Monday, November 4, 2019

Talkin' Heads #1

TITLE: The Alphabet From A to Zero
GENRE: Adult Caper/Thriller

Zed Argonne has sold his winery for $3M, brokered by attorney Arthur Spurrier. Argonne has phoned Spurrier to note the problem.

“The money for the winery.” Argonne came across as bemused. “You said it transferred this afternoon, right?”

“Right. I got a message around 3:00 that everything was set. That’s when I called you.”

“Just to be clear, by ‘all set’ you mean the money transferred from your escrow account to my investment account, correct?”

“Right. I got confirmation. I even viewed the account to triple-check, using the code you sent.”

“The code I sent.”

Spurrier felt the world tilt ever so slightly on its axis. “Two days ago. You said it was a one-time code that would allow me to confirm the balance in this account.”

“Ohhh, I forgot. How, exactly, did I send you this code?”

“In email. I even replied to the mail to tell you I received it.”

A long silence. Long enough for Spurrier to feel the jungle creeping back in. Tripwires on the trails. Safe as long as he didn’t move, didn’t breathe, didn’t disturb the night.

Argonne broke the peace, drawl gone. “May I presume, by your lack of response here, that you’re starting to comprehend the problem?”

Spurrier put his hand behind him, feeling for the solidity of the wall. “There must be some mistake.”

“Indeed. Whose, I wonder?”

“Um, I…. I….”

“I hear the sounds of a dining establishment seeping through what I’m sure is your latest iPhone. Are you out to dinner?”

“Yes, but I can—”

“With your wife, or someone you’re trying to get into bed?”

“My wife.” Spurrier snapped the answer at him.

“Well, then. Since you’re not going to get laid tonight, perhaps you might get a doggie bag, head back to the office, and….” He paused, one second, two. “And find my f***ing money.”


  1. You've done a good job setting the tone with this dialogue. I would suggest that you use some more tags and beats. Not only is it easy to lose track of which character is speaking, but also it starts to read a little too "choppy" the way it is. (The beats you've got here are good! It's just that there are 2 long stretches of dialogue without beats or tags, and those are the spots that could use a little tweaking.)

    Good work!

  2. Love the tone. Love the story line created in these few lines. This reads in Spurrier's POV, is that correct? I was able to follow who was talking, but action beats for Spurrier and "said" tags for Argonne. Good luck

  3. I like the tone and the storyline, but I did have to read it twice to understand who lost the money. I agree about beats and "said" tags, but the story sounds intriguing!

    I'd also go with a simple ""My wife!" Spurier snapped. It gets the point across, and keeps it short and tense. And we want tension!

  4. Interesting conversation that builds up the tension, just I think it went on a bit long....also the last paragraph, the repeated "and" felt clunky. Did he say "and" twice? I think the last line would be better starting at "find" instead of repeating the "and".

  5. Good tension built up here. I too had a little trouble following who was speaking. A couple of tags would clear that up. Somehow I expected Argonne to be more upset or angry. He seems very composed.