Assignment #1 – Character Sketch:

-Take a big event; real or imagined

-400 word [884] character sketch from the POV of a minor player in that event

-Let them recount what's happening in a way that reveals who they are; what is their connection to the event? How will it affect them?

-Also give a sense of who they are outside the event

[-Focus on the event and how they're feeling;

-a line or two to let us know who they are outside the event;

-a scene in which the character of the person is revealed]

This is the strangest thing I have ever seen. In all my years of doing cosmetic surgery in a back alley clinic in what some may consider the most dangerous part of the city, never have I ever seen anything as strange as what is on these X-rays before me.

"Well? You said you could do it! You said you could fix him."

I sigh and rub my head. The father is impatient and a bit bossy. He has been throughout the whole consultation, though I suppose with good reason. Still, they came to me. They obviously wouldn't be here if they didn't desperately need my help. The wife hasn't stopped fidgeting and glancing around - as though terrified of the thought that anyone would see her in such a place - since she entered.

Their son isn't faring much better than either parent but I suspect that has more to do anxiousness to finally have this operation over with once and for all.

"Yes, I did and I can. However it will take a bit more time than I quoted over the phone." I hold up my hand to stall another angry outburst as the father's face starts to turn a shade of puce while he glares at me. "I hadn't expected your son's…"


The wife makes an 'eep' kind of sound and covers her ears looking away from me and the X-rays on the desk between us while her son fidgets some more in his seat not once taking his eyes off the rug. I pause to recollect my thoughts a moment before continuing, "I hadn't expected…it…to be as developed as it is."

The wife moans and shakes her head (now in both her hands so I can't hear what she's mumbling). The son just continues to stare at the rug, fidgeting occasionally. It's hard to tell who's more distraught by this news. I would have supposed that they would have considered the idea that the boy may be stuck with this thing for the rest of his life.

"But I'm sure I can remove it or at least reduce it so that it is not as noticeable." I inform them, pushing the father's fat finger out of my face. He seems to have calmed down a bit by this. At least his shoulders have relaxed slightly and his face seems to be returning to a normal colour.

They certainly are an interesting bunch. Their clothes and demeanour up to this point suggest they are well off enough to go to any cosmetician in the country, why would they be here? I'm surprised they would even know how to find the kind of people who could refer them to me. They seem more like the type who would turn their nose and walk quickly away from any sort like that. They must've given up quite a bit of their pride to find this place; I guess I should make sure it's worth their trouble. Certainly makes this case all the more curious. "If you would follow me to the operating room, we can get started." Follow, ha, they all dashed into the farthest most room before I had a chance to turn around. Interesting.

The operation is certainly a delicate one; I have to numb the whole area and separate the nerves from the bone causing as little damage as possible to avoid permanent disability, all while the rest of them watch (tensely). I wish I could have anesthetised the boy instead of having him try to look back while at the same time trying to be as rigid as he can; but because of the location I'm working on, he has to be alert to let me know the moment something feels wrong. Good thing I'm used to high pressure situations.

After finding a way to tuck away the extra veins I started filing away at the bone as gently as I could. Luckily, albeit strangely, the veins and bone seem to shrink on their own a bit as I work. I stop for a moment to be sure. Yup, those veins are definitely a bit smaller than they were before. I look up slightly, a bit perplexed.

"No questions asked, remember?"

Ahh, THAT'S why they chose here over some more upstanding place. Now the question is, how the heck did they know that would happen? Did they know? Because if they did, then why not wait for it to happen on its own? I decide to get back to work before the father decides to snap at me, though now I'm a bit more relived that I won't be doing all the work in getting rid of this thing.

An hour later, we are back in my office looking at the new X-rays; "Well Mr. Dursley, looks like you'll be able to start school tomorrow with a perfectly normal rear end. Don't worry about the soreness that will be gone in a few hours…" I really want to ask about the tail. I suppose given the boy's size and complexion he kind of looks like a pig, but I can't imagine how he could've developed a fully formed tail. I'm going to have to have Earl dig up their entire medical history, they certainly aren't going to tell me…

AN: This was an assignment I wrote over a year ago for a creative writing class. After comparing the story to the instructions, I don't think I matched the requirements. However I like the story the way it is so I'm not going to (and I didn't) change it.