Hidden by Shapes and Shadows
An excerpt from an untitled work by Phil Martin
April 9, 2014
Two main characters contribute to an understanding of image insecurities my story speaks about. Eleanor is a young woman, and her friend in college is a young man named Zephaniah (or Zeph for short). Eleanor and Zeph are attacked by demons from another realm, but a guardian named Adela defends the humans and inevitably brings them to the other world. In the superficial realm, where most of my story takes place, Eleanor and Zeph utilize new abilities to help compensate their image insecurities. The two are also very important because they will help stop a powerful force that has wrecked havoc between two worlds.
Eleanor is a beautiful young woman, but she does not recognize her true radiance because of concerns of her appearance. Constantly comparing herself to other women of her age, she often feels she is ugly. She feels this way because she has an average
body type. She also feels blemished by a noticeable birthmark along the right side of her face. By hiding her birthmark with her dark indigo hair, she ends up covering her right eye. While Eleanor is half Russian, her eyes surely feature her Japanese heritage as well. (My last post tells you about Eleanor’s parents.) So, she receives stares for the shape of her eyes as well. Therefore, Eleanor feels often unsure of herself and undesired by most people because of her outward appearance.
Despite Eleanor’s feelings about her average body type, she has a vibrant personality. Eleanor is very mature for her age and very virtuous. She also excels as a saxophonist in her college’s jazz program and is very outgoing with those she feels comfortable with.
Upon entering the alternate realm, Lucian gives Eleanor shape-shifting abilities. With these abilities, Eleanor can assume any form of any plant or animal. Her shape-shifting become extremely important for my other main characters.
Like Eleanor, Zeph suffers from feeling ugly and undesirable for a mark on his face. A serious childhood burn has left the right side of Zeph’s face partially scarred. Although his scar is not as bad as it was in his childhood, it causes great anxiety for his reflection in the mirror.
Zeph becomes great friends with Eleanor by easily relating with her before they cross over to the alternate realm. First, Zeph is deeply immersed into the jazz program with Eleanor at their college. In the same ensemble, he plays acoustic and electric guitar alongside her saxophone playing. Another way Zeph easily relates is that he is the same age as Eleanor. By far the most obvious similarity the two share is their Japanese heritage. However, Zeph is a full-bred Japanese, with his mother being a first generation immigrant.
Because of their commonalities and struggles, Zeph and Eleanor become great platonic friends. Their strong friendship continues and helps their new purpose with their abilities in my story.
In the alternate realm, Zeph assumes shadow-shifting abilities from Lucian. With these abilities, Zeph can change into any shadowy form, and he can manipulate other shadow forms around him. Oftentimes, he will assume a shadow form that resembles a ghost.