30 Character Challenge (1-5)

I decided to do the 30 Characters Challenge this year.  Unfortunately, I was a little late in registering and found registration to be closed, so this is kind of “unofficial”.  I’ve been lax in posting, so with only a few days left, I’m going to post multiple characters per day to get caught up.  I’m writing character descriptions, though I may attempt to pull out my sketchbook later on.  As always, feedback is welcome

Here’s the first batch from the novel I’m attempting to write for NaNoWriMo:

The Reverend

The Reverend is a preacher in his late thirties who ministers to the traveler/nomad sub-culture, specifically to those traveling by motorcycle. An avid rider himself, he travels throughout the United States most of the year, sharing the Word of God with those in need of it. A student of world religions, he serves as chaplain to all those in need, regardless of their faith.

Standing at 5’10” 200 pounds, the reverend is not an overly imposing figure. Rarely is he in need of physical prowess, preferring to turn the other cheek. Most of his face is covered by a thick dark beard, peppered with gray. He is most likely to be found in jeans and a t-shirt when out in public. His riding attire includes simple boots, a brown leather jacket with a “lone wolf – no club” patch on the back, and a chaplain pin on the collar, and a brown leather vest with patches representing his faith, position, and status as a “lone wolf” not belonging to any club. Over the years, he’s collected pins and patches from those he’s served, their gifts to him in thanks. When preaching as part of his ministry, a green pastoral shirt replaces the vest. A simple white cassock robe with green stole is worn for formal ceremonies like weddings and funerals.

The reverend is haunted by dreams of his past. Featured prominently are his wife and daughter. Few people know the full story of what happened to them and the reverend never speaks of them. He is voluntarily celibate. Most days he can be described as brooding. He is quiet and keeps to himself and although not intentionally aloof or unapproachable, he is generally left alone by those who don’t know him, except on the occasions where it appears the Lord has brought him to a place where someone needs his counsel. In these times, a different side of him comes out as he comes alive and speaks in a lively and compelling manner.



Annie is a Lone Wolf biker and a nomad who makes her living trafficking guns and illicit goods amongst the 1% clubs. In her mid thirties, she has been on the road for nearly two decades, having left home with her brother on the back of his Harley when she was sixteen. She learned how to ride and the rules of the road from him before a falling out between them found her acquiring her own bike and going their separate ways.

Although she has slept with men when it has been advantageous for her, Annie identifies as a lesbian. She will openly state that she has no use for men, and works hard to prove, if only to herself, that she can do everything on her own. She rarely speaks of her past, but shows the battle scars of a hard lived life. Although she stands at 5’3” with 130 pounds distributed evenly on a solid frame, she presents a relatively imposing image, able to stand her ground with men twice her size.

Annie’s last contact with her brother was at Christmas three years ago. She had tentatively agreed to meet him for dinner to observe the holiday. He had recently been stopped from committing suicide by a minister who counseled him and showed him the path to Christ. Being newly “born again”, her brother was over-zealous in his faith and lacking a full understanding of the Word. As such, he’d bought into the homosexuality as sin argument and used the dinner as a chance to condemn his sister and urge her to repent and change her ways. What followed would fracture the last remains of their relationship and land her brother in jail (her, too, if she hadn’t fled the scene before officers could arrive). Neither keeps in touch with the other now, but, seeing him as the cause of the problem, Annie sought out the preacher who “saved” her brother to, as she put it, “thank him properly.” Perhaps ironically, she now has a better relationship with The Reverend, than with her brother, though even that is always on unsteady ground.



Cinnamon, known as “Cindy” to those around her, ran away from home at fifteen, spending the next five years living on the streets, begging for change and learning to fend for herself. She had become proficient at picking pockets was when her life took a very dramatic turn. She made the mistake of picking the pocket of a full patch member of the Devil’s Rejects, an outlaw motorcycle club, who didn’t take kindly to having someone steal from him. When the chapter president found them, Cindy had been brutally beaten and was near death. He put her under his protection, which spared her life, but made her his property. She was branded “Slave” and used in any way he saw fit. Cindy was tentatively traded to Annie in a deal for some hard to acquire black market weaponry but is classified as “stolen property” by the club until the deal is complete. There is a reward for her return.

Annie is 5’1” and roughly 120 pounds. She has a relatively small frame and curvy figure. Her deep red hair falls over her shoulders when not bound up away from her face. In her mid twenties, Cindy has been on her own for over a decade and has had no contact with her family. Her time with the Rejects has left her mentally and emotionally broken, something that shows in her defeated posture, vacant gaze, and long, sad expression. Although quiet most of the time, the emotional damage will bring her to outbursts at otherwise insignificant events. Her riding attire includes a t-shirt and tight fitting blue jeans with black boots. Over the shirt she normally wears a black vest with the words “Property of Devil’s Rejects” emblazoned on the back in club colors. This is currently hidden away and has been replaced by a black leather jacket that is one size too large and bears no insignia.



Bulldog is an old friend of the Reverend. They met on the road years ago in a time when both of them had walked away from Christ and united over that commonality. When they first met, Bulldog had recently divorced his wife and had developed many bad habits, including heavy alcohol and light drug use. He ran away from his spouse and his children at the same time he was running from God. A quick learner, Bulldog aquired a great many skills on the road. He can fix just about anything mechanical, is handy with a needle and thread (both on clothing and on flesh), has the skills to treat most injuries and ailments better than your average EMT, and makes the best campfire chili you’ll ever taste. His is an avid cyclist, both of the leather and spandex varieties.

Bulldog came back to Christ about eight years after meeting the Reverend. The two had been out of contact for awhile, each struggling on their own with personal issues. Bulldog had known of the Reverend’s own return and subsequent ordination, and this may have been the cause for the lack of contact. When Bulldog committed a cardinal sin amongst bikers and rode away from a bar having consumed enough alcohol to inebriate three men and crashed his ride as a result, the hospital had found the Reverend’s number in his wallet and called him. Although it meant racing across three states, he was at Bulldog’s bedside twenty four hours later, praying over his comatose body. He didn’t leave his side for more than a few minutes until Bulldog woke up. When he did, both men wept and caught up on each other’s lives.

Bulldog never talked about what he experienced when he was near death, but whatever happened changed him. He gave up drinking and drugs and was eventually baptized by the Reverend. He began working with a ministry serving his community, providing for the poor and the homeless. He and the Reverend are in contact often and get together when they can.

Bulldog stands tall and lean at 6’1′, 165 pounds. He shaves his remaining hair on a regular basis, but will occasionally allow his facial hair to grow for a day or two, into a rough grey stubble. Having reconciled with his wife (shortly after reconciling with Christ), he probably dresses better than he might on his own, usually found in jeans and shirts you don’t find at Wal-mart. When hassled about the extravagance, he insists that they’re purchased from second hand stores or received as gifts. He has a warm, welcoming smile that is infectious and makes the shelter and soup kitchen where he’s usually found far more pleasant.


Mark Johnson

Mark is another old friend of the Reverend’s. He’s technically a tenant farmer on property owned by the Reverend’s ministry. He maintains the grounds and buildings and is charge of coordinating and directing the workers on the property in exchange for rent and a small salary. Along with his wife and three children, he occupies the main house on the property. There hasn’t been a piece of machinery built that Mark can’t fix, or at least jerry rig to get working long enough to get the job done.

Mark and his wife may know the Reverend better than anyone. They all grew up together and they were both part of his wedding party and were privy to the events leading up to his falling out with God. They’re a little fuzzy on the details of his return, mostly because it occurred whilst he was on the road and they know of it only through his stories. Mark is fiercely loyal to the Reverend, fearing that one day there will be another falling out and being entirely unwilling to let his friend go through Hell alone.

A stereotypical farm boy, Mark stands about 5’11”, 200 pounds of near solid muscle. His broad shoulders and muscular chest and arms, coupled with a foul glare that he can call at will across his normally friendly face got the Reverend out of more than one tough scrape when he’d fallen into his dark period. Clean shaven, he tops the look off with dirty blond hair that is kept neat, but “floppy”. He’s most often seen in denim overalls and a button down, long sleeve work shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up his forearms and a t-shirt underneath.