Friday, July 1, 2016

Distinct Voices

I'm struggling to find the voices of three characters. Lois is a reference librarian in her mid-40s who likes tequila and poker. Rich is a furniture salesman in his mid-20s who talks tough but is a good guy. Alicia is a former track star who is now a mother and wife, but who shouldn't be defined solely as such. They don't meet in the actual story, but what if they did?

* * *

The three of them stood on the beach, looking out onto the ocean. Why were they all here? What had brought them together?

“You guys surf?” asked Rich.

Alicia smiled and shook her head. “I'm not much for water.”

“A little,” said Lois. “You know, back in the day.”

“Back in the day?” said Rich, a twinkle in his eye. “You can't be a day over 30.”

“Shut up,” said Lois, waving her hand like she was swatting flies.

Alicia took a good long look at her. She was trim, and her legs had definition, but there was something. She was definitely over 30, probably by a lot.

She must be about my age.

Rich turned to Alicia. “You just look like a surfer.”

“Thanks, I think, but I'm a sprinter.”


“Well, I was. These days I don't do much running. More lifting and chasing kids.”


Lois wrinkled her forehead in thought.

Alicia noticed. “What's on your mind?”

“Everything about this feels strange, doesn't it?”

“What do you mean?” said Alicia.

“She means,” interjected Rich, “that our interactions are forced. We don't belong here.”

“At the beach?”

“Together, like this. We aren't even part of the same storylines.”

“Worse, we don't have distinct voices.”


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