[Quick note before starting today’s post. I’ve decided to incorporate The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge into my regular blogging work. Whatever I’m writing, and whatever the challenge of the week — I’ll find some way to connect the two. Fortunately for me, I’m starting with a challenge, Writing Dialogue, that dovetails conveniently with my current project.]
[Oh, and as always, here’s a synopsis of the story I’m currently developing.]
“I know.” Jane Summers shifted again in the stiff armchair, her shoulders relaxing. “That’s what Gary does. He can’t figure something out, he calls in the experts.” Her eyes scanned Dr. Singh’s office, moving quickly past the thick volumes on the tall bookshelves, past the framed Renoir print from the Art Institute, her gaze pausing only when she located his diploma.
“I’m honored to hear Gary thinks of me as an expert.” Patel’s chair creaked as he leaned forward, his jacketed arms resting on the desk in front of him. “He speaks highly of you as well.”
Quickly, Jane snapped her head around, tension returning to her shoulders as she glared directly at Dr. Singh. “I don’t have to lay down, do I?”
Patel smiled, tilting his bearded head back while closing his eyes leisurely. “Only in the movies, Miss Summers.” His eyes smiled open. “I don’t even have a couch.”
Jane twitched her head, her memory of the room stopping her. “OK. Good.” She blinked, cleared her throat. “Jane. Call me Jane.”
“Thank you. And please, call me Patel. Or Pat. Or Dr. Singh, whatever’s most comfortable for you.” He leaned back in his chair, which squeaked under his weight, as his hands formed a tent under his chin. “So tell me, Jane — how can I help you?”
Jane looked down at her hands folded in her lap. She sighed noisily. “Honestly, I don’t know if you can help me.” She looked up, her eyes meeting Patel’s across the desk. “How much did Gary tell you about — ” She let her voice trail off.
Patel shook his head, his hands lowering to the chair. “Nothing. Not even when I asked. All he said was that your — condition, he called it — was unique.”
Jane laughed, turned her head. “You could say that.”
“Are you in danger?”
Jane turned back to Patel, her eyes wide with surprise. Patel stared back placidly. “You’ve been nervous, even a little scared, since you’ve walked in this office.” He pointed a thumb in the direction of the diploma she had been studying. “I don’t need a degree to tell me that. You’re holding back something, just like Gary was holding back. Something is wrong, Jane. And I think you need to tell me what it is, that’s bothering you.”