31 DaysDay 9: INDIRECT DISCOURSE {the prompt follows at the end of this post}


The Party

A lot of people seemed surprised by what happened to Oscar, almost everyone, in fact. Everyone that is except Harry. Maybe Harry wasn’t surprised because Oscar and Harry’d been roommates up until this year so maybe Harry knew Oscar better than everyone else. But still, it’s hard to say. A handful of folks wondered how much of a part Harry had played in the way things played, though he insisted he had nothing to do with it.

It all started back just before Christmas break because of course there was talk of having a party of sorts and whether to risk inviting the girls or not. It’s against the rules to have girls on the floor let alone in anyone’s room. And that was another discussion. Whose room were we going to use for the party. Clearly, whoever volunteered his room ran the greatest risk and would probably face a long list of consequences.

Harry immediately suggested that Oscar should do it because he has the biggest room on the floor seeing as how he doesn’t have a roommate any longer. Oscar shot him a look and reminded Harry that it was his fault they weren’t roommates this year. Neither one of them really wanted to get into the details and who could blame them. Everyone had their suspicions and some of the rumors had gotten pretty raunchy. They were wise not to dredge it all up again.

Oscar said he thought Harry’s room had the best view of the city and the lights and so Harry should have the party in his room. A few other names were suggested but the two favorite spots seemed to be either Oscar’s room or Harry’s room. You would have thought the two were running for office the way they worked the floor to win support for their idea of the other’s room. Of course, with all the history between Oscar and Harry and everything that wasn’t explained about their parting company last year, no one really wanted to take sides.

Honestly, it’s still not clear if anyone else really wanted to have a party or not. Some guys thought maybe it was just Harry’s idea, his way of trying to screw Oscar over. Again.

Anyway, Harry kept pushing for the party, saying how cool it would be and saying how they all deserved it. Several times I heard guys telling Oscar not to do it, not to give in. Leo told him he was just asking for it if he gave in and had the party in his room. And Adam told Oscar nobody else really cared about having a party, at least not the kind Harry was trying to put together. Other guys pretty much said the same kinds of things and every time Oscar just shrugged and said he didn’t care one way or the other.

But that wasn’t true. Because one night in the middle of the night a pretty big scuffle broke out down the hall. Nobody knows exactly how it started, but when the night watches finally untangled the mess, there were Oscar and Harry at the bottom of the pile. One guy said that Harry had snuck into Oscar’s room and started badgering him about the party and another guy said that Harry was threatening Oscar.

Whatever it was, the argument quickly turned into fisticuffs and then all out blows before some of the other guys on the floor got involved. Any idea of a party was dropped soon after because none of the guys wanted to cause any more trouble, not before the Christmas holiday.

But Harry decided to try one more tack. The next night he waited until Oscar was out of his room and he went in and set up the party. No one even knew the party was happening, but Oscar said later that night that the party was never really the point and he knew it. Harry put up lights and some paper snowflakes and found some Christmas music on the radio. He even managed to somehow smuggle in some drinks and a couple of girls.

When Oscar got back and opened his door, music was blaring and the girls were dancing and drinking. Oscar yelled at them to get out and told them they didn’t have permission to be there. He began ranting at Harry, telling him what a prick he was and that this was the last straw. But before he could take two steps toward Harry, the night watches were there, grabbing Oscar and dragging him toward the treatment room.

As he was fighting to free himself, he caught Harry’s eye. Oscar wailed at him, demanding to know why Harry was doing this to him. Hadn’t he done everything Harry told him to, he yelled at Harry. And as for Harry, he just stood there with a strange smile as he told Oscar he was sorry to see him go and not to be afraid. He took a small step in Oscar’s direction and Oscar quieted. It’s okay, he whispered to Oscar. Really, it won’t hurt, Harry told him.


{Just a reminder, we try to keep these writing exercises to 30 minutes maximum, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. And I will say that in order to keep my writing within the 15 to 30 minute time, I have created a playlist on Spotify that allows me to put together songs that come close to 30 minutes. When the final note plays on the last song…I stop writing.}

Writing Prompt: INDIRECT DISCOURSE – write a conversation between two people who think they don’t know each other (but actually have many friends in common and have met on a number of other occasions). Write this conversation only in indirect discourse, without any quotation marks or indented paragraphs for each new sentence of speech. John told Mary that her breath was beautiful even after she ate onion sandwiches, something like that. {Exercise 65 from The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley. Note, this is an affiliate link}


2 thoughts on “The Party

    1. That’s right. This is not a writing style I use often and I decided to also try an unreliable narrator in the process; so I wanted it to seem like one thing and turn out to be another…Honestly, probably my least favorite piece so far.

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