‘Are you sure you want to start like this?’
‘Why, what is wrong with it?’
‘Well, nothing… I suppose.’ She scratched the lobe of her left ear in that way.
‘Come on, tell me.’
Louise sniffed. ‘Well, wouldn’t it be better if you started with a bit of drama, a bit of conflict?’
‘Conflict…? That’s a good one. You are here aren’t you?’ I thought about adding something about the scene, but decided I couldn’t be bothered. Anyway, these days who reads description?
‘What is that supposed to mean?’
‘It is funny how you always seem to turn up when one of these stories needs some conflict.’
‘Stories? Is that what you’re calling them now?’
‘Well, what would you call them?’
‘I’m too polite to say.’
‘You… too polite…? Ha!’
‘Well, you created me.’
‘So… I see, everything is my fault is it?’
Louise said nothing.
Too late, I realised I’d started filling in a bit of the background. She bent down and examined the leaf of a plant growing nearby.
Quickly, I described a small room… a bedroom in a cottage… holiday cottage. It was up under the sloping roof with old worn beams painted black. There was a small window, open in the breeze, which fluttered the curtains. The sound of the waves was soft in the distance.
‘Hey, I was looking at that plant.’
‘Yeah, well, you know I don’t know anything about nature… plants and stuff.’
‘Well, I did think it was a bit unusual… for a plant.’ She looked around, hands on hips. ‘I see we are in a bedroom again.’
‘At least this time I’m dressed.’
I shook my head.
Louse looked down at herself. ‘Bastard.’ She glared at me. Then she looked down and prodded herself. ‘Anyway, where did these come from? I thought you didn’t like big ones?’
‘I… er… felt like a change.’
‘I can’t see my feet!’
‘Hang on… they are a bit… aren’t they?’
I described her a bit better. She was about 5’ 6”, long red hair, slim and her….’
‘Can’t a fictional character have a bit of privacy? I don’t want any of those Internet weirdos you hang around with getting all excited about me.’
‘What… so?’ I nodded towards the bed.
‘What, after last time?’
‘That was meant to be comedy,’ I said.
‘I’ve seen bigger jokes.’ She stared at me.
‘Anyway,’ I said. ‘It is too late now.’
‘I’ve reached my word count for this piece.’
‘What already? I know I’ve complained about you always finishing too soon… but, well, you know that is my character for you.’
‘No, sorry,’ I said. ‘I’m finishing now.’
‘Hang on,’ Louise said. ‘I haven’t even asked you about that earlobe thing yet.’
But it was too late, the story was over.