Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #29

TITLE: The Summer of Miracle Maude
GENRE: MG Historical

It's 1935. Showman Stanley Pitts have arrived at Unk's farm to exploit 11 year old Emma's headless chicken.

“Now that’s one fine chicken,” Stan said. “I saw one like this before, maybe ten, fifteen years ago, but she wasn’t half as pretty as this girl. Folks that owned her made a killing.”

“Well, we have no intentions of making a killing, Mr. Pitts.” Aunty said. “We have decided the chicken will live.” She took Maude back.

Stan grinned. “Glad to hear it, Ma’am, but I think you’ve misunderstood. When I say folks made a killing, I meant they made a lot of money, not that they actually killed the chicken.”

Aunty stiffened and glared over her bifocals. “Well, if that’s what you meant, Mr. Pitts, perhaps that’s what you should have said.”

“Nonsense,” Stan said. “If folks only said what they meant, how boring would that be? As boring as tap water, I’ll bet. No, Ma’am. A good conversationalist will always add some seltzer, a twist of lime, a bit of fizz. Why, it’s the first rule of good conversation—always say something interesting. For instance, did you know that alligators eat their own babies? Just gobble them down as if they were candy. And it’s Stan, Ma’am. Stan ‘the man’ Pitts.”

“Yes,” Aunty said coldly. “You’ve said that already.”

“I certainly did, Ma’am, and you are as sharp as cheddar cheese to have noticed. The truth is most folks have to hear a thing two or three times before they remember it. Now, hold this please.”

He removed his hat, handed it to Aunty and took Maude from her.


  1. I love Stan's dialogue. In fact, I felt like this really pulled me into the time period and the situation. I was a bit put off by the "alligators eat their own babies" bit, but otherwise I think this is really well done. Good job.

  2. Really strong! Love the voice and the way Stan jumps of the page through dialogue. Aunty is painted as a character very clearly in just a few lines of dialogue. Bravo.

  3. Cute! This definitely defines your characters and the dialogue works to set these two apart.

    My only suggestion would be to avoid starting a line of dialogue with "well." Aunty does it twice and it makes her words sound less authentic.

    Other than that, good job! Sounds like a great story. :)

  4. Great job! This reads like it could have been written in 1935, and that is not an easy thing to do at all.

    Loved the lines "a twist of lime, a bit of fizz," and "sharp as cheddar cheese." Stan is a perfect showman; even his long speech in the fifth paragraph feels completely true to character. Aunty's reserve is a great contrast.

    Karen has a good point about starting lines with "Well." Otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing.

  5. I love this. You've sucked me right in, not only to the dialogue, but to the story itself. I'm dying to read more of it.

    Your characters are already 3-dimensional to me with just this little snippet.

    I understand what is being said about the 'well', but I read it as part of her personality.

  6. Sizzling snappy dialogue. Makes me want to read the whole book. The man sounds like a showman, too. Ready to buy the chicken and show it around.
    Great job.

  7. Man, I get the feeling Stan is bad news! :) He's great! I thought the "how boring would that be" didn't quite sit with the rest of the speech style, but I loved the rest of it!