Trouble


“Morning, Agnes.”  Frank leaned against the porch railing.  “Paper wake you up?” Behind the grin, his face wore fatigue.  Every day, Frank seemed to look a little more tired.

“It did, thank you. Come up for your coffee.”

Frank accepted his mug and settled into a chair before taking a sip of his coffee.  He nodded across the street.  “What’s it like living across from the cemetery?”


Agnes looked out into the stillness across the street.  She laughed.  “Well, I get no trouble from the neighbors.”  It was her standard response.

Frank chuckled.  His fingers worried a tiny tear in his work pants.  “I guess that’s a plus.”

"You can count on dead people the way you can’t count on the living.”

“What do you mean, Agnes?”

Agnes shrugged.  “They’ll be there no matter what. They won’t go changing on you.”

The two sat in silence for a moment, watching the eastern sky lighten.

“This about your kids, Agnes?”

“It’s just such a shame, Frank.”

“What’s a shame?”

“You taking on a newspaper job like this.”

“I thought we were talking about your kids.”

Agnes wondered how long each of them could keep up this careful ballet, each nimbly avoiding the subject they wished to discuss the least. She pushed back once again, trying to deflect the conversation from her family—or what remained of it: bitter fragments of broken lives.


This is a portion of an old chapter I worked on several years ago.  I re-worked it to fit with this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge prompt.  This week's word was trouble.

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Trouble

Monday, May 14, 2012

Trouble


“Morning, Agnes.”  Frank leaned against the porch railing.  “Paper wake you up?” Behind the grin, his face wore fatigue.  Every day, Frank seemed to look a little more tired.

“It did, thank you. Come up for your coffee.”

Frank accepted his mug and settled into a chair before taking a sip of his coffee.  He nodded across the street.  “What’s it like living across from the cemetery?”


Agnes looked out into the stillness across the street.  She laughed.  “Well, I get no trouble from the neighbors.”  It was her standard response.

Frank chuckled.  His fingers worried a tiny tear in his work pants.  “I guess that’s a plus.”

"You can count on dead people the way you can’t count on the living.”

“What do you mean, Agnes?”

Agnes shrugged.  “They’ll be there no matter what. They won’t go changing on you.”

The two sat in silence for a moment, watching the eastern sky lighten.

“This about your kids, Agnes?”

“It’s just such a shame, Frank.”

“What’s a shame?”

“You taking on a newspaper job like this.”

“I thought we were talking about your kids.”

Agnes wondered how long each of them could keep up this careful ballet, each nimbly avoiding the subject they wished to discuss the least. She pushed back once again, trying to deflect the conversation from her family—or what remained of it: bitter fragments of broken lives.


This is a portion of an old chapter I worked on several years ago.  I re-worked it to fit with this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge prompt.  This week's word was trouble.

Labels:

16 Comments:

At May 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM , Anonymous Scriptor Obscura said...

I really loved this story. I could picture the scene here so well. So beautifully written, so peaceful, so routine, yet so sad beneath the well-crafted surface. I really liked this one. Keep up the excellent writing! :)

 
At May 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous Diane Turner said...

I loved the line: He fingers worried a tiny tear in his work pants. I could see them both diverting their eyes from each other, trying to keep things nonchalant, but the underlying tension was palpable just beneath the surface. Excellent writing.

 
At May 15, 2012 at 3:19 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you! This was from an old, old draft.

 
At May 15, 2012 at 3:19 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you, Diane!

 
At May 15, 2012 at 8:26 AM , Anonymous Libby said...

I like Agnes - living across the street from the cemetery, having coffee with Frank... Hope to see more of them!

 
At May 15, 2012 at 1:36 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Beautiful dialog -- it conveys so much. And I grew up across the street from a cemetery!

 
At May 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM , Anonymous poetrybytheclueless said...

This is really beautifully and delicately written. I really want to read more of this now!

 
At May 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

I like both of these characters - they are so much deeper than what this scene conveys. The details you included made it feel like I was right there sipping coffee with them :)

 
At May 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

A very comfortable scene between these two characters. You created a natural feel to their conversation.

 
At May 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM , Anonymous November Rain said...

Neighbors, friends... the conversation was like air pushing against a soap bubble so carefully that it could only shift, rather than explode, a "careful ballet" describes it well. This one has potential for growth... will you be expanding on it?

 
At May 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM , Anonymous Sandrasfiberworks said...

Love the cemetery dialogue -- how much is unspoken there. Well done. Great tension and hope to see where this leads!

 
At May 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM , Anonymous Sherri Lackey said...

I could really get a sense of the delicate balance of the relationship of these two characters. Great writing!

 
At May 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM , Anonymous Jester Queen said...

The transition from lighthearted to heavy is perfect. As they dance around the elephant in the room, I imagine them swatting flies away from each other instead of just spraying on insect repellent in the first place.

 
At May 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM , Anonymous Frelle said...

well done... some natural tension and easy to picture setting as well!

 
At May 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous The Gal Herself said...

"You can count on dead people the way you can’t count on the living.” There's a lifetime of world weariness in that sentence. Loved it.

 
At May 18, 2012 at 4:21 AM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

I always love coming over here. You have a great style and your dialogue is as good as any I've read. This little scene is really well described. Thanks for linking up.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home