I don’t remember his name.
Nor do I remember the names of any other characters he spoke to or interacted with in any way.
He was the hero of a short story I started a long time ago, I mean going back to when I was about 13 or something. I scrapped it fairly quickly, along with another that didn’t make the grade.
He had been made redundant and after struggling for some time, had to give up his house and move out. In a desperate moment he went out and bought a large, second hand car. (A 1996 Mk 1 Ford Galaxy) which he then removed all but one of the seats and moved into the back of. He then moved what he could into it, while persuading the person that bought his home to keep the rest of his possessions locked in the basement, with the plan to collect them some day.
The end result of this was he essentially built himself a small, cramped but liveable moving home. Curtaining the windows and attaching additional batteries to the engine to avoid them going flat.
Yes I’m aware this isn’t the most conceivable idea out there, but at this point I was just stating out with writing, and to be honest even now still am finding my style.
His back story was not the main focus of the plot however, and it didn’t truly thicken until my character, witnessed, within the Car-park he was (Surprise surprise) parked in, a young child being snatched away.
Yes, humongous Cliché.
Now a question, my character had been able to find himself some limited part time work, not enough to go house hunting again, but still more than a sufficient amount to keep him fed and clothed. Bearing in mind that due to a lack of home he would have to use the launderette for all the washing as well as use Café’s for practically every meal.
But what does a person do with the rest? My character spent his time improving and maintaining his car/house.
This turned out to be a great case of advanced preparation, as he was able to pursue the kidnappers, eventually getting the kid back and then fleeing.
In the entire ensuing chaos his car became badly damaged, however I think most off the damage stemmed from when he attempted to derail a train with it.
Of course it all ended well, and he was rewarded and blah blah blah. Typical anticipated ending.
I will cut myself a little slack as, as I have stated, at the time I was just starting out.
And although this story will most likely never be written, his legacy lives on, and is actually still important to this day.
He eventually evolved into another character, one who only used the nickname ‘Skidds.’ who was a supporting character for another story. I improved upon his ability to drive, and replaced the Galaxy with a bus, which could still obviously be driven, but he kept a car nearby for day to day business.
Eventually plot ideas changed however and Skidds no longer fitted into what I had planned. So, he was split into three different aspects of his personality, which were given to three other characters, to further cement their nature of being human.
The ability to drive well was given to one. The tinkering with mechanical things and sleeping in the back of a car was given to another (however done more as a way of keeping close to work) and his enigmatic attitude was given to another.
So even though my nameless Homeless Man no longer has a story of his own to tell, he still lives on as an important part of both my writing past, and even to this day is still with me.