Friday, November 11, 2011

The Phone Call

Today, I did something completely out of the ordinary from this blog...and for me.  I'm linking up at Write On Edge and the prompt this week is about dialogue.  More specifically: 

"Using surroundings, body language, visual cues and blocking, in addition to the spoken words, show us who they are and what their relationship is without coming out and telling us!"

This is the first time I've done fictional writing in a long, long, loooong time.  So.  Be kind.  Actually, I would really love some feedback.  Thank you!


"Hello-o?" she picked up the phone after half a ring.  Her voice cracked.  She held the phone tight.  It had been by her side for 24 hours now.  Never leaving her sight.  Not for a moment.

"Yes, hi.  May I speak with Morgan McNaught please."

"Yes, this is her." She glanced up at the clock, the beautiful antique clock she loved so much, that her husband had mounted on the wall over the entrance to the kitchen when they first moved in.

3:07 pm.

She sat down at the large kitchen table, her thumb nail between her teeth.  Then stood up again.  She turned away from the clock and looked out the window.

Blue skies.  Bright sun.  Trees showing a multitude of beautifully coloured leaves...a few leaves twirled in the breeze, tumbling to the grass.

"Oh, hello Morgan."  Pause.  "How are you doing today?"

She cleared her throat, turning back around, sitting down slowly, "I'm okay...pretty good.  I'm fine, actually. Really."  She picked up the small yellow ceramic duck figurine that always sat on the table under the window.  She held it in her hand, her thumb absentmindedly running over the ceramic ridges of the feathers.

"Good...good."  Pause. "We'd like to see you today.  As soon as you can be here."

She stood up, staring at the clock.  Blood rushed to her ears.  Her heart thumped.



"W-well."  she swallowed. "Sure.  Can you tell me though....over the phone.  Can you tell me...if I..."  She set down the ceramic yellow duck abruptly.   It toppled onto its side.

She turned to look out the window.

She saw nothing.

"No, I'm afraid we cannot.  We have to see you in person.  It's our policy."

"I'm on my way." She pulled the phone away from her ear and abruptly ended the call with the press of her thumb.

She stood still for a moment, took a deep, shaky breath, grabbed her jacket from the back of the chair, keys jangling in the pocket.

And flew out the door.


MISH said...

Very cryptic. You've got me guessing... a patient waiting for medical test results? Seems like the most obvious...

Kristina said...

Oh, no. I'm guessing the call was from the doctor's office. You really captured her fear well. Good work!

Sara said...

This was great!!! I recently went through some scary medical tests and you nailed how I felt. I loved how she looked around, fingered familiar things and asked to be told over the phone.

For some reason the toppling of the ceramic duck really grabbed my heart.

I also liked how use the count the minutes.

The only thing I might suggest is giving a bit sensory detail within Morgan's body. For example, when I picked up the phone for my call, stomach clinched and my heart raced as I answered the call.

She did this very well when you talked about how she held the phone tightly and when she stood up to stare at the clock.

I also like how you wrote the dialogue to show her hesitation questions...Perfect!

Finally, the ending fits..."And she flew out the door!" That's what we do when something like this happens.

You did this scene very accurately and it was a good take on the prompt.

All in all...this captured the waiting feeling very well.

Venus said...

This was wonderful. I love the small details about the phone and little porcelain duck. Great foray back into the world of fiction -- I believed it!

Galit Breen said...

Oooh yay! Absolutely love this- the tension is perfect!

Details like the clock, the duck, her thumb are really memorable.

And the false starts "w-well" ring true.

I love the time stamps throughout as well!

Hope to see more! :)

paradigmjohn said...

Loved it! Left me wanting more! I felt like I was sitting in the corner of the room watching it all happen.

Cameron said...

The thing which struck me was the kind inquisition from the caller: how are you doing today?

It felt like compassion in advance of bad news... especially when paired with the duck mug details and the way the scene in front of her vanishes.