Perry Caduca (of The Gifts Of Life, by Oliver Smuhar)

Friday, 24th January, 2020

Dear readers, tonight we print an interview with a young man for an IT job — covering such aspects as his ability to teleport, evil armies, and beasts made of smoke.

PERRY: [Crud, am I nervous! I can do this! It’s just a job interview. IT, I know… I know computers! Yeah. I can do this. I marched into the room, my chest heaved, but I was a champion. The manger eyed me down with half a groan.]

MANAGER: Perry! Grab a seat please.

PERRY: Yeah. Cool, cool, cool. No whackers…

MANGER: Shall we begin?

PERRY: Yeah, sure… Oh, dad! How long is this going to take? Cause mum said that you were gonna hire me… and she’s a prophet, so… I’ll just keep my mouth shut. Am hungry though.

MANAGER QUINTEN: Perry, this is an interview, not dinner—


QUINTEN: First question! Tell me a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

PERRY: Why do you need to know that? You literally raised me.

QUINTEN: Answer the question!

PERRY: Fine! I grew up in a house with a patio and a cow. And I’m not talking about you dad!

QUINTEN: More detail please!

PERRY: Okay… I grew up in the white city of Oberon a continent on the planet Euphoria.

QUINTEN: Tone it down a little.

PERRY: Anything else?… When I was three my best friend Faith moved next door and when I was younger than that, I met the Princess, Zia. I was blest with the white crest of the wolf, the same as my father and his before him. Its white brand has been on my right wrist since before I could remember. I’ve had a pretty weird childhood being that my mum is the prophet of Kelton Whide. Oh, and that’s the name of the white city by the way. Uh, but I am fortunate! I have great friends like Dally and two sisters I’m very close with. I’m glad Teala came into my life when I was around seven. And I’m safe, under the floral. I’ve always been safe under the Kelton Guard and inside the farmland of the white city! Oh, and Baily, our servant makes pretty great hot chocolates!

QUINTEN: Good. Next question. Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

PERRY: What does that have to do with—

QUINTEN: Stop whining!

PERRY: Uh, I guess. I—I shouldn’t really mention it. Especially in front of you. But, Dally. We’d play with that crappy footy his dad bought. You remember Peter, don’t you? Nice guy. Too bad he had to leave after using his powers. It was my fault. But he didn’t have to end up in that trunk, you know?

QUINTEN: Trunk? Perry, I’ve told you countless times. Peter left after breaking taboo using his powers when the beacon was not on.

PERRY: I know. It’s just, your stick was bloody that night… Oh, maybe I was just seeing things. I didn’t like that toy!

QUINTEN: Don’t you mention my staff! It’s a not a toy.

PERRY: Can we move on please?

QUINTEN: Of course… What do you do now?

PERRY: I go to school. I just started year 10. It’s good, my grades aren’t as bad as last year! I only use my powers every Ascension Day, during the ceremony. Lucky Tea gets to be Flower Carrier this year!

QUINTEN: Oh, I didn’t mention. I’m talking with Lord Kelton to get you up as Age Representative this year!

PERRY: You what?…

QUINTEN: We’ll talk about it at home. Can you elaborate on your powers?

PERRY: Dad you—I know, I know. Answer the question… Um I can teleport. Mum says I can walk through walls as well. Said I’ll lose my sense of feelings one day. Eh, funny lady, isn’t she? But, yeah. I can do the same as you, White Wolf!

QUINTEN: Can you now?… Moving on. What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

PERRY: Adventure? I’m trying to get a job at the moment. Part time. Weekends! Actually, mum mentioned something pretty out there the other day!

QUINTEN: What was that?

PERRY: An adventure! She said the white city is going to be attacked and the beacon, the source of our powers will be turned on. So, funny. Kelton Whide, the safest of the eight major cities attacked and destroy by an army and giant beast made of smoke! She said I’m gonna have to follow Bailey to Everbreen, the green city. I’m gonna lose my feelings, and Teala’s going to lose her dreams, just because we’re able to use our powers everyday with the beacon being forced on. The funniest thing after she told me that Faith and I are going to argue a lot, maybe fall in love, fight a troll, is that we’re going to meet a talking panda! Can you believe that!

QUINTEN: Ha, ha, ha! Your mother is a crack up sometimes with her prophet illusions. That stuff never comes true. I can assure you. She’s told me I’m going to die soon. She’s told me for years! I’m still here. Don’t worry about your mother, boy! Actually, what’d she say about Everbreen?

PERRY: That it was completely different from our life in Kelton Whide. She said I’d learn how to fight, that Faith, Teala, Bailey and I would live there for a year and learn how to use our powers. That’s where it all ends! And we’d go to a white orchid and watch it turn to red with a mumbling masked man!… Ridiculous!

QUINTEN: It’s why I married her! What was the scariest thing she mentioned?

PERRY: Huh… I lose my sense of feeling. I can’t feel hugs! I can’t feel cold or heat. But she said when something hurts me and blood pours from under my skin. I’ll only feel pain for the rest of my life…

QUINTEN: I’m sure she’s making sure you don’t do anything stupid! Especially with Dally! You two are a pain when you’re together! Did you find anything revolting in her prophecy?

PERRY: Not really. I get the crap kicked out of me though! Well, that’s what she said. Let’s be honest, I’d beat the crap out of everyone else. But, if I’m serious. It’s being away from home. From you guys!

QUINTEN: That’s kind of you, Perry. Anything that caught your ear?

PERRY: Haven’t thought that far ahead. I guess using my powers, I get a cool white hood. Meeting new friends and old ones too. And apparently there’s more after the end!

QUINTEN: Tell me more about these friends.

PERRY: I’ve mentioned them all before. There’s Dally, he’s a bloody brute. He can levitate anything with his mind. Princess Zia can manipulate glass. Teala’s like me. Bailey, I think, can do something with fog, but don’t quote me. Apparently, we meet a guy who can freeze time, imagine that! And Faith! Well, she’s the most powerful. She can change someone’s atoms. Make brick into water and water into steam!

QUINTEN: Do you fancy her?

PERRY: Who, Faith? Yuck. No, we’re just friends, okay! I would never. Haven’t even thought about it that much. Maybe a little, but it’s not the whole point to this weird interview!

QUINTEN: Okay, calm down. Is there anyone you hate?

PERRY: I was going to say Bailey, but I don’t really hate him. He’s okay… Oh! Araidian. You know. Araidian Leap. He like won us the Echo War. Yeah, with his white suit and top hat! He’s eerie man, and that photo he looks at!

QUINTEN: Of his daughter?

PERRY: Yeah. He—I feel like he’s going to do something bad. Really bad!

QUINTEN: Good. Avoid him if you’re not with me. Okay boy? … What’s your favourite pass-time?

PERRY: Weird shift in tone. Uh, knitting… Really like knitting!

QUINTEN: Really!

PERRY: Okay, you got me! I was foolin’ around. I enjoy video games but I never have time to play them. Hanging out with Dally and Faith, partying, not using my power—love that—hmm. I guess walking. I really like just walking to nowhere and hoping things will turn out okay!

QUINTEN: What do you plan to do after working here?

PERRY: Ah. Go to the orange capital. Central City. Apparently, the House of the Senate’s getting some more red splatters inside. Eh, maybe visit the blue city, underwater. Drewmora. Heck, even make a town of people in tents. Who knows?

QUINTEN: Last question than we’ll get some food… Can you share a little secret between you and me!

PERRY: Sure… I think—and don’t tell anyone—but someone’s typing on a computer putting these words I speak onto a page, which than creates the weird situations mum has foreseen. And apparently this mystic person, their goal is to write a sort of series with me being the main player and as they grow up from a teenager, to an adult, to a parent, to even maybe an oldie, so will I… Like has that been done before where the writer grows up with his characters?

QUINTEN: Argh… enough Perry! You’re hired! You start tomorrow, bright and early. Let’s go get some food.