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"As I wish..."

by Lauren2010


I'm working on entering a writing contest for some literary mag. The guidelines are that you can only write in dialogue, no narration (including said tags). This was my first try but then I found that the mag frowns upon certain themes (including dead babies and failed marriages). Mine deals with a failing marriage so it was out. But I liked it, so here it is.

“James.”

“James.”

“James!”

“What?”

“It’s nearing dusk.”

“Don’t you think I know that?”

“Regularly, I would assume so. But lately, you haven’t been yourself.”

“I’ve been fine.”

“You’re sitting out in the middle of the woods by yourself.”

“I’m not by myself.”

“Really? I see no one else around.”

“Don’t you? Look, there is the pristine lake, unmoving in its peacefulness. There are the mighty oaks that surround us, protecting this secret place. There are countless creatures in the forest that live and breathe here, and soon there will be the stars in the sky that accompany the moon as he casts his silver glow over the land.”

“You are foolish.”

“Why do you say that, brother?”

“The lake, the stars, the moon, they do not live. The trees cannot protect you; they cannot speak to you and keep you company. Among those countless creatures are many who could easily see you as a meal. You are alone, and now I am convinced you are in danger. It is getting cold, please come home with me.”

“I have no home.”

“Brother, you have a home. You have a home with a wife and two beautiful daughters. Right now I suspect they are relaxing in front of that expensive stone fireplace you had built. They are waiting for you, they miss you. That big house is no comfort for them without you.”

“That house is no comfort for me either.”

“Explain yourself, brother. How can that house be no comfort for you? Anything that grand, that can hold a family so precious to you, how can that not comfort you?”

“Emily is having an affair.”

“Your silence shows you know it to be true, also.”

“James, you cannot possibly believe what you are saying.”

“But I do.”

“Have you been drinking, brother?”

“Have I been drinking? I must be drunk to think this way? Harrison, I would have to be drunk to not think this way!”

“James, you’re being ridiculous.”

“I saw them, Harrison! I saw that filth with her! I saw him take her hand and whisper in her ear! I saw her smile that wonderful, enchanting smile and kiss him!”

“…it must have been another. You must have mistaken your Emily for another…”

“It was her, Harrison. No one else has her beautiful curls; no one else’s cheeks flush the same way hers do when she is near someone she holds dear. I could not mistake her for anyone…”

“No, I do not believe that she would act that way. She adores you, James.”

“She has not looked at me the same way she looks at that man in years.”

“I cannot believe it.”

“Believe it, brother. My beloved Emily no longer has any interest in me. Now the only things I have are the stars in the sky, and the wind in the trees.”

“Maybe you ought to talk to her. Maybe she just needs to realize what she is doing. Remind her of those poor girls. She could never want to do this to Kate or Lucy. Just talk to her, James. She will understand.”

“You obviously don’t understand matters such as these, Harrison.”

“No, you don’t understand. James, you cannot just let this happen. Think of your love, your marriage, think of those beautiful little girls.”

“They mean more to me than to her.”

“Impossible.”

“Oh, but it is. I’ve been in her office, not a single picture of those gorgeous babies rests on her desk. Not even a picture of me and her remains there.”

“Have you ever thought that maybe she isn’t allowed personal items such as those at her workspace?”

“We work in the same company, Harrison. My position even has more importance than hers, god forbid I ever mention that in our home, and you’ve seen my desk. I barely have room to work with all the picture frames and kindergarten art projects in the way.”

“I don’t know what else to say.”

“Then don’t say anything. My marriage is dead; there is nothing to be said for that.”

“I cannot believe your marriage is dead. These things happen all the time, there is counseling, and you can save your love. You just need to talk to her.”

“No.”

“Why not? Brother, just come home with me and I will help you talk to her.”

“Go ahead and go to my house, you will not find the sweet family huddled around the fire you suspect.”

“But I will, I was there earlier today. Emily told me you were coming to see me, but you never arrived. So I phoned there and she said you hadn’t been in, that’s when I came here to search for you.”

“I promise you that if you go there now, you will not find the girls anywhere in sight. They will have been sent to your home to play with Jackson and Mary. Emily will be alone in the house with that man.”

“I will not believe it.”

“Go and see for yourself then. She expects me to be at your home, which is where I told her I would be for the entire day, so she will not be expecting anyone back in the house until late. If you look in any of the windows I am certain you will find them together.”

“I do not believe it.”

“Then go and see.”

“I ought to. I cannot believe you would even imagine her participating in an affair in your own home.”

“Then go and see.”

“I will, and I will come back and show you to be false.”

“As I wish would be possible.”

“Goodbye, James.”

“Goodbye, Harrison.”

“Oh, and please don’t stay here all night. It’s supposed to snow, you’ll catch your death.”

“As I wish, Harrison…as I wish…”


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Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:08 pm
AdmiralKat wrote a review...



Hello! KatyaElefant here for another review! Wow! This piece is old and it deserves more than one review! 0-0

I don't really like the idea of the competition. XD It seems quite stupid to me because imagery helps make the story awesome but what ever. Let us just move on and LET IT GOO. I see how you tried to imply imagery in the story but do people really talk like that? The only place where I saw people talk in that way, was with Mark Twain. If you were aiming for that, great job! :D This topic is a little weird for me because I have no background knowledge on it but I have some sort of an idea. I got confused in the story because I couldn't see them talking. One of things that confused me was I was wondering who is talking. It is kind of hard to see how the characters are in this story for me. Are they both named James? 0-0 I got this conclusion because of the beginning where two people say James. Could you clarify that? That would be great! :D

Now for good things in this piece. Your spelling and grammar are excellent. The theme seems to be good and I hoped that you won that contest because this piece would do great there. You did a great job with creating imagery in some way with dialogue (but again, I don't know anyone that speaks that today). You fulfilled the task for the contest and that is always good. Great job! Keep calm and keep writing!




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Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:23 pm
Lauren2010 says...



Yeah, i'm not a big fan of failed marriages either. As a matter of fact I didn't set out to write something this...depressing. It's just where it went.




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Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:17 am
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PolkaDotSocks wrote a review...



HI. I didnt really like the topic, falling marriages and all, but thats just me.
I found how you described the setting trough the dialog interesting and quite beautiful actually. I still didnt like where it was heading towards the end but that has to do with the plot. Overall the style was really refreshing. Hope you keep writing more stuff like this.





Almost all absurdity of conduct rises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
— Samuel Johnson