Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday prompt: 2012 #7

In Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Mr. Lorry holds an imaginary conversation with Dr. Manette, who is newly released from prison. The imaginary conversation is tied around the question, "How long have you been buried?" It takes numerous twists and turns as Lorry considers all the variety of ways that Manette could reply, keeping in mind that the man may be suffering from madness after his long confinement and unable to maintain a coherent conversation.

"Buried how long?"
The answer was always the same: "Almost eighteen years."
"You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?"
"They tell me so."
"I hope you care to live?"
"I can't say."
"Shall I show her to you?  Will you come and see her?"
The answers to this question were various and contradictory.  Sometimes the broken reply was, "Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon." Sometimes, it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, "Take me to her."  Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, "I don't know her.  I don't understand."

So for this prompt, have one character ask a question that is open to metaphorical interpretation. The response to the question should be an imagined response, and like Lorry's conversation in A Tale of Two Cities repeated with slight variations so that the conflict is slowly developed.

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