September 30, 2020, 10:33:23 AM

Author Topic: [AUG 2020] - Dialogue - Submission Thread  (Read 324 times)

Online ScarletBea

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[AUG 2020] - Dialogue - Submission Thread
« on: August 02, 2020, 05:23:08 PM »


This month's theme is not a theme as you know it but a writing exercise. We want you to tell a story only in dialogue form, with no descriptions at all. All kinds of Fantasy or Science Fiction are eligible.

Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. The story must be only dialogue entries
3. Prose must be 500-2000 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-750 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys under the B.
Bonus rule: We consider voting in a contest you're taking part in a given. Others take time and effort to read the stories - you should do the same. A small community like ours lives from reciprocity and this contest needs stories as much as votes. 


If you want so submit your story anonymously you can do so by sending it in a personal message to @xiagan.

Entry will close August 31st/September 1st, 2020 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.
Submitting a story counts as published. The author retains all rights to their work.

Remember that this thread is only for entries. Discussion or questions can be posted here
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 05:25:30 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Jake Baelish

Re: [AUG 2020] - Dialogue - Submission Thread
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 12:48:07 AM »
Mr. Benjamin?

1800 words

Spoiler for Hiden:

“Mr. Benjamin, good to see you. I apologise for the lack of seats, you don’t mind standing before we start do you?”

“Doctor Zlatan, good to see you too. No, that’s fine.”

“How relieving. I’m glad you could finally commit to this appointment. And how are you faring?”

“Well, it wasn’t easy to come to a decision, but here I am. I’m as good as I can be, under the circumstances.”

“You refer to our mutual acquaintance Mr. Joel. How is that fine young monster doing? He hasn’t been causing you too much trouble, I hope.”

“As much as ever, sadly. More frequently, if anything; I worry it’ll start affecting my work, and my family.”

“Ah, Mrs. Benjamin and little Priscilla, how are they both these days?”

“Mrs. Benjamin – Elena – is doing great. She just started a solicitor’s course; still seems weird that we might end up in similar professions. And Priscilla’s doing alright. She notices me worrying more than Elena does. Perhaps because she doesn’t have any serious studies going on. That aside, she’s just discovering makeup and photo enhancing apps, giving me a whole other bunch of crap to worry about.”

“Ha! Sounds like the most wonderful kind of ordinary to call a family life.”

“I suppose that’s a way to look at it Doc! If only that was all there was.”

“Hmm. And speaking of your firm, have you informed them you’ll be needing immediate leave? And an undetermined amount at that?”

“Uh huh. Though, even they’ll have their limits. You find a law firm that can do without their best man for an undisclosed amount of time. I told them I’d try and make it quick as possible. How long do you suppose I’ll need?”

“Hard to say. Hopefully not too long.”

“That the best you can do? Isn’t this a tried procedure?”

“It’s still in its infancy. Have there been any specific incidents, regarding Mr. Joel, that you’d like to tell me about before we proceed? Mr. Benjamin? You can share with me; you have my confidence. What is said here will go no further, however alarming.”

“Actually, Doc, there is.”

“Yes? Go on.”

“He came, two nights ago; that’s kind of what convinced me I had to come. I spent a whole day thinking about it, Elena and Priscilla thought I was sick or something.”

“What happened two nights ago? Take your time. Deep breaths now.”

“He killed. What’s funny is I can’t even say for sure if it’s the first time; but it’s the first time I know of.”

“How can you be so certain this time?”

“It happened suddenly, and when I came round, pretty quick this time, there was still blood on my hands and shirt. He hadn’t even time to change as he usually does.”

“Oh, gods. Then it’s already too late for that. And the victim?”

“Some homeless guy, I think. In an alleyway between the firm and our house, pretty large area, would be hard to quickly trace it back. There wasn’t much left to identify. Ugh. Makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.”

“I couldn’t begin to imagine. And I’ve witnessed some horrors, I assure you. Do not crucify yourself over this, Mr. Benjamin. You had no control. Now you can take it. We may have missed the boat a little, but we can prevent more suffering.”

“I’ve lost control, Doctor. Completely. And he’s becoming too much, he can come and go at will, it seems. I can’t let this hurt my family. Not ever. Whatever you have to do, do it.”

“I understand. Has he been around today?”

“Well, he’d know better. But no, not that I recall.”

“Right, that’s good.”

“He could. At any moment. He was quiet yesterday, but I’LL CUT OUT YOUR BEATING HEART AND FRY IT UP REAL NICE, YOU MEALY-MOUTHED SNAKE!”

“Ah. Mr. Joel, so good of you to join us.”

“Sorry? Doctor? Oh, no! Was he here? I’LL COOK IT UP JUST SWELL. MIGHT EVEN FEED IT TO THAT MEALY LAWYER’S LIL’ GIRL.”

“Mr. Benjamin? Sir?”

“OH, HE’S OUT. YOU GOT ME NOW.”

“What are you looking for, Mr. Joel? You’ll find no instruments of destruction here. As you can see from the padded walls, we had you in mind.”

“I’LL CHOKE YOU THEN! LET MY TEETH DO THE REST.”

“I rather think not.”

“HA! A GUN? YOU’D KILL YOUR MEALY-MOUTHED FRIEND? WE MIGHT JUST GET ALONG, DOC!”

“A tranquiliser, naturally, Mr. Joel.”

“MEALY… Doctor Zlatan? If you’d be so kind as to not point that thing in my direction, perhaps you could explain the meaning of this? Ah! He came back, didn’t he?”

“Momentarily… I think it best we get things moving along now, wouldn’t you say?”

“Indeed. This contraption here, looks rather like a coffin, doesn’t it? Do you mind informing me how the procedure will work?”

“Of course, but it’ll have to be brief.”

“Naturally.”

“You will lie in the machine – the coffin, as you say – and we’ll, or rather I’ll, attach these wires and tubes at various points across your head and body.”

“For the purpose of?”

“Electrical charges, Mr. Benjamin.”

“And they will?”

“Shock the daemon from your system.”

“This is a tested science?”

“All our research indicates it will be a success.”

“Any side effects?”

“We expect there to be no damaging or lasting side effects. Though the recuperation period is undermined. Of course, as a relatively new procedure, nothing is perfectly assured, though any minor cost will pale to insignificance in light of the overall benefit. That is, the removal of this evil from your person.”

“Hmm. And the reason for the wrist and leg restraints?”

“A precaution. I doubt Mr. Joel would be thrilled to awaken wired up to something designed to thwart him, Mr. Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin? Please release your grip on my arm, Mr. Benjamin.”

“FUCKING KILL ME, WOULD YOU? MEALY-MOUTHED LITTLE DOCTOR WITH YOUR WICKED CONTRAPTIONS AND NASTY LITTLE WEAPON! SHALL WE COOK YOU UP IN YOUR WICKED COFFIN? BET YOU’D SIZZLE REAL NICE IN THERE! OH, YES!”

“Mr. Joel, I implore you!”

“Doctor? Doctor! I’m sorry Doctor! Are you hurt?”

“… I’ll be fine. Now…”

“Yes, I’ll be getting in then. Sooner the better, right?”

“Right. Best you undress first. Only down to your briefs though. Yes, that’ll do. Now, in you go.”

“Wow! It’s freezing in here!”

“Well, being as you are, that is hardly surprising. Now, I’ll just attach these. This will sting a little but we’ll be all ready to go shortly. There we go, that’s one.”

“Sheesh, that does sting a bit. I can’t wait for this to be over and I can go home. It will be over, won’t it, Doc?”

“Oh, yes! Once you leave, you’ll not have to worry about that unpleasant Mr. Joel ever again.”

“There’ll be inquiries, about the murder, I suppose. I’ll have to face them some day. Won’t be easy, not knowing what happened myself. Ouch!”

“Nearly there, just a few more. I shouldn’t worry about those inquiries just now.”

“And what about Elena and Priscilla? They won’t understand. They’ll never appreciate what I’ve been through for them.”

“They may, when the time comes.”

“Huh? Doctor? How do you mean?”

“Nothing. Forget it. There, that’s the last of them. And, wait a moment. One…”

“Ah, my restraints, right. Wow, those are freezing too!”

“Two… three, and four. That’s you all strapped in.”

“No escape now, I suppose.”

“Ha! You are at my mercy now. Lucky I’m just a good-natured old doctor, aren’t you? There, there; this will be over in good time.”

“Thank you, Doc.”

“Now, I’ll just lower the glass cover and—”

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME? WHY AM I IN HERE? THIS IS THAT MEALY LAWYER’S FAULT! YOU’LL KILL ME YOU EVIL, MEALY SONOFABITCH!”

“No. No, I will not. Not now. But while I have you here, perhaps you’ll listen to me.”

“BASTARD! NASTY, MEALY, BASTARD!”

“No, Mr. Joel. I am a doctor. And our mutual friend Mr. Benjamin, he will be safe now.”

“HE’S NO FRIEND OF MINE! HE’S MY CURSE!”

“When you’ve quite finished; as I was saying, Mr. Benjamin is a good man. An upstanding citizen. A respectable lawyer. And most importantly of all, a loving and devoted husband and father. You, on the other hand, are nothing by comparison. A vicious, unhappy parasite. Now I don’t know how you got in there, and I honestly don’t know, yet, how I’m to get you out. But hear this: I will find a way, if it takes me the rest of my cognitive life.”

“BASTARD! WHAT WILL YOU DO TO US?”

“Oh? Is that fear I see there? Uncertainty in that raspy voice? You’ll be frozen, here, in perpetuity if need be, until I find a way of getting you out.”

“YOU LIED TO HIM!”

“Ah, now the fear turns to indignation. I take no pride in lying, Mr. Joel. I’m doing what must be done. For the good of him and everyone else.”

“YOU MEALY, FUCKING LIAR! BENJAMIN! YOU SEE WHAT YOUR MEALY HUMAN TRUST HAS GOT YOU? YOU’LL NOT SEE YOUR SUCCULENT WIFE AND SMALL ONE AGAIN! HE LIED TO YOU! HE LIED! HE LIED! HE—”

“Enough. Quiet now, or I’ll hold this cloth over your face till your last breath is robbed of you. There. I’m bluffing, of course. I’d not see Mr. Benjamin dead, not for anything, least of all you. But you’ll be silenced soon enough. When I close this case, and activate the cryogenics, this body will shut down and remain in stasis. When the time comes; when the technology or medical advances make it possible to be rid of you with no harm to him; you will be reawakened. So know this: I’m not sure how a daemon works its way into a man’s mind, or how it works when in there. I don’t know if you’ll be awake in there the whole time, and I’m not sure you do either; but imagine years of it, because that’s what you’re faced with now. I imagine we’d both prefer the timespan to be shorter than longer, but you are as ignorant as I. My only solace is that where for me there’ll be regret – for Mr. Benjamin – with every passing day, for you it’ll be an age of powerless impotence. Torture. Enjoy your imprisonment, Mr. Joel, and look forward to your demise.”

“…”

“…”

“Doctor?”

“…”

“Doctor? What…”

“Mr. Joel?”

“Doctor? No. Mr. Benjamin.”

“Mr. Benjamin, ah.”

“Is it all true?”

“It is. I’m sorry.”

“…”

“If there was another way, I…”

“It must be. Too late for second thoughts, I suppose?”

“Yes. Yes, I’d say it is.”

“Then close the case; let’s be done with it.”

“You will be missed, Mr. Benjamin.”

« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 01:01:25 AM by Jake Baelish »
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Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: [AUG 2020] - Dialogue - Submission Thread
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 02:57:14 PM »
Failure to Connect

1427 words

Spoiler for Hiden:

And I am on. Am I on? Can you see me?

Thankfully, no. Can hear you though.

Hold on, let me try this. Just move that wire and- now?

Nope. Just a black screen. Can you see me?

Yeah, I see you. Stop laughing.

It’s not my fault you’re an old man. Seriously Will, how have you made it this far without being able to operate a computer?

Thirty-six is not old, Rani. Technically I’m a millennial.

That doesn’t make this any better. If anything it’s even more sad than before. You must see that.

Hold on. I think I’ve got something. Just shift that- Maybe- No? How abou-

Will? Will? You’ve disconnected yourself haven’t you? What an idiot. Wonder if I have time to get a drink . . .

I’m back! Might have to do this voice only. I think my webcam’s broken.

Fine by me. Shall we get started?

Yes. Yes, I suppose we better had. You’ve got all your files there with you?

As many as I could carry. Never thought I’d say this, but we wish we were back in the office.

And I wish we had a big enough budget to to have more than three staff on half-pay, but it is what it is.

Will?

Yes?

You’re grumbling again. Only old men grumble.

Fine, I’m old. You got me. Can we move on now please?

Sure. There’s a lot of these old files to get through. Where do you want to start?

Take whatever’s on the top. We’ll take it in turns.

Okay. So I’ve got one here from … nineteen ninety-four. Handwritten, paper lightly stained with what I assume is coffee. Some of it’s barely legible.

I know, most of mine are the same. But, that is why we’re doing this. What’s it about?

Witness statement, no name given. There’s a note at the top that mentions a John Walpole. That mean anything to you?

I know the name. John Walpole was a, well I guess you could call him a cult leader, back in the eighties and early nineties. It was, before you say anything, before my time. As I understand it, the man operated out of some holiday cottages near Pwllheli. Some of his followers went missing, one wound up dead. We were called in, but there was nothing obviously supernatural about it, so we passed it over to local police. I think Walpole was arrested for murder, but it didn’t exactly make headlines.

You want me to read it anyway?

Best had. We might as well try and do our jobs.

Okay. Here it is. Witness was a holidaymaker, staying in a nearby cottage at the time of the incident. Mostly it’s about Walpole being a bit odd, but nothing suspicious. Had a lot of guests, which I guess were the followers. Nothing untoward going on until one night the witness sees Walpole digging outside his cottage. He thinks this is weird because they’re not supposed to damage the gardens. But its night so he closes his window and goes to bed. Next morning, he sees Walpole in a local shop and asks him about it. Walpole denies having done anything. Just flat out denies it. Says he never leaves the house after dark and certainly has no interest in gardening. And . . . That’s all there is to it.

Nothing on the other side?

Oh, wow. Well now that you mention it- No. No there is nothing on the other side. There’s nothing in the whole statement. What are we supposed to be doing with these anyway?

Just checking through in case there’s anything that needs following up. There probably won’t be. We had more officers back then, so there shouldn’t be too many loose ends.

Better not be. I’ll just put this in a stack then. Make one for solved cases, one for anything that needs following up.

Smart.

I know. You’re up next.

So, this one is for evidence submitted in relation to the Llanfynydd case from two thousand and four.

Oh I know that one. Old manor house burned down. Suspected arson. They talked to Mum about it, but we’d only just moved to the area so she didn’t have a lot to say to them and they didn’t come back to ask again. Did they ever find out what happened?

Not that I know of. They were still talking about it when I joined the force though. As far as I’m aware, the case is still open. Maybe this will help. Evidence number . . . Well, we don’t care about that. It was a pocket watch, late nineteenth century, silver. Found in what was left of the dining room, but untouched by the fire. Clock had stopped at twenty past eight, which is around the time the fire started, though it had been going for about an hour by the time the fire service arrived. Hmm. That’s odd.

What is?

Hold on. I’m sure there was- Yes, here. Another file for the same case. Investigator’s report, it has a few photos. I knew I’d seen that somewhere before, it must be in- Yes. It’s written by Officer Alun Lovell, first Department of Supernature officer on the scene. He talks about how the fire appears to have started in the kitchen before engulfing the entire house. No bodies found, but the house was supposedly uninhabited. But he does make note that in the dining room, there was a tall, mahogany grandfather clock, which appeared to have been spared the worst of the flames. There’s a photograph attached, bit worn around the edges, but the clock face is showing twenty past eight. It must have been this picture going around the office my first year there. I know I’ve seen it before. I always thought the clock looked like an angry face.

Will.

Yes?

You say the photo is worn. Do you mean burned?

I suppose it could be. Yeah, definitely looks singed around the bottom edge. Evidence submission is too now that I think about it.

Okay. Could you do me a favour? Put both of them in the freezer and don’t look at them again until I can come over.

What? Oh, oh no. This is some pyromancy thing isn’t it?

It could be.

I knew I should leave fire alone. I’m just going to pop them in the freezer and then I’ll be back.

Try not to touch them too much. You’re gone aren’t you? Yeah, he’s gone. Just talking to myself.

I’m back. They’re in the freezer. Now, why did I just do that?

So, it could be nothing. Hopefully it’s nothing. Just, the clocks. They made me think of something. Something pretty bad.

Just tell me, would you?

So, Mum used to tell me this story. It starts with an Efreeti.

Oh please, not one of them again.

I’m afraid so. This Efreeti lived in Abyssinia, when a British explorer came to the region. The Efreeti, defending its home, set the explorer on fire, melting his skin and cracking his bones.

Cheery, your Mum.

You don’t know the half of it. There was nothing left of the explorer. Nothing but a pocket watch. A few years later, some more British came through, found the watch, and took it home with them. Every last one died in a fire. One in an arson attack, one when lightning hit the tree he was sleeping under. Nothing that would make you think they were linked, except that any clocks in the area were stuck at the same time.

Twenty past eight?

Twenty past eight. There was one man who didn’t have any clocks nearby, but he did have a sketchbook, in which he had drawn a clock set at twenty past eight.

So there’s a haunted pocket watch out there somewhere. Wonderful.

It’s not ideal. Have there been any fires near the evidence lockers since this was logged?

Not that I know of. Definitely nothing major. You think it’s stopped haunting?

I hope so. I really do. Because if it hasn’t, you have a photograph of it. I’m going to come over, right now. It could be nothing, but I’m not taking the risk. Got my phone on me if you need me.

Aaaand she’s logged off. Great. Suppose I’ll just sit here and wait. Can always go through some of these case files. Either that or sit here talking to myself, and that would be the act of a crazy person. Hope she gets here soon. Guess I’ll just keep an eye on the time.

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Offline Nora

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Re: [AUG 2020] - Dialogue - Submission Thread
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2020, 12:21:55 AM »
A High Magic - 1943 words

Like Alex, I won't bother with quote marks.

Spoiler for Hiden:
You've always known what you wanted to do then, and that's really admirable. In my case at six I wanted to be a vet, as one does, but by eight I'd caught on enough to want to be a firefighter. You know, helping people and stuff. Intervening.
At eleven I had made up my mind that I would become a guru. Seemed to me if I were successful, it'd be the best way to have people take proper care of their dead. Change their habits at the root, the core of their convictions.

It wouldn't have changed the way the masses behave. The world is just too big.

Well, I had to believe, right? Plus everything is interconnected these days, word goes round, people follow trends. Could have made my cult all online and reach people everywhere, even abroad.

I suppose... How did that work out?

I never got around to even try. I don't think it would have been that great a success if people knew the origin of my abilities.

Is it so? I find that surprising! Surely it still is impressive no matter what sparks it?

Most people just pitied me. The folks at the evaluation office did too. Listened to me describe all the ghosts, and what I'd come to understand of hauntings, and why the ghosts always ended up following me around in the end, and they nodded and said how it was quite rare to have magic coming out before eight. You know that gramps, don't you? Earliest magics to manifest are the elemental ones–

Fire, air, water...

Yes, and that's 'cause they take no imagination. Anything more complex and the kid needs to have some understanding of higher concepts. It worried my parents a lot, that concept thing. How I got to see ghosts when as far as they knew I didn't know what death was and never did come home with a dead animal and questions. Least of all seen a dead person.

So they just labelled you with a higher, or spiritual magic and left it at that? Surely people saw the value in that at least? Did no one want to investigate?

Not really. Like I said, it spooked people. My assigned magic counsellor drafted a few career paths for me, spiritual re-connector, grief counsellor, Voodoo witch, whathaveyou. He didn't understand! Everyone just assumed I got to see these ghosts if I wanted to. Everybody with magics, small and big, even feral magics, they get to control when they use it. Dead people, they don't work like that. They're there, following their victim of choice, the person they latched on to, and then they notice me seeing them, and that's it! They jump wagon.
Because you see, ghosts are just attention seekers! They have to have it! Talking to them is like bacon down a dog's gullet. Makes them follow you loyally. If you see them, and you react to the stuff they do, they're in attention heaven! Some will even just start reciting their entire lives at you, bitch and moan and groan, it's a nightmare.

I guess, you being dead, as everyone around just ignores you... Even the people dear to you, it's quite hard on the mind.

Gramps, do you know how ghosts are made?

Mmmh... Not really? I have my ideas, monks at my temple do too, every culture thought about what happens to the spirit after death. But I'm sure, considering you're the expert...

Right, I don't though. Nobody really does. Here's my educated guess : They're born of people's attention to begin with. People can't get over the death, they rehash it, might have trauma, dreams, they call out to their dead ones, and that makes their essence–whatever ghosts are made of–stick around.
They can then coalesce into whatever makes the flavour of ghost they end up as, depending on their own regrets and emotions and drives. They're kept here by that anxious maelstrom of emotion, and form based on their own worst traits. It's a bad mix.
So they'd come to me alright, scare the shit out of me and persecute me, right until the day I figured out that you could make them leave!

Hah! How did that happen?

Was at one of my favourite joints. Mikwa kitchen, run by a couple, maybe five tables–didn't matter, food was from heaven's own canteen. Always got the same damn thing, never got tired of it.

I understand. I was the same with corn dogs. Corn dogs never got old, even if I did.

You know what it's like then, long week, tired, tough time at school, girlfriend getting all in my face about my magic being unmanageable... It was a Friday and I was needing my dose of Mikwan to just–

Relax.

Damn right. Anyway. I'm right outside waiting for my take away to be done, and she drops right out of the tree I'm leaning on! Rope around her neck, face all purple, eyes... You get the idea. She starts screaming at me, and man, it was just too much! So I screamed right back at her! "Fuck you, bitch! You don't fucking get to ruin my Mikwan fucking meal. I don't care about your sad shit story, go haunt somebody who gives a shit!"

Ahaha! That's very colourful, young man, but don't yell so–here, let me top up that glass of yours. Go on–what happened?

It worked. She tried to drop out of two more trees on my way back home, walked right past her, cussing but not giving her a glance, and she gave up. Shortest haunting I had had my whole life.

How old were you?

That day? Twenty.

Mmmh, it must have felt like a long time coming. Did you not try to see a soother?

I did. Biggest shock of my life, that.

Did it not work?

That's just the thing! I went a year after the tree lady. I'd managed to find ways to cope by then, but I couldn't believe I struggled this much still with my magic. It just didn't seem worth it, to keep it.
So I go to that well recommended soother. With a high cancelling magic. Could erase abilities down flat. Had to save for four months for that appointment. Dude sits me down, grills me about my reasons for being here, and at least he was agreeing with me! Asked if I had consulted with someone to help "master" my magic first. Told him I plain didn't want it. Nothing wrong with having no magic.

Quite true. Never had a shade of ability myself, hasn't stopped me from being happy.

I didn't picture you as magicless somehow, gramps! I thought you'd have a trick like curling up moustaches or something! Hah! Anyway, man puts his hands on me, frowns...

Oh?

Says I don't have a magic at all.

Whaaa–

I know! And he was adamant. Just nothing there for him to remove! He even refused to charge me. It struck me then. In the eval office, they don't touch you. I mean, not for check ups like mine. First they listen to what you can do, or look if you can show. If you fit in a category, that's all there is to it. Only those with big potentials get appointments with staff with abilities. I never saw one. Lady never touched me, she probably had no magic to be able to tell anyway. What I described to her sounded like a pesky magic that would feed a psychiatrist for years, and nothing more. So they never checked. And then you know how it goes: at school, during civic duties, in the army, they ask but unless you make a big splash, nobody sends you to a Senser, or anyone who can tell for sure...

So you spent your whole life thinking you had a higher magic, when in fact you had...

Nothing. Nothing anyone recognised, at least.

That has to have been a shock.

Tell me about it.

But then, what is it?

That soother called a senser friend of his and sent me in for a free appointment. She too said there was nothing there at all. She was fantastic. Marta Balbin, we're still in touch, she's great. Anyway, she tagged with me in search of a ghost we could squeeze for some good intel that their relatives would validate, to prove I did see stuff for real, you know?

Did you show her how cussing at ghosts makes them go away?

Aha, I wish! But no, that's not quite how it works. With tree lady I got lucky. What you need to do is press their buttons, scratch their itch, tell them what they need to hear. Making them leave requires you to interact with them somehow, and I'd spent two decades avoiding that as much as I could.

Ah, I see, each ghost needs their own special interaction in order to be able to move on?

Precisely.

And so she believed you?

Oh yes, and finally helped me meet with a person with answers for me!

How exciting! Pray tell, young lad, tell me what it is!

She introduced me to the high priest of Enmu, in the capital's temple.

The God of the Netherworld? I suppose it makes sense to ask them.

Prepare yourself to be blown away : it turns out I was dead at birth, for two whole minutes the doctors worked on me, and I eventually breathed. Apparently though as a newborn I'd had no sins to weigh and I had already been given a rank in the Great City. So when I was brought back... I was an official of the Great City.

A foot in life and a foot in the Netherworld? Is this even possible?

High priest was the same! All Enmu high priests are! Apparently outside of ceremonies they spend their time putting ghosts at rest.

That is incredible! How can such a secret be so well guarded?

There are only a dozen people like this in the country, so it's not too hard. They'd have found me sooner, if the magics office had done their job properly and not discounted me as a minor seer or medium.

So are you one of them now? A high priest of Enmu? Working for a God?

Precisely.

And you work with ghosts?

What do you think we're doing here, gramps?

I– What?

You're Jeremya Mikkels, an archaeologist deceased at the ripe old age of eighty-eight, you wrote books on ancient civilisations until the bitter end, didn't you? You loved digging up secrets.

Yes–I... I did.

And I just gave you a great secret. A truth you never knew in your living days. Exactly what you'd been craving. You've regretted not digging up more, haven't you? Well, now you can take this very rare knowledge with you to the Great City.

I can? Yes it's... Yes, I suppose I can.

Leave us with no regrets my friend. Times have changed for me too, I enjoyed our chat, a lot more than if I'd met you fifteen years ago!

I would have haunted you...

And I wouldn't have had anything to say to satisfy you. But now, you can go in peace gramps.

Thank you, lad. I can see it and... it means a lot. I'll bring good word of you.

And I'll seek you out in the next life. We shall talk again, and I will bring you more secrets of this world. Now be gone, Jeremya Mikkels. Cross under Enmu's obsidian gate without regrets.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 06:43:16 PM by Nora »
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Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline NightWrite

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Re: [AUG 2020] - Dialogue - Submission Thread
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2020, 01:31:03 AM »
Heading Out - 526 words

Spoiler for Hiden:
Heading Out

“Come on, Master Knetos. Now you're just wasting time. We need to get to the gate to check in.”

“We still have over an hour before we need to check in with the line head, Phakara. The caravan will not leave without us.”

“It might, if your pace is anything like I remember Master.”

“You are not helping. If anything, Avo, you are encouraging her.”

“Doubt she needs anymore encouragement. Look at her, all set and ready to leave the Hold for the first time.”

“Don't pout Avo, we'll be back three springs from now. So you'll see us again. And we'll send letters with each caravan, Wyldmyst permitting.”

“I'm more worried about if you'll come back at all, not when. The Wyldmyst has getting been more potent as of late. And the Myst-touched have been getting bolder. Rumors of more and more raids on caravans between other Holds have been making the rounds since the caravan from Hold Lethea arrived last week.”

“Well, you might not have to worry soon. We may never leave if the Master doesn't hurry.”

“The Master doesn't do fast, haven't you heard, everyone else should do slow according to him.”

“Such cheek. I can hear you over there, no matter how soft you think you whisper. I guess a certain apprentice wants me to slow down. And here I was ready to leave. I guess we will be stuck here until next spring now.”

“No, no. I'm sorry Master, I'll be good.”

“Ow!”

“That's for laughing Avo.”

“If you children are done, we should get going Phakara.”

“Of course Master. Just let me get my pack.”

“Are you sure you have everything Master? Rations, wardstone pendants, field notebo–”

“Yes, yes. I have done this trip many times since my own apprenticeship. I have made sure both our packs are adequately supplied. We will be fine as we can be.”

“Yeah Avo. Don't give the Master any more reasons to stall.”

“Well, if you're sure.”

“Yes, now we must head to the gate so we can check in with the line head.”

“You're the one who was taking so long Master. Hey, wait for me! Bye Avo.”

“Now Avo's got me thinking. Are you sure about this Master?”

“Hm?”

“About me being ready to leave the Hold. Of facing the dangers beyond the walls and great wardstone.”

“In truth? No, I don't think you are ready.”

“Oh.”

“Let me finish. While I do not think you should be leaving the safety of the Hold yet given your age, you will stagnate if you remain here. There is only so much I can teach you should we remain in Hold Araphos. The resources at Hold Vulkios will help you flourish into the master herbalist and physician I know you can become.”

“Thank-you Master, I hope I can one day live up to your expectations.”

“You will child, you will. Now, you wait here with the bags while I speak with the line head.”