Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mr. Sanderson's Dialogue Challenge

In case I lose my nerve before Sunday, here are my three pages of dialogue. I may extend it, but right now, it feels right the way it is. The challenge was to write 5-10 pages of dialogue, two characters, no blocking, no tagging, no exposition beyond what their words imply. Instructions for sharing, if you dare to accept the challenge, are on Brandon Sanderson's Facebook page. Deadline is Sunday.

"The world is full of decay."

"We shouldn't add to it then."

"It's not our decision."

"Then who's is it?"

"You know."

"I don't know."

"No, you know. Don't make me say it."

"But I don't know!"

"It doesn't matter Charlie, we need to do our job."

"For a boss I don't even know?"

"Yes. Do as I say son."

"But not as you do, right? You do it. I'll walk home."

"You cannot do that."

"Why not?"

"You are not old enough to be on your own."

"Oh really? Then why did you lie to Mom?"

"I needed you on this mission."

"Don't you have a partner or something? I thought you were a cop."

"Not exactly."

"What are you than?"

"More like what are we, my son."

"I don't work with you. I'm thirteen. How could I sign up for this?"

"You did not. It is who we are."

"Couldn't Mom help you instead? She's great at killing things. You've seen the garden."

"Your mother will have no part of this."

"Than I won't either."

"You have no choice."

"Why? Because you say so?"


"Then why?"

"I cannot tell you. You must figure it out on your own."

"Is this some sort of test? I don't do well on those, you know."

"It is not a test. But everyone in our condition has to find their own reasons, their own why."

"It's so beautiful Father."

"I know."

"Can't I keep it?"

"No. Think of how much I am gone. Could we keep all of those? It would not be fair."

"Well, you always say the world's not fair."

"Take it son, your mother is expecting us for dinner."

"I don't know how."

"Touch it. You will see how."

"It's smiling at me."

"It does not belong here, son, do the job."

"I don't want a job!"

"You have as much choice in this as you did in your sex, boy, now do it. I cannot stand to hear it much longer."

"She's laying down, Dad, she knows what's coming."

"Always remember what it is son. Always."

"I don't know what she is! I just know she's beautiful!"

"You have to do it now son."

"Don't touch me! Murder her yourself!"

"Shake it off son. It will all be clear. Let her go."


"You have to do this. You chose to care for it. I told you to close off your mind."

"I won't! You'll have to kill us both!"

"Please don't make me end it, my son. Find your power, end it yourself, please."

"You're choking me!"

"You must see reason. Take its life. They cannot be allowed to stay."

"But-she's-so-beautiful-her-mind-the answers-"

"Do what you have to do or I will have to."


"What do you see?"

"The poisoned-heart-it's-black-I'll-"

"And what do you see now son?

"The world is full of decay."


  1. I'm not sure I get it. Are the father and son vampires? If so, the kid would have known before 13, so I guess not. Are they a family of Death, like it's a business?

    I'm left wondering.

    Good work.

    -- david j.

  2. It may become a bigger story, but the essential point of their power is the ability to take care of any non-human lifeform with a thought.