And... and I think I finally got Kell. Don't know if you remember, but this is the character that never smiles. I didn't write much, it was more like I edited a pre-existing scene.
(first-draft, very rusty since I haven't been writing in a very long time... so be kind)
“Tell me,” I say, and flip to a new page.
Her gaze slides off to the side, refusing to meet mine, but her face is slowly composing itself again, the tattered shreds of her calm exterior re-knitting. It doesn’t look easy, but it looks… skillful. Well practiced, but not rehearsed. Necessary. Essential.
“There was a fire.”
She starts to shakes her head, then nods instead, a deliberate chop of her chin. Her wind-ripped eyes are tired now, all the storm in them suddenly blown out, exhausted. Beaten. She hugs herself, like she’s cold.
Then she stares straight at me and her lips twist, they twist into something grotesque. This is a smile, this is what a smile should look like, lifted corners, curved mouth, rounded cheeks, but there’s nothing soft or sweet here. Not a line or shape or shadow that isn’t sharp, festering, and radiating hostility.