Funny Contemporary Historical Fiction

“Who’s next?”

“Me, sir.”

“Good. You have all the forms?”

“Yes. All complete.”

“Okay. Let me see… Right, so it is not a machine or…?”

“No, no. Just some written work to protect.”

“Okay, I see. May I ask about the application of your work?”

“I am not sure I understand.”

“I mean, how would the layman use the ideas in your papers?”

“This is for science…”

“I see. To benefit mankind.”

“I think that may be too much to say at the moment.”

“But it is for science?”

“Yes. My own theory.”

“A theory?”

“Yes, for now, it is my own idea. But if my ideas are correct, it may change the way we look at the world.”

“Interesting… Could you explain yourself a little more?”

“Imagine yourself travelling on a beam of light…”

“Travelling…on light.”

“A beam, yes. Now, if you are travelling on such a beam, what would you see?”

“Just light?”

“Ah, but nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.”

“You know the speed of light?”

“Scientists have discovered that the exact speed is…”

“Yes, I see, I see. Interesting. So, the beam of light…”

“Yes, now, what would you see?”

“I…cannot even imagine.”

“My work tries to explain how light behaves in relation to speed, time and observation.”

“The relationship of light to all those things…”

“Yes, that’s it.”

“Do they relate?”

“If there is light, there has to be time for it to travel and…”

“Yes, yes. I think I see. A very complicated idea, but I can understand you somewhat. So, light and time…”

“And also energy.”


“The speed of light can tell us about energy.”

“Another relationship?”

“Yes. Energy comes from the speed of light multiplied by mass…”

“I see. Interesting… Well, we will process your work and wish you the best with it.”

“Thank you. I expect there will be some comment on this one day.”

“Well, I think you know your work. It should be saved and perhaps used. By the way, don’t you already work here?”




“Why was that man outside?”

“What man?”

“You know, that man who was outside and he had his hat out like this and kept shaking it.”

“Oh… that man. That man was homeless.”

“Oh, he has no place for him?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“So…he can’t go anywhere?”

“That’s right.”

“Ah…but, mom, why?

“Well, some people don’t always have the money for a nice place.”

“But, he had some money.”

“In his hat, yes. But not enough for his own place, right?”

“I guess not.”


“But, he must have friends, like I do?”

“Some have friends…but he was alone, remember?”

“Yes, he was just there. No one else.”

“Well, there may be some other people with him. There were other people there who were homeless.”

“There were?”

“Yeah… I saw some on the other side of the street.”

“I didn’t see them.”

“Yes. A woman had a plastic thing for change she was shaking and she kept pointing at it.”

“Another person.”

“Yup. There were two of them.”

“They wanted it for food?”

“Maybe, but I smelled him. It was like alcohol.”

“So she wanted money like him, too.”

“Yes. Now, where’s my purse?”

“You put it in the car.”

“And I took it out.”

“No, remember? You said I should get the groceries out and opened the back for me.”

“Oh, damn. That’s right. I’ll just get it.”

“Yeah, but…”


“They were there before, right?”

“I think so. I saw him before.”

“Maybe they’re friends.”

“Yes…now, let me get to the car.”

“Okay, yeah…”

“You sure it’s in there?”

“I saw you put it on the other seat.”


“And you didn’t give them any.”


“Yes. None.”

“Well, what would they do with it?”

“I dunno. Food?”

“Well, they smelled.”

“He smelled.”

“Yes. And I couldn’t cross the street then.”

“Why, mom?”

“Because we had to go.”


“And that money wouldn’t really help. I saw them before.”

“Him, you said.”

“Yes, him…I have to get the purse.”

“It’s in the car.”

“I know. Thanks.”

“Thanks, mom.”


“Do you still love me?”

“Oh, do you have to ask?”


“Well, no more than I have to.”


“Well, you see, this marriage has gone on for a long time, right?”

“And, what?”

“And, well, it is now something much more comfortable than just love and romance.”


“Yes, like an old blanket, you see.”

“So, you don’t love me?”

“No more than…”

“Yes, yes, yes… I heard.”


“And there is no one else?”

“No one else what?”

“No one else that you are interested in?”

“Dear… As I just explained, this is what is now comfortable for me.”

“But why is it…?”

“And why would I make myself uncomfortable?”

“A new blanket, yes?”

“Yes, I don’t want that. Oh, dear. The time.”

“And I am the one who you think you will come back to if you decide to get uncomfortable?”

“Too late for a stop… What are you talking about?”

“If you did cheat, you would still be back here…?”

“Did I not say that there is nothing going on?”

“Yes, you did.”

“And that this is what I want?”


“Very silly… Oh, and I better get going with things…”

“Another late night?”

“Another office night. You know that.”

“Of course. Just the cliché of it that bothers me.”

“What cliché is that?”

“Oh, the one about the office and the husband working late when he actually has someone else on the side.”

“Ah… That I did not think about.”

“So, back later than usual.”

“Perhaps… Call me on my cell to check on me.”

“Oh, I will. So much that we should still be talking about.”

“Ah… Another cliché.”

“And take care.”

“Always do. Will you?”

“What else can I do?”

“I will be back soon.”

“You have to be now.”


“Yes, yes, I know… So much on my mind tonight.”

“A difficult thing that you are making harder…”

“Okay, go.”

“I shall. In two hours.”

“Or more.”

“Good night.”

“Good...to you, too.”


“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

“Oh, dear…”

“ Well, you are the infamous doctor, right?”

“Look, old chap… Can't we just keep quiet about this?”

“Keep quiet?”

“Yes, please. I just feel silly about all this and want to keep my name out of the papers.”

“But, Dr. Livingstone, you are in all the newspapers. Everyone talks about you.”

“Really? Good Lord…”

“ Of course. Why do you think I’m here? Every reader who cares to follow your story wants to know about your predicament, your whereabouts?”

“Ah, that would include people who know me, I suspect?”

“Well, yes. If those people can read, hear and understand the stories.”

“A pity, then.”

“But, how could that be so?”

“Well, the situation I am in at the moment makes it rather awkward for me to have this kind of attention.”

“Well, you don’t have to leave, you know. As long as we know where you are…”

“Yes, yes, I understand. But you traveled all this way for a reason. You must have done so for more than just a brief ‘Hello’.”

“Ah, yes. May I be honest? The newspapers have offered significant rewards for your discovery. I was simply the first to obtain such contact with you…”

“Yes, the first… Well, I should introduce you the tribesmen…”

“Right. Let’s do that. This is Lake Tanganyika, is it not?”

“ Yes, the Nile does not run from here, though. Ah, they are ready. Would you like to meet them now?”

“Oh, of course. Let me just make some notes…”

“In just one moment. You should really see this ceremony. You will be treated with special accommodations.”

“Interesting. This will interest readers… Oh, is that a pith helmet?”

“Yes, we have quite a collection now. Let’s see the ceremony.”

“An awful lot of them. Where are the owners?”

“I see that the fire’s ready.”

“A lot of them unattended to... Dr Livingstone?”

“You will really enjoy this.”

February 18, 2023 04:50

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Roger Scypion
03:24 Feb 28, 2023

The four stories were very good. The dialogue flowed well and gave the characters life.


Kendall Defoe
03:03 Mar 15, 2023

Thank you for that!


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Jacky Burke
21:39 Feb 27, 2023

I loved the first one about the light and the homeless one- I thought they would all come back to the speed of light by the end.


Kendall Defoe
19:46 Mar 02, 2023

Maybe I moved too fast...?


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Charlie Murphy
18:53 Feb 26, 2023

So, the little stories are not connected?


Kendall Defoe
20:17 Feb 26, 2023

They are four worlds... not the same tale.


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02:44 Feb 26, 2023

Hungry caterpillars at the end... I loved all of them. Good job.


Kendall Defoe
04:06 Feb 26, 2023

Never thought they'd be described that way. Many thanks for that image!


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David Sweet
14:34 Feb 25, 2023

Your dialogues were great. I was expecting some type of interconnectedness among the four (maybe missed it?) Thanks for sharing.


Kendall Defoe
18:17 Feb 25, 2023

Yeah, that's why I called the piece "Four Worlds". Could not sustain things with just one narrative.


David Sweet
23:14 Feb 25, 2023

That's okay. You can always revisit this piece and look for a way to look for interconnectedness.


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04:52 Feb 25, 2023

This was really cool. I loved the way the text ebbed and flowed, and the dialogue seemed really natural. You are a very talented author.


Kendall Defoe
13:27 Feb 25, 2023

Thanks...I'm still trying.


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Delbert Griffith
23:47 Feb 22, 2023

Loved the reference to Einstein (and his former vocation), and I especially liked the Dr. Livingstone episode. Well, we all gotta eat, right? LOL Wonderfully constructed tale of more than four lives. It was a splendid read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Kendall Defoe
19:45 Mar 02, 2023

Thank you!


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T.S.A. Maiven
19:55 Feb 19, 2023

I think you write dialogue very well and enjoyed your story. Good job friend. 🙂


Kendall Defoe
03:44 Feb 21, 2023

Thank you. I have other ideas in mind. Might save them for another prompt... ;)


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Michał Przywara
23:58 Feb 18, 2023

Part of the fun of dialogue only is orienting yourself, seeing if you can figure out what's going on. We get four cases here to solve, and the action and context is quite clear. The last one drops a name and a famous quote, so that helps us out. The first might as well :) But all of them are clear - though it seems the poor reporter at the end might have misunderstood the situation :)


Kendall Defoe
04:28 Feb 19, 2023

Indeed...he might have... Now, let's eat! 😳


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21:23 Feb 18, 2023

Well done as usual!


Kendall Defoe
04:31 Feb 19, 2023

Thank you! I am wondering if the first one needs more of a road map to understand it...


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Lily Finch
05:23 Feb 18, 2023

Kendall, Well done. Pieces of writing. All dialogue. Pure, beautiful, untainted dialogue. Thanks for the good read. LF6. Perhaps some errors you may want to fix. “Good to you, too.” Would like to meet them now?”


Kendall Defoe
05:29 Feb 18, 2023

I think I will keep them: 'Good to you, too.' - he does not want to repeat what he heard (something off about him) 'Would you like to meet them now?' - the tribesmen are waiting Thank you for this. I had these on a drive and wanted to find a forum for them (forum for them? - rather poetic). ;)


Lily Finch
05:47 Feb 18, 2023

That's great. I always say perhaps because writers have reasons for what they write. :) LF6.


Kendall Defoe
15:07 Feb 18, 2023

I will edit...


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