Alex is a sweet and sensitive boy sucked into an evil apartment owned by a witch one Halloween when he decides to throw away his “night books,” or his horror stories. In exchange for his life, the witch demands he tell her a story every night, but instead of writing one, Alex wanders around the apartment searching for a way out, uncovering its mysteries, trying to befriend the other imprisoned girl, Yasmin, and leaping to conclusions about the children who came before them, including the one that “must have made it out.” He’s horrified when a creature gets into his night books and destroys his notes, since he wasn’t writing anything new – he intended to give it up, so he wouldn’t be a “weirdo” anymore. But he can come up with stories and invent them on the spot, changing plots and character names when the witch objects to them. He’s long on good ideas, short on facts, however – she berates him for using his imagination over the facts. He’s clever enough to come up with a way to convince her to tell them what they want to know (what magical herb covers up a strong taste and smell), and also leaps to rapid conclusions once they wander into the haunted wood inside the apartment. This includes knowing how to destroy the other witch, the one this one has kept imprisoned for so many years… by telling a story. All of which he gives happy endings. Originally. He can be quite terse under pressure, and snap at people, but ultimately he doesn’t want to hurt anyone or anything, even the “evil” cat who poops on his sandwich one day. When the witch threatens to hurt her, he stands up for her and gets them all off the hook by pointing out how they can all be ‘useful.’

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Alex loves his creativity and his stories—until his friends hate them and find him weird and childish for clinging to them as he gets older. This makes him feel bad about them and want to get rid of them, and reinvent himself—swear off stories forever, even though it’s what he was born to do. Alex doesn’t like conflict or to hurt anyone, but also wants to do his own thing and be left in peace. Though in an intense situation, he manages to remain fairly calm and unruffled by events, going about his business and often delaying what he should be doing in favor of more pleasant tasks. Instead of writing, he reads books, thinks, wanders around the apartment, and dreams of escaping. He doesn’t want to do the wrong thing, so he will make up lies to protect his friends. He also falls into anxiety under stress, and fear of being alone.