Do those around you ever think you’re crazy?

secrets-of-the-dead-jayaheer2016-complete

THEY LOOKED at me strangely.

I ignored them.

They exchanged troubled glances.

I smiled.

“He’s not quite right,” I heard one of them say.

“He may be crazy.”

“Maybe we should do something,” the man in the business suit said.

“What?”

“Report him to authorities.”

The man jeans and sweater laughed.

It was a nervous laugh.

“It’s not against the law to talk to yourself,” he said.

I was sitting at an almost deserted gate in an Atlanta airport.

The hour was late.

I had been traveling most of the day.

I was tired.

And he was right.

I was talking to myself.

“Are you alone?” I asked myself.

“I am.”

I tried to speak as quietly as I could.

I’m not loud.

But my voice carries.

“Where is Leopold?” I asked myself.

“He was impatient.”

“Has he already gone into the clinic?”

“He has.”

“Alone?”

“He carried one of your officers and a soldier with him.”

“Colonel Fleischer?”

“It was.”

“Fleischer likes the glory of it all. He always has. He gets the pictures, and he figures he gets the medal.”

I glanced out the window. Here is where the colonel will laugh caustically, I thought.

I shuddered.

I have to cut the adverb, I thought.

“He won’t be getting the medal,” I told myself. In my mind, I saw the beautiful Liese talking. I even heard the lilt of her voice. She was all business.

“Why not?”

I watched a cynical smile cross the German Captain’s face.

“He and Leopold walked into the clinic eighty-seven minutes ago. They have not come out.”

“Gunshots?”

“Four of them.”

In the back of my brain, I recognized a hint of sadness as it touched the Captain’s eyes.

“Fleischer was a hothead, He was also my friend.”

In my mind, I waited for Liese to respond, but I determined she still had her eyes on the clinic.

“Have you detected any movement inside?” I said to myself. It sounded a lot like the voice of the Captain.

“No.”

“They may all be dead.”

“There were five men inside the clinic and four shots. The sniper thinks he took out one, but it was one shot though a narrow opening. He tried to thread a needle. He does not know for certain. As of yet, no one has left the clinic. Leopold and the colonel would have walked out by now. If anyone is alive, it’s the American, and he can wait ‘til dark.”

“I won’t wait that long.”

The lady sitting across from me stood and moved to another row of seats.

“What’s he talking about now?” asked the man in the business suit.

“He’s talking about killing somebody.”

“Here?”

“Don’t know where,” answered the lady. “But I heard him mention the word sniper.”

“He looks dangerous.”

“He’s an old man.”

“Those are the ones you can’t trust.”

They kept staring at me.

And they made sure they were nowhere near me when we boarded the plane.

Writing dialogue for your next novel is a good way to while away the time when you’re traveling and bored.

But be careful.

A few wrong words here or there might get you in trouble.

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    They say it’s all right to talk to yourself. But when you talk to yourself out loud, you have problems. When writing dialogue, I have problems. I sound like someone possessed with multiple personalities, and maybe I do have them all.

  • jack43

    Neighbors sometimes called my mother to warn her that “Jackie’s talking to himself again.” She’d thank them and ignore them. She knew.

    Since then I’ve discovered that in those moments that I’m being creative, people think I’m crazy. And, in those when I’m being crazy, they excuse me as “just” creative. Strange, isn’t it?

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Jack, you and I have them faked out on both counts. We’re crazy, and just think we’re creative, and they forgive us of our sins.

  • Linda Pirtle

    This blog reminds me of the time our son asked you a question, and the answer you gave him made absolutely no sense. When he looked to me for clarification, I had to remind him that he and I live in one world but that his father lived in another. It was a lesson he had to learn early on in life.

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