Bad Conversation

Conversational maxims – quality, quantity, relevance and clarity – violate at least one in each exchange. Not sure I managed to stick to this exercise from the 100 Day Challenge but I had fun…

A merry-looking older man, blue eyes twinkling under grimy brows, plonked himself on the bench facing Alec and Nathan. Alec leaned back into the shadows, Nathan leaned forward.

“You’re the guide?”

“Eh? No. They’m be along soon enough.” He gave them a gap-toothed grin, then continued. “So where’s you heading that needs a guide?”

Nathan winked. “If we knew where we were going, we wouldn’t need someone to show us the way.”

“The’m maid behind t’bar likes the look o’ you lad, you should do sommat about that.”

Nathan nodded seriously. “I will be sure to do so. But I’m curious, what brings you to our table.”

“Eh? To join the quest o’ course. Ye wouldn’t be getting a guide if you weren’t on a quest and you’re going to be needing me in your coming days, that’s for sure. I can ride a horse and build a fire and have slept rough a plenty. I ain’t so good with a sword or a bow these, days, the eyesight you see, but I used to be fair skilled.”

Alec frowned, but Nathan spoke before he could join the conversation. “While it’s kind of you to offer your aid, I am cynical enough to believe it’s not purely out of the goodness of your heart. What’s in it for you?”

The old man tapped a finger to the side of his nose and winked. “Well now, that would be telling, wouldn’t it, and I’m none so sure I can trust you with such information just yet. We’ll need to build our comradeship over the bumpy road and I’ll no doubt be telling you the story over the campfire one night.”

He shifted in his seat and farted loudly, the stench wafting to all the tables surrounding them, to the loud displeasure of the other diners.

Nathan cupped his hand over his nose and mouth. “I don’t know, we’re likely to be doing a bit of sneaking as part of our quest, and you letting one of those rip at the wrong moment could see us all undone.”

The old man sniffed, coughed, and put his nose in the air. “I have no idea o’ what you’re speaking.”

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