"Chatterbox is an event to help authors get to know their characters and stories better. I love to talk and I love to write dialog. Chatterbox is, essentially, an exercise in showing your character via the way he or she speaks. It's fun, it is sassy, it is simple. Each month I will assign a conversation topic and it will be your duty to write a conversation between several of your characters regarding whatever I topic I designated. Who knows? You might even end up with something you'll want to work into your real novel. When you are finished writing your post you will be able to link up with me here at The Inkpen Authoress and we'll have jolly larks reading the wide variety that springs out of the assigned topic."
The topic is death using our characters from NaNoWriMo - but I didn't necessarily write about that because I forgot to read the last bit of the post. However, it sort of came out like that because I decided to theme it on Remembrance Day, since I wrote it then. Enjoy and please tell me what you think!
My legs ached as I hiked up the hill, David beside me.
"You know that you could get us there much faster?" I hinted, only looking at David through the corners of my eyes.
"The soldiers didn't take it easy, did they?" he reminded me in his quiet, trying-not-to-show-you're-stupid-to-your-face way.
"Right..." I let the matter drop into ashamed silence.
So we kept walking up the hill, if it could be called walking. It was a rather steep hill, so it was more like marching at a very slow pace, almost bent double. My mind kept going over my stupid words, making me feel more stupid by the moment.
I felt a little tap on my hand, and I looked toward David as he slipped his hand in mine. He smiled a little, and I smiled faintly in return. Now we went up the hill slightly faster, with David helping me more than I was actually walking.
"Almost there," he assured me.
And, suddenly, we were at the top of the hill. I wiped at my wet forehead and looked at the ground, only wanting to rest.
"Look up, Victoria," David broke into my thoughts. "You have got to see this. It's what we came for, remember?"
I looked up...and gasped.
The valley below was full of crosses and red flowers, with tints of green grass here and there. The image was set off by the blue sky with a few puffy clouds. The sadness and beauty of it all mingled together took my breath away.
"You like it?" I realized that David was looking at me, smiling.
"I do! It's beautiful. But..." I realized something that I had been wondering in my unconscious. "How come there are crosses? I thought that was just an earth thing."
"You thought only earth had been touched by Christianity?" David raised his eyebrows.
I bit my lip, realizing that I had been stupid again. "Umm....well... I suppose that since there are other planets and galaxies with life....I suppose that they could know God, but..."
"It's just seems so different, doesn't it?" he asked, smiling.
I let my mouth drop open.
"Yeah, when I first saw it, I was surprised, too," David assured me. He slipped his hand in mine again. "Do you want to get a closer view?"
I smiled back. "You know I didn't give you the permission to read my mind," I said, bumping my shoulder against his to tease him a little.
He frowned. "Sorry....I thought I would have got it under control by now. It's just a little hard, you know? It's just feels as if sometimes you're shouting your thoughts at me."
"Don't blame yourself. I keep forgetting what you told me about thinking about a closed door and all...but honestly, I don't mind," I told him, pulling his hand to get him to walk faster down the hill.
"You sure?" he asked, his face still looking a little worried.
He winked at me, getting my jist. Suddenly, my arm felt as if it were going to be yanked out of its socket as he started running fast down the hill.
"Hey, stop it!" I pleaded. "I'm going to fall."
And, suddenly, we were falling - rather rolling, I should say. Faster and faster when I really wanted to get slower, but also didn't want it to stop. Laughing, we collapsed in a heap at the bottom.
"Now THAT was an efficient way to get down," I gasped. "Too bad we couldn't do that going up."
I got up and dusted myself off. David was already walking down the row of crosses, stopping at each one to reverently read the inscription. I looked around to make sure I hadn't dropped anything. I was about to laughingly join him when I saw that he had frozen in place in front of one of the crosses, fifteen down from the end of the first row. The expression on his face was horribly sad, as if he had just discovered that someone very dear to him had died.
"David - what's wrong?" I hurried to his side.
David made no answer, so I read the inscription for myself.
James Douglas, 350789 - 350821. I know you'll be laughing in Heaven.
"Who was he?" I asked David. "Do you know him? Oh, wait -- that's a stupid question. Of course you do."
"Jimmy..." David suddenly choked out. "Of course I knew him. I've known him since he was a baby."
He looked at me, his eyes full of tears. "Victoria - he was my son."