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I wrote this piece to experiment with writing a story that was mainly dialogue. I hope it captures the relationship between siblings and their induvidual takes on life.

The Shoot Out

Gun sign in window

“Bang, Bang!”

“Pew, Pew!”

“Bang, Bang, Bang!”

“Pew, Pew, Pew!”


Crash, bang.

Steps stomp down the hallway.

“What’s going on in here?”

“I got shot.”

“Well it is a shooting game stupid.”

“Shut up.”

“You shut up.”

“Both of you be quiet.”

Both children look at each other and stick their tongues out.

“Now if you insist on playing a shooting game, although I have no idea why with all the pain and violence guns cause in the world.”

Cliodhna felt a groan about to escape and clamped it behind her teeth.

“If you have to shoot at each other – then please… do it quietly.”

After a glare their mother left the room. They listen for her footsteps to fade.

“That hurt.”

“It was meant to. War isn’t pretty you know.”

“You said you wouldn’t use something that would hurt.”

“It doesn’t hurt. You’re just a weakling.”

“Am not.”

“Are too. It was only a pea.”

“A frozen one.”

“Oh stop being such a girl.”

“You stop being such a girl.”

“I am a girl.”

Yeah, well…”

Jack rubbed the round bump forming on his forehead.

“Well what?”

“You don’t have to win everything ya know.”

“Of course I do. What’s the point in playing otherwise?”

“To have fun.”

“Yeah right. You sound like mum with all that peace and resolution stuff.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“There is when it stops you doing everything. Don’t criticise, be nice, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Ugh…”

“Yeah well, you’re just like dad. Loving all the blood and guts stuff.”

“That his job. He saves people’s lives.”

“It doesn’t mean he has to talk about it all the time.”

“He doesn’t talk about it all the time.”

“Yeah he does, even at dinner. I think he just likes cutting people up.”

“To put them back together.”

“Not always… they don’t always get fixed.”

Both of them look around the room. Beneath white paint a border of rabbits are still visible where the top of the wall meets the ceiling.

“Do you think she can still see us?”

“Don’t be stupid.”

“My teacher said they can.”

“Who’s they?”

“Spirits. People’s spirits.”

“That’s just rubbish. There are no such things as spirits.”

“How do you know?”

“I just do. Do you think there are hobbits and dwarves aswell then?”

“No. They’re made up, spirits aren’t.”

Cliodhna snorts loudly.

In a voice slightly louder than a whisper Jack speaks.

“Well I think she’s still around.”

Cliodhna opens her mouth and then closes it again.

Outside the window bells chime. Their rings fill the room.

“Dinnertime soon.”

“So you can count then.”

“Shut up.”

“No you shut up.”

“Ass face.”

“Pig nose.”

Fart face.”

“You can’t use face again. Haha, you lose.”

“I can do what I want.”

“You lose, you lose.”

Jack jumps around the room in a victory dance. Cliodhna follows him with her eyes.

“We weren’t playing the game so I lose nothing.”

“Skunk breath.”

They both pause and then burst out laughing.

“Good one.”

“I just thought of that now.”

Picking up the gun Cliodhna points it at her brother.

“Another round?”

“Okay, but no peas this time.”

“No frozen peas.”

“No peas at all.”


With guns in hand they both duck behind chairs.

“Bang, Bang!”

“Pew, Pew!