Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: Samantha of Triggered

Photo by wintersixfour at morguefile.com

Photo by wintersixfour at morguefile.com

Spoiler alert! This post contains information about my short story titled, Triggered. If you have not already read this story then click here before reading on.

Samantha sits beside me on bench in the cemetery.

“I hate funerals,” she says. She sits straighter. “What do you want to ask me?”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure my readers send their sympathy along with their questions. One reader asked, ‘Was Carson really planning your birthday party, or was it just a convenient lie?’”

Her lip begins to quiver. “He was telling the truth. I’ve dated a lot of jerks, but he wasn’t one of them. He’s was the first real man I dated.”

“Another reader wanted to know how you knew they were at his house that night.”

“Aida,” she looks at her lap, “had been flirting with him for years, just like she did with every guy I dated, and she always showed a lot of skin when she thought she finally had them. She told me she was going out, I saw the way she was dressed—” her voice cracks, “I followed her.” Samantha’s shoulders shake as she sobs. After a moment she composes herself.

“Why did you bring the gun?”

“To scare her!” She stands up and paces. “I wouldn’t ever hurt her, but I wanted her to know she couldn’t keep doing this to me. I’m the closest thing to a mother she—” She shakes her head.

“One reader asked why your mom left.”

She sits back down and looks away. She whispers, “She’ll never know anyway.” She shifts on her seat. “My mother ran because she didn’t want to be part of a fat family. She’s an ex-beauty queen and when I couldn’t be the size she wanted, and my dad lost his job and gained weight, she took Aida and ran. When she couldn’t handle Aida on her own, she dropped her off on the corner by our house. I was 13, Aida 11.”

“Another reader asked if you’ve had any contact with your mom since she left.”

“I see her every Sunday. A year ago she was beaten by her new husband. Her brain was damaged and she was left with no memory of before the beating. I went to see her a month after it happened. I didn’t tell her who I was.” Samantha wipes a tear. “We talked for hours. She didn’t know she had been a model. She didn’t think weight or fashion mattered. She was just a lost woman that was happy for some company. She still doesn’t know who I am, or anything about the family.”

“The same reader asked if you had any other siblings.”

She shakes her head no, her eyes watering.

“One reader asked, ‘Did you and Aida become closer or more distant as adults?”

“As we got older, people stopped putting up with her attitude. She blamed me for that. I tried to help, but that only made her and our dad more distant because he appreciated what I was doing. She hated me for that. She started stealing every boyfriend I had. From 15-22 I never had a relationship that lasted more than three weeks. And then I met Carson.”

“One reader asked, ‘What about Carson made you fall in love, if you were in love?’”

Her tears fall freely. “I loved him because of who I was with him. How he treated me. Now I’ve lost him too.”

“He was shot?”

She rolls up her sleeve. “It grazed me and hit him. I fell and banged my head. I blacked out.” She covers her face. “This is all my fault.”

I give her a moment to compose herself. “Did you just come from his funeral?”

She shakes her head. “His was yesterday. The police think after I passed out, Aida tried to shoot me again.” A sob overtakes her. “My baby sister is dead because of me!”

Thank you so much for reading, and a BIG thank you to everyone who asked a question! I hope you have enjoyed Samantha’s character interview.

Want to know even more about this character? Visit her pin-board here.


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9 Responses to Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: Samantha of Triggered

  1. I just love reading your stuff!
    It’s so good!


  2. What an interesting article! I’ve never read anything like this!


  3. I read this a few days ago on my phone, and now I’m on my computer to comment 🙂 That’s horrible that both her boyfriend (probably soon to be ex) and baby sister died 😦 Wait, was her boyfriend even cheating on her? Was Aida trying to seduce him, and it failed? For some reason I got a different impression while reading the story.

    You know, my two closest friends struggle with being overweight. I’ve been lucky because I’m naturally thin. But they opened my eyes to the unjust world of fat-shaming. It’s so ubiquitous in our society that I didn’t even realize it. Samantha’s mom is a weak and shallow person.

    Hmmm, I just thought of another question for Samantha XD If she only meant to scare Aida, why was the gun loaded? Maybe she was too upset when she grabbed it to think of that detail?

    I think this line reveals a lot about her characterization, “She rolls up her sleeve. ‘It grazed me and hit him. I fell and banged my head. I blacked out.’ She covers her face. ‘This is all my fault.'” It’s really her little sister’s fault, but Samantha is taking the blame for it. It shows she’s empathetic and a gentle soul. I would expect nothing less from her given her characterization in the story.


    • Hi, Paperbutterfly! No, her boyfriend wasn’t actually cheating on her, but I’m glad you got the impression that he might have been. You see, because of her past experiences Samantha believed that he was cheating on her, or would eventually, because that’s what had basically always happened in her past relationships. So, you were seeing things through her eyes. Yes, her sister was trying to seduce him and failed.

      I was never exposed to fat shaming myself, but was an obese child, so I put some of my inner voice into her.

      There is a two part answer to your question. Part one is that she was too upset. She wasn’t thinking about anything but trying to straighten out her sister. Part two is that she had been recently given the gun by her boyfriend (for protection) and forgot it was loaded. He had showed her how to take the bullets out, and told her to, but she never did because she misunderstood what he said. She believed he had taken the bullets out for her before he left her with the gun.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this story! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. (-: It’s always great fun to see you on my blog. My next story ‘Plans’ is posted now if you’re interested.


      • Thanks so much for clarifying! In a short story you can’t really fit the background info in. It’s usually better left up to the reader’s imagination most of the time 😉

        Glad you posted another story 😀 I was hired recently, so I’ve been trying to get everything done and taken care of before starting. I’m a bit slow right now. It might take me a few days to comment :$


      • Agreed! Background is a tricky thing with short stories, but that’s why I love the character interviews.

        No worries about when you comment. (-: I’m open to people asking questions of the character up until Saturday. I truly hope you enjoy it and thank you so much for reading.

        Good luck with your new job!


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