Not a Ghost

This came out of a four line prompt (the first four lines of dialogue you see below) and turned into a personal challenge to write an entire vignette in dialogue, no descriptions.

“I’m pretty sure it was a ghost.”

“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.”

“Oh really?”

“Ghosts don’t bleed.”

“But it was floating, and moaning.”

“I’d moan too if I was bleeding from a cut that big.”

“Should we go back?”


“To rescue it, duh!”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“We can’t just leave it!”

“We can. We don’t even know what it is.”

“Well then, let’s go find out.”

“Oh damn, it’s gone.”

“No it hasn’t, it’s over there in the corner.”

“So it’s not floating any more, told you it wasn’t a ghost.”

“I think it’s a person.”

“Worse, I think it’s a kid.”

“Hey kid, you okay.”

“I’m guessing they’re unconscious, so that would be a no.”

“What do we do?”

“Urgh, fine, I’ll deal with it. You hold the torch and pass me your water bottle.”

“How’s it looking?”

“Not as bad as I thought, the cut’s pretty shallow and the bleeding’s stopped.”

“Cool. I’m going to just pop your torch here so you can see, and take a quick look around, see if I can work out the floating bit.”

“ARGH, you do NOT need to do that! We have an unconscious kid on our hands, who’s probably also dehydrated, starving and traumatised from being in these caverns for too long, we need to focus on getting him out.”

“Yeah, you can focus on the stabilising thing and I’ll work out how he got into this position.”

“Or we could wait for him to wake up and he could tell us.”

“You just said he’s probably traumatised, he won’t remember things accurately and we’re supposed to be assessing this place for safety.”

“How about we just show them the kid and prove it’s straight up unsafe?”

“You don’t want to disappoint her ladyship do you?”

“I am totally fine with disappointing that brat.”

“But this would be such a cool place for a party.”

“No it would not, we’d end up with most of the guests in the infirmary.”

“Oh, I’ve solved the floating thing. There’s a tunnel higher up, looks like the kid was trying to climb down and was sort of hanging off a ledge when we came through.”

“I refuse to turn around and see how you know the specifics on that with nothing more than a torch.”

“Spoilsport. Okay I’m back. What’s the plan for getting our injured waif out and into proper care.”

“The kid’s light enough for me to carry if you can take some of the extras and look after finding a safe way back.”

“Just a thought. Why is the kid in here? Do we need to be a bit careful about who we tell?”

“Good question. Yeah, I reckon we haul him out and tuck him away with Nora for the interim. She’ll take care of him and won’t chat, while we do a bit of that stalky spy stuff you have so much fun with.”

“Woop! Always love a good bit of intrigue. Right, I’m loaded, let’s get our ghost into the sunlight.”

“Shh, shh, kid, it’s okay. We’re going to take you somewhere you can get better but we’re not going to say anything to anyone until you can give us your story.”

“Awake is he?”

“Has been for a while, just preferred not to let on.”

“Ahh. Uh oh, hold up.”


“I’m pretty sure there are people at the entrance.”



“Okay kid, listen up. I’m going to put you down here and I need you to stay put while we get rid of whoever’s hanging around outside.”

“Sounds like it’s Her Ladyship, or that gods-awful set of friends of hers at least.”

“Urgh, shouldn’t take too long to get rid of them then. What do you think? Bones or bats?”

“Bats, definitely. Flying around, getting caught in hair and guano everywhere.”

“You might want to messy up a bit to make it more believable.”

“Nah, I’m saying you went first. Trust me, between the actual bats and the kid’s blood, you’re enough to scare a jackal, let alone a gaggle of brainless harpies.”

“I think you’ve managed to amuse our new companion, that was almost a grin.”

“Nice to hear you share our opinions kid, now stay put while we chase them off.”


“Always. Ahhh, Your Ladyship, what a lovely surprise. So kind of you to come and check on our welfare. Alec? He’s right here. A bit worse for wear I’m afraid, the caverns aren’t the friendliest of places.”

“Bats Your Ladyship, flying everywhere, one nearly took my eye out and I’ve lost several chunks of hair.”

“Ah, best not come too close ladies, the bats left their, ummm, calling cards all over us.”

“Yes Your Ladyship, we’ll make sure to bathe properly as soon as we’ve secured the entrance.”


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