25 Days of Writing – Day 23

Day 23: Write a scene between your character and another character of your choice (whether brought up previously in the other scenes or not) using only dialog. The setting and situation is up to you, but you cannot not use descriptive exposition, only dialog.

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“You’ve been talking in your sleep, woman,” said Trey.

“Oh dear,” mumbled Hanna.

“You were weeping.”

“Oh. I was having a bad dream, my Lord.”

“You have had a most difficult day, woman.”

“Yeah.” She sniffed.

“I am really quite pleased with your performance this day, woman. You fought well.” He paused briefly. “You should be proud. Not many would have fared so well.”

“I got my face smashed in.”

“Ah, but you were there. And there’s little doubt that Jason would be lost but for your quick action.”

“I killed a man.”

“Aye, a man of Falgarth. Hardly human,” Trey snorted.

Silence.

“You really think that way, my Lord?” Hanna asked. “His life is less that yours because he his from an enemy nation? He probably thought the same of you. Is that fair?”

“It is war, woman.”

“But is it fair?”

“In war, all is fair.”

“So life has no meaning?”

“Now—”

“That guy could have been someone’s father, or brother, or son, or husband, or whatever. He could have been the world to someone, and I killed him.”

“We accept such risks when we raise weapons in war,” retorted Trey.

“Yeah, you do. What about the people who love you? You’re not an evil man, but you kill. He probably wasn’t an evil man either. He might have been your friend, under different circumstances.”

“If he was truly a good man, God will sort him out.”

“Not much comfort for those left behind.”

“They would be together again in the afterlife. We worry not for such things.”

“Yeah? Well what if there isn’t an afterlife? What if this is all we have? What then? The man is dead and gone forever. And because of me. I don’t know if I can live with that.”

“Surely you jest. There must be afterlife. Where would we have come from?”

“I don’t believe that.”

“Don’t believe?”

“I don’t believe in the afterlife. I never have. I’ve hoped for it, but I don’t believe it.”

“So God would just snuff us out? That makes no sense, woman.”

“I don’t believe in God, either,” said Hanna softly.

“How could you… not?” asked Trey.

“I could never explain. I have tried, but I can’t.”

“So you think me mad?”

“No. I’m glad that God offers you comfort. I envy you for it. But that doesn’t make me believe.”

“No God. No afterlife.”

“And I took a man’s life today. And I never want to do that again.”

Silence again.

“If you had not slain him, Jason surely would have died,” Trey said softly.

“I’m glad Jason is alive. I’m glad I could help him.”

“None of us who bear the Mark enter into a battle planning to kill the greatest number. We fight to protect our nation and our King. Men must die to do that. We accept that in fact we ourselves may be the men who die.”

He paused. “I hope you can forgive for the lives taken, and those that will be taken, in the defense of Herongarde.”

Hanna sighed, but said nothing.

“I pray you will forgive yourself for this life you have taken, and others you may have to take later, aye?”

“I hope so too, my Lord.”

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