Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #25

TITLE: The Poacher
GENRE: YA Speculative

Lead in: An unwelcome human has been detained by a pack of wolves. The visitor is presently pinned to the ground by the animals. Oh - the wolves possess an unusual faculty: they can talk.

 

Bosc yelped. “Please.”

There was a pause while the big wolf stared at him. “Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to put my mouth around your neck, and you’re going to roll over and we’re going to sniff you to make sure you’re not carrying a gun tucked away somewhere. Then you can get up.”

Bosc breathed in relief. “All right.”

“As a favor, we’re not going to cripple your hands.”

“Thank you.” Bosc paled.

“After that, any time I wonder what you’re up to, I’m going go ‘Hmmm?’ and you’re going to stop what you’re doing and show me your hands. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t get any second chances, all right? I say ‘Hmmm?’ and you show me.”

“I understand.”

“I really hope you do. You know, we admire your smartness. You’re smarter than all of us put together.”

Bosc smiled weakly. “Right now that’s debatable.”

“It’s true, though. I bet you’re already thinking of ways to beat us, and given time you will. Your kind always beats us in the end. Always.”

Bosc swallowed. He looked into the pale, bleak eyes of the wolf. He had no answer for the animal. His mind was blank.

“Our only advantage is speed,” the wolf continued. “So if you make me nervous, if you make any of us even the teensiest bit nervous, we won’t hesitate to break your arms.”

5 comments:

  1. Nice job. My only hang-up is with the very first thing the wolf says. It seems a little long and unnatural, as far as speech goes.

    I especially like this line though: I bet you’re already thinking of ways to beat us, and given time you will. Your kind always beats us in the end. Always."

    Best of luck to you!


    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a very strong piece of dialogue. I get a really good sense of the wolf's personality. I don't get as much of a feel for Bosc. You don't want to clutter up the conversation by conveying a whole bunch of his thoughts, but a few scattered reactions would be helpful. I'd especially expect him to react more strongly to the suggestion of his hands being crippled, squeezing them closed or even hiding them behind his back or under his arms. That's a serious threat, and I think it would produce a visceral, instinctive reaction in most people. (And if he feels calm or even blasé about it, I'd love to know why. That would be an important character building moment.)

    Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow... Wow. Did I mention...wow? Can I read more? This was totally engrossing and interesting. For such an unnatural situation, it read very, very naturally. My favorite line is "as a favor, we're not going to cripple your hands."

    If it were me, right here: “It’s true, though. I bet you’re already thinking of ways to beat us," I might break up that bit of dialogue with a stare from the alpha's amber eyes or something, or he might suddenly close his panting mouth.

    Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow... Wow. Did I mention...wow? Can I read more? This was totally engrossing and interesting. For such an unnatural situation, it read very, very naturally. My favorite line is "as a favor, we're not going to cripple your hands."

    If it were me, right here: “It’s true, though. I bet you’re already thinking of ways to beat us," I might break up that bit of dialogue with a stare from the alpha's amber eyes or something, or he might suddenly close his panting mouth.

    Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This was my favorite line too: "as a favor, we're not going to cripple your hands."

    I like the buildup of an almost self-deprecating wolf—you're so smart, etc. followed by but then were fast and strong and will cripple you.

    I did notice that he 'paled' and then the wolf's eyes were 'pale'. It might be stronger to give the color of the eyes instead, which would remove the duplication– white, icy blue, etc.

    ReplyDelete