NameHester Blue
Nickname(s)Hester, Hettie
RaceHuman
ClassBarren
ProfessionRat catcher
BirthplaceAustanferd
Age23
GenderCis female (She/Her/Hers)
Sexual OrientationBisexual
Audsalir ∀50
Activity4 posts [Find All Posts] / 3 threads [Find All Threads]


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Hester’s looks are not quite what comes to mind when one says rat-catcher, or even Hester.


Like the rest of her family and the ethnic Austan they descend from, she is tall and rangy with tawny skin and bands of dark freckles across her face and shoulders. Her thick, dark lashes and brows add to the native aspect, and her skin is marked with unbecoming evidence of time spent in the sun and a job that brings her close to many claws. She has little desire to wear makeup or jewelry, but even at her plainest Hester is still pretty: her heart-shaped face, gray-green eyes and rosy lips give the impression of someone soft and effeminate, and her slim figure is the marker of a life spent in motion outdoors.


Perhaps Hester’s most recognizable feature is her hair. Pin-straight and deep black, it’s interrupted by two wide, white streaks that travel from above her ears in a straight line to the bottom of her mane. It is always twisted into two thick French braids, long enough to touch the bottom of her spine. Though Hester is not often conscious of her appearance, she takes special pride in her hair and often spends hours brushing, braiding and taming it into refinement.


The Blues are a simply family, comfortable but not rich, and Hester’s wardrobe reflects that. She is most often dressed in black pants and a bell-sleeved white shirt, with heavy black work boots and a wide leather belt. She is painfully near-sighted, and always wears an oversized pair of round glasses rimmed in gold.

 
 

Hester’s looks are not quite what comes to mind when one says rat-catcher, or even Hester.


Like the rest of her family and the ethnic Austan they descend from, she is tall and rangy with tawny skin and bands of dark freckles across her face and shoulders. Her thick, dark lashes and brows add to the native aspect, and her skin is marked with unbecoming evidence of time spent in the sun and a job that brings her close to many claws. She has little desire to wear makeup or jewelry, but even at her plainest Hester is still pretty: her heart-shaped face, gray-green eyes and rosy lips give the impression of someone soft and effeminate, and her slim figure is the marker of a life spent in motion outdoors.


Perhaps Hester’s most recognizable feature is her hair. Pin-straight and deep black, it’s interrupted by two wide, white streaks that travel from above her ears in a straight line to the bottom of her mane. It is always twisted into two thick French braids, long enough to touch the bottom of her spine. Though Hester is not often conscious of her appearance, she takes special pride in her hair and often spends hours brushing, braiding and taming it into refinement.


The Blues are a simply family, comfortable but not rich, and Hester’s wardrobe reflects that. She is most often dressed in black pants and a bell-sleeved white shirt, with heavy black work boots and a wide leather belt. She is painfully near-sighted, and always wears an oversized pair of round glasses rimmed in gold.

 

Hester’s sheltered upbringing has created a girl more follower than leader in every sense of the word. She is painfully shy and polite to a fault, unable to stand up for herself even when her feelings are hurt, which is quite often: she tends to be overtly sensitive and struggles to keep her emotions in check, though she loathes to admit it. The girl is prone to melancholy and prefers to withdraw than face conflict, even at the cost of her sleep and peace. She is a lone worker and, if given the choice, would rather spend time with her family or her animals than acquaintances or even friends.


Despite all this—or perhaps because of it—Hester is exceptionally easy to get along with, placid and friendly insofar as she is not pushed. She has quite the big heart (too soft, almost) and an innate desire to help the people around her at any cost. Law-abiding and non-rebellious, she is happy to follow in the footsteps of her family trade and has little interest in expanding outside the scope of what’s expected of her—except, perhaps, to find a partner. (Hester’s literary exploits have left her yearning for a taste of the romance she finds in her novels, though her searching has so far been fruitless.)


There isn’t a malicious bone in the girl’s body, but her excess of emotion and lack of expression often manifest as inadvertently hurtful remarks (or lack thereof). Hester is too-aware of her faults and is lacking in confidence, which only adds to her sometimes prickly demeanor. She is approachable, sincere, well-mannered, but underneath the placid surface it is often a battle to control her desires and the fire-bright feelings inside her.

 

“ALL BLUES ARE RAT-CATCHERS, HESTER.

I don’t know what to tell you. I guess it’s like a sickness. I would say it’s fate, but that seems far more fatal. When I was your age, I said I’d do something else, too. I said I was going to race horses.” [Laughter.] [Muffled sound of clicking, then movement.] “I loved horses when I was a kid. Still do, I guess. But anyway. I told your grandmother I was going to give up the family business and she laughed at me. And when I asked her why, she said—I can’t remember exactly, but it was close enough to ‘no’ that it upset me. I was much easier to rile up back then.


[Long, easy exhale.]


"I left home. Nyker—this same house, even, you know how long it’s been in the family—and I decided I was going go to Vestri and find a ranch that would give me a job. I had some experience, not a lot, but enough. I figured I could just waltz in and find something and I had enough money saved up that I could travel easy. It wasn’t all that hard. I mean, I was careful—you know the war was still going on—I mostly stayed away from the fae houses and it was all fine. I knew there were a lot of them around there, but I never came face to face with one. When I went into town I bumped into a man who owned a farm, and he offered me a job. Not anything interesting, but beggars can’t be choosers, you know. Anything as long as I wasn’t catching rats.”


“But you do catch rats.”


“Now I do. Okay, Hester, shh! Listen. You’re jumping ahead, time doesn’t work like that. Where was I—“


“Anything as long as you weren’t catching rats.”


“Right. I was your age or younger, maybe, when I left. And I spent a good while training these horses. Lots of drafts getting broken to drive and plow, that kind of thing. Menial but it was different enough. And they had cats, so I wasn’t rodent boy, anymore. I enjoyed it. Especially because the rancher’s daughter was too pretty for her own good—“ [Laughter, someone mimes vomiting.]

“Ew.”

“She was! And she just looked like you.”


“Oh, really? That’s a surprise.”


“I know, I know. Pretty thing. Green eyes too. The rancher didn’t particularly mind that I kept around her. I was well-behaved. Enough. She didn’t mind either, I think, because she was always bothering me, even while I was doing chores, even if it was shoveling manure or plowing the fields. Listen, it wasn’t glamorous. But she wasn’t much of a lady either, no matter how pretty, and that was why I decided to marry her.”


“Because she wasn’t a lady?”


“Because I knew I couldn’t break her, even if I tried. I’d broken enough things by then. I wanted someone who could hold her own. So—I decided I was going to give her a ring, when I could afford a decent one. I told her as much because I knew she wouldn’t like being caught off guard. And she said I’d have to do her a favor first. Listen, that women knew her damn way around an animal. She’d been riding horses since she could walked and at the time her father was raising the finest cattle in all of Vestri, maybe even Drekhjarta. And still she wanted another animal. When she said that was the favor, I imagined it was going to be something impossible. I thought I’d have to dig her up a dragon, or a white fox, or a whole, big whale. I would’ve gotten any of those, if she asked. But you know what she wanted?”


“What?”


“A rat.”


“A rat?”


“A rat. And not just any rat, no, she wanted something pretty. I laughed at her, I said—ma’am, I grew up with rats, not a single one of those sneaky bastards are palatable, much less pretty. She insisted otherwise. She said there was one she’d seen a while ago around the farm that was pretty, white with a little cap of blue on his head, that she wanted for her own. Alright. But it took me weeks to find the bastard, I was so out of practice, and in those weeks I felt like a damn fool—running around a beautiful farm looking for a rat, not to kill it but to keep it. A man proposing with a rodent. But your mother always had a funny way. I wasn’t surprised she’d ask me for something not a ring as much as that it’d be a rat, or as I was disappointed that my own mama was right to laugh at me. I remembered how she said it before I left. I ran all the way out here just to catch rats. Spent years on a foreign farm just to end up catching rats.” [Laughter, a little derisive, maybe a little sad.] “She named the little miscreant Mouse. I took her back to Nyker to meet Nana, thinking we’d get wed and come back—farm should’ve hers when her daddy died, she was an only child—but here we are, still.”


“Still catching rats.”


[Laughter again.] “I told you, you little monster. All Blues are rat-catchers.”


“And the war?”


[Silence.]


“You were there for the war, Hester.”


“I wasn’t there when it started.”


“But you remember.”


[Shorter silence.] “I remember that we couldn’t leave the house for a while. But I never thought that you and Mama were all that worried about it. You were good at that, pretending it was all okay. I thought you were just… on vacation. Mama and Nana were home all day anyway. I thought it was fun. You made me think it was fun. I only got worried when I was older, and I could—I don’t know. I was smarter, and I could finally tell something was happening. I thought all the smoke and the gunshots and fire were normal. But then Diota stopped coming by the house—“


[Something between a wince and a sigh.]


“How old was I?”


“Twelve. Thirteen?”


“Yeah. Thirteen. I don’t know. She was always there, and then she just. Disappeared. I remember you trying to tell me she was on vacation, which was—no offense, stupid—she loved tutoring and she didn’t have anywhere else to visit. But I wanted to believe you. I did. For… a while. Then. You know.”


“Mama.”


“Yeah.”


“I wish—“


[Silence.]


“You wish what?”


“I wish you had gotten to know her better. She was just like you. It doesn’t make a difference now. But sometimes I think if she had waited a day to go out—an hour, even—she would still be around. And things would have been a lot easier for you. It’s hard to grow up, especially without a parent. I grew up with two and it was still hard. I don’t have enough to teach you. Your mother was much smarter than I was, and Diota wasn’t around long enough to get to everything she wanted to.”


“She taught me enough. You taught me a lot, too.”


“I only ever taught you about rats.”


“But it worked. Didn’t it? We still have the house, we still have the business. I can still read and write and do the signs. You still have the painting of Mama; I can still talk to her. I make my own money. And you taught me enough about rats to help me find Hero.”


“Hero. That damn thing is going to give you rabies.”


“He is not!” [Scoff.] “I’m happy here. I like the house. I like living with you and Nana. And I’m already better than you at catching rats so it won’t be a problem when I take over.”


[Laughter again.]

 
 
 

Hero: Hester’s confidante and closest friend, Hero is a large black dalmatian rat with black eyes and a penchant for mischief. He was one of many that Hester’s father found as a baby, but was lucky enough to become her friend rather than a morbid exemplar of the family’s profession. He is unnaturally friendly, even with strangers, and can always be found on Hester’s shoulder or in her pocket.


Day-to-Day Outfit: Black pants, white bell-sleeved shirt, black boots, leather belt, gold-rimmed glasses.


Quarterstaff: Roughly six feet tall and carved from ash, tipped with a cap of spiked iron at both end and wrapped with leather for a center hilt.