Monday, April 10, 2017

IttyBittyFictionScraps: In which people move

So I posted an all-dialogue bit on the writing forum where I hang out, and there was a feeling from some people that occasionally a dialogue tag or even an action or a scrap of setting might be nice. So I wrote this. And once written, let's blog!

Joe ordered his third Howards End, drank it rapidly, and resumed drumming his fingers on the table. How could this have happened? What would they say? Would they ever forgive him?

“Wow, that’s a lot of glasses.”

Joe jolted out of his reverie and looked up at Alice. When did she get here? “Huh?”

She blinked. “A lot of… Nothing. What’s wrong?” She pulled out a chair and sat on the edge.

“You’re going to kill me.”


He took a deep breath. He grabbed the near-empty glass and slurped the last drops of ice-diluted blackberry vodka from the bottom. He kept on slurping long after the liquid was gone, and was reminded of those scenes in the movies where the traumatized character keeps on pulling the trigger on an empty gun. Click. Slurp. Slurp. Click.

“Joe!” Alice grabbed his shoulder and shook it slightly.

He put the glass down. “I lost the map.”

“Oh!” She released his shoulder. “Is that all?”

He stared. Wait. She wasn’t going to kill him? She always carried those knitting needles; he’d imagined himself being impaled, nailed to the chair. “What?”

“Well, it’s not as if I really believed that it led to treasure.” She air-quoted ‘treasure’. “It was just a fun thing.” She settled into her chair, hung her monstrous purse on its arm, and extracted her knitting. “No big deal.”

He kept on staring, and automatically reached for the glass again, but found to his surprise that he didn’t need its comfort. “Really?”

“Really.” She loosened a length of chartreuse angora. “Not a problem.”

“Is that how Stan is going to feel?”

“Oh.” She looked up, halting in the act of winding the yarn around the needle. “Oh.” The second ‘Oh’ was far deeper.

“He’s going to kill me, isn’t he?” He clutched the glass and started slurping again.

“Maybe you’d better run along. I’ll tell him.”

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