Lesson 1 Exercise 2

Conversation between my character and a stranger

Kitty waits patiently in the queue at the bank. She hates trying to do banking during her lunch break but doesn’t have any choice today. She needs to bank her mother’s cheques.

‘Hello lady.’

Kitty turns around and sees a man standing behind her. He seems far too close, standing in her personal space, so she shuffles forward.

‘The line’s gettin’ long, isn’t it,’ the man announces.

‘Yes, it is and I don’t have much time left unfortunately. I’m on my lunch break,’ Kitty replies in a soft voice, trying not to bring attention to herself. Turning to face him, she notices he is wearing a torn blue checked flannelette shirt that is hanging out of his dirty black baggy trousers.

‘You look very nice,’ he says.

‘Thank you,’ Kitty replies, avoiding his eyes. She looks down at his feet and sees he isn’t wearing shoes. His feet are charcoal black and his toenails are very long.

Kitty tries to distance herself from him by pretending to read messages from her phone.

He moves closer to her. ‘I’ve got one of those things. They’re bloody useless, always needin’ to be recharged.’ A foul smell of his bad breath floats up her nostrils. Her stomach churns.

‘I hope I’m not kept too much longer, as I really need to get back to work.’

He steps forward, his face very close to hers. ‘Do you wanna have coffee or somethin’,’ he whispers in a raspy voice.

‘No, thank you very much, I’m going back to work,’ she answers politely.

‘We can just go down the road. I like you. I would like to buy you a coffee.’ Kitty feels uncomfortable. She can feel people staring at her.

‘Coffee, lady, just coffee,’ he yells.

Kitty tries to step aside and immediately feels an arm around her waist. She freezes. Why is this happening to me, thinks Kitty, almost crying.

‘Come on luv, you and me can have a bit of fun,’ he says, in a much too loud voice.

‘No, I really can’t have coffee, I do have to go,’ she replies, desperately trying to pull away from him. She steps out of the queue and heads towards the exit door.

‘Hey darlin’, wait for me,’ he yells, as he stumbles towards her. ‘Oh shit.’ Losing his balance he falls to the carpeted floor, legs and arms spraying everywhere. ‘Wait for me lady.’

Everyone in the bank turns and looks at Kitty. Her face is bright red and her skin is starting to burn.

About JeanBean

I live in Australia and travel extensively overseas. I am retired and writing is my hobby. I am undertaking an online writing course at The Writers Bureau (U.K.) and need to master the use of dialogue to improve my short non-fiction stories.
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4 Responses to Lesson 1 Exercise 2

  1. jude says:

    Good to see another Aussie writer! I could certainly feel the increasing discomfort Kitty was experiencing. You built up the tension really well with your dialogue.

  2. JeanBean says:

    Thank you Jude. I am learning lots and I think this blog is a good way to see how other writers are working.

  3. Bill says:

    You develop the tension nicely. Surprised no one came to her aid.

    This is a tough assignment but you have captured the flavour of two different speaking styles.

    • JeanBean says:

      Thank you so much for your comments Bill. I have been in a similar situation and unfortunately, more often than not, people don’t want to get involved so don’t come to your aid. Additionally, security are sometimes a little slow to act. But I do take on board your comments as I am will to improve. Thanks again.

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