Dare Double Dare

This piece is written in response to a Write on Edge writing prompt to start with the sentence, “His crossed arms answered her question before she spoke.”  450 word limit with a focus on dialogue and body language. This was painfully difficult since I never write fiction and rarely even write in the third person.  But the point was to try something new.  So I did.

Dare Double Dare

His crossed arms answered her question before she spoke.

She asked anyway.  Better to hear his answer than just suppose it.

“So you’re going to stay here even though…………..”

“Sure.  Where would I go?  It’s my house, too.  I should just move out because you decided to fuck everything up?”

He shifted his weight, still leaning against the stove.  One of the burners started the tick, tick, tick that signaled the flow of unlit gas.

“You’re going to blow the house up, leaning like that.”

“You already took care of that.  Our house is pretty blown up if you ask me.”

He turned to reach for a glass from the cupboard, poured himself a Scotch, sat down on the kitchen stool and waited for the next foray.

She made the motions of starting dinner, taking the old black iron frying pan down from its hook over the radiator, and rummaging in the refrigerator for the chicken breasts she’d bought that afternoon.

“Where’s the olive oil?”

“How the fuck would I know?  You’re in charge of the olive oil, the regular oil, the peanut oil.  There’s an oil, you’re in charge of it.  Isn’t that how it works?  You’re in charge?”

“Jesus, you don’t have to be so mad.  I’m just trying to make dinner here.”

He got off the stool to reach for the bag of Doritos on top of the fridge, a subtle insult to her cooking.

“Is there any way out of this?  Is there any way that you aren’t so mad at me?”

He went back in the refrigerator, getting on his knees so he could look long and hard behind the yogurt, the radishes, and the eggs.  He stood up with a bag of Habanero chilies.

“You want hot?  Here’s hot.  Why don’t you cook these for dinner.”

9 Comments on “Dare Double Dare

  1. Congrats on your inaugural fiction! Keep ’em coming, this has really solid bones!

  2. Great use of dialogue! The body language was great – upping the tension. The bit with him leaning against the stove, showing the explosion just beneath the surface was fantastic. I really enjoyed it!

    • Thank you. The stove bit wasn’t even intentional but I think it’s an example of how the characters quickly take on a life of their own. This was really fun — totally new kind of writing for me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Yup, loving the fight. There’s a sort of age to it, as if it’s not the first in a long list of fights, just the newest. I’m concerned about the gas though…There’s a ton of foreshadowing here that you could capitalize on easily. Great take on the prompt!

  4. Beautiful imagry. The details you put in when describing the body language paint a great picture of what’s going on. That adventure of not knowing what happens next is one of the biggest reasons I love writing fiction.

  5. Powerful! I want to hear more about what happened and what will happen. Isn’t that funny? When you write a dialogue like this, you may not even know what the backstory is – and your characters will start spilling little tidbits about themselves until you piece it all together. I’m very interested to see what will come next!

    • My first experience in not knowing what was going to happen in something I was writing since I always write memoir. It was fun! Strange. And I have no idea what happens next.

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