Characters in Jumping: a Novel

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“Children” of the Void:

Duncan Robert-

A twenty-one-year old resident of a small town in the state of New Hampshire, who decides to jump to save his own life.He’s unable to live life by social norms and expectations. He believes a life must be shaped by adventure to truly be your life. He’s of average height and build, light coloring, someone who always followed a path just apart from the average. He jumped on his twenty-first birthday, willing to risk his life to find it.

Miles-

Duncan Robert’s uncle.
He teaches writing at the local community college and has been stand-in father for Duncan Robert since his father left him. They’ve spent much time roaming the woods, all the while having conversations about the potential of life and how to unlock it. They discover the answer at the Void. Miles counters by researching voids and jumping, to build an understanding of why anyone would jump. Will he jump?

Babe Bennett-

Babe is a journalist, a stringer for the local paper.
Duncan Robert’s jump triggers her editor’s interest and reawakens Babe’s old obsession with voids. She travels to New Hampshire to discover the story behind the jump. She meets Miles, the main narrator of Duncan Robert’s life, and sister Silvia, Duncan Robert’s mother, who knows the story of his experiences that led him to the jump. Babe feels her own calling as she stands at the edge. She believes her decision to jump has been foretold.

The Students:

Six students from Miles’ writing composition class bring their concerns and questions about it to class after hearing of Duncan Robert’s jump. They knew him and they want to write about his jump and do it at the Void. They’ll go without him if he doesn’t go. They go one evening and sit at its edge, writing what it calls forth. “I feel as if I’ve already jumped,” says one student. Carrie Jean has come to find her brother, who died from another kind of jump. Lonnie loses his life-long fear of heights as he sits at the edge. Donal writes of his small brother who has already become afraid of life, wishing he’d brought him there, to cure him. Miles looks at them, wondering how he can keep them from jumping.

Inside the Void:

For Duncan Robert:
-Guy

A shining man dressed in what looks like a space suit is the first to greet Duncan Robert inside. “We’ve had a team connected to Station 1 for as long as any of us can remember…This time the call was for all of us.” “What call?” Duncan Robert asks. “The one you made.” Three others join them by the little fire Guy has made. He invites them to introduce themselves to Duncan Robert through a shared past life story . “No matter how good you are, progress is not made without our help. Sometimes we’re the ones in a life, and you’re the one here.” At the end of their telling, he proposes a project for Duncan Robert outside of the Void.

-Khahil

A tall dark man, he tells a shared life story in post-Civil War Pennsylvania in which both of them were women, one dead, one alive. The exchange of the dead woman’s story liberates her from endless wandering between worlds, as she struggled to overcome the trauma of her death. Khahil has tears in his eyes as he thanks Duncan Robert for freeing him from that prison.

-Lynette

A short, red-haired woman dressed in diaphanous white, Lynette tells of a favorite life–one in which they were all monks in a monastery in northern England together. “How can that be a favorite life?” Duncan Robert asks, disturbed. “It was one in which we stood together for something we believed in. It’s not often everything comes together in such a way. Great progress was made.”

-Uche

A man with an Asian countenance, Uche tells of a life in Atlantis. In which they ‘followed orders,’ allowing a dark ‘final solution’ to take the lives of many people genetically engineered to be slaves. The slaves had discovered the possibility of joy, ensuring their destruction. “Why tell of that life?” Duncan Robert asks, horrified. “We learned more in that life than in our lives as monks,” Uche says.

For Babe:

-Phillip

“It’s Phillip! I start running. I get to him and drop to my knees, unable to go further… This man is my heart.” A tall thin man in white flowing robes speaking with a British accent, leads Babe through the crowd of people on the beach, all of whom have come to honor her jump and the experiences they share over many lives. Phillip and Babe go to speak across realities to a Muslim man mourning the loss of his wife. He will see Babe as a vision of his god and be transformed.

For Miles:

-Leonid

A dark, crippled man with rough clothes and hair. He rescues Miles from a visual projection designed to ensnare him. “A bond stronger than life,” he says, extending his hand, and Miles is instantly ready to follow him on a war-torn journey set in the time of Ethelred, one of the early kings of England. This becomes an adventure Miles is not sure he can survive.

-Norwenna

A tall, Viking of a woman, she tells Miles of the many lives they’ve shared as warriors, engaging in a blood lust that has not been exorcised. “I want to heal. That’s why I’m here. It’s taken its toll…,” she says with a small smile. “I don’t want to carry the blood and gore any more. I want other experiences. But sometimes I think I’ve stayed too long at the fair.”

-Keilor

An intergalactic being and a powerful healer, Keilor has never engaged in warfare and has brought his energy to clear that energy. “Lives usually lead people to the hard places. Then people have the chance to lead themselves out… That’s what you are doing today. This is what we’re meant to do. And you heal all of us when you do.” He smiles at Miles. “My energy holds steady. It will not waver in your support.”

-Ethelred

“So you’ve come to help,” Ethelred says to them, and leads them to a projection of one of their last battles together, adjacent to his castle. “I do know this place,” Miles says, feeling the hair stand up on the back of his neck. “We all do,” says Ethelred. There, they are thrust into a brutal battle of hand-to-hand combat, and Miles watches as his past self commits such an unspeakable act that he is shocked out of any understanding of himself. He must come to terms with this act, to heal from the blood lust that has plagued their cohort of souls.

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