My next blog will be on my research trip to Stonehenge, but while I write that, I thought you might be interested in this short scene that was written for a writing class, we had to write about an argument. Conflict is something that drives plot, as it pushes people into action, I had a whole story in my head about this piece.
The Argument by S.F. Burgess
Simon gave a satisfied sigh, leaning back in the chair. Patting his now slightly distended stomach he belched softly. From across the immaculately appointed dining table, Amy gave him a disapproving look.
Simon smiled. “In France it’s a compliment to the chef.”
Amy rolled her eyes. “I’ve never been more delighted that I don’t live in France.”
Simon gave her his best cheeky grin and her stern demeanour cracked, a stunning, indulgent smile spreading across her face.
Seeing his advantage, Simon pushed on. “The food really was amazing darling, thank you, that beef was cooked to perfection.”
Amy flushed a little at the praise and reached across the table to take his hand. “You’re welcome, happy anniversary my love.”
Simon raised her hand and kissed the palm, watching as her beautiful blue eyes glazed a little in lust. He leant forward, nipping, licking and kissing gently up the inside of her wrist. She shuddered, her other hand running fingers through his hair.
Simon reached the crook of her arm and stopped raising his eyes to her half-closed languid blue gaze and smiled.
“What’s for desert?”
There was just enough suggestion to the comment to bring a sultry smile to Amy’s face.
“Chocolate mousse… Do you want it now?”
Simon chuckled. Amy shook herself and stood, stacking the plates to take into the kitchen. Simon caught her hands, enforcing stillness.
“Chocolate mousse sounds good, but I’ve got a surprise for you. It’s been so hard to wait to tell you, I’m so excited, but I wanted to get everything ready first.”
With a puzzled look, Amy sat again.
Simon took a deep breath for dramatic effect. “The company have given me a promotion.”
Amy jumped up and flung her arms around his neck.
“Simon that’s brilliant!” She squealed in his ear. Simon hugged her slim frame.
“That’s not the best part… the new job’s in New York!”
Amy froze. Pulling away from him, her arms crossing her stomach, holding herself, she stared at him. Simon registered the shock.
“I know it’s a big surprise, but you don’t have to worry, the company are sorting out accommodation and the move, all we have to do is pack a case and get on the plane.”
Amy’s shocked look morphed into something Simon had not expected. Fear flooded her eyes.
“Simon, I don’t want to live in New York.”
Stunned, Simon felt the situation shifting, in all the months of planning, he had never imagined for one moment that Amy wouldn’t want to come.
“But you loved New York when we visited last Christmas.”
Amy took another step away from him. “Yes, New York was great for a two week shopping trip, that doesn’t mean I want to live there.”
Simon felt anger surface, this was a huge opportunity for him, something he’d worked really hard for, Amy should be delighted.
“I have to go Amy, I’ve signed the contract, you’re my wife, you have to come with me.”
Amy’s eye’s grew wide, but her voice remained soft, fearful. “I’m your wife Simon, you’re partner in life, not a slave, you can’t just make a decision like this. I don’t want to go. What about my life, my plans? You should have discussed this with me.”
Simon stood up so quickly he knocked over the delicate dining chair; Amy cringed at the noise as it hit the polished dark wood floor.
“What life, what plans?” He snapped. “You don’t have a job, you live well off my generosity. Everything you have, I’ve provided for you, this decision was entirely mine to make and if you wish to remain my wife you’ll do as I say.”
With a sharp inhale of breath Amy grasping her hands over her heart, tears standing out in her eyes. She struggled to get herself under control, to speak around the obvious lump in her throat.
“My art lessons are…” she whispered.
“I’m pretty sure they give art classes in New York, Amy,” Simon interrupted, imperiously. Regretting his tone as Amy seemed to fold further into herself.
“My family…. My mother…” Little more than a breath, the soft utterance had started the tears falling.
Simon sighed; he hated to see her cry. “Your family can visit whenever they like, I’ll pay for the tickets, they can stay as long as they like.”
This was a big concession; his mother-in-law was difficult at the best of times. Amy, shook her head, tears flying,
“I’m not going. You are going to have to decide once and for all, us or your job.” Simon could hear the steel in the soft voiced ultimatum. When he didn’t respond immediately, the tears started in earnest and turning on her heel Amy fled the room.
Simon righted the chair and sat heavily. It was then he noticed the small gift near his wine glass. Wondering morosely if it would be the last anniversary present Amy ever gave him, Simon opened the box. Inside was a strange plastic tube, a small screen embedded in it. The small screen had the word ‘Positive’ standing proud on it, the image of a little digital baby next to it.
It took a full minute for the significance of what he held in his hand to register. Then it took less than a second for the entire world to turn on its head.
“Oh Amy…” he murmured, his anger evaporating.