The Day Nicole Came To Visit

 

 

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”

As you’ll see in the story below, it can apply to a lot of OTHER things as well.

 

Friday Fictioneers Editor-in-chief: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Photograph of Majorca courtesy of Dee Lovering.  Well done, Dee!

 

Image

 

I’d dreaded the day Nicole showed up at my doorstep.

“David, why didn’t you come when Papa was …?”

“He wasn’t MY dad, he was YOURS, Nicole!”

“You are his only son.  He wanted to see you one final time and you weren’t there.”

“Like he was there for Mom?”

“He loved you, David.  He told me so.”

“Loved me?   When he came out from Majorca, Mom was just his business trip and I was the result!”

“But, we are his family, David.  He wanted you and me to be friends.”

“I hate you!  I hate who and why you are!”

 

 

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56 Responses to The Day Nicole Came To Visit

  1. You know, at first I thought that the dialogue in this was a little plain, but then I chided myself for being too harsh and overly writer-ly. The dialogue’s not plain; it’s authentic. There’s so much to be read between the lines, but the pain, anger and sense of betrayal come through quite clearly.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Helena!

      You have a good point, by the way. I learned from a TV writer that banal dialogue can be genuinely exciting when there is a “context” to it. For me, I’m into short, declarative sentences for dialogue (almost needed when you’re limited to 100 words!). The more succinct it is, the more the impact; the crisper the better.

  2. elappleby says:

    Hi Kent
    This one took a couple of readings to get the full impact, but cleverly done – the legitimate child v the illegitimate one. Great last line – ‘who you are and why you are.’ A very interesting take on the prompt.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hi, EL!
      Thanks for your thoughts and nice comments! BTW, Rochelle loved that last line, too. In fact, the first draft was written down immediately, but it all got re-written in the end —- except the last line. That line had the end, now where to find the middle?
      This story originally started 13 years ago as sort of a joke, making people think it was a lost-lover’s dialogue only to find out it was conversation between a brother and sister. Now, years later, I know better! 😀

  3. You got the depth of feeling across nicely with the ‘live’ dialogue.

  4. Sandra says:

    ‘Who you are and why you are’ is a terrific line,Kent. Well done.

  5. atrm61 says:

    I loved the way you brought the two characters alive-the angst of one is pitted against the lament of another ,making the atmosphere vibrate with tension.Loved the taut dialogues 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Dialogue is fun to write. Always I try for a fresher way of saying things. I could tell myself through the use of dialogue how one is “calmer” than the other! 😀

  6. Judah First says:

    Lots of emotion packed into those 100 words. Well done!

  7. Kent, very realistic dialogue filled with very real emotion. Beside the last line, which is very telling, I like, “Mom was just his business trip…” I can understand the feeling on both sides. One small thing–“He wanted you and me to be friends”, not you and I.

    janet

  8. wmqcolby says:

    Thank-YOU! And grammar corrected. I’m a stickler for it myself.
    When I first wrote this down, I just let stuff happen. Funny thing is, I had to mince words in order to not mince words! Haha!

  9. Very good story and realistic dialogue. I shows so much feeling. Well cone.

  10. Pardon the typo. I meant “It” shows not “I” shows. Sorry about that.

  11. Dear Kent,

    Good job!!!

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  12. wmqcolby says:

    Dear Rochelle,

    Thanks, thanks and forever thanks.

    Sayonara,

    Kentito

  13. Hala J. says:

    Loved the “business trip” line! Very succinct and thoroughly makes its point. Although I get the meaning behind your last line, I can’t say it’s my favorite…it feels like a fragment and it’s hard for me to imagine someone saying it—even in a fit of anger. I do love the emotion behind this though. Well done!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Hala. As for the closing line, you have a good point, really. It might need a little bit of an adjustment in the future. This may make a good Samuel French One-Act vignette one day once it is expanded. Thanks for reading and your nice comments!

  14. elmowrites says:

    Ok, first an aside. There was a string of adverts in the UK years ago (for Renault, I think), that revolved around the characters of Nicole and Papa. In light of this, this story is entirely ruined for me. But that’s not your fault or its. Stupid Renault.
    In terms of the writing, it is stark, as Helena said, but I have decided that’s OK – the dialogue is certainly believable as a result. It also plays nicely into the 100 word limit, of course, and there’s a lot more clarity between these lines if the reader cares to look. Mom was his business trip is a great line.
    In terms of improvement, I think the first line is the weakest point. Mainly because it takes place before the rest of the scene and in a short piece like this, I’m not sure there’s room for a time gap. You could change this most simply by putting “I’d dreaded” instead of “I dreaded”. Wouldn’t alter the WC either!!

  15. There’s no guessing here! With each line, the story picked up speed, and tension grew. I agree with everyone that your last line was artfully crafted and really brought the story home. Though, when I reread the story a few times, the line that stuck in me most was where David described his mother as a business trip and himself as a result. While the last line says he hates Nicole, the prior one uncovers more of an insecurity with himself. More of a self-hatred perhaps, that he’s projecting? Maybe I’m diving too far into this, but all of he possible implications simply intrigue me! Awesome story!

    • wmqcolby says:

      Well, you know, the story I had in mind initially had the idea that the father was maintaining two families. Originally, David said the opposite, “He’s MY dad, not YOURS.” I’m going to expand this into a one-act vignette. It’d tell a good story, don’t you think? I feel the best is yet to come on this one.

      Thanks for your comments, Adelie.

  16. Very good piece that had a way of sucking me in as I read it. At first I just didn’t get it and then I saw the truths of human relationships that separate people forever.

  17. subroto says:

    “I hate you! I hate who and why you are!”
    That sort of sums up the conflict between the legitimate and the illegitimate. Nicely done.

  18. K.Z. says:

    “who and WHY you are” that was really good, Kent.

  19. Mom was just his business trip! Oh, my, so much hurt in those few words. Excellent!

  20. I like the way your dialogue added the pieces of the full story .. it’s a little bit like eaves-dropping and filling in the pieces of what the real story was… and yes a filanderer as father might not easily be forgiven.

    • wmqcolby says:

      I agree. The original intent was for his father to maintain two families on the sly. In 100 words, that would be next to impossible without having to start all over again on the story, so I just stuck to abandonment and left it at that.

  21. Not sure who was delivering the last line. Tough family dynamics here.

  22. wmqcolby says:

    Yeah, this is true. Of course, even though we know David delivered the final line, it does kind of make you wonder how much hate was in Nicole, too. You’re right. Tough dynamics.

  23. Hmmm. Coming from a very ‘blended’ family, I certainly understand the difficulties behind this sort of conversation. There’s so much more going on than the words themselves. Well done!

  24. rgayer55 says:

    Very realistic dialogue, Kent.

  25. Sushree Dash says:

    Never ending emotions in few words … Thank you so much for dropping by my blog . And the comment about Ernst Hemingway ….I am awestruck ….thanks a ton 🙂

  26. Anita says:

    Thanks for stopping by at my Blog 🙂
    Your story is an unfortunate reality for many. No Celebration when there is altercation.
    One person will always feel wronged, mostly the illegitimate child who never gets his dad…

  27. Sun says:

    oh, those business trips…works well for some and others, not so well…great dialogue!

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