Friday, July 15, 2011

Entry #21

by Jana Andrews

"Don't touch."

"What? Why not?"

"You heard me newbie. Put your hand down."

"Okay - no need to get testy, dude. Putting hand down. Have you always been so bossy? And why are we whispering?"

"I keep us alive."

"Us? There’s more!? Dude, that's friggin' awesome! We’ll have kick-ass parties!"

"Great. Juvenile delinquent. Just what we need."

"Whatever, dude. Sounds like it was a little boring in here before I arrived! Face it. You NEED me!"

"Great. Narcissistic too."


"Nevermind. The rules: hands to self, talk low, and speak responsibly."

"So many rules! Why haven’t I heard anyone else speak, BTW?"

"Listen, "dude," shut it for 10 seconds, and someone would have a chance to speak."

"Sorry. It's just so AWESOME! You know he talks TO me! Sometimes he DOES what I SAY!"

"Yes, so you must be careful. We whisper because our voices hold great power."


"Watch through the eye. 'Get it! Is it sharp enough?!'"

"Dude, wow. He is sharpening it! You didn't even tell him to do that! That's friggin' AWESOME!!"

"Power of suggestion. Whisper."

"Oops - sorry. Will he do bad things?"

"Not all of us speak responsibly; we've spent years silenced in result. We can endure silence, but that's hell for him. He needs us."

"You actually care?”

"After several decades, he grows on you."

"You know, you're a cool old dude.”

"I'll take that as a compliment."


Aimee Laine said...

The voices at first caught my ear but the more I read, the more I got confused as to who was who -- though I think I get that they are really all one person. One of the voices though was the 'real' person, right? Or was it all JUST voices?

Michele Zugnoni said...

Interesting. Your characters have such distinctive personalities, it's easy to follow along, despite the lackof description. The concept is intriguing; I've always believed the voice held preternatural powers.

Thanks for sharing!

Catrina said...

The voices in my head have a sense of responsibility? That's comforting. =)

Thanks for sharing.

Precie said...

I'm a sucker for flash that incorporates the word narcissistic. :)

lordportico said...

I'm thinking, they're voices in his head. BUt, I could be wrong.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Hey Bluesugarpoet! :)

I loved the piece, especially the second voice. That dude is friggin' awesome. :D

It was a fun piece.

Joni said...

I really like your interpretation of the prompt. It is difficult, especially for me, to create realistic dialogue, but you've done it wonderfully, especially in a (somewhat?) unrealistic setting. Creative. Great.

bluesugarpoet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Morse said...

I always enjoy a stream of consciousness story, sounds like what's going on in my head most of the time. Nice job.

PJD said...

I love the newbie calling the old dude cool. As you know, I already commented over at your place, but this is still creepy. There's another one in #1-20 (I forget the number offhand) that reminds me of Being John Malkovich (if you haven't seen the movie, rent it).

fairyhedgehog said...

I initially thought this was a group of people calling up demons. Blame the kind of book I usually read! Read like that it was compelling but even more so now that I understand what was going on.

bluesugarpoet said...

I like your idea fairyhedgehog - definitely works like that too. Could just as easily be a person talking to himself. That's what I love about being intentionally vague - the reader can bring so many more levels of understanding into a work. Thanks, Peter - I love that you saw the dark side of this. You know how I roll! :)

Jade L Blackwater said...

Interesting premise. I'm not 100% sure of what is happening, but I get a distinct sense of guardian demons. I like the texture of this piece - especially calling out the power of voice and by extension, breath.

Unknown said...

Not sure what's going on....but I loved being part of the conversation.

Dottie :)

Old Kitty said...

Great lively dialogue that really fleshed out the characters - especially the "juvenile delinquent"! Take care

Scribblers Inc said...

The only word I could come up with was 'psychedelic'.

A very amazing mind trip.


bluesugarpoet said...

@ Amiee - technically, it is one person, but the voices are distinct. I don't hear voices (usually), but if I did, I hope they are like this snarky pair!

@ Mikki - thank you!

@ Catrina - lol - well, their sympathy is probably more self serving than anything

@ Precie - that voice must be a reader. :)

@ JML - you are correct!

@ Aniket - hahaha - glad you enjoyed!

@ Joni - thank you for the complement!

@ Michael - :) James Joyce is my Idol. I wasn't thinking of Samuel Beckett when I wrote this either, but I see shades of that now :)

@ Peter - thanks!

@ fairyhedgehog - thank you!

@ Jade - it's just the conversation in the mind of a schitzo - newly arriving voices sometimes need to be reigned in. :)

@ Dottie - thanks :)

@ Old Kitty - glad you saw the two personalities. :) Thanks!

@ Scribblers - :) For sure! thanks!

~best regards, all! Thanks for reading, friends, old and new ;) Jana

Jodi MacArthur said...

So subtle and clever. You wrote this from such a neat perspective, and I think its neat how the preservation of the whole (mind or person) is what was important to each of these personalities or voices. Such a great set up for conflict, I'd love to read more of this 'world' in long form. But as it is perfect in 250 words.

strugglingwriter said...

Liked this one a bunch. Fun dialog with an underlying edge. Nice work.

Paul (#39)

Unknown said...

Well accomplished dialogue. This captures their different voices and gets across the story. I like the touches of humor and then the way it turns serious with Not all of us speak responsibly;... Fun.

Richard Levangie said...

Jana... I enjoyed the premise and the distinctive voices. This entry made me want to read more of your work.

Erratic Thoughts said...

I am a sucker for dialogues..You have me hooked here!
You have revealed in your vagueness..nice work...

jrthumbprints said...

What stands out for me is the way one voice is advising the other voice to use self-restraint. It DOES have a touch of "Waiting for Godot" to it.

Anonymous said...

Angel in one ear, Devil in the other - and all of us in one limitless mass of gray matter. Great story!

Chris Alliniotte said...

I really enjoyed this - the dialogue had a nice flow, and the slow reveal was well done. Great story!

JaneyV said...

Jana - this is a superb take on a schizophrenic personality. I love that the new 'voice' is so careless and the older one feels responsible and caring toward the owner of the body they inhabit. It shows me that the person in whose head they reside has spent years getting to know his voices and understands and even likes them - well some of them.

"Not all of us speak responsibly; we've spent years silenced in result. We can endure silence, but that's hell for him. He needs us."

That's quite a chilling line!! Lovely work Jana.

Hilaryr said...

This gets points for the fact that you've only used dialogue, the voices are so distinct and it made me laugh.

Drew said...

Nice work... I like the use of dialogue only.

Catherine Vibert said...

I love that you left it vague. It's fun to read the comments about all the possible places these voices were coming from. :-) Great dialogue, loved it.

Rachel said...

Jana --

Huge congrats! "Orchids to you" as an old prof used to say!

From one who "got it" immediately (errr, having been "there" but in a different DSM venue)

It spoke to me. (pun intended)

Sharpening his knife -- chilling. But thankfully, the pen is mightier than the sword.

The voices have no power once they are exposed in the open, in ink, on paper and read aloud. But sometimes they are missed...

Wendy said...

Jana, congrats! :)

bluesugarpoet said...

@ Jodi - that's a *huge* complement - my most humble thanks

@ Paul - glad you saw all of that - I kind of have a twisted sense of humor :)

@ Aidan - thank you; glad you enjoyed both the dark and light places of this piece

@ Richard - thank you - I am honored to know that something I wrote intrigues you to want to read more. :)

@ Erratic Thoughts - glad you enjoyed this "crazy talk." :) Being intentionally vague yet clear, I am finding, is a tricky knife edge to walk

@ JR - I knew you would see Godot too :)

@ Apple - so glad you liked it! It does have that angel/devil quality...

@ Chris - thank you!

@ Janey - fabulous insights! I'm so glad you enjoyed the read!

@ hilary - The fact that you laughed is a great complement - glad you liked the dialogue too!

@ Drew - Thank you!

@ Cat - It takes a true artistic visionary to appreciate the vagueness. :) Glad you liked it!

@ Rachel - Thank you for the lovely orchids! :) I love that you saw all the things that I wanted people to see even though I may not have specifically mentioned those things (the knife, for example). Glad it spoke to you (voices do have a life of their own...)! :)

@ Wendy - Thank you!!!

Thanks to all who read and enjoyed this piece. I know I took a risk in writing in all dialogue (which, by the way, I didn't really plan to do or realize that I had done until after the fact...), but the fact that even one person understood and appreciated this piece is a reward in itself. Sheesh - I was just aiming for to make it into the 40s club this year! :) Thanks again, Jason, for creating a lovely community where writers can practice their craft!

Anonymous said...

Massively creative! Multiple personalities talking shop. So awesomely done. The first perfect score of the contest.

Congratulations on 4th Place!

PJD said...

Congratulations on the award, dear friend! Well deserved.