Nanoprep 2019 Day 10: Stories
By Robin de Voh on 2019-10-17
"Lesley," she said with certainty. That was her name and she knew it.
"Yuri," he responded likewise, with the same conviction that it was, indeed, his name. "We've met before," he added.
"We have?" she said, not fully comprehending.
"Well, sort of? I've seen you around, and I feel like we've introduced ourselves to one another at some point," he said with an eyebrow raised, also unsure about it now.
"Maybe? I don't really remember you," she said almost hesitantly.
He grabbed for his heart and leaned backwards in his chair dramatically.
"Ouch, that hurts," he said.
"No, no, not in a bad way, just that I don't remember any specific instance," she said apologetically.
"It's fine, I mostly remember your face, to be honest," he said with an adjective in there somewhere.
"...Thanks?" she said, now leaning back herself, a little surprised.
"Take it as a compliment, you're someone to remember, I guess," he said as casually as possible.
Author's note in the middle of a story, which is a new thing now: Wow, I really do overdo the adjectives in dialogues sometimes. So let's keep 'em up!
"I guess, thanks? But, Yuri? Where did you see me, then?"
"Well, you were working that festival for this bar a while ago, and I dunno why, but I do remember you somehow," he said, putting his beer down.
"I did work that festival, but I don't remember seeing you."
"Well, fair, I was one of many, you were one of 6 people working. The perception's different from either side. I've worked at bars as well, I know how it goes. People generally remember the bartender better than the bartender remembers the patrons."
"True, I guess," she agreed.
He shifted in his seat, It was a relatively warm autumn day and they were outside. She'd just returned from going inside to put on a coat, probably realizing it was chillier than she'd expected.
"So, what's with the travel baggage?" he asked, pointing at a piece of luggage next to her.
"I just went to a convention, promoting my company," she said.
"Oh? Any fun?"
"Fun enough, mostly just there because it's the biggest con out there."
"What business you in, anyway?"
"Books are for nerds," Yuri said casually, with a playful grin.
Another patron who was outside chimed in. "You're for nerds!" she said, emphatically choosing Lesley's side.
"Well, she's got your back, at least," Yuri said with a grin.
"Well, it was a bit unkind of you," Lesley responded, raising an eyebrow, inviting a response. A better one.
"Okay, fine, books are great. But the business of 'books' is a dying breed, isn't it?"
"Maybe traditional publishing is, but stories themselves aren't. There's more than enough places to get good stories, literature or actually good stuff."
"You're not into literature?"
"Not my thing. I'm more into fantasy, actually."
"Fantasy's for nerds too."
And, as expected to Yuri, from afar it came: "You're for nerds too!"
He smiled and just looked at the other patron and nodded to acknowledge her and the words she shared.
"So you're not into fantasy, then?" Lesley asked, obviously already knowing the answer.
"No, I'm more of a science fiction guy," Yuri said.
"Eh, same coin, different side, really."
Yuri considered the statement and decided that even if he wanted to argue, he actually agreed.
"Sure," he said. "But regardless of what I said before, I do like books. I own books. Actual books. I like having physical versions of it I can touch and smell. For some reason, ebooks just don't have the same appeal to me as actual books do."
"Oh, I get that. It's different to hold it, flip the pages. But the market's changing and sales of physical books keep going down."
"I know. It's a shame, though. Even if I understand that ebooks offer a more convenient solution to people. I guess whatever keeps them reading is good enough for me."
Lesley looked up to the bartender, who'd come out to bring her her drink, and nodded as thanks.
"True. Stories are stories. Whether they're digital or not, it's my business to make sure the stories get out there."
"I guess that's the important thing, right? That the stories get told one way or another."
"To me, that's all that matters. The medium is just a medium, that's all. Whether it's on paper or on a screen somewhere, the end goal remains the same."
"As long as the stories get told," he said adjectively.
They cheered to that.