The idea of grumpy older men came I think mainly from Monica Sanz’s “A Witchling’s Rites”. Guardian angels are often portrayed as the peaceful, sympathetic, positive characters. I thought it’ll be interesting to invert that trope and make my grumpy old man a teenage girl’s guardian, against his will.
Enter William Wallace, grump extraordinaire.
Now, with the anthology called “Deadly Kisses” I was worried I’d have to write actual romance. The prompt included finding love in the afterlife, but not actual romance — I heaved a sigh of relief. I wanted to write a ghost, but to have a hundred-plus-year-old ghost falling in love with a human being is basically paedophilia (just like all those ancient vampires falling in love with humans, ugh) so I didn’t want that. I wanted something platonic, or at least naively one-sided from the young human’s POV.
Enter Selah Montmorency, a bereaved teenage girl whose love of reading and innocence wormed her way into William’s heart — not that he had a choice, being a ghost bound to the house he died in. But through gestures he did not intend to do, kindness he did not mean to exhibit, Selah grew fond of him. Because the old bugger does have a good side, at least in death.
I plan to bring these two up from time to time in other prompts. The current fantasy prompt is about a gremlin or similar small annoying creature ruining Valentine’s day. Whilst Selah does have a child-like crush on her guardian angel, I’m not sure if I want William involved. I’m not sure if he wants to be involved either. I’ll brainstorm and see.