Kilter Street Profiles: Zeb

Zeb makes me think of a sea captain whose crew will keep serving her after they die.

She’s the landlady of Kilter Street Manor Apartments, but in many ways she makes the place feel less like an ordinary apartment house and more like a boat we’re all in together. Maybe we’re headed into the far reaches of space or the depths of the Earth. We’re a community, a crew, a family to her.

Origins & Appearance

Zeb was born in Tobago, and though she moved to the US as a child, she’s been back to the island several times.

She’s middle-aged and of black African descent. At some point as a young woman she made piles of money – rumor says it was in stocks.

She’s a lanky woman with long dark hair in dreads. She moves with precision and energy. Even when she’s sitting, she hums with energy. In her dress, she favors trousers, boots, waistcoats and blouses with bell sleeves.

Impressions of Her Character

She’s a lady with a mission. I’m not sure what the mission is. Maybe it’s to give people a good home and keep Kilter Street Manor Apartments going. Maybe it’s to fend off the forces of evil. Probably she has more than one mission.

Her enthusiasm can be infectious; it can also make people uneasy. But she looks out for you, even though there are cards she holds close to her chest. Sometimes, people wonder what she’s up to.

Her birth name isn’t Zeb.

Mostly she’s serious, deeply earnest. From time to time, she’ll crack open with an infectious belly laugh that’s thrilling and a bit unnerving.

In her Book of the Barely Believable, she keeps records of the stories from Kilter Street Manor Apartments and the City of Possibility. She’s asking me for more stories. “The book needs to be fed,” she says.

2 thoughts on “Kilter Street Profiles: Zeb”

  1. […] Zeb, my landlady, told me after she stuck me in the attic, that part of my rent will involve telling her stories. They will all go into her Book of the Barely Believable, regardless of whether or not they’re believable. They can be anecdotes, one-liners, the first three chapters of a novel that will never get finished or an epic trilogy. Just give me stories, she said. […]


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