MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “dialogue”

Learn to believe

Life is not like a fairy tale; if you lose your shoe at midnight you’re drunk!

Oh come on, you’re exaggerating”, she confuted. “Sometimes, we do meet a Prince Charming. Life can surprise us pleasantly”.

Sure, but how often does that really happen?” Her pessimism was disarming.

The teenage girl grinned and lowered her gaze.

We need to believe that wonderful things can happen. You’re never too old to dream”.

Hm, but like Eugene O’ Neill once said, ‘obsessed by a fairytale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a last kingdom of peace”.

What’s wrong with that?” she questioned as she turned on the Disney channel. “We become intelligent through the stories we read because we cultivate our imagination, we learn to dream, and we are convinced that dragons can be beaten. Isn’t that the point, after all? To believe that we are as strong and confident as we set our mind to entrust? And that nothing is as impossible as we think? If we don’t try, we’ll never know”.

She left her interlocutor speechless. So much, that all she could do was get the popcorn and share the couch as the movie began.

Anywhere in the world

©Bradley Harris

Anywhere in the world?

Yes, anywhere at all”.

I won’t tell you the clichés, that there is no other place I’d rather be than here. Truthfully, I would want to be at that place on earth where the ocean meets the mountain. Where the ends of the planet seem to meet in harmony. Where all nature is at peace. There is no evident – and ugly – human intervention in sight. It’s just you and the world. And your soul is calm. Like everything around you”.

Is there really such a place?

I sure hope so, otherwise I’ll be searching in vain”.  

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Just one second

https://www.onceuponapicture.co.uk/portfolio_page/white-rabbit/

Sometimes you remind me of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland; you’re always rushing for time and somehow you’re always late”.

She blushed as he teased.

Well, what was it the Rabbit said? ‘The hurrier I go, the behinder I get’. Often that’s exactly it. And having no sense of direction does not help”.

You know, life becomes sweeter if we learn to slow down a bit. Not everything needs to happen in a rush”.

She stared at him. She easily lost herself in his presence, drowning in his mesmerising blue-green eyes. He had a way of making her lose track of time; of getting her heart to beat in a different rhythm when she was with him. It didn’t matter what time it was when they were together. And she realised that she wanted him near, often and always. Even if only just for a few minutes.

She smiled as she remembered Alice’s discourse with this very Rabbit:

“How long is forever?”

“Sometimes just one second”.

Inspired by Once Upon a Picture

The impulse of an act

wooden bridge nightWhat happened last night?” Vivienne rubbed her eyes as she awakened in a jail cell. Her best friend was sitting right next to her. She had clearly been awake much longer; perhaps she had not even slept at all.

You don’t remember?” Charlotte stared at her wide-eyed. She seemed furious. A bit puzzled too. And quite stressed.

Don’t you remember anything about last night? Nothing? At all?” the panic in her voice was now evident.

Vivienne was still trying to wake up. The litres of alcohol she had consumed the night before were now catching up with her, causing an invisible hammer to pound on her head. She held her head up and calmly responded, “not a thing”. “What did we do?” her curiosity was pure and naïve. It was as if she was asking why the neighbor was piling boxes in his yard. As this did not affect her. As though she did not just spend the night in prison.

Charlotte was furious. And the more angry she got, the more Vivienne wanted to know what exactly happened the night before. She felt as if she was watching her favourite TV series and it had been cut-off at a cliffhanger scene.

The last thing I remember is drinking shots at that bar by the river. Everything is a blank after that. What happened? Did we do something bad?

No honey, we were brought to prison for our own safety”. Charlotte was a master in sarcasm. And she performed best at moments when her rage overwhelmed her.

Sweetie, you got hammered last night. You literally drank a bottle of wine on your own at Spencer’s house, then when we went for Mexican you had half a pitcher of Margaritas, and it was you who insisted we go for more drinks after that. We conceded mainly because you were so upset after seeing Weston again after so long. So we went to that bar by the river that you remember. And we said we’d have one drink. But the waiter took a liking on us – probably you, that is – you were so… friendly and cheerful with everyone; it was bound to get misunderstood.

It’s not my fault I get overly excited when I drink!

Charlotte raised her eyebrows at her. “So, what happened?” Vivienne felt she was listening to a story, not a recount of what she had done the previous night.

We had three rounds of shots and you had another couple of glasses of vodka. You started to get dizzy so the guys suggested we leave and get you out to the fresh air. That is when we went to the bridge and you saw the wooden boat right under it…

Oh no…” Vivienne knew where this was going. She knew herself too well. And her drunk self was even worse. Or rather, more unpredictable and impulsive than her normal self could ever be.

What did I make you guys do?” she questioned in full embarrassment.

You ran down and literally stole the boat for a moonlight stroll. We had to get in too, to control you. But you started feeling woozy and rocked the boat, overturning us all in the freezing river. It was your screaming that brought the police.

And they arrested us for that?” Apparently, it was not a good enough reason.

Oh no, sweetie. They arrested us because you threw up on one of the police officers and then slapped the face off the other one because you hallucinated into thinking it was Weston. That’s what we got arrested for.

But why are you here then?

Because I’m so stupid to care so much for you, I didn’t want to leave you alone in this state of yours. Who knows who else you would molest.

So, I wasn’t left alone at all after that?

Well, just for a couple of minutes when I went to call Justin. He’s bound to come bail us out any minute now. We’ve already been here for six hours.”

OK. So in those few minutes, I didn’t…you know… do anything else, did I?” Vivienne was genuinely frightened. It is scary not remembering part of your life and the actions you may have taken during that time. Especially if they will affect your present or future.

I sure hope not.” Charlotte knew her friend too well, but loved her the same nonetheless.

Their discussion was interrupted by a prison guard coming to let them out.

Is Justin here?” asked Charlotte.

No,” the guard replied. “I made some calls.

Why?” asked Vivienne surprised.

You said you’d only go out with me if you weren’t in here, didn’t you? And I do think we would match. Don’t let my job fool you, I told you I am a trained lawyer. I just can’t get a decent job just yet”.

Vivienne gulped. Her face was heating up and her stomach was churning the previous night’s alcohol.

Charlotte laughed. At least the lawyer-turned-prison-guard was cute. He was young, tall, handsome and athletic. He couldn’t be that bad.

A few days later Vivienne did go on that date with the prison guard, whose name was Leo, by the way. She was blown away at how different he was outside the prison. And so was he. She was careful not to drink too much this time. But she was equally cheerful. It was the excitement of realising that sometimes it is on an impulse that your true desires are revealed and you are pushed into taking the actions that otherwise you would talk yourself out of.

10 ways texting can make you smarter

TextingTalking is defined as the action of communicating or exchanging ideas, information etc., by speaking, or by uttering sounds of some sort. In the modern digital world, talking is equivalent to texting. We spend so much time in front of a screen that our way of communicating has evolved to be through instant messages, emails, or simply put, texts of any kind.

In whatever way it may come about, talking is essential. Because it is always better to share something with others rather than keep it locked up inside of you. Particularly when something good comes along, not having anyone to tell and join in the excitement, sort of sucks out half the joy.

So here is a short list of why talking (in any form, and preferably with others) can make you smarter:

  1. In the quest to share ideas and find conversation starters or goers, you will eventually be incited to read more, thus learn more and expand your intellectual capacity. You will discover worlds out there you never knew existed and will be amazed by how isolated we used to be. You may even be shocked at how things we still take for granted are daringly fought for by others.
  2. If you can’t express what it is you think or desire, then perhaps you are not clear about it either. Albert Einstein had said that “you do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” Just remember you can’t (or rather, shouldn’t) comment on things you don’t know about.
  3. There is no other way of getting your point of view across (well, no other peaceful way) other than clearly stating your position. Don’t expect others to guess what you want unless you state it. The struggle to develop a coherent and solid argument will open the door to interesting information for you too.
  4. You will learn to appreciate the views of others. It’s always easier to criticize than comprehend. Every interaction should celebrate the diversity of views among us. Voltaire vowed to “defend to the death your right to speak”, even if he did disapprove of what you say. Freedom of speech and opinion is a fundamental right we so often take for granted and are so willing to boldly proclaim whenever it is violated.
  5. Twitter’s limitation of 140 characters has made every word count, forcing us to squeeze our minds into making those few words mean the most they can, and constraining us to say everything we need to in the fewest amount of words possible. Consequently, it has made us appreciate all the more the power of words. And spelling. And perhaps enticed us to flick through a dictionary. Or thesaurus.
  6. Talking to others makes you look at the other side of the coin. We all view life through our own one-sided perspective. But what about asking someone in a different situation how they view things? It will give you a different lens through which to view the facts and will open your mind to new thoughts and ideas. It may even bring you a step closer to understanding this world we live in.
  7. Through conversations you can learn how to do a lot – about how to turn a pessimistic person around to having a glimpse of optimism for things in their lives. How to become witty in order to respond to petty comments. Perhaps you will find like-minded people out there, or someone who challenges you intellectually and stimulates a dialogue from which you may all gain. It may lead to arguments you didn’t know you had until someone made you think of them.
  8. Talking may lead to the next great discovery. The innovation we’ve been all waiting for. Exchange ideas, develop them, compliment them through conversations. You’d be surprised at the outcome.
  9. The more you talk, the more you learn. And it is not just about the gossip. The more information and points of view you hear, the more you will be able to distinguish between the truth and the lies; between propaganda and realism. And the more you will be able to develop your own informed opinion about the state of things.
  10. Ultimately, talking and being able to express your thoughts makes you more attractive. It shows you are not a feeble by-stander in this exciting world. You take part and have a view. And there is nothing as powerful as a mind in action.

Surprisingly weaved together

Security-CameraHarry would enter the ATM branch on the corner of the street with the best bagel-shop in the entire city center every Wednesday around midday. Silvie knew that. She had been watching him for the past couple of months. But he was not aware of it.

Silvie worked as a security guard and was responsible for monitoring all action in the ATM room from the cameras situated at every corner of it. There was rarely something suspicious going on, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. The last time something out of the ordinary occurred in that specific branch, the security guard had stepped out for a quick smoke and missed the masked man entering and dropping a smoke bomb which mystified the cameras and allowed him to blow up an ATM and run out with the cash. It took three weeks for the police to find him. And the security guard was re-assigned to another post. He still cannot forgive himself for the incident and like everyone is very thankful no-one got hurt. He now quit smoking.

Silvie, however, was much more diligent. And she didn’t smoke. On Wednesdays she would not even get up from her seat until Harry would appear. Of course she did not know his name. She didn’t know anything about him. Simple that he was elegant and charming and always came in wearing a freshly pressed suit. One time he looked up at the camera while he was waiting for an ATM to become available and Silvie blushed.

Her colleagues made fun of her. They even encouraged her to go ask him out herself. But she was more traditional. She preferred to charm him and get him to want to ask her out. So she persevered and continued to admire him through a screen.

One Wednesday though, Harry stood staring at the camera. He was looking straight at it and Silvie felt that he was looking right at her. She felt the need to fix her hair and began to feel on edge. What happened? Harry kept staring. He completed his weekly ATM ritual and before leaving the room, he once again looked back at the camera.

Silvie was baffled but simply forgot about the incident.

To Silvie’s surprise, however, just a few hours later Harry appeared right outside her glass door. Silvie almost fell off her chair and had to rub her eyes and even pinch herself to make sure she was still awake. She opened the door with a trembling hand.

Hi, I’m Harry Woodstaff,” he said, extending a hand. Silvie shook it and in her bedazzlement managed to utter “Silvie Goldtie”.

She couldn’t help but stare into his chestnut eyes. He smiled. She blushed. She offered a drink. He politely refused. She was disappointed. She thought that would have done the trick to keep him there a bit longer.

He began to tell her that he goes to that specific ATM every Wednesday (Silvie was about to shout “I know!” but managed to suppress it). Harry continued that today as for the past two weeks he has noticed something strange about the camera that is facing the door. Silvie was alarmed. This could raise an alert. She jumped to her desk and took out a notepad and pen ready to record any irregular sign witnessed.

You see,” said Harry, “it’s been there for quite a while now, and I didn’t pay any attention at first, but now it’s been growing and it’s actually hard to miss.”

Silvie’s eyes opened wide and her heart began to beat faster. Did someone plant something in there on purpose?

It’s this gigantic spider,” said Harry in all naturalness. “I am not really afraid of them, but it is strange this one is there and to be honest it is a bit unnerving, so if someone could come clean it out, it would be great.”

Silvie smiled, noted down “spider” and reassured him that it would be taken care of. “Don’t worry,” she said, “it will be gone by next week when you return to the ATM”. Harry looked at her and smiled. She was either a really good and attentive listener, or a stalker. Either way though, her smile had won him over, and as he turned to leave, he said “would you like to go out for a coffee sometime?” Silvie was ecstatic. Mission accomplished. And to think she didn’t even like spiders.

The other side of the looking glass

antique mirrorThe feeling of the key turning in the palm of your hand as it unlocked the door was one that always brought relief to Priscilla. For no matter the horrors, the exploitation and the emotional drainage she experience outside in the real world, in there, through that door she was safe. “My castle, my home” she would say and she meant it. It was as though in there nothing could touch her.

Until that day. When she walked in to find a couple she had never seen before, sitting in her living room, eating a slice of cake.

She was dumbstruck. She dropped the key and stood still as if she had been petrified.

Hello dear, there you are! Would you like a piece of cake? It’s fresh and not too heavy!” The woman spoke to her as though they had been apart only for a little while since she last saw her. And her voice was so soothing. But who was she?

“Come, have a seat. You must be tired!” The man’s voice was just as welcoming. It was almost wrong not to go and sit with them. They were both so inviting.

But who on earth were they?

Priscilla rubbed her eyes. Maybe it was a dream, or rather a nightmare. She pinched herself, but nothing worked, except perhaps give her a bruise.

Who are you!?” she managed to utter at last.

The couple looked almost insulted. “Auntie Clara and Uncle Tom. Why, don’t you remember darling?

Priscilla was beginning to feel scared. Had she gone insane?

“We arrived this morning, dear. You left us to go to work because something urgent had come up. Your auntie made this cake in the meantime and we were waiting for you. Don’t you remember?

Ok this is all too weird,” thought Priscilla.

The strangest part of it all was that she had absolutely no recollection of what had happened that morning. She only remembered her terrible day at work. But no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t remember what took place before that, or how she even got to work!

Everything in her house seemed normal. All in its usual place. And these people seemed so nice and kind. If only she could remember who they were.

Cold sweat trickled down her spine. For a moment she felt her blood turn to ice. What if she wasn’t even the person she thought she was?

She rushed to the mirror.

Phew! This was one face she still recognized.

But on the other side of the looking glass, Evilia her evil twin, was determined to have the last laugh.

 

Also part of Daily Post: Unexpected Guests

Bear-ing a dream

bear_teddy_bear“Nanna, I had a weird dream last night.”

“Really? What did you see?”

“I saw a big brown bear. It seemed so alive!”

“A bear?” Nanna seemed surprised. And perplexed. “Was it growling?”

“Hmm, I don’t remember. But I don’t think so. Why, does it mean something different if it was?”

“No. I was simply wondering if there were any audio effects to it,” she smiled cheekily.

“Nanna! I’m serious! It scared me. What does it mean? And why did I see a bear in my sleep? So real and scary?”

“Well, my sweet Rita, you can’t expect others to interpret the messages sent by your subconscious. No matter what all these dream books and so-called-dream-experts say, you will only find the true meaning of your dreams if you search inside you. And well, you never know when you’ll realize what it means. Maybe it’s when you least expect it. Like a revelation!”

Rita seemed confused. What did the dream mean? Lost in her thoughts she was startled by Puffy, the golden retriever who came over to announce it was time for his walk. He jumped on to the chair next to her and knocked off a bunch of clothes and bags piled up there, including Rita’s favourite brown teddy bear which popped out from under a t-shirt as it fell on the floor. That very bear she had been looking for all week.

Rita smiled and looked at Nanna whose wisdom eyes gleamed in the morning sunlight. The subconscious is a funny thing after all.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Freudian Flips

When would you like to live?

VicCouple“I don’t like living in the 21st century,” uttered Alice as she gulped down a glass of cold water. The sun was stifling that day, and burning the back of her head so much that she could even feel it turn chili pepper red.

“Why?” said Paul as he continued to stare at his tablet, concentrated on how to best guide his hero-turtle along a leafy path, knocking frogs out of its way. “This is the best century in which to live! Well, except if in the next one we have flying vehicles and spaceships that would allow us to fly to the moon and other planets whenever we want! Yeah, that would be so cool!…Gotcha!”. Paul’s eyes never left the screen. It was as if his gaze was transfixed. And every now and then he would sway in motion together with the tablet, as if he and his hero-turtle were one and the same.

“Agh”, sighed Alice. She, on the other hand, was a romantic. She didn’t jump through hoops for all this technology available at our fingertips nowadays. Sure, it facilitates life and was definitely worth it. But our lives shouldn’t simply depend on them. They are supposed to serve us and not the other way around. Alice loved to observe the world around her, and she could not possibly understand why Paul was so mesmerized by a simple gadget, when on a lovely summer day like this birds were chirping away in the trees, flowers were blooming all across the garden, and the sea was lying right there, still and peaceful waiting for a splash. How could he just ignore it all? For a screen?

“I would like to have lived in the Renaissance. With those large, elegant gowns, swirling along with my every step. Those pretty hats and lace umbrellas. And all those gentlemen, discreetly courting me.” Alice made a twirl as she dreamt of how better everything would be.

“Pfff,” snarled Paul. Still not looking away from the screen.

“What? … Rather, what about Belle Époque or the Enlightenment? Aaaaahhh”, she let out a prolonged sigh, like a small bubble letting out its air, slowly and smoothly.

“You’re a dreamer. You do live in Wonderland after all!”

“So what? At least I realize the beauty of other times. You don’t even know about them!”

“Sure I do. I know about the time of dinosaurs. Or the prehistoric men. Or the time of the Crusades.”

“Why would you want to live in a war period? We have enough of that now as it is!”

“But it’s all about the action. And feeling important!”

“See, that’s what these stupid videogames do to you. You think everything is fun and games. Even when lives are at stake! …. I’ve had enough of you. I’m going for a swim, either way you won’t even know I’m not here.” Alice threw off her beach dress and ran towards the sea. She welcomed the soothing splash into the ocean, as she shook off the sun’s burning rays from her head and back.

She was already swimming 200 meters in, when Paul, eyes fixed on the tablet, said “do what you want. We’ll always disagree on time periods. Everyone thinks another time different to their own is always better. … Are you even listening to me?”


Partly inspired by Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen
Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

Also part of: Daily Prompt: Fly on the Wall – If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

Also part of Daily Prompt: One-Way Street – Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

The last stance

11275856-confused-emoticon“No, no, no. Not the last stance, the last dance! That’s what it’s called. Because it’s the last performance of one of the senior choreographers who’s retiring”

“Well if he’s so tiring, how will you even last a performance then?”

“Not tiring, he’s re-tiring. He’s old!”

“Old? And he’s still dancing? Heck, I get tired walking out on the balcony!”

“Well, he’s not exactly the one dancing. He just directs the rest. So you’ll come, right?”

“I’ll try, dear.”

“Great! You’ll love it, I’m sure. Now I have to go get my costume. Do you want me to bring you anything?”

“No, dear. I’m fine. Thank you.”

“Sure? No, ice cream, no pie, no sweet of any sort, nothing?”

“Sweet? My sugar levels are already up the roof!”

“Ok then. I’ll be back in a jiff!”

“In a jeep? Where will you get a jeep from?

“In a jiff, grandma! Not a jeep! Am I not enunciating right?”

“Of course, it would be emancipating, dear. Just not for our times. In the 60s perhaps, yes.”

“Emancipating? But I said enunciating! Oh, anyway. I’m off! See you later, grandma!”

“Ok, dear. Just be careful with that jeep, it’s not as liberating as you may think! I would know!”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Groupthink

Also part of Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue               

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