Isekai: 2.4

I think most people carry an image of themselves that’s out of date. Younger, healthier, still able to fit in those pants, things like that. Me, I was a 26-year-old pizza guy who’d been chasing 20-year-old college girls until he caught the wrong one and ended up here. Twelve years ago.

“It’s not like we own a mirror, but I see my reflection sometimes, and I look older, more like my dad.”

“Because you know you’re supposed to. You came from a place where it happened to everyone, so you expect it. I didn’t, so I don’t. And you’re not.”

I carefully pushed her away, just enough to look in her eyes. She believed it, and it scared her a little.

“What if it’s not here being there, but me being here? How I got here. How I… died.”

I hadn’t thought about her much since Angel arrived, but she’d been very focused on my death, even if she’d gotten the date wrong. And she’d said she brought me back.

“I don’t think she has that kind of power. We’re not, well, for that, and it’s always bothered me about your story. Whisking a man away at the moment of his death to hump him back to life as a hero, like some kind of slutty valkyrie? Not a chance; she probably got that story out of a comic book.”

Thinking about her story

That last line was a bit of a throwaway joke, but when I started writing from her point of view, I found her thinking in pop-culture references, mostly because I think in pop-culture references.

Which is a problem, because she’s Not From Around Here. She’s been-there-done-that, sure, but why would her internal monologue restrict itself to references that make sense to me? And I don’t want to invent new ones; that’s always a bad idea.

It’s not too bad at the moment, since at 2,500 words she hasn’t even made it out of the house yet, and the only out-of-sequence scene I’ve written is blessedly free of anachronisms, but I may have to go back and do some cleanup later.

I think it would be a huge mistake to drop her into a large group and try to invent them all at once. She needs a native guide, which she will not accept gracefully, but she’s used to ignoring anything that’s outside the scope of the current job, which gives me an excuse to gloss over the faces in the crowd, as well as a potential hook to bite her in the ass later.

The native guide is the first step. I wonder what she’s like…

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