lucien gave Kisara another quick squeeze, then jumped to his feet. “Come on, I want to see what’s in those boxes.”
The trio gathered in front of the three wooden boxes that lined the opposite wall.
Lucien knelt in front of the middle one. “Huh. They’re numbered. I thought maybe there would be a box for each of us.”
“Should we open them?” Kisara asked.
“Why not? There’s a note on top of each the boxes saying to open them in order.” Marius smirked as he glanced at her. “Of course, since this is a dream, there might be something interesting in them.”
“Might as well get it over with.” Lucien grabbed the box marked ‘1’ and lifted the lid, staring inside with his head tilted.
The other two waited.
“Well?” Marius asked, impatience coloring his voice. “What is it?”
Lucien shrugged and tipped the box upside down, emptying its contents.
“Carrots?” Her trepidation forgotten, Kisara leaned down for a closer look. “Two carrots and two … what are those things?”
“I don’t know. Some sort of colored block, I think.” Lucien prodded one of the mysterious items. “Are we supposed to divide them up or something?”
Marius curled his lip. “I don’t want any of that. What am I going to do with a carrot? Or one of those … things.”
Lucien picked up one of the items in question. “What sort of material is this? It almost feels like paper but with a slippery texture.” Crackling filled the room, followed by a soft ripping sound. “Hey, there’s something inside!”
Despite himself, Marius angled his head to take a look. “Is that … chocolate?”
“I think so. I’ve never seen it in a block like this though.” Lucien broke a piece off. “It’s filled with something too. There’s nuts and … caramel, I think?” He popped the piece in his mouth before the other two could protest. “Ooh, this is good. Try some!”
“Idiot. What if it’s poisoned?” Marius hissed.
“Well, if it is, you’ll know pretty soon, won’t you? I can’t imagine why anyone would drag us here only to poison us, though. Here, Kisara, you can have the other one.”
“Ah—I’m good. Thanks.” Biting her lip, she eyed the second box. “Do you mind if I open the next one?”
Lucien gave a half-hearted shrug, engrossed in his chocolate bar.
Marius rolled his eyes before answering. “I don’t care.”
Kisara took a steadying breath, then lifted the second lid. “There’s a note this time.” She removed the paper, revealing a paintbrush and several pots of paints. “’Decorate something. You are NOT allowed to touch the paintbrush with your hands.’”
Marius stared at her for several seconds. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. How are you supposed to paint without a paintbrush?”
Even Lucien looked intrigued, his chocolate forgotten. “The note didn’t say not to use the paintbrush—just not to use your hands. Right?”
“And how are you supposed to use a paintbrush without hands?!” Marius demanded.
“I don’t know. Maybe you could hold it in your mouth?”
“This is ridiculous. I’m not going to do something that stupid.”
Kisara picked up one of the paints, a brilliant purple that matched her eyes, and opened the lid. “You know, we could skip using the brush altogether. There’s always finger painting.” She sniffed the paint, wrinkling her nose at the harsh scent before noticing Marius and Lucien’s horrified expressions. “What?”
“I am not putting my fingers in paint.” Heat flared with Marius’s vehement statement. “Favored do not finger paint! What if it doesn’t wash off? I’m not going to my Council meeting tomorrow with paint on my fingers!”
Lucien fiddled with the paint brush, coating the handle in a thick layer of ice. “I don’t want paint on my fingers either. This will work, right? We’re not actually touching the paintbrush this way, only the ice.”
Kisara frowned at them both. “You sound like a couple of girls. Who cares if you get paint on your hands?”
“Weren’t you listening? The Council does, as would the Elder Priest.” Marius shuddered. “Let’s just open the last box. You can decorate whatever you want, Kisara. I’m not interested in painting.” He ripped the lid off the last box, ignoring Kisara’s complaints. “Great. Another note.”
Lucien bit back his laugh at Marius’s disgruntled tone. “What’s this one say? Dance on one leg? Write something with your eyes closed?”
“No …” Marius scratched at his fiery red hair before lifting an object out of the box. “According to the note, this is a wishing well. We toss in a coin”—he held it up—“and make a wish. But we only get one, so we’re supposed to agree on it.”
“Really? That’s incredible!” Lucien leapt to his feet, grabbing Kisara and pulling her up with him. “Do you know what that means?! This dream is from the Elements! We can wish for Kisara to have a Blessing!”
Marius raised a sardonic eyebrow. “That’s assuming the wish actually comes true. Besides, Kisara could still receive her Blessing—she’s only sixteen. I think it makes more sense to wish for me to be Council Leader. That way, I can just change the law that forces unBlessed into the Temple … if it’s necessary.”
“Um, guys?” Kisara ventured.
“Oh, please. You’ll make Council Leader, regardless. You heard Kisara, you and I are the most powerful in Civitas, and I don’t want the position. I’d rather wish for Kisara to have her Blessing now. I’m tired of her being shunned!”
“Again, if I were Council Leader, I could change that. I could make it illegal to shun unBlessed, could force everyone to accept her as she is, instead of making her change for them!”
“You can’t force acceptance, Marius. Haven’t you learned—”
“Guys!” Kisara shouted, interrupting the argument. “I think you’re both missing the obvious.”
“Oh? Do enlighten us. What should we wish for?” Marius crossed his arms, frowning down at her.
“How about a way out of here? I still don’t see any doors, do you?”
“It’s a dream. We don’t need a door to get out,” Marius scoffed. “I’m not going to waste a wish on that.”
Kisara refused to be intimidated. “And if this isn’t a dream? Are you really going to waste our only chance at escape so you can be Council Leader for a Council you’ll never attend again?”
“Uhh …” Both males suddenly appeared uncertain.
“Besides, it’s supposed to be a wish we all agree on, right? I can honestly say the only thing I want right now is to get out of here. These paints with their ridiculous instructions, the carrots and oddly wrapped chocolate … it’s too bizarre. I just want to go home. Don’t you?”
Lucien ruffled his silver hair, shifting from side to side. “Well, yeah. But Kisara—this might be your only chance at receiving a Blessing. Maybe this is a test from the Elements.”
“And maybe Marius is right, and this is only a dream. Maybe none of our wishes would come true—except the one where we wish to wake up. I personally don’t want to risk being stuck here for eternity with only two carrots to eat.”
Marius met Lucien’s gaze. “She has a point.”
“So … we just wish to go home?” Lucien made a face.
Marius shrugged. “Sounds good to me. On three?”
Lucien sighed, turning to pick up the last discarded chocolate bar. “On three. One …” He took a bite and passed the bar to Kisara.
Startled, Kisara looked from the bar to Lucien and back again. Finally, she said, “Two …” She nibbled at the end before handing it to Marius.
“Of course Lucien would worry about leaving food behind.” Marius muttered, taking a bite. “I’m surprised he didn’t grab the carrots too. Three.” He dropped the coin into the well. “Let’s go home.”
Fun times, yes 😀
Many thanks to Crystin (and her characters!) for participating. And, can we just take a moment to reflect on the ice solution to the paintbrush problem? That was rather brilliant, I must say. Well done, Lucien!
If you enjoyed this piece, you can still get a copy of UnBlessed absolutely free! And you can get the sequel, Fire Blessed for $1.99! (Wild, right?) Run forth and get those books! But run quickly, because this is the final day of the sale. Happy Reading!