Chatterbox: Passing The Time

Monday, February 23, 2015

via pinterest
It's that time again, friends, in which the darling Rachel Heffington poses to the world a topic and we,  obliging, throw our characters in a room and have them chat on it. (Otherwise known as Chatterbox.)

Today, I'm breaking the rules, because ironically, after I had just explained how Finding My Balance was on the shelf this scene came to me and fit itself in the topic.
Today, you have an anti-chatterbox. As in, it is banter without any verbal expression of which. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and to Rachel: thanks again as always for making me write more than I anticipated. You're golden.

Finding My Balance
"Push it in and twist the knife again / watch my face / as I pretend to feel no pain."

Side glance. That was new.
Damien was frowning, had pulled his lips back in a peculiar shape that had Scarlett biting her own, but her brow was unchanged. Craven, that's what it was. Unmoving.
They weren't speaking of it - they weren't speaking of anything, but the air was thick with the scent of it. Heavy, weighted, a ball-and-chain on the tongue that wriggled to speak. But there was a lot more could be said without talking, a gentler lot that could be said with the posture and facial expression. That was another language within itself, but it was a universal one, too. It was full of odd inflections and confused signals, a labyrinth of emotion on one flicked eyebrow, a well of tears in the haughty lifted chin. Subtleties were it's alphabet; emotion its accent; it was the hardest language known to man, but so intrinsically tied to his heart all the same.

Both used it with the light, even hand of experience.

His jaw was clenching now; she watched with bated breath. Would he speak? Not likely.
Her gaze was unmoved yet, unmoved and unmoving - but his eyes were on her and she felt him, felt the pride blossom in her breast. Of course he was watching her.

One sly glance, just one, to check if he was still looking - oh! not eye contact. Anything but. The two pairs of eyes brushed over each other, but both still pleaded innocence and passed, looking again at the patient floor. Still, she felt them on her again, and this time they weren't moving, weren't leaving.

Scarlett looked up from the floor into the wells of Damien's eyes and found she could not run, nor could she stay. She tried to pry from her stare any meaning, any intent, but felt only vulnerable, a slight flush catching her cheeks and making them glow. Grip, grip, grip! She was trying to hold to her composure but it was slowly sliding off. Did he see her, then? Could he see the crumbling confusion of her emotion, the weird twist of imagination, hope, and hatred that was her mind's silhouette of him? If, in Damien, she could have seen something, it was lost in her own guessing of what he saw in her. She did not look into his eyes, whether for fear or otherwise; she did not know what he saw, then in herself - for what Scarlett had forgotten was reflection. And his eyes, in searching hers, had become like hers - that in looking in his eyes, she may have seen some very honest image of him, as affected by her.


  1. Wow.
    That was cool.
    Love what you did with the unspoken here, Carmel.

    1. I really wanted to Chatterbox this piece, but there was very little dialogue in the original draft. As I was working it, I decided to take it out altogether to create something more atmospheric than tangible - a risk, perhaps, but still necessary. So I'm glad you liked it. ^.^


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