Wesley Sheopard

Wesley Sheopard

A Story by E. L. Foley

Done as a character-building exercise for a creative writing class a while back--I'm trying to decide whether I want to use the character in a full story.


Pt I

Describe a time when you didn't think you had chosen, but you had.

Ah, well, that's the story of my life right now, isn't it? Well, I'm a microbiologist who specializes in infectious diseases, and the big moral dilemma is over germ warfare--right or wrong? I thought that I was staying out of it, always did when I worked for Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. But then I got laid off. Long story short, I took a government job without getting all the information. A foot in the door of this whole mess--a month into it, new development on my project gets me transferred. And wouldn't you know it? Now I'm in the biological weapons division.

Please tell about one thing that you are embarrassed to admit you enjoy--a guilty pleasure, if you will.

Soap operas. I got hooked on them when I was between jobs. Silly, isn't it? I'm supposed to be an empiricist, a man of science, and I get caught up in these crazy stories. I've been TiVoing Days of Our Lives for over a month now. Drives my girlfriend insane"but then again, she shouts at the TV when she watches soccer. I can't be any worse than she is.


Wesley Sheopard sat on the edge of a low, rectangular couch, looking a bit faded against its red vibrancy. Turning slightly to catch his reflection, he grimaced momentarily at the emerging worry lines and the bones that stood out a touch too clearly. Then he smoothed his dirt colored hair with narrow hands, attempting to minimize the effect of the gray creeping up from his temple. Next in the sequence, he straightened his silver tie and clipped the photo ID to his breast pocket. A sigh and a moment of convincing himself that he had to go to work and he stood, only filling about 5'11” of his full 6'4”.


The arguments had been coming more frequently. He was stressed. She worried about him.

Yesterday, it had been about the proper recycling categories. Wednesday, nothing at all. Tuesday, it had been about the ring hidden in his pocket, but she didn't know that. Today, it was the motorcycle.

“Why don't you get rid of that damned thing? It's past time for your toys,” pressed the petite blond woman as soon as she was through the chromed door, before she even peeled off the crisp lab coat.

“Are you referring to Cobalt? Or is there some erector set lingering from my childhood that I'm unaware of?” he replied, hardly looking up from the business section of the paper.

“I hate that you named that deathtrap. It's completely illogical.”

“Lacy, we've been over this, haven't we?” His voice came out as a sigh. By this point, it seemed like they'd been over everything. “Ben named it.”

“I just think that you need to grow up and get something safer now.” She had pressed her voice into composure, and now both of their voices held annoyance pushing up through exhaustion, rather than earnest anger.

“I can't afford a car now, can I?”

“But things are better--you have a job now.”

“You know my finances as well as I do.”

“Alright, not now, but soon?”

“Are you expecting me to say yes? How about this: I'll think about it?”

“At some point, that is simply not going to be good enough.”

“How will I know when that will be? Is there some kind of timer that will go off? Ding ding ding, times up! No more thinking! Lacy's decided that that's not good enough!”

“Incredibly mature.”

“Haven't I grown up? I'm sitting in a respectable apartment, with furniture that matches and everything. I moved to Detroit. I have a job, I come home to you every day on time. I'm wearing a tie, for god's sake. When was the last time that I failed to live up to my adult responsibilities?”

The silence was as stark as the primary colored furniture against the white walls.

© 2010 E. L. Foley

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Added on June 22, 2010
Last Updated on June 24, 2010
Tags: Excercises, Character, Realistic Fiction, Scientists


E. L. Foley
E. L. Foley

It Depends

Currently studying Physics, my other pursuits are largely done in the time stolen from lab reports, badly botched circuit building, and endless problems. I knit, write (obviously, though I'm not very.. more..

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