Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: dialogue


And this is “Silent” Jimmy.

What, because he’s always quiet?

No in fact it is because I will not stop talking, for example that one time that all of us were drinking beer and someone made the mistake of asking me to define the word “pleasant” and everybody had managed to drink up two more rounds of beer before I finally got to a punctuation mark in my talking. I’m a bit better now of course but still the most commong thing that people tell me is inevitably–”

Silent, Jimmy.


Bright White Conversation

“It’s going to be alright.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s not going to bother you much longer.”

You had not been aware that anything was wrong. You have just settled in, here.

The child touches your arm in a gesture that is obviously meant to echo the way someone comforted them, but the child is not old enough to have experience with this and just pats you awkwardly.

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s going to be alright. Promise.” The child looks at the watch on your arm and tries to decipher it.

You do not know what is going to be alright.


Previously: /2014/02/24/midnight-conversation/

A Little Worse

So this is how it works?

I don’t know.

Is it supposed to feel like this?

I can’t feel anything.

You can’t feel anything?

Well, I can feel all my usual self. I mean, I cannot feel anything different.

How does your usual self feel?

How does your usual self feel?

It feels like a night, rolled up into an incandescent ball.

Is that normal?

It is for me. I don’t know how selves are supposed to feel.

Did something happen to us?

I don’t know.

Wasn’t that mine before?

The night?


I don’t think so.

Are you lying?

Midnight Conversation

You wake up in the middle of the night approximately 20 seconds before the phone starts to buzz; you have enough time to blink the sleep out of your eyes. It’s buzzing. You pick it up before your sleeping partner comes to life from it.

“Hello?” you whisper. The floor is cold against your bare feet.

“Hello,” says an undistorted voice, and then it says your name. You had expected distortion, but you’re not recording the call, you’re not quite sure what you’re expecting.

“What do you want?”

“I just want you to remember that I know who you are.”


Previously: /2014/02/23/stoplight-conversation/

Stoplight Conversation

You meet a child who knows what you’re thinking. The walk-light has just gone red.

“Have we met before?” you say. “Are you lost?”

“Yes, and no. To both questions. You’re confused now, a bit alarmed. You’re trying to think about anything but That Thing, but you’re circling the topic so narrowly that I can see the shape of it in your mind.”

You look away.

“That’s a naughty word.”

“I want you to–”

“–stop doing that.” The child sighs. “Yes, I know. You needn’t think such mean things about me, you know. It’s not like I can help it.”

Pain and Chemicals

“Will you teach me how to cry?” asks the boy with the broken nose. He is crying now because he just slammed his face into the wall, but that’s not what he is talking about. “I want to be able to cry from emotions, not just pain and chemicals.” He hates cutting onions. “Will you teach me how to cry?”

I tell him, “I can’t teach you that.”

“Why not?”

“It’s just a thing that happens. You don’t think about it.”

“Can you teach me not to think about it?”


“Why not?”

“Then I’d have to think about it.”

The Tooth Fairy Plots

“Just listen,” she said, sounding like the bottle of whiskey she cradled. “When my grampy was young he got a penny for a tooth under his pillow. My nephew today gets a fiver.”


“That’s a hell of an inflation rate. I think the Tooth Fairies know something we don’t know.”

“Ignoring the fact that they don’t exist–”

“Can’t prove that.”

“…it probably points to a change in social norms and a rise in consumerism, or something.”

“No. The Fairies are competing fiercer. Human teeth are about to become a scarce resource. I can feel it in my bones.”

Tell Me a Riddle

They say Death grants wishes right before you die. Well, Miriam Dunkirk had always been a smartass.

There was a chessboard between them, without any pieces.

Death was phosphor-eyed, and her teeth were too white. ”Well?” said Death.

Miriam expected something to happen to the chessboard, but it was ornamental. ”Well what?”

”What is your wish?”

”I’ve always wanted to outsmart death.”

”So tell me a riddle.”

Miriam’s tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. Time passed.

Death raised an eyebrow, bemused.

”What … have I got in my pocket?” And Miriam Dunkirk’s heart stopped.

”I don’t know,” said Death.

Introduction to Top Hat Physics

But they must to come from somewhere.


Because things don’t just appear. They do not originate from your hat; they are coming from somewhere else.

I don’t follow.

You can’t actually create anything. At best you can… assemble.

That’s it, then. The rabbits are assembled by the hat.

But you can’t assemble rabbits.

You just said–

I know what I said. Shut up, I’m thinking.

Maybe it’s like, a loan. I’m borrowing the rabbits from their future offspring.

That doesn’t make sense.

Don’t overthink it, then. Just be glad you were shipwrecked with a real magician and stop complaining.

2012 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #3

Last one of these I’m posting before I get anywhere with editing this novella into shape. I haven’t even got to write the really cool scenes yet! (The really cool scenes are some NGE/Michael Bay stuff. Explaining it here would ruin the explositude.)

Previous excerpts can be found here: /2012/11/12/nanowrimo-excerpt-1/ and here: /2013/01/13/2012-nanowrimo-excerpt-2/

This snippet takes place between excerpt 2 and 1. As usual, comments appreciated.

[Content Warning: sex]


She closed the door and exhaled and lay down on the floor. Immediately, Ikkje appeared from the doorway from the kitchen and sat down next to her. He held her hand. He wore an apron and smelled like cinnamon.

“Do you love me?” Rovy asked.

Ikkje Pouncer appeared to think for a little while. The house was modest, she thought. Like most of Ikkje’s kind, the house was just at the edge of the city, but Rovy was okay with this. “I think I do. I don’t think anything has changed. What’s wrong?”

He spent most of his days out in the emptiness, unrecorded, hunting and gathering. Rovy shook her head. “Long day, is all. Have you heard of the falling elites?”


“The bewinged men and women falling from the sky, love.”

“Is that where the elites are?”

“Well, a bunch of them fell and something happened to the Information Market. Hardly any Buskers there, but many buyers. Don’t know what to make of it. Is dinner done soon?”

“It is. I gathered a lot of mushrooms and potatoes, today.” He smiled.

She kissed him. “You know, most hunter-gatherers also do the hunting business. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you bring home a phant of any kind.”

“These potatoes were totally a struggle, I swear.”

She stared at the little information ball that had rolled out of her pockets.

She kissed her husband again, “hey, do you really love me?” Read the rest of this entry »