Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's Talk Blogfest

Yay! A Blogfest I'm actually participating in!
It's been awhile for me, but when Roni suggested a "Let's Talk" Blogfest I couldn't turn it down.
I love to write dialogue. I find it easy and fun and it's one of my strengths.

Here's the definition of the Blogfest:

On Tuesday May 18, post a short excerpt on your blog of your most sparkly dialogue scene (no, I'm not talking about Edward Cullen). It can be anything dialogue-heavy--a laid-back chat, an all out argument, a flirty conversation, two friends ribbing each other--whatever. The options are endless.

I was originally going to post a scene from a short story I wrote about 8 years ago. BUT when I re-read that scene it wasn't very strong and I didn't want to spend the time fixing it up.

So instead here's another bit from a story I never finished. I don't even know where the story was heading and I only got about 4k into it before I stopped for whatever reason.

I think the scene is pretty self explanatory since it takes place so early in the story. The characters are a brother and sister, Sora and Yukiko who are Japanese Americans and attending a boarding school. The genre is paranormalish and leans towards YA.

Also, I apologize for the crazy blogger formatting.

Also, there is some language in this scene.

Here we go!


Yukiko and Lisa changed back into their uniforms and left the gym, surprised to see that it was already dark outside and that the weather had turned cool and breezy.

“Well, I guess that’s the end of summer,” Lisa rubbed her arms. “I would’ve brought a jacket had I known it was going to be so cold.”

“It’s not that bad,” Yukiko replied. They cut across the school lawns to make better time to their dorm. “And besides it's just a few blocks.”

“You think they could at least put some lights out here or something,”

“Why, are you scared?”

“Of course not!” Lisa said.

The quickness of her reply led Yukiko to believe otherwise.

Yuki didn’t feel nervous in the least. She felt comfortable under the large oak trees, regrdless of how dark it was.

“Lisa, we’re on school grounds, a hundred feet from our dorm. Nothing’s going to happen to us, so there no reason to be scared.”

“I’m not scared!”


They walked through the trees. Yuki enjoyed the sounds of the crickets and the cold breeze against her shower damp body.
When they were almost out of the grove three figures leapt at them from behind a tree.

At the sight of their raised arms and loud voices Lisa shrieked and ran screaming back the way they had come.

One of their attackers stepped near to Yuki and she swung out a fist, gratified when her hand connected with flesh and bone.

“Ow! Fuck man,” the figure moaned and backed away. “Your sister hit me in the face!”

“Well what the hell do you expect Brandon!” Yuki yelled. “You jumped out at us and scared the shit out of Lisa. One of you had better go get her before she alerts teachers.” She glared at her brother and his other friend James. James rolled his eyes before he jogged down the path to catch Lisa.

“I think you broke my nose!” Brandon said, his hands covered in blood. Yuki ignored him and turned to her brother who was laughing at both his sister’s and friend’s discomfort.

“That’s just great Sora!” She slapped his arm.

“Ow!” He pulled away.

“Don’t give me that shit. It’s going to take Lisa weeks to get over this.”

“Yeah.” He smiled. “You should have seen the look on her face.”

“What the hell are you doing out here anyway?” He showed her a bag of liquor. “Christ, you’re all going to get expelled!” she snatched at the bag.

“Nah, we’ve been doing this for years. Brandon’s window in his room has ivy and a trellis going to it. Just have to wait until after midnight to climb back in. Never been caught before.”

“Well how are you going to explain Brandon’s nose?”

“He was sleepwalking.” Sora shrugged. “Ran into a bed post.” He glanced at Brandon.

“I thought you were too smart to do something this stupid. Especially bringing me and Lisa into it.”

“What are you gonna do? Tattle on us?”

She glared at him a moment, her teeth clenched before she trusted herself to speak again. “Yeah, that’s right Sora, tattle on you!” She pushed past him and Brandon. “You had better hope James found Lisa, because I’m not responsible for what she says to anyone.”

As she walked out of the grove she could hear Brandon talking to Sora, his voice muffled behind his hands.

“Fuck man, your sister’s a bitch.”

“Nah, she’s all right.”

“She broke my nose!”

“Whatever. You just shouldn’t have gotten so close.”

“Think she’ll tell on us?”

“Nah. Come on, let’s go wait for James.”

When the knocks at their door woke her from a dreamless sleep Yuki knew it was Sora. She climbed out of her bed when Lisa spoke up.

“Don’t let him in!”

“He’s my brother.”

“He’s an ass! He made us both look stupid tonight. Let him wait until morning to apologize.”

Yuki sighed and considered Lisa’s point. She was still angry at him but had a feeling he came, not to apologize, but to seek comfort. She unlocked the door.

“Yuki!” Lisa whispered.

“I’m sorry, but what if something’s wrong? I can’t just leave him out there.”

“Fine. Do what you want since you obviously don’t care about me.” Lisa covered her head with her comforter and pretended to sleep. Yuki opened the door a crack and found Sora out of breath.


“Let me in,” he whispered.

“Why should I do that?”

“Because I need to talk to you!”

She sighed and let him in. As he glided past she caught a whiff of alcohol and smoke.

“Have you been smoking?”

“No!” he replied, but at her firm gaze, relented. “Well yes, but only one, and that’s not the point!” he sat down on her bed.

“What is the point Sora?” She rubbed her temples. “Why did you come here?”

Sora glanced at Lisa and chose to speak in Japanese.

“Something happened tonight, in the grove. All of the guys said I just passed out but that’s bullshit. I mean I know what I saw and it was no fainting dream or whatever.”

“Sora you’re not making any sense. If you want me to listen, fine. But if you want me to comprehend, please speak in intelligible sentences.”

Sora rubbed face and started again. “I was laying on my back looking at the stars when I saw a comet over in the western part of the sky. I was curious because there shouldn’t have been any comets, and then it turned and started heading towards the grove.”

“It turned?” Yuki snorted.

“Yes it turned. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, and now that I think about it I don’t even think it was a comet, but maybe just like a shaft of energy or something. But the closer it got, the brighter it became and I could actually hear it as it came upon us.”

“What did it sound like?”

He looked sheepish before answering. “A jet. But it wasn’t a jet because no one else saw it." he paused, lost in his thoughts.

“Then what happened?”

“I don’t really know… The energy hit me, right in the chest,” he accompanied this statement with a raised hand placed just below the solar plexus. “And then, I was flying…but not like a bird, like the way a shuttle must feel. And that’s where I went, through the atmosphere up into space.” He paused here again and Yuki didn’t interrupt him.

“God, it was so cold. I mean I knew it would be, but it was so cold it burned. I could feel my bones and blood freezing and I knew if even the tiniest speck of dust touched me I would have shattered. I stopped breathing, and then my heart stopped. And I was dead. Just like that. I’ve never been so terrified in my entire life.” He looked at Yuki and she saw he was indeed terrified of what he had seen. “I don’t want to die. Not like that. Not at all.”

“Of course not.” Yuki rubbed his arm. “No one does. But maybe it was just a dream, caused by the booze and drugs?”

He shook his head. “It was too real, and I wasn’t that drunk or high.”

“But Brandon and James said you just passed out. Maybe you did?”

He looked at her a moment before he jerked his arm away. He pulled his shirt off.
“Passing out doesn’t do this.”

Yuki gasped. Tracing their way from his waist up to his chest were black and purple bruises, each so large that they all just melded together into a grotesque picture of his torso.

“Jesus, Sora,” Yuki whispered, forgetting to speak in Japanese as she reached out a hand to touch him.

“What the hell is going on?” Lisa demanded. She turned over in her bed. “You guys are sitting over there babbling away in Japanese when I’m trying to get some sleep! Can’t you at least have some re-” but as she saw Sora’s bruises her eyes widened and her mouth snapped shut with an audible clack.

“Does it hurt?” Yuki asked. She pressed gently against a bruise on his ribcage.

“Ow! Dammit of course it hurts!” he yelled and pulled away from her.

“What happened?” Lisa asked. She sat on the bed with them. “Did you get in a fight? Was it with Brandon? Did you kick his ass, because he needs a good ass kicking.”

Sora shot Yukiko a look and then pulled his shirt back on.

“No he didn’t get in a fight, Lisa. Listen, do you promise not to speak a word about this to anyone?”

Lisa bit her lip.

“Lisa I’m serious. Just don’t mention this to anyone, especially not any teachers, okay?”

“Fine. But what about all the others he was spending the night with?”

Yuki glanced at Sora and he shrugged his shoulders.

“What about them? If anyone asks, Sora was here with us tonight.”

“They’re not going to believe us!”

“Yes they will. I’m a top student and you haven’t gotten in any trouble.”

“Sora has.”

“So what? We haven’t. Besides they’d have to come up with a story about where they were tonight since I don’t think any of them want to tell the headmaster that they were sneaking out to get drunk and high.”

“O.K. Fine. I’m going back to bed, but you both owe me,” she returned to her bed. “Especially you,” she glared at Sora. Sora flashed her one of his most charming smiles. She snorted and climbed back into her bed.

“So do you believe me?” Sora asked Yuki, once again conversing in Japanese.

“I don’t know. I mean it’s obvious something happened, but I just don’t think some sort of vision would do that to you.”

“It wasn’t the vision that did this, it was the energy.”

“Well whatever it was, I don’t have the answer any more than you. Maybe you should go to bed. Actually, better yet, take a shower. You smell.”


“Listen, I’m tired and I’m not in any position tonight to make any sort of decision or judgment. Even if what you said happened did happen, what am I supposed to do about it? Write to Dad and ask him to please come and get us? Some paltry little bruises aren’t going to get us home. Now maybe if you had broken something, some ribs or an arm, that might have gotten us somewhere, but as it is for now we’re stuck here.”

“All right,” he sighed. “You’re right, maybe things will change once I get some sleep.”

“I’m always right Sora.” She led him to the door. “Now you get some sleep and we’ll talk again tomorrow.”

She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. She suspected that he would sleep well, no longer troubled now that he had unburdened himself. But she knew she would lay awake all night as she remembered the bruises that painted a grotesque picture across his chest.


So there you go. I wish I could remember where I was going with this story. Maybe I'll have to make something up.

See you tomorrow!


Christine Danek said...

Wow! I really, really like this. Love it! The dialogue flowed seamlessly. I couldn't stop reading. Now go and make something up so I can read more. :)

Summer said...

Wow, I wish you remember where it was going too. Interesting excerpt! You should think about it and figure out a direction!

Good job!

Anne said...

yeah, that and my commission. Start cooking!

Falen said...

Christine - thanks! the whole story was more or less all dialogue so it wasn't hard to find the two scenes for the blogfest

Summer - yeah i probably should. Reading over it right now gets me all excited. Especially since i love me some boarding schools.

Anne - yeah i know. i feel bad about it

Janel said...

You are the dialogue master . . . (bowing in respect). Now go finish the story, pretty please. :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a cool concept! Nice flow to your dialog. Very entertaining :))

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good stuff! And thank you for no Edward.

laurel said...

I like the brother-sister relationship here very much--they play tricks, fight and yet support each other in the end. The dialogue flows very naturally too. Curious to see where this story is going!

Piedmont Writer said...

This was great Sarah, I love the suspense. I wish you would finish it because I'd love to know what happens. And the description of him soaring into outer space was fab, especially the bit about the dust breaking him. Great job as usual.

Tara said...

I wish you could remember, too!

Dialogue flowed great :)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

*giggles* at the Edward Cullen promise.
I agree with everyone get your gears goin back on this, the concept is awesome. I wanted to read more! Very nice, and seamless dialogue.

Abby Annis said...

Sounds like a really cool premise. If you could remember what it is. ;) Great dialogue scene!

Kittie Howard said...

Loved this, how it flowed, how excitement built, how the characters interacted...wish you'd write more!!

Falen said...

Janel - thanks! And after reading it, i do kind of want to figure it out again

Nicole - thanks!

Alex - oh you'll never have to worry about that from me

Laurel - thanks! i remember i wanted Sora to be an ass, but still have Yuki love him despite that

Piedmont - thanks pal! and i don't think i ever completely write off any story. They all just sit on hold until i have enough time to work on them

Tara - thanks! the lack of memory makes me angry since usually i'm really good at recalling plots

Erica - thanks! I'll have to ponder it some more, see if i can come up with something

Abby - thanks!

Kittie - judging by the comments here, i'll probably have to commit to adding more

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Love the buildup!!!

Oooh yes you should definitely revisit this one! I enjoyed it immensely!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I really like the dynamic between brother and sister. You've created tension and mystery. Want more, please.

Simon C. Larter said...

Ah! Intriguing, good lady. I like the fact they decided to speak in Japanese to keep Lisa out of the conversation. Nice touch, there.

Very well done!

Teebore said...

I wish I could remember where I was going with this story.


Seriously though, good stuff. Dialogue definitely is one of your (many) strengths.

VR Barkowski said...

Outstanding dialogue and very well executed. Not easy to do with so many characters. Now that you have us all hooked, time to go finish it out. :)

Excellent work!

Lola Sharp said...

I enjoyed this! Good job.

Now, get to making the rest up. ;)


Angie said...

Nice job. The dialogue flows very naturally. I love the relationships between the kids. Sound very interesting. I'd hold onto it if I were you.

Palindrome said...

You are a dialogue queen!! That was great. You need to figure out where you were going with that. My interest is piqued!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Definitely piqued my interest! I like the line about the guy needing a good ass-kicking, lol.

Thanks for participating!

Kate Haggard said...

Oooh, an intriguing idea going on here. I'm more than a little curious to find out just what it was Sora experienced. And I love how you let the dialogue tell the story without too much else going on. I love dialogue that stands on its own.

Shelley Sly said...

This is awesome! Definitely the way "young people" talk (I put that in quotes because I'm a "young person" too, and I realize I'm talking like I'm older.)

Love the name Sora, it makes me think of Kingdom Hearts. And I love that your characters speak Japanese -- I'm trying to learn that myself.

Awesome excerpt, Sarah!

Lovy Boheme said...

This had such a natural flow to it. If you can't remember where you were going with it, you should definitely start making things up. :)

And it looks like we have similar tastes as far as aesthetics go. I thought I was in *my* blog for a second when I first clicked. lol

Anne said...

@Shelley- good luck! We took Japanese for a year. Wasn't too bad until we got to kanji

@Falen- you don't need to feel bad obvs your actual ms is more important than my commish. I just like to remind you about it now and again :-)

Eric W. Trant said...

I have soooo many half-written stories.

And they're my best ones! If I could just ~finish~ the dang things.

Funny that you had a guy looking up and flying off into space. I wrote a story with a similar premise, though that was the entire story, not just a dream.

Good ping-pong dialogue. I like that you're not afraid to let your characters curse and act realistic. Believable dialogue.

- Eric

C R Ward said...

Wow, you really need to figure out where this story is going so you can finish it. This was a great piece of story. I want to know what happens next!

Falen said...

Thanks everyone!
It seems the general consensus is that i shouldn't just let this one waste away and i think i agree.

Teebore - most likely it was not aliens

Shelley - oooh i LOVE Kingdom Hearts, though that was certainly not the intent when i picked his name originally (Sora is a unisex name which was what i was looking for)

DL Hammons said...

That definitely needs to find a home somewhere. Such a waste otherwise! :)

Nishant said...

You should think about it and figure out a direction!
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