Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (One Time)

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This bit follows directly from last week’s, when Talbot City cop Janet Kyle questioned—with a touch of longsuffering sarcasm—our hero Tom’s claims of self-defense in the pitching of a werewolf out of his detective agency’s fifth-story window, as Tom’s partner Turner was the one who actually competed in the wolftoss event.

Tom doesn’t quite give her a straight answer, but he does (I hope) get his point across.

Whatever Clock

“I had to call my sister,” I said, meeting her sharp green eyes.

She studied me. Kyle was all human, but she didn’t need enhanced senses to read people. “So, not an upset client,” she said. “Or the husband of one of Turner’s playmates.”

One time that happened,” he muttered.

“My brother ticked someone off,” I said.  “They decided to fire a warning shot at him through me.”


Turner,  I love him.

I have this whole mental backstory about Turner and Tom meeting in Basic:   Turner sees a photo of Jackie  and makes a comment about her attractiveness, not knowing that she was Tom’s sister (not that it would be any more appropriate if she wasn’t, of course, but it might have disturbed Tom a little less).  Despite this, they become friends.

And then they arrive in the Middle East and bad stuff happens (the specifics of which may show up on page someday, so never mind), and Turner  finds out in various ungentle ways that Weres exist and his pal Tom is, in fact, a wereduck.

Turner’s reaction to all this, once he’s allowed a brief pause in which to reflect?

“One question.”


“Is your sister single?”

Speaking of relevant questions and answers:  Did the use of  “mutter” in Turner’s dialogue tag bug you?  Why?  Why not?


42 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (One Time)

    • Thanks, Chip!

      I’m experimenting with different ways of explaining the situation before I’m finally forced to resort to, “I explained the situation to [other character].” 😀

  1. The word “mutter” worked pretty well here, I think, Sarah. I’d leave it. I might change the phrase to be “That happened one time.” But leave the muttering. 😀 Great snippet, Chip’s right. That last line is awesome.

    • The mutters have it! 🙂

      Thanks, Charley!

      Yeah, Turner doesn’t really have a one track mind, but all his trains eventually go through the same station. 😀

    • Thanks, Tina! 🙂

      Jackie, Tom’s sister, was actually in a snippet a few Sundays ago—I think I called it “Burning Bright”—, which gave a little of the phone call Tom mentions above. She’s also mentioned between snippets before that. So no continuity worries, for once! 😀

  2. I love your fun, witty dialogue.

    I don’t have an issue with “mutter” as a speaking verb. A lot of modern writers seem afraid or unwilling to use any speaking verbs beyond “ask” or “said.” Just because they were possibly overused in the past doesn’t mean they’re verboten today!

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