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Random Acts of Dialogue

Penny Lane

Random acts of dialogue.

Dialogue in any book is great storytelling. Right after the hook to reel the reader in, dialogue is the mover and shaker of any novel.

Dickens might have argued that narration and flowery descriptions were the backbone. However, I beg to differ with him.

I thought of this scene where two former lovers meet again after 30 years.

Setting: a seedy bar in the downtown area of Toronto.

Characters: Stephen Tiller and Penny Lane.

Steve walked in the pennies hideaway to hear the opening strains of sultans of swing what surprised him the most was that Penny herself was belting out the tune and she was nailing it. He grabbed the table close to the stage so she would notice him.

There were too many patrons in the joint, so he just sat back and enjoyed the show.

After the fact was done. The meagre members of the audience applauded and Penny spotted him. Coming over, she stood in front of the table.

Penny: what brings you here?

Steve: the cold wind! How are you, babe?

Penny: who told you I was here? By the way, you lost the right to call me baby years ago.

Steve: a little bird. Why so secretive?

Penny: I'll tell you after you tell me who it was who sent you here. It was Carmen wasn't it?

Steve nodded.

Penny: some birds need to be shot!

Steve: don't blame Carmen I beat out of him.

Penny: still, I made him swear on his sweet Nona's grave that my location was to remain a national secret.

Steve: who are you running from Penny?

Penny: the crazy ex-wife of my last boyfriend.

Steve: last boyfriend? What happened to Chris?

Penny: he blew his liver out. I always said Jack Daniels would kill him one day, but like a typical man. He wasn't listening.

Steve snorted and then said, "I can't remember if you were ever singing like that. What happened to that sweet voice?"

Penny: Two rounds of thyroid surgery to get the cancer out. I can no longer warble like Stevie Nicks. These days I can channel Mark Knopfler on a good day.

Steve: and on a bad day?

Penny: Keith Richards!

Steve laughed again. "I see you haven't lost your sense of humor.

Penny: Oh, I save the comedy for the nights I can't sing at all. You should hear my Joe Cocker impersonations they bring the house down.

With that, she croaked the first few bars of you are so beautiful. Steve got the picture.

Steve: So tell me about the crazy bitch.

Penny: Oh, you'll love this one. She claimed she was still married to Chris and think she was incredible to the inheritance I got when he died. She wants her money or wants to kill me. Good luck to her. I gave it to a registered charity. After I bought the bar.

Steve: You didn't have any kids to leave it to?

Penny: Oh, we had kids, but none of the little whelps deserved it. As soon as they were old enough to leave home. They never called us once except for – for money and then they went wasted it. I was not about to hand out good money after bad. Four boys and a girl and not one of them lifted a finger to help me when their father was dying so to hell with them!

Steve: wow. Sounds like a bunch of ingrates. You're probably well rid of the men, but I bet your life is lonely.

Penny: lonely my ass. I'm 55 years old. I'm the happiest I've been in years. I'm going to live my life as I see fit.

Steve: well Penny I wish you all the luck in the world you deserve happiness.

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