Friday, August 28, 2015

Characters Who Refuse to be Forgotten- Dr. Giles Talon, an Introduction

I have certain characters who refuse to remain neatly tucked away in the pages of their novels or stories collection.

One of those characters is Dr. Giles Talon who appears in three novels (the original and two sequels) and is a favorite of mine and Kelly's.  He is a supernatural being living on earth as a medical professional. He is a handsome man, but his personality leaves a lot to be desired. He is abrupt, cold, rude, and hardly anyone can tolerate him. Yet, there is one person on earth who inflames his passion- and that is misfit, socially awkward, young Bryce Briscoe who has been labeled a freak all her life by her peers, and even by members of her own family. She is accident prone, has "died" several times- but Dr.Talon has always been there, her entire life, to save her life, to bring her back. His deepest, darkest secret is that he is a grim reaper. Bryce is not who or what she thinks she is. She is also a supernatural being born into the human world, chosen by Talon shortly after she was given her 'glow' by her guardian angel. He adored the little copper-haired being when she still resided in the Heavenly realms, and has followed her since her birth- yet he completely lacks social skills and interpersonal skills which complicates their working relationship as well as any developing personal relationship at work- he becomes the Medical Examiner working out of the Revere City Morgue after the passing of the elderly doctor who held the position previously, a man who had more or less adopted Bryce when she was floundering on her own in the city.

Talon is a complex character because he is evolving throughout the novel. He is a reaper, therefore he does not have personal feelings, emotions. He does his job. He is also a defender of Heaven and earth against demons and beasts seeking to gain entry. One of his main issues is that Bryce Briscoe is his chosen portal, therefore, she is a direct passageway between Heaven and earth through which the souls he reaps pass. Bryce is vulnerable and needs his protection. Talon, as he is known in Heaven and the realms outside of earth, commands a large army of Guardians and Warriors who are much like him- emotionless warriors who fight to the death. Talon has a few trusted Guardians and Warriors living as humans on earth. They reside in his brownstone home, for the most part, although one lives rogue in the city, but works under him in the Morgue.

Talon is also a highly sexual being- it is his major outlet, I guess you'd call it. Because he is a handsome 'human'- women are attracted to him, so he has had many brief incendiary affairs. This complicates his relationship with Bryce, who is both repelled by his cold nature and attracted to the smoking hot side of him. While he is still alive, Dr. Elliott acts as a buffer between the two. He is also more than he appears to be- he is a member of the Heavenly Council of the Throne of One, and so is his late wife.

Then there is Edward Wrisley, a good-natured human who adores Bryce and wants to be her boyfriend.  And Dr, Liliya Romanenko who is a colleague of Dr. Talon's at Central Hospital. She is Dr. Talon's lover when Bryce first starts working at the Morgue. Romanenko despises Bryce and is not shy about venting her feelings of disdain on the younger girl.

During the course of the novel, Talon gradually discovers human emotions and feelings hidden deep within his complex make-up. These feelings have actually been developing since Bryce was first born on earth, with every brief encounter he has had with her- the toboggan accident when she is four, the gypsy and ice cream shop meeting when she is nine, the bike accident when she is twelve, the near date-rape incident when she is sixteen...he has always been there for her in times of crisis. But when the time arrives for him to begin training her as his portal- he balks, procrastinates and creates emotional turmoil for Bryce, which leads to dangerous situations for her as her highly emotional states allow beasts to break through into the world. And the dead begin trying to communicate with her because they know what she is. And Talon is jealous of Ed who so easily gets along with Bryce.

The turning point comes when she is nearly killed by an out of control vehicle that pins her to the wall of a Chinese restaurant. Basically, she should be dead, but Talon happens to be there, as he has always been there when she's had an accident and while Romanenko shouts at him that he is wasting his time trying to save her life he refuses to let Bryce go. Bryce's spirit ascends to Heaven where she meets Dr. Elliott in the Meadow of Meditation, a place where souls can go to decide whether or not they will return to their bodies in times like these. He sends her back by pushing her backwards off a cliff.

From then on- Talon is a little more human and develops more personality because now he realizes that he does not want to lose his chosen portal- and he is realizing what the human sentiment called love is all about. He loves her, yet he is struggling to understand that feeling. He has always been aware of this sexual attraction to her, and he has initiated a relationship with her in his incorporeal form as Dr. Talon- which she believes are just very realistic sexual dreams about the icy cold doctor and how she wants him to behave when he's with her- her desires awakening and her fantasies evolving of a more human Dr. Talon- which confuses her because he remains icy in reality at the time.

Even after he finally tells her that she is his chosen portal, and how she came to be in the world their relationship remains rocky, but it is also developing and growing stronger. He is trying to be what she wants him to be in the world while battling demons and beasts that are trying to get to her from the other realms. There are increased attacks as she become stronger and grows into her role as the reaper's portal.

Talon struggles to merge the human with the supernatural inhuman. He is not really human so for him it is a more difficult feat- to be everything that Bryce wants him to be. The turning point is when they are thrown out of Heaven, banished, sent back to earth. He sees her lying crumpled on the shore of the lake and is certain that he has lost her for all eternity, that she is dead. He cradles her cold, limp body, in his reaper form, and he weeps for the first time ever at the bitter sting of loss, at the wrenching pain of lost love. His tears revive her.

Writing Talon's character was not easy. He hurts Bryce often and they have a volatile relationship throughout the novel- but there is this grand passion that exists between them, that develops and evolves and blazes forth. He evolves...and, I can't forget him.  I want to explore his character some more and see where he is now. day....

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