"It's real... all of it."
Her Dreams Becoming Reality
Darling Riccel is the main character of the book, Darling.
Personality and Traits
Darling is a vibrant and outgoing girl exuding a sense of excitement. Her passion and desire to experience wondrous new things is unparalleled. While it can be seen that Darling is an out of control brat, she is acutely aware of what she is like as a person and does not care either way. She truly loves her writing and she loves the subjects and themes in them so much that she can't keep it to herself. Everyone has to experience the same joy and wonder that she does.
Darling's physical presence can be somewhat overpowering as she is actually a big girl compared to other women. With her exuberance of her own work pouring over into physical actions she can appear intimidating to those who aren't expecting her boundless energy.
She loves dragons and medieval fantasy, and her books constantly feature cliche' motifs of classic fantasy characters. While her writing skill is fairly good, her subject material is questionable and to that Darling can't figure out why no one wants to read her books - except Amy.
Darling also really likes bunnies and constantly puts bunny related content in her stories.
While Darling's initial motive may be that she just wants people to read her books and get away from reality, the truth is that she is tired of how complacent the world is in no longer caring for each other. She feels that if she writes a wonderful book that is a testament to how we should care for one another, maybe she can be a part of making the world special. Until then, she'll satisfy herself in her own fantasies until the world changes to the way she wants.
Darling's relationship with her family is pretty poor. Her father has given up on trying to change her mind from being a writer, while her mother leaves infrequent calls pestering her to give up her current path.
Her best friend Amy has just arrived in college, and Darling uses Amy more as a sounding board for her own ideas rather than include Amy in on anything. However, the two get along great regardless and neither of them question their friendship.
Her new friend Jill is very polite to her and listens to her problems, but she always appears more interested in doing something else. Regardless of this, Darling pushes on anyway, not wishing to acknowledge that she may be part of the problem of why the world is the way it is.
A blazing force of beauty, ambition and desire, Darling Riccel is a woman with goals. She is a stunning contrast to her two friends; her taller sleek body and her pure fair skin set her apart from the plainness of Amy and the goth chic look of Jill. Accompanying her pleasing shape is her long, blonde hair which shines as bright as her personality. Easily identifiable before she speaks, many find that her physique alone is intimidating as she barrels into their personal space to tell them about a new story that she has written… and she just can’t wait to share it with them.
She means no harm; Darling loves stories so much and feels that what the world needs is to read good books that tell thought provoking truths - as long as they have action packed adventures of medieval fantasy mixed in with them.
Even early in her childhood Darling exhibited adamant behavior, becoming set on accomplishing even the most outlandish feats in an attempt to validate that the imaginary world was real. Proving that the monsters under her bed exist was brushed off as simple playing by her parents. Not that they paid much attention to her - Harvey was a businessman and traveled constantly for work. Gloria was a vet and spent much of her time at the office caring for sick pets. Keeping their daughter under control for something so ordinary as a healthy and wonderful imagination was not worth taking time to consider, so they fed her cravings by giving her a fairy tale book for her eighth birthday, hoping that reading a book would satiate her.
A few days and one notebook later Darling proudly presented to them her own fairy tale story. Rife with spelling and punctuation errors, it could be described as a near rip off of Rapunzel, only with the heroine named “Prinses Buny”. Instead of living in a tower she lived in a dungeon where she had to be pulled out of the ground like a carrot. A Prince comes along and saves her and they live happily ever after.
Several notebooks followed afterward, each following a theme of bunnies or bunny related happenings. When asked to offer an explanation behind the motif, Darling explained matter-of-factly that she liked bunnies.
The girl likes bunnies. Let’s leave it at that.
Seeing that Darling was developing into a writer, her parents encouraged her behavior, giving her notebooks and other pads of paper for her birthday and Christmas. She rarely wanted toys - her list always consisted of more paper or more books to read. Her best accomplishments she would take with her to school and have the teacher proofread them for her. She would fill page after page in her notebooks, all stories, all incredibly stale and cliche’. She was an excellent writer when it came to structure, but her tastes were undeniably bad. The teacher was so pleased with her progress on her sentence structure that there was no reason to chastise her for a terrible plot. Having a student taking a self venture into writing is reward enough.
Darling performed well in school, particularly in Math and English.
One of the peculiar knacks Darling had shown early on was her ability to memorize everything about her stories. Even though she had written so many, she could remember every detail from each one and would correct her readers if they recalled something wrong. She applied this skill to her math problems; with a bored sigh she would turn in flawless math homework and return to her books.
At first, she performed similarly with History - memorize facts and turn in perfect papers. But one day in eighth grade she lost interest in even memorizing those, refusing to fill out sheets or even bother to put her name on quizzes. A quick prattling from her parents set her back on track, but she did the bare minimum required to pass the class, and nothing more.
When asked for an explanation behind the sudden drop in quality, Darling explained that she no longer cared for the real world, finding that the fantasy worlds she reads or writes about are more interesting and deserving of her attention. History is done and over with, there’s no reason to remember what happened.
Despite her rabid fascination to fantasy, her continual pushing to share her creations and passions, Darling still is sensible enough to know that she can never admit to the cause behind her lack of interest in the real world.
At first they felt as dreams would. Vague, unclear, hard to remember. But on that night they became vivid and real, more real than she could ever imagine. She could feel herself in the world and when given an opportunity to see herself, actually could. Only her physical body had changed - her skin tone was much darker, her straight blonde hair transformed into a more erratic and flowing pink. Two long bunny ears protruded from her head, accompanied with a similar bunny tail at her bottom.
The transformation was startling enough, but the dream continued regardless - as though it didn’t need her to continue on. People she never knew would come and go, greeting her as if she was a long time friend.
Rather than fear the unknown, Darling embraced it. She explored as much as she could, found wondrous new lands and fascinating people. She met the King and he told her of what it was that he ruled over. Everything that Darling wanted in a fantasy world had come to life in her dream and she was living it and loving it.
She also discovered that she had a strange power while there, as she had gained the ability to manipulate and channel water as a restorative force. She couldn’t quite explain how she knew - the information slipped into her mind as soon as she walked past the fountain in the square. Without consciously thinking about it she channeled the water from the fountain into the palm of her hand. With a burst of light and a few moments later she had healed a large gash that the blacksmith had recently given himself after a night of drinking a little too much. No sooner had she received a standing ovation from the townspeople did she wake up.
Back to reality. Back to boring reality. Back to boring dumb reality.
Although Darling’s life was fantasy, she brought her ideals to life. To her, fantasy was a method to tell a story, to show a message, to bring an ideal to focus. Darling lived these ideals vicariously, never backing down from them, fully believing that what they taught were true and noble. Good Will Defeat Evil. There are Always Happy Endings. True Love is Love at First Sight. The Strong Stand Up for the Weak.
Darling’s odd lifestyle and large physical presence lent her to be an anti-bully at school. Other students feared her; no one wanted to get on her bad side, but no one wanted to be her friend either. Well known as the “Insane Dragon Writer”, Darling was seen as the girl no one wanted to mess with on either end. Even though the weaker and less popular kids didn’t seem to mind her, no one wanted to tolerate her crazy stories or rambling about story ideas.
No one, except Amy Iddur.
When Robby Hasserton decided to give Amy’s group a hard time during lunch, Darling was on patrol. A simple battlecry came from her mouth - “Halt, evildoer!” Robby had no option but to run or face the lengthy discourse that would be sure to come from the girl that was bigger than he was. Boy, she loved to talk about dragons. After the evil had been defeated, Darling then invited herself at the table, showing her notebooks to the kids sitting there, rapidly talking about them as if they all had read the books themselves.
Amy found them interesting - the rest is history.
It could be said that Amy was the worst and best thing that happened to Darling - she was dull and plain, content and routine, Amy was a stellar contrast to Darling’s unique brand of eccentricity.
While Amy took a genuine interest in Darling’s work - probably the only person that kept Darling focused - she still had the sense of mind to prevent Darling from pulling every crazy stunt she came up with throughout her high school years. Amy read every story Darling produced, although she was incapable of telling Darling that her work was incredibly bad, because she believed it was good herself. Amy’s poor judge of quality led Darling to believe that her work was honestly well-written; when Darling ventures into college she will have so much previous material to work with when she receives her first creative writing course.
Although they encouraged her from the start, her parents were not receptive toward her career choice. It was around graduation that Darling engaged in a fight with her mother over what she was going to do with her future. While her father had given up on her years ago, her mother still tried to rationalize Darling and bring her back to do something more sensible. Darling held fast to her beliefs, but at the end of the discussion she realized that she had a problem - that she was out of touch with reality herself.
The dreams she continued to have every night weren’t helping any.
They felt so real and meant so much to her, the writing she put effort into every day was all for a greater purpose. She wanted to write stories with meaning and depth, and even though she had no friends outside of Amy, she still wanted to share with everyone. To Darling, it was beyond her and what she wanted to do with her life. It was what she wanted to do with others.
Entering college, that is exactly what she did - on her arrival into her first day of creative writing she shared with a quiet girl named Jill Zawdir. Unresponsive to her aggressive nature, Darling shared with Jill everything she could, hoping to elicit a reaction. Only when Jill allowed Darling to follow her back to her dorm did they have a frank discussion about the material, where Jill’s polite but honest nature led them to become friends. Darling would bounce ideas off of Jill, who would respond politely but honestly.
A year passed. Darling and Jill are now roommates, and Darling is more or less the same as she was the year before. Her work has improved very little, as she fails to understand what makes her writing unacceptable in a college environment. With Amy now in the same college as her, Darling uses Amy as a soundboard for her ideas like she did in high school.
More excited than ever before about writing, Darling looks forward to her classes to show off her work. Even though her professors berate her and give her a hard time with her plots, she defends her work and stands up for it, not knowing or understanding what the problem is with her writing.
Her attitude toward responsibility has grown worse as well, as she tends to be late or never show up for classes that don’t relate to her major, spending that time to take short naps even though she isn’t tired. Her mother worries for her through infrequent calls at home to which Darling responds with childish frustration. Amy herself shows concern when Darling gets too carried away and has to calm her down. Jill won’t actively step up to give her a pep talk as she is too polite to question Darling’s drive and too busy in her own passions to sort her out. Will Darling return to reality, or will she become lost in her dreams forever?
Gotta write the darn book first! You could tell us what happened in the first few chapters, probably!
Riccel is an anagram for Cleric.