Stand on the Right, Walk on the Left

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

32 comments

Fiction Suspense

"How many fingers am I holding up, bud? Hey, bud, can you hear me? Wake up."


"Hmm?"


"There he is. I told you he was breathing, keep the crowd back, will you Chris?"


"Yes sir."


"How many fingers am I holding up?"


"What?"


"How many fingers am I holding up?"


"Well, shit, I- seven?"


"Close. Again now."


"Four. Ah fuck, my head..."


"Nope. Only one."


"One? Well, shit. That was my next guess."


"I'm sure it was."


"My head... I-"


"Took a mighty fall there, bud. Mia, come here, hold this against his temple."


"Yes sir."


"Where were you headed in such a hurry? Follow the pen with your eyes."


"I was headed to the, eh, ah shit..."


"Follow the pen."


"I'm tryin, you don't think I got some of that goddamn memory loss now, eh doc? Like John Wick?"


"Jason Bourne."


"What?"


"Never mind. Can you tell me what day it is?"


"The, eh, seventeenth."


"Mmm-hmm, and what's your name?"


"Jack."


"Nice to meet you, Jack."


"Pleasures all mine."


"What's seven times nine?"


"Fuck. Gimme a sec."


"We can come back to that one. Where are you?"


"The airport. I feel like I got hit by a truck."


"Where were you running to? Take these, they'll help with the pain."


"Thank you. Uh, sixty-three."


"Sorry?"


"Seven times nine is sixty-three, I think."


"Where were you trying to go? Look at me Jack, and think hard about this one."


"I was runnin to... I can't think straight I-."


"Think harder, and please stop trying to sit up. What were you running to? Do you think you can take the pills?"


"I don't fucking know. Sixty-three."


"What?"


"Seven times nine is sixty-three."


"You already told me that, Jack. I want you to explain to me what happened."


"I was runnin and then I tripped and I fell off the eh..."


"Escalator."


" Exactly, and then I, I hit my head on the railing I got myself over to the window here. And then you show up and we do addition."


"Multiplication, Jack. Take the pills."


"Shit, is all that- is that all from me?"


"Heads bleed quite a lot. Focus Jack"


"Damn."


"How many fingers am I holding up now?"


"Five. Why do you say my name so fucking much?"


"Three. Where are you from, Jack?"


"San Fransisco. You got a gun there-?"


"No. Stop trying to lean up. Take a few deep breaths for me."


"It hurts."


"I know. Do you remember which side you landed on?"


"I- I don't know."


"Left side or right side? Mia, steady pressure please, we don't want him bleeding out."


"I cant remember. It was too fast and..."


"You think he'll make it, Charley?"


"He should. He has lost a lot of blood and is concussed, from what I can tell his entire right side is what took most of the hit. We should be able to get him to Charlotte alright, I'm just worried he's got a brain hemorrhage or skull fracture. That could complicate things. But if we get him to her I'm sure she can patch him up well enough for a proper... investigation."


"I'll call her. Make sure she's ready. He looks like shit. Clean him up best you can, I don't want him staining the seats."


"You have kids, Jack? Close family?"


"Hell no. Who's Charlotte?"


"Oh, no one, Bud. Do you feel any tingling in your limbs?"


"Uh-huh, all the way up my right side. Am I dying, Doc?"


"Of course not, now let's try this again, where were you trying to go?"


"Somewhere safe. I can't breathe, I-"


"Jack? Damn it. He passed out, Mia, help me lay him flat and keep the pressure on his head."


"Charlotte's ready. Says we should at least keep him from seizing in the meantime."


"I'll try, but that's not entirely up to me. Any news from headquarters?"


"They are looking, he could not have possibly moved it that far. If we could give them an idea on where it is-"


"I'm working on it. Hey, Jack? Jack? You back, bud? There you are. Just a few more questions."


"Doc, I really cant breathe, I can't-"


"You can breathe just fine, please stop moving, your ribs are broken and I don't want you puncturing a lung. You have a ticket to fly to Berlin, why do you want to go to Berlin?"


"It's safe in Berlin."


"Why is Berlin safe?"


"You got a gun? In your pocket there?"


"You were running fast, Jack, took a horrible fall off the side of an escalator and fell a solid twenty-five feet to the ground. You're lucky to be alive and I do not have a gun. Now, you had a bag when you fell, where did you put it?"


"How do you know I have a bag?"


"Everyones got a bag in an airport. Where did you put yours?"


"Shit, I can't remember."


"This isn't working, Charley, he's too messed up. For God's sake, he left a dent in the handrail with his skull. We need to hurry."


"Shut up and help Chris keep the crowd back, let me do my job."


"Doc, whatcha doin with that needle?"


"Nothing. Stop trying to get up. Where did you put it?"


"Hey, whatcha doin with that needle?"


"Charley. Two minutes."


"You had a bag, where did you fucking put it, Jack?"


"Please, I- I don't know!"


"Keep your mother fucking voice down. Help me hold him, Mia."


"Whatcha doin with that needle? Please, I don't know, I don't know where it is. Honest. I'll stay on the ground but no needle, no-"


"Shut up. Last chance, Jack, where did you put it? I'm gonna take my hand away real slow, stop squirming, and if you scream, I swear to god I will shoot you. Do you understand? Good."


"Charley, we gotta go."


"Shut up and get the stretcher ready. I'm your fucking superior, Diego, I decide when we leave. And tell Chris to get the crowd out of the way."


"Please, I can't remember, goddamn it. No needle please, I hate needles, please I-"


"Mia, grab his arms, he's gonna knock the damn syringe out of my hands. You're alright Jack. It's not that bad, see? Diego, wheres the body bag? Put it right over here. Hurry."


"Please..."


"Grab a leg and help me get him inside. You're gonna be alright, good night, Jack."






January 09, 2021 06:54

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32 comments

Rambling Beth
17:09 Jan 11, 2021

Wow, I loved this. Very dark, and I love how you've managed to convey quite a complicated story in very interesting dialogue. I love that Jack can't remember anything, because we feel just as confused as him at the start. Who's this man who's trying to help? Can he really be trusted? A doctor, someone who works at the airport, and then that last little section showing Jack definitely isn't going to be fine. Chilling. I adored this.

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B.T Beauregard
18:19 Jan 15, 2021

Thank you!! Unfortunately, even when I start out trying to write a more lighthearted story, it always turns out way darker than previously envisioned. But I guess thats not so bad. I'm so glad you found it a good kind of confusing, I was worried that because of the restrictive prompt, it would be impossible to understand. Thanks for reading!! :)

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Rambling Beth
18:21 Jan 15, 2021

I love the darker turn it took, so no complaints here! <3

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Aaron Caicedo
03:58 Jan 17, 2021

Fantastic! Incredibly realistic dialogue with a gripping story, and a totally compelling mystery. I was hooked the whole way through, and could easily see this being extended into another chapter. Great job!

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K. Antonio
16:16 Jan 16, 2021

Loved it! Making a story without dialogue tags can be super challenging and I think you pulled it off very well. I think using a Dr. was actually a very clever take on a character and helped keep a structure to the dialogue. The story was great, the title, the development of characters, and of course the dialogue. It was a great read!

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B.T Beauregard
16:52 Jan 16, 2021

Thank you so much for reading! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Tom .
13:39 Jan 16, 2021

These dialogue (no tags) only prompts, traditionally only work in a two person closed environment. But you had, was it four voices? And they all flowed, I caught the change and the different voices and you had action and set it in the middle of an airport. That is some skillful writing. Good Work.

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B.T Beauregard
17:08 Jan 16, 2021

Thank you!! It definitely took me a few tries making the four voices clear without sacrificing the "realism" of the dialogue.

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John K Adams
00:01 Jan 16, 2021

Having awakened with a serious concussion, the procedures in your story rang chillingly true. Thankfully, I by-passed any other similarities to your story. Very rich and engaging. Very present. Leaving the reader with so many questions might bother some, but I loved it. You told us exactly what we needed.

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B.T Beauregard
02:40 Jan 16, 2021

Thank you so much for reading!! :)

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Frances Reine
19:58 Jan 15, 2021

First of all, you're really brave to choose this prompt. I think one of my weakest points is dialogue and I really admire yours. It's so natural I can hear it in my ears. Also, suspense with JUST dialogue... I can't even imagine writing anything like that in my life. Really well done

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B.T Beauregard
02:26 Jan 16, 2021

Thank you so much!! The dialogue only prompt was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it. I've never been very confident in my dialogue, so its something i've been practicing. I'm so happy it seemed natural!! :)

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Frances Reine
12:54 Jan 16, 2021

You're very welcome. It really did pay off. If you'd like me to read any future stories I'd love to :)

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Elise Volkman
19:36 Jan 15, 2021

Ooh, this is a wild ride! The dialogue-only prompt is a serious challenge but I love how you took to it. The "doc's" dialogue to everyone else really help set the scene and establish the location and other characters piece by piece. Really well done! And that ending - CHILLS.

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B.T Beauregard
01:56 Jan 16, 2021

Thank you so much for reading!!

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Phebe Emmanuel
18:56 Jan 15, 2021

Okay. I'm not gonna stop bothering you until YOU TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM!! What's in the syringe? Who is the guy? who is JACK? WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING! This is so insanely good, and I mean it. I also mean that I will stalk you until I get answers (jk, but I do really want to know).

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B.T Beauregard
02:15 Jan 16, 2021

XD I'm so glad you liked it!! Your comment made my day. To answer your questions, I'm not entirely sure. That sounds stupid, considering I wrote it, but it's true! I'm thinking about making it into a longer piece to try and get some answers. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it. :)

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:26 Jan 16, 2021

Well, make sure to TELL ME when there is a sequel. And no more thinking, Mr! Doing! I'm waiting!!!!

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H L McQuaid
16:11 Jan 15, 2021

Very exciting, with flashes of humour. And the twist at the end, what do the 'helpers' want..what's in the needle??? Does Jack survive? What was in the bag? Hahah. Great use of dialogue to advance the action and give a sense of the characters. I only had one question..I've not heard the phrase "lean up" before, so I stumbled a little on that, but I guess it's the same as 'sit up'? And, this is really minor, but a few apostrophes were missing. "Whos Charlotte" and "Charlottes ready" And now I'm going to read some of your back catalogue. :)

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B.T Beauregard
18:11 Jan 15, 2021

Thanks for reading!! I've fixed the grammar mistakes (thank you so much for pointing them out). And you know what? You are right. I've never heard anyone say "lean up" before. No idea where I came up with it, so thats been switched out. :)

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H L McQuaid
18:27 Jan 15, 2021

Glad I could help a little bit. I feel that's a fair tradeoff for getting to read your story. 😁

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Lily Dew
18:06 Jan 09, 2021

I love the way it’s formatted

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B.T Beauregard
18:06 Jan 15, 2021

Thank you!!

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Amel Parvez
16:44 Feb 06, 2021

Incredible! Loved it.

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Terri Bertha
20:58 Jan 20, 2021

Loved the title and the story itself, with more than a few characters involved in the dialogue. Always like horror with a little humor mixed in. Wish there was more to read (next chapter) as to what exactly happened to the bag, why Berlin and will Jack ever be the same? LOL...

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Sarah Mumtaz
04:01 Jan 19, 2021

It's an amazing story and makes the reader read till the end. You should write it's sequel. I loved the title of your story. Nice one! I liked it!

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Nainika Gupta
22:25 Jan 18, 2021

This was super dark and complicated, but Jesus...it was good :D I loved it so much, and the fact that Jack couldn't remember anything....it was chilling and spooky.... and gHAA just amazing :D

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Parul Srivastava
03:14 Jan 17, 2021

What a gripping writeup!! Amazing Do you mind having a read at my story under the same prompt and sharing your thoughts please, thanks!!

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Kelly Ellen
23:04 Jan 16, 2021

Wow! This was fantastic. Very captivating and I wish I could know more!

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Tanja Cilia
18:20 Jan 16, 2021

Scary. And brilliant. It's amazing what criminals can get away with, when they pretend to be the good guys. Poor Jack. I wonder what the person who purloined the bag found inside it...

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Ifan Fin
20:29 Jan 15, 2021

Very smooth. Fast-paced. Humour is there as well. You have it all. All the ingredients necessary for a story to be interesting. Also, the prompt is very challenging, so it called for something that would meet the criterion of being understandable while using only dialogue. You did very well when it comes to allowing the reader's imagination tell them what's not explicit. And that is what stories should be about. Plus, the title is thought-provoking and it's a good thing to have a title that serves as an additional food for thought.

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B.T Beauregard
02:30 Jan 16, 2021

Thank you so much for reading!! :)

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