One of my students reminded me today of how meaningful the name can be that you choose for your character.   The fun part, however, is starting with a weird name and then deciding who that character really is. 

So your challenge today is to give us the backstory on each of these characters:

–Oswego Pekin

–Bergamare Wainscotter

–Perternalia Soxup

–Yelpton Cipriola

24 responses to “Naming!

  1. Oswego Pekin – Mr. Pekin is a young aristocrat and musician who shows great promise with a piano, but his manners are unacceptable to the noble people of Airtsua. He likes a good laugh and plays tricks on the noble noses – as he likes to secretly refer to them.

    Perternalia Soxup – The lovely Ms. Soxup teaches young aristocrats etiquette. She lives in Airtsua in her family home with spacious rooms, which she inherited some years back. She lives alone and has managed to avoid a serious relationship in her 32 years.

    Bergamare Wainscotter – Mr. Wainscotter is the town’s conductor and is in love with Ms. Soxup. He sometimes hides behind the pantry door in her spacious kitchen and just watches as she makes tea. He is so obsessed with her, he has made a deal with young Pekin. If young Pekin will pretend to learn etiquette from Ms. Soxup and continue to leave the kitchen door unlocked, Mr. Wainscotter will let him play in Airtsua’s production of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #4 even though young Pekin is despised by the town.

    Yelpton Cipriola – Mr. Cipriola is a young aristocrat with the most elegant demeanor. He does not possess Mr. Pekin’s musical gift, but he tries and often discerns admiration in the faces of the noble people of Airtsua. He has imagined Ms. Soxup is in love with him.

  2. I LOVE these profiles. Please write more.

  3. Pamela – These are hysterical! Love them.

  4. Born in Danway, Illinois, population four thousand three, Oswego Pekin was named for his daddy’s home town and favorite racing venue, the Oswego Speedway. Clarion ‘Pike’ Pekin was a track record holder in the Supermodifieds until Oswego became old enough to get behind the wheel legally. Oswego, ‘Ossie’, learned to drive as soon as his feet could reach the pedals and he could see over the dashboard. He was six. Pike moved the family to their little red brick Cape Cod across the street from the track right after that. Oswego broke his daddy’s record the night he turned twenty-one. Oswego lives for racing. It’s in his blood, under his nails. It coats his hair down to the follicles. It permeates his clothes, his breath and every part of his brain – every part, that is, except for the part that is obsessed with Bergie Wainscotter.

    Nineteen year old Bergamare Wainscotter hates her name. What teenaged girl wouldn’t? “Bergamare is my mother’s name. It’s my grandmother’s name. It was my great grandmother’s name and my great-great grandmother’s name. Why, oh why couldn’t I have been born last?” Bergie’s younger sister’s name is Helen. Bergie and Helen were born eight and a half months apart, but they may as well have been twins. With the exception of Bergie’s job as teller at the Fifth Third Bank, they go everywhere together. This tandem lifestyle presents a huge problem for Oswego, who hates having to take Helen on his dates with Bergie. “Ossie’s always trying to fix Helen up with his buddies, but she’s just not interested,” Bergie says. “She’s a teensy bit picky. She says they’re all too greasy for her. I don’t know why Ossie complains. I love having Helen around. She’s so much fun!” By the way, Helen hates her name, too.

    Perternalia Soxup spends most of her time correcting people’s pronunciation of her name. “It’s NOT Sox-UP. It’s Soch-U,” she pouts. “Small town people are such a bore. They can’t even speak correctly,” she says. A senior in high school, Perternalia is trying hard to re-establish her given name. The day her mother brought her home from the hospital, her Great Uncle called her Nellie. It stuck. She didn’t mind it when she was in the third grade, but now that she’s a grown woman, it sounds too babyish. She pretends she doesn’t know the boys call her ‘Pert Nellie’ when she wears her bullet bras underneath tight cashmere sweaters. She tells herself she doesn’t like it, but she doesn’t stop wearing them. Nellie’s dad, Mayor Soxup, is a big fan of racing and wishes Nellie would date Oswego. “That boy’s goin’ somewhere,” he says. Mayor isn’t Mayor of the town. That’s his name. His parents believed if they gave him a prestigious name, he’d end up with a prestigious job. Close. He’s Vice-President of the Fifth-Third Bank.

    Yelpton Cipriola turned one hundred three years old last March. “I’m goin’ fer the Guinness Book of Records!” he says. Yelpton is stone deaf from decades working in the pits at the track. He no longer moves fast enough to get out of the way when the cars come in for tire changes, so they moved him up to flagman. That was last year. Yelpton is an enigma. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in the class of 1934 at the age of fifteen. He had his law degree by the time he was eighteen, but he was too young to take the bar exam. By the time he was old enough, he decided he’d rather work at the racetrack. He’s been there ever since. He’s Bergie’s grampa, Paternalia’s Great Uncle and Clarion’s father. But no one knows that except him and Clarion’s mama. And she’s dead.

  5. I love it! Great details and great last line. What fun!

  6. You certainly had fun with this. Great characters!

  7. Meet Oswego. He’s quite the gentleman. He often accompanies his lovely wife, Bergamare Wainscotter-Pekin as she takes her evening stroll through the garden which overlooks the lake. Bergamare absolutely loved her walks. Being the romantic that she was she always wore a beautiful long silk gown. She walked slowly through the worn path fingertips skimming the tops of the lavendar savoring each and every step. She felt the grass tug at the train of her gown as she passed over it. When she closed her eyes she embraced the warmth of the sun like a warm and welcome friend. Walking in and out of the shadows of the bordering trees, the streaming rays gave the locks of her long silver hair a subtle shimmery glow. Oswego slowed his pace so he could get a better view of the scenery. He smiled as he watched the love of his life complete his view.

    Oswego’s love for his wife wasn’t always so powerful. Many years ago, a certain gentleman named Yelpton Cipriola tended the garden. He lived on the property and was a tidy sort of person. He was quiet and pretty much kept to himself. He claimed to have no family and just wanted to have a steady job doing what he did best. One day, Oswego had to go away on business and Bergamare was left alone to take her evening stroll. As she made her way to the garden, she could see a flickering shadow coming from the window of Yelpton’s cabin. She felt safe to continue since he never came out at dusk and the light from his cabin confirmed it. When she made her way to the other side of the garden she stopped for a moment and sat down on the grass. She loved seeing the beams ripple across the water as if they were dancing. A cool breeze from the North reminded her that she needed to head back to the house. As she made her way, curiosity got the best of her and she headed toward the cabin. She thought she would just take a little peek inside without Yelpton noticing. As soon as she got to the window, she heard the unlocking of the door. It was Yelpton!

    “What are you doing,?” Madam. Wide-eyed Bergamare looked back and forth between the cabin and the house. Trying to decide if she should make a run for it, she decided to stay. ”I saw the light and thought I would say hello and formally introduce myself.” I am Mrs. Bergamare…” ”I know who you are. The staff often refers to you as the goddess of the mansion.” ”Excuse me? I am no goddess.” Then suddenly his arms wrapped tightly around her waist. At that moment, Mrs. Soxup came calling with her two prized collies in tow. They had just won the local dog show and were going to be heading out-of-town tomorrow and needed someone to look after their place. ”Oh! Excuse me!” Mrs. Soxup’s face turned red and her dogs started barking and pulling at the leash. ”I can explain!” cried Bergamare, as she forcefully pushed Yelpton away. ”No need.” I see how you are when your husband’s away.”

    Bergamare cried all the way to the house and slammed the door. She closed her eyes tightly shut and kept telling herself over and over this is just a bad dream and soon I’ll wake up. Suddenly, she heard the car and knew it was Oswego. Pulling herself together, she wiped her eyes, fluffed her hair and tried to look relaxed as he opened the door. ”What a day… Oh, hi honey! I’m sorry I did’t make it back in time for your walk.” ”Oh, that’s alright. I made the walk just fine. Um, how was your trip?” ”Terrible. It rained the whole way there and then my client was late.” Bergamare couldn’t hold it together any longer. She burst into tears and explained the whole thing. Oswego just sat and listened with a sorrowful look holding back the tears. As she spoke her words, all he could do is think back on all the years they have spent together growing and loving. Now, she will have to regain his trust. Although it was innocent her curiosity caused his heartbreak and now he knew exactly what he had to do.

  8. This was interesting. Nice writing!

    • Thanks for reading my post and I really appreciate your comment. I usually spend a lot of time writing and editing, but this time I just typed whatever came to my mind… rather, I just let my creativity be my guide. I may re-write the ending though because it needs something different. Thanks again! 🙂

  9. Looks like you’re having fun with these characters. There is story material everywhere!

    • Thank you and I absolutely love your prompts! I feel like I’m back in your creative writing class again. 🙂 Also, I keep in touch with Peanut and we are going to be taking the “Descriptive Settings” class in March along with Sweet Tweet and Texas Belle. It’s neat how we met as strangers in an online class and now we talk and share on a daily basis through our blogs. Truly amazing!

      • Like your detail. Fun read. I’m sure we’ve all had similar moments being caught in an awkward situation. Hope they get through it.
        I’ve thought about taking the descriptive settings class myself. I might join you and the others in March. It would be fun.

  10. Oswego Pekin donned his white gloves before reaching for his spy equipment. As he lifted the spy glass he inspected its lens. A speck of dust prompted him to clean the lens with the wipes he ordered specifically for this purpose. He pointed the glass so that he could stare out the east window of his sterile bedroom. He noticed the blinds covered the first row of panes and walked over to the window. He pulled the blinds downward until they covered the second row of panes then resumed monitoring his neighbors. He cracked the window and set the microphone on the sill. Observing his neighbors was becoming a favorite part of his daily ritual. He liked to think of the neighborhood as his own private menagerie. Morning was time for three members of his menagerie to begin their own rituals.

    Oswego watched as the local divorcée, Perternalia Soxup began her morning routine by primping in front of her ivory hand-painted vanity. She brushed out her rich brown locks, blanketed her fair skin with a light dusting of powder and finished by pinching color into her high cheekbones. She then sashayed toward the sink, popped what looked like a pill or a mint into her mouth and swished it down with a glass of water. Oswego watched as she disappeared into her closet. When she reappeared a pale yellow dress hugged her petite frame. She stood sideways in front of her full length mirror and frowned before cinching the belt of her dress tighter around her waist. Satisfied, she exited her bedroom, sat on the sofa and waited.

    Oswego angled his spy glass to the left of Perternalia’s lavender, picket-fenced cottage. He now viewed the grey ranch-style monstrosity that belonged to Yelpton Cipriola. Yelpton had torn down a quaint cottage to create a spacious home that sprawled over more than twice the space the cottage had covered. The dust from the demolition and construction tormented Oswego for months after its completion and Yelpton’s arrival proved to be an even greater menace. Yelpton’s miniscule lawn was surrounded by a wrought-iron fence and was guarded by two Rottweilers that had the misfortune of being born the day he visited the local breeder. He paid twice the breeder’s asking price to secure the best of the litter. Oswego had spied Yelpton using a thick switch to discipline the Rottweilers on more than one occasion. He could see the them lazily sprawled in the far corner of the lawn. The blinds of the ranch home were always drawn but as Oswego expected; Yelpton’s garage door began to open. Yelpton’s maid exited the front door and opened the gate allowing the Mars red Mercedes C250 access to the roadway.

    Oswego quickly averted his gaze toward Pertanalia’s home. Perternalia sprung off the sofa and dashed to the front door. The door swung open and Perternalia stepped out and grabbed the watering can off the porch. She stumbled down the stairs as she raced toward her rose bushes at the front of her lawn. She pretended to be engrossed by her garden as Yelpton backed out of his garage and into the street. He drove slowly, rolled down his window and stopped when he was in front of Perternalia. He winked at her, “Hey sweetheart, your roses look great but none of them could match your beauty.”

    Perternalia giggled as her eyes roved over the Mercedes, “Oh Yelpton, you say the sweetest things but I’m not sure you mean them. You still haven’t asked me to dinner yet.”

    Oswego noticed movement in front of the white sterile cottage next to Perternalia’s. Bergamare Wainscotter came into view. He stood on the outside of the fence admiring the rose bushes and Perternalia. He pulled a handkerchief from a pocket of his baggy, mud-brown trousers and blew his nose. “Excuse me, allergies. Good morning, Perternalia. You look very pretty today. I mean, you look pretty every day but today, well, you know, you look even prettier. Well, I mean, if that were possible.” Bergamare’s cheeks reddened as he glanced at Yelpton. “Good morning, Yelpton.”

    Perternalia pursed her lips and forced a small smile. “Good morning, Bergamare. Thank you, I think. ”

    Yelpton smirked, “How ya doing Bergie? Pertie and I were just making dinner arrangements. Do you mind?”

    Bergamare’s shoulders dropped and after a final glimpse at Perternalia he said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll visit another time. Bye, Yelpton. Bye, Pertie, I mean Perternalia.” He scampered back in the direction of his home and vanished through the front door.
    “Why don’t I pick you up at seven tonight?”

    Perternalia blushed, “That would be wonderful. I’ll be ready.”

    “Great,” Yelpton winked at her and drove away. Perternalia admired Yelpton’s ranch-style home a few moments before reentering her own cottage.

    Oswego replaced the spy glass and microphone in their casings and placed the kit in the bedside table. He felt sorry for Bergamare. Oswego had a soft spot for those afflicted with social awkwardness like him. Vermin like Yelpton and Perternalia who only saw worth in status and wealth and felt contempt for those less fortunate repulsed Oswego. What poor Perternalia didn’t know was that Bergamare recently sold his five-year old stocks from a successful start-up company and was now worth $1.5 million. Yelpton, on the other hand, was currently under investigation for fraud and Oswego was helping the authorities with surveillance. Oswego virtually had rid his home of germs and parasites. He was hoping he could do the same for his neighborhood.

  11. Another great story. What imagination!!

  12. That last paragraph really ties this up! Can’t judge a book…!

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