Character Interview: Ashling

Posted: January 15, 2018 in Character Interviews W/ Travis

Here we go with another interview! This time, Travis got the opportunity to speak with Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins’ character Ashling.

Trav re-pocketed his phone, having reassured his brother-in-law that he knew what he was doing, he wouldn’t get lost in a park, and that he’d be back soon. There was some sort of conference going on or whatever (Travis hadn’t quite paid attention), but he knew that Spencer was going to attend that, and he’d tagged along to do another interview. Looking at his notepad, he saw that the newest interviewee was someone by the name of Ashling. His tail drooped a bit, as he tried to think of what this Ashling looked like.

 

An average person who didn’t know better would think a crow was flying to a nearby branch with a butterfly clinging to its head. A keener, more well-informed observer, especially in the right light, would know that in fact, the crow was ridden by a pixie, her Cosmopolitan Butterfly-esque wings tattered and torn.

“Caw.”

“You sure that’s him, Count?”

“Caw.”

 

Jumping slightly, Travis looked in the crow’s direction. After which point he made his way up the tree, making sure not to get too close to that particular branch.

 

“Hey. Ashling, right?” the monkey-human hybrid asked.

 

“That’s me! This is the Count. Thanks for agreeing to do this. It’s good to get the real information out there; when you leave things to rumor, you end up with sudden attacks by redcaps with spiked bats on a human playground.”

 

He blinked. “Okay, then I guess that brings me to question number one…are redcap attacks a major problem for you?”

 

“Only recently. But the real problem is that it’s never just about the redcaps. Distinctly not idea people. At least not in An Teach Deiridh, where I’m from. If they’re pulling this kind of thing, there are some serious Faerie court politics going on. And here I am already having to give good, wholesome advice to a brand new princess in the middle of all this.”

 

“Okay, that brings up a couple questions,” Travis said. “I guess the next would probably be about An Teach Deiridh. What’s the area like?”

 

“Well, from here, it’s just a jump to the left, step to the right, you do the hokey pokey and you –”  

“Caw!”

Ashling sighed. “All right, so /technically/ it’s just a matter of stepping into the right circle of mushrooms or lodestones with your eyes closed. But anyway, the castle is great, manages to provide a place where the Unseelie and Seelie courts can live together without destroying each other.  Usually. Things have gotten unusual lately, and some of it’s spilling into the mortal realms, particularly Washington State, where the Unseelie King’s daughter lives. But mostly it’s great!”

 

He raised a thick red eyebrow. “Now, when you say it’s spilling over into the mortal realms…like, how is that coming about? What kinds of things should, say, someone like me look for?”

 

“Well, to start with, people in San Francisco 49ers caps with terrible dental work. You should watch out for those anyway; their taste in football teams with bad offensive lines is suspect. But……if things get /worse/, well… if the humans around you gradually seem less interested in music, or if there’s a weird… chill. … well, that would mean we haven’t successfully saved the day and returned the balance of the courts, so /probably/ not going to be an issue.”

“Caw.”

“Don’t be a pessimist, Count.”

 

He chuckled slightly. “Fair enough. But okay, weird chill…will have to keep that in mind. Alright, so, there’s one that I’ve been kinda curious about, and–feel free to not answer this one if it’s, like, too personal for you–…What happened with your wings? Like I said, feel free to avoid answering that one if you’d rather not. I’m just wondering if they’re naturally like that, or if there was an accident, or what.”

Ashling’s face goes a little flat. “It wasn’t an accident. It was a butterfly collector. But we get around just fine now, thank you.”

 

Travis thought of what likely happened with the butterfly collector, cringing visibly. “Wow…sorry you went through that,” he replied. “So, what is it you do for fun?”

 

“Well, with my /lengthy/ professional obligations as the Unseelie King’s hunting scout, most trusted messenger, and now, serving as a magical tutor, medicine-reapportionment infiltrator, and all-around tour guide for his daughter in the midst of this political crisis, there’s really not all that much time for hobbies, although the hunting is always fun, regardless of what kind.”

 

“Duuuude…that sounds like a lot. Glad some of it’s fun, though. What would you say is your favorite part of hunting?” he asked.

 

Ashling looked sheepish. “Well, right now, I’d have to say it’s the part where we all go home afterwards to a warm fire with everyone feeling happy and well-exercised, because I’m kind of missing that part right now with all the current difficulties.”

 

He nodded slightly. “Yeah…political difficulties can screw with a lot,” he said. “So second to last one: if you were to find out that there was someone out there, writing about your life and possibly even causing some of the more unpleasant parts of it, how would you react?”

 

Ashling blinked. “Well, I’d tell them that I appreciated their getting all my valuable wisdom out to the masses, and that if they’re /causing/ things, well, thanks for meeting Megan; she’s a good kid….” The pixie’s eyes narrowed. “But if they don’t give me my King back soon, they’re going to find out the Death of the Author isn’t just a literary-philosophy term. There’s plenty of blank space on the next hunting-target list.”

 

“Getting wisdom to the masses…okay, so I haven’t thought of it that way before,” he replied. “Last question: Where can you see yourself about a year from now?”

“Caw.”

“Count, I can too think more than five minutes ahead.” Ashling looked thoughtful. “Well, Megan’ll be in her more advanced bardic magic lessons, and certainly I can’t leave her stuck relying on anyone else for those, so some of that, the downfall of certain butterfly collectors, can’t exactly count out a massive interplanar war….” She shrugged. “It’ll be interesting times, certainly.”

 

He smiled somewhat. “Welp. Best of luck with everything. Especially the butterfly collectors.”

 

Travis would have offered a handshake or a hug, but wasn’t sure how either of those would work, given their size difference.

 

“Thank you. We appreciate the interview.”

 

“Always happy to interview people,” he replied, soon hopping down from the tree.

 

Ashling will give a cheery, manic-pixie wave good-bye before the Count flies off.

Jeffery’s Amazon Author Central page is here, and Katherine’s would be right here.

Jeffery Cook’s Facebook and Twitter

 

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