Friday, January 27, 2012

Red Writing Hood: Conversations In the Air

I've been out of the writing prompt game for a little while and decided to dive back in with the Red Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge.

This week's prompt was to look into our writer's toolbox and pull out the things that need polishing. To go outside our comfort zone.

I'm not sure how far out of my comfort zone I actually went, but I always need to work on dialogue. And, it's probably a decent exercise for me to write something without paranormal influences from time to time. So I looked at the picture offered for inspiration and went with the first thing that came to mind. (Then I had to go back and do some cutting to fit the word limit.)

Via Stock.Xchng
"I don't like heights."

"I know."

"I think I left my stomach down there." Sam closed her eyes, swallowed. "Why did you bring me here?"

"This was where we had our first date.”

She opened her eyes, gave him the look he'd come to think of as Sam's Scalpel. Sharp, precise, denuding.  "I remember. We went to the arboretum. Had lunch at the Ocean Front. You threw up from bad mahi-mahi. We didn't ride the Ferris Wheel."

"I wanted to. You wouldn't go for it."

"I shouldn't have gone for it this time."

"So, why did you?"

"Because... You wanted to ride the stupid thing. You were like a kid. So excited."

"You did it for me?"

The Scalpel, again. "What's going on?"

He sighed, shifted. His weight swung the gondola and she grasped the edge of the seat.

"I know about Christopher," he said. He also knew if he looked at her, he'd see the same stricken look on her face that he saw in his rear-view mirror the afternoon he'd seen the two of them tangled together on the pier. "I know it was over months ago, before it even really started."

"Yes." She sounds like she's choking.

"Do you want me to leave?"

"No." Her voice is small. Nearly lost in the cavern of the gondola.

"Good. I decided: I don't want to leave. …I also don't want this hanging over us. So, I figured, why not go back to the beginning."

"Wishful thinking. You can't undo—"

"I'm not interested in undoing."

They were stopped the apex.

The world spread out below them, tiny and immaterial.

He turned to her, took her hands to steady her.  "This is the chance. To start something new. We can leave all the old screw ups here. Or we can take them back down with us. What do you want?"

She looked at his hands, his face. For the first time, she stared out the glass wall. Her breath caught and for a second he thought she might be sick.  "I want to leave it. It's too much to keep carrying."

He nodded.

She closed her eyes.

He held her hand throughout the descent.

On the ground again, he could feel Sam’s legs shake.

"Hungry?" he asked.

"I could use some toast and tea."

"Let's go to the Ocean Front. I'll avoid the mahi-mahi this time."


Anonymous said...

Boy, if I'd had that conversation on a Ferris Wheel, my legs would be shaking, too! :-) Then again, I'm terrified of the damn things. I like the hopeful cast of this... and the thought of using something so physically scary to help force a new start. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Your dialogue is brilliant, a real edge of your seat moment at the top of world! :)

Anonymous said...

I know this was about the dialogue (which was excellent) but I love the line "The world spread out below them, tiny and immaterial." A ferris wheel is a great place for this conversation. Alone in a confined space, above the world. Love it.

L. M. Leffew said...

Thank you all for commenting.

"I like the hopeful cast of this..."

Me too. It ended in a much better place than where I imagined it, starting off.

"Your dialogue is brilliant,"

Always wonderful to hear/read.

"Alone in a confined space, above the world."

Honestly, I can imagine becoming a little claustrophobic after such an event. :)

Cameron said...

I think the dialogue is good. You've got it paced well, and conversations like this can be so tricky.

I especially love the line about leave all the screw ups at the top. It shows he's been thinking about what to say to her, that he really is trying to start fresh, despite her transgressions.

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