Face, Meet Sidewalk

An exercise in conversation

Posted on: July 24, 2011

There is a site I go to sometimes when I want to write but can’t think of anything to write about. It has a quick writing exercise for every day of the year. I went there tonight, but since I didn’t really like today’s challenge, I scrolled back through a few days and found the one that inspired this post. The directions were to take the same dialogue and apply in in three different scenes. So here we go!

In a cafe:

“It’s impossible, you don’t want that,” he said, taking her hand and guiding her toward the counter containing the less opulent desserts.
She stopped and pulled her hand from his. “Why not?” she asked indignantly.
“Can’t you see?” He looked pointedly up and down her body, settling his gaze on her flat stomach.
“Shut up,” she said sulkily. She knew he thought she could stand to lose a few pounds, but honestly, here? In public? What a jerk.
“Why should I?” he asked, louder than necessary, blinking with a false innocence that made her want to strike him.
“Shshsh,” she said, and when he opened his mouth to speak again, she stalked out of the café.


In an office:

“It’s impossible, you don’t want that,” she whispered, shocked and not a little titillated by his risqué suggestion.
“Why not?” He looked around the acres of cubicles at all the drones hunched over their computers. He would be willing to bet that none of them had had the nerve to ask Shelley for a quickie in the janitor’s closet.
“Can’t you see?” she said, pointing at her ring finger. A large diamond glinted there. He was sure it hadn’t been there yesterday.
“Shut up,” he said with exaggerated disbelief. His tone dared her to prove she was actually in love with Pedro, that dildo from across the hall.

“Why should I?” She straightened up, now offended and apparently ready to launch a verbal assault on his manhood.
“Shshsh,” he repeated, desperate now to head off an attack brought on by his own stupidity.


On a hiking trail:

“It’s impossible, you don’t want that,” she said her neck craned so that she could see the top of the rock. It was at least fifty metres high.

“Why not?” he asked, his eyes alight with the prospect of an impossible challenge.
“Can’t you see?” She gestured helplessly at the cliff’s face, worn almost smooth by generations of climbers.
Suddenly, he stopped, instantly alert, and looked over to their left. “Shut up,” he said severely, and held up his hand.
“Why should I?” she demanded, her face still turned to the rock, still oblivious to his alarm.
“Shshsh.” She turned, finally, at the unease in his voice and he pointed to the rattler a few feet away. Silently and quickly, they began to climb.


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