Let's Talk Blogfest - Dialogue Snip

Join us for the Let's Talk Blogfest, hosted by Roni at Fiction Groupie. Click on the link to see all the bloggers who've joined and to comment on their snips.

Here's one of the most important dialogues in Rose's story - the moment when her Uncle Santiago, a sailor with Columbus, tells her the truth. Rose has joined him on the Santa Anna on the day of his departure:

Uncle San stopped walking and leaned on the rail, peering closely at her. “You can’t come with me, I’m afraid. There’s barely room for most of the crew and Senor Colon is quite particular over his arrangements.”
She nodded but continued to dwell on the freedom of sailing away, to watch the shore sink slowly behind one and to find only the horizon ahead, day after day. She leaned beside her uncle on the rail, looking after a school of [tench] passing beneath the clear water, tails flickering. “No chores, no responsibilities...” she murmured.
“No chores!” Her uncle laughed, waving a hand at the men scurrying to and fro behind them. “Yet I know what you’re trying to say. Sailing does not seem a chore. The work is certainly backbreaking, but there’s many an evening of smooth sailing, under fair winds, with a warmth in the air rising from the sunwarmed wooden planks heaving beneath you... then the men gather to tell stories, sing songs...”
He had been staring across the water as he’d spoken, but now shook his head, as though sloughing off a dream, and turned to face her.
“We haven’t much time, and this is not what I meant to discuss at all.”
Something in his voice made Rosa pull her eyes away from the flickering fins and look up at him. Uncle San had turned around, so that his back rested against the rail, and his arms were crossed before him, as though he was cold. Cold, in August! She put a hand on his arm and felt his tremor at her touch. What was the matter? Could he possibly be afraid that he might not return from this voyage? That was absurd; as long as she'd known him - all her life - he'd always come back.
"Rosa," he started, staring at his sandals. "This voyage of Senor Colon's... It might take... a long time to return. He wishes to find an alternate route to the spice lands." She nodded. They'd talked about this on that winter night months ago, when Uncle San had first mentioned the voyage to her family.
"You always return, Uncle San. Even if months go by. You'll bring us back presents, won't you?" She asked, hoping to bring a smile to his face. He had never once returned empty handed.
It worked, for an instant. A flicker came into his eyes, then disappeared as his gaze met hers.
"Do you know why I always return, Rosa?"
"Why? But you're family! Of course you would return!"
"Family, yes." He growled, suddenly, in his throat, startling her so that she dropped her hand and stepped back. Uncle San angry?
"Family," he repeated. "Well, I am that. Rosa, I'm your father."
When Uncle San had announced at dinner that he would be sailing with Senor Colon to find an oversea route to India, she had noticed her mother and father clasp hands under the table. When her father had announced that the family would be leaving Spain forever, and travelling to Constantinople, her mother and father had once again held hands. Now, despite the fact that Uncle San's announcement made no sense, she reached out a hand for his.
He grabbed her fingers, wrapping them in both rope-roughened hands, and repeated himself. "Rosa, I am your father."
This time the words reached her heart, which closed its doors against them. "No, you're not!"

Comments

Piedmont Writer said…
Wow, I was so sucked in, the bomb at the end really surprised me. I want to read more!
Aubrie said…
This is great writing! I love the scenery around the conversation (flickering fins-very nice detail)
Tessa Conte said…
Smooth writing, easy read...love the 'no chores, no responsibilities' line... ahaha, right! And what a revelation at the end there! I really like the way you kind of glossed over his saying it the first time, illustrating the fact that she hadn't really heard...

Well done!
Iapetus999 said…
I find it hard to believe being cooped up in a ship for months with stinking men could sound like freedom as much as escape, but I understand where it comes from.
This is a big bombshell...the talk of holding hands distracts from the moment and dulls the impact.
Very interesting setup...does she stow away on the Santa Anna (I thought it was the Santa Maria?)
Great job steering the conversation in a way that drew me into the scene and set the tone of the period. That was quite the bombshell Uncle San dropped!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks guys, I'm glad you liked it! Off to check out yours :-)
I love that last line, where her heart closes the doors--very descriptive of this powerful moment.
Susan Fields said…
That was a shocker! Very well done, I wasn't expecting that at all. Sounds like this story's got some good secrets to uncover.
Tara said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara said…
Well, I wasn't surprised a bit *beg* But, I am so happy to have finally seen the scene! It's a great Deniz.

Okay, I said it earlier - but one more.
Go Habs.
And that's the last you'll hear me cheer them on - everyone deserves to win at least one game ;-p Sweeps make me sad.

Sorry for the delete - all this back and forth writing is messing with my brain, and spelling ability!
I do want to read more. Why did the father pose as her uncle? The details of the surroundings add depth to the conversation.

Your dialogue had a natural flow. Oh, and about your question of Samuel McCord's fate : there are worse fates than dying, and only the truer hearts know them, Roland
Tessa Conte said…
Hey I just spotted me myself I in your sidebar! Wow! THANK YOU!!!
Amalia T. said…
This is a great setting, historically! I can see why this is one of the most important exchanges for your MC. Interesting!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks everyone for reading, I'm so flattered :-)
I hope to post more snips in the next little while as *gasp* the wip nears completion.
Oh, and for the record, he's not really her uncle - he's her family's best friend and neighbour.
And of course he's not really any of those things, he's really her dad :-)

Go Habs Go! (I feel more confident saying this now after last night)
Great job, really pulled me in. :) I agree with lapetus, the only that threw me was that she didn't have some visceral reaction immediately after he dropped the news about being her father. But other than that, it flowed really well and made me want to read more. :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Roni! And thanks for hosting the fest!

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