Write a story about two or more characters who don't speak each other's language (literally or metaphorically), but still find a way to communicate.
Posted in Dialogue on Dec 16, 2022
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✍️ 58 stories
“Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen Without a Hearing Aid” by Laurel Hanson
Note: brief reference to ableist languageRachel stood at the kitchen sink watching the snow fall softly over the back yard, muffling the world in its white overcoat. She wanted to wrap her mind up the same snug way, but in the living room, her husband was watching some show where commentators loudly traded barbs and lobbed insults at each other. The noise was incessant. Oh! The noise, noise, noise, noise! she thought, visualizing herself poised on a snowy crag, ear cocked to the Whos down in Whoville bel...
“Base Stock” by Scott Christenson
In the steamy air of Mizuna’s kitchen, beads of sweat trickle down the 30-something Japanese job candidate’s face.“Which restaurants have you worked in in New York?” I am holding the afternoon interview to replace the fifth prep cook who’s left this year for higher pay elsewhere.“None.” He shakes his head. “In Japan. Soba.” He gestures kneading dough with his hands. In the kitchen the hiss of the gas burners is constant. With his limited English and my very basic Japanese, this co...
“Not Kept” by Thom Brodkin
A life long lived is filled with reminders of days gone by. Some of those memories are housed exclusively in the mind, while others can be found gathering dust in closets, garages, or attics. It was in the latter where Edna found one such keepsake. The unexpected discovery brought her a rush of joy followed by inevitable sadness and—against her better judgment—she decided to share the find with her husband of almost sixty years, Gilbert.“Gilly, look what I found in that old chest.” The leather-face...
“There’s Always Monopoly” by Helen A Smith
I’m feeling extra grouchy today. It’s unfortunate because ‘giving out’ to others is what I do. But then, being driven half-crazy by scratching whilst lying in wait on my futon can do that to a person. Especially during the middle of the night. It seemed to be coming from the back of the skirting board. The intermittent scraping put my teeth on edge. So much so, I barely slept until the last hour. My heart rushed as the morning alarm jolted me awake; it was too late to do my daily exercises (a vigo...
“Becoming Mama” by AnneMarie Miles
December 2018With her daughter nursing in her arms, Macy uses her elbow to push down on the door handle and open the door into the conference room, careful not to bump little Isla’s head as she does. Her diaper bag is slung over her shoulder, bouncing against her legs as she walks, and her daughter’s car seat is hooked around her other arm.“You’re getting good at that,” says Elena, one of Macy’s closest friends at the mom group, clearly amused by Macy’s multi-tasking skills.
“Other Ways to Say Hello” by Zack Powell
The winter I turned fourteen, my mother asked me to do her job for her.One night over spaghetti and meatballs, she told me about a boy in her ESL class: Ivan."Sweet boy, I think," she said, twisting a cyclone of noodles around her fork. "But I just can't seem to get him to talk. I thought it was just nerves. Some kids are like that, you know? Even ten-year-olds. But it's been a few months now and nothing.""That sounds like something you should talk to the school about," I replied.<...
“Deus ex Sapiens” by Graham Kinross
TW: Guns, slavery and droids.“Time for the truth, Arthas. I’m not who you think I am,” said Mayko Belle with her private school English and French blended accent.Detective Arthas Jacques’ blue eyes widened. “No? Who are you then?”“My name is Bella Nguyen. I’m an agent for the MSA.” Tucking one of her poker straight black hairs behind her ear she fixed him with a steely gaze.Laughing, he turned his head away from her and nodded. “Right. Of course. Trust me to fall for a beautiful woman who wants somet...
“The Tracker Tracked” by John K Adams
Eager to start, I scanned the trail through the trees and up the mountain. The weather was cool, but clear. Over years, I learned to plan my hikes meticulously. Somehow, I forget the single, essential item. Everyone insists I should never travel solo. Too many things can go wrong. A misstep can be deadly. Hiking with a buddy only makes sense. But solitude draws me. I love it. A buddy is an iffy variable. ...
“imago” by A.G. Scott
On the unlit stoop of an old modern house, a mother and her child stand nose to nose. Their whispers cut.“Yes, Rene. Fine! Your grandma is sanctimonious, crotchety, and a little bit racist. But none of that’s going to change in this life, and I think you’ll regret all this seething when she’s gone.”“Why should I?” Rene asks, face hardening as they retreat into a baggy sweater. “She won’t.”“It’s not a competition. How do you think a person ends up like that? Hm?”...
“Barely Human” by Ivy Genesis
For the past few weeks, I've lived in the embrace of apathy—I would wake up, drink coffee, and the day would fly by, immersed in the particles of time. Night came, and the days intertwined into a quantum soup. The cycle was broken for a moment when Joe invited me to his birthday party. I hate Joe. He was my bully in high school who entered into a relationship with my cousin Ginny, and now we tolerate each other. ...
“My Mr. Darcy” by Julie Christensen
Monday, 3rd to last day of my trip I wanted this to be like "Love, Actually." Ya know, how Mr. Darcy falls in love with someone and they don't even speak the same language. Go to France, wear cute clothes, jump into a freezing lake to save someone's manuscript, let them see your cute little body, and bada bing bada boom, LOVE. Turns out, it's not that easy. I mean don't ...
“The Bishop’s Gambit” by Marty B
--discussion of sexual violence--- Liz had several problems, but the biggest one was she was losing her mind. The lack of sleep, the pills Talia gives her to stay awake have confused her waking reality and her dreams. She could still do her job, but she needed to connect with the Bishop, only he could understand what she was going through. Her dispatches were se...
“Cold Men” by Lee Disco
Today, the mountains were pristine. The snow sat calmly, the white fuzz thinning where the sun struck hot on stone. Many didn’t hike the trails this early in the season—thick ice warded hikers off the treacherous hikes—but that thought drew Silas in even more. The paths would be empty; that meant peace, that he could revel in the quiet the snow offered up on his lonesome. Even the thermos, hanging from a clip on the side...
“Juno’s What?” by Cindy Strube
CW: Gore and mentions of death in historical contextJuno’s What?Everyone at my school dreaded sixth grade, because it meant you got Old Mrs. Crump. “She’s been there so long, she was my dad’s teacher!” I told my friends.We all dragged our feet on the first day. The bell was already starting to ring when Sam Travers got close enough to see the new name on the door. He stopped so suddenly that we all prac...
“The Fourth Octave” by Raey Kubiak
On September 5, 1942, Sergei Mikhailovich was in room 4 of the 3rd floor of the Stalingrad Music Academy. He was a radio interceptor for the 66th Soviet army and his company had taken refuge in the shattered building.Nothing resembled the old aristocratic glamor of the academy. The dust and the early Russian winter seeped in through the broken windows, and on her walls instead of music lessons, echoed the war.Before the war the room was used for piano lessons. Under the blackboard stood an aging Blüthne...
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