Dialoguette #3

Recently I have began doing what I call “dialoguettes” in The Dragon’s Rocketship Facebook group. They are little bits of flash fiction that consist only of dialogue–no attribution, no description, just the spoken words.  My goal is to see how much world building and character building I can do in dialogue alone, while still keeping the flow of conversation natural sounding.  It’s a fun exercise, and I think the results have been interesting.  I’ve decided to post a few here:

“Excuse me, magus?”


“Detective Connolly, 14th Precinct.”

“Ah, yes, come in. It’s safe.”

“Thank you. They said you had a report for me?”

“Somewhere around here, yes. How are things at the old One Four?”

“Same as always. Too many cold bodies, not enough warm ones.”

“Captain Clarke still in charge?”

“Oh, yeah. She can’t retire, nobody else knows what’s going on.”

“Ah. Here we go.”


“I’ve written it all down, but I’ll summarize it. Yes, it was a summoned entity, a rather primitive one. Some variety of hellhound, I’d guess.”

“So the summoner knew the victim.”

“Not necessarily, but it would have required something that the victim had worn recently, and, of course, access to the victim’s home. Someone could have broken in and just grabbed whatever was on top of the laundry basket.”


“Murder by magic does tend to be a very personal act, though, so you’re probably right.”

“A licensed practitioner?”

“I certainly hope not. Entities like this are easy enough to call up. A little blood, a little fire, and read aloud from a bootleg grimore. NMR, TRB, or something similar.”


“Sorry. Night’s Mysteries Revealed, or The Red Book. Two of the popular ones. Technically unlawful to own without a license, of course, but they’re out there. No serious student of the art would use them.”

“The Saturday night special of spellbooks.”

“Exactly. If you do find one, that’ll be enough to bring the owner in. Misdemeanor charge, I’m afraid. Make sure you collect the book–after the trial it’ll have to be destroyed.”

“Got it. Thanks, magus.”

“Give my regards to the captain. She’ll remember me. Fondly, I hope.”

“Will do.”


About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in On Writing, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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