Yours Truly

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Chapter 6

Written by: Rosemary Wakelin

Jacques found Bernard’s mega-modern penthouse, outfitted with all the latest gear, seriously awesome. “You own all this?” he said, half-expecting a Kardashian to stroll in with full entourage in tow.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Bernard said with a half-smile.

Jacques headed straight for the ginormous curved television screen and imagined watching World Cup soccer on it. His reflection stared back, all wide eyes and gaping mouth. “Are you like some famous movie producer or something?”

Bernard chuckled. “Nothing that exciting; just a mere physicist. Coffee?”

Jacques nodded, wandered over to the full wall of unblemished glass. Nothing but zillions of tiny flickering lights lay beyond it. He stared, mesmerised, excited, his short breaths fogging up the glass. Yep, seriously awesome.

“I knew a physicist once,” he said. And he thought of his uncle from long ago. Something sharp pinched his chest, felt the artificial air begin biting his skin. “He taught me all sorts of cool stuff.”

Bernard handed Jacques his coffee. Jacques wrapped his hands around the large mug, sucked the warmth from it and wondered where his mum was. “Trust Bernard,” she had told him via Bernard’s car phone. “He’s a good man.”

“Like what exactly?” Bernard’s manner had curiously changed, more sombre, almost sad.

“Stuff about the world. I was only small but I like really loved it. We’d test out so many crazy theories about electricity and magnets and…. ” Jacques stopped, noticed his own saddened tone. “He sort of got me, you know? Possibly the only person that ever did.”

“And your dad?”

Jacques shrugged. “I just frustrate him, make him angry or both… tells me that I should be a real man, work a solid, eight-hour job, not waste my time with airy-fairy physics nonsense like my uncle had.”

Jacques thought about his almost fifty-year-old father, how he got up at five every morning, punched holes into train tickets with his painted on smile. So precise, so regimental; black was black and white was white.

No room for greys like him.

“And then my uncle went and died.”

The air in the room became heavy, much colder weighing down hard on Jacques already slumped shoulders. Jacques sought refuge in a nearby chair. It immediately grew footrests and yanked his body into a reclining position.

Bernard sat across from him looking quietly concerned. “And your love for physics?”

“Died with him.”

“You have such a natural talent for the subject.”

“So?”

“So use it … enter the physics competition… win it. If not for yourself, at least for your uncle.”

“My uncle?” Jacques forced a short laugh. “My uncle left me when I needed him the most.”

“He died, Jacques, it wasn’t his fault.”

So why did Jacques constantly believe it was? He searched Bernard’s oddly familiar face, felt irritation prickle him. Why did Bernard even care? “Who are you really, Bernard?”

Jacques mother finally appeared wearing a fitted, white suit and a totally alien expression. “Someone important,” she whispered, “someone you once knew… very well.”

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Yours Truly

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Chapter 5

Written by: Rosemary Wakelin

The call went straight to MessageBank. Jacques thought it odd.  As a rule, his Mum always answered… like embarrassingly so. So where was she? More importantly, how did she react when she saw her bended fender? He could just picture her horrified expression. Her distempered dog impersonation, he called it, all feral, flared nostrils and gnashing teeth. Jacques shivered and left his Mum a message to call as soon as.

“Jacques?”

He recognised her voice immediately. Emily.

Jacques shot up from the seat and spun to her, almost dropping his phone in the process. She stood there straight, draped in the near full moonlight looking so damn hot in her skin-tight mini-dress and her super high-heeled shoes. How chicks managed to walk in them, he had no idea. He was just glad Emily could. His heart slammed against the back of his throat and his insides liquefied into a delightful mush.

“The party’s totally mad,” she said with just the right amount of eye-rolling. “You should be in there.”

Jacques stuffed his moist, clumsy hands, along with phone, into his back pockets. “Umm… just had to check up on someone.” His cheeks flushed hot and he prayed she didn’t notice.

Emily moved closer. A soft, sweet scent surrounded her, reminding Jacques of his grandad’s cool citrus orchard.

“I hope they’re ok.” She had the voice of angels and he sighed. He then cringed at his ridiculously cheesy thought. Cool it, Jacques, before you make a total jerk of yourself.

“Oh… yeah… she’s fine.”

He swore. Had he just made out there was another girl in his life? “I mean…my mum… she’s well… well… she’s fine.” Yep, Jacques, you’re totally killing this conversation… NOT!

Emily smiled. “Coming back inside?”

He waved his hand, pictured a dead jellyfish as he did. “Nah, have to get home to the fam.”

Her ruby-red lips pouted as she slowly ran her long red fingernail down his shirtfront. His insides just became a whole lot mushier.  “Okay, then,” she said. “But before you go, can I ask something?”

Anything. Jacques managed a small nod.

“You’ve heard about the latest physics comp, right?”

Another slight nod.

‘You’re so smart with all that E= mc2 stuff.”

He shrugged. “I’m okay, I guess.”

“You entering it?”

“Nah, too much of a grind.”

She fell silent for a short time appearing disturbingly serious. Had he disappointed her? “My dad has such high expectations… says I have to win it.”

“I can help you,” Jacques said a little too quickly.

Emily’s pretty sea-green eyes lit up, swelled wide. “That’d be so cool.”

****

Jacques decided on walking home. Not that he had much choice. Three more attempts to ring his mum, failed. Was she all right?

Car brakes squealed still beside him.

Bernard.

The way this guy kept turning up in the most unlikely places, was becoming a little too freaky.

“Need a ride?” he said.

“I’m good.”

“Worried about your mother?”

Jacques froze.

“She’s at my house as we speak.”

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Comments

Oh yes! A masterful piece of dialogue. Dialogue can ruin a story for a lot of reasons but here is a great example of pushing the story forward, combining with action, and balancing the setting of the scene at the beginning with the following dialogue. This is great. Nice one, Rosemary.
thanks Ray 🙂
Yes, I agree with Ray. This is good use of dialogue. You use it to reveal character and keep the story moving forward. One of the reasons this works so well is because you keep your sentences short and don’t get bogged down in expository.