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A Garden Wall - Creative writing: dialogue exercise

'The client'

by Stew Adams

‘I want a garden wall right here,’ the client said. He'd recently purchased this old property that we were inspecting and wanted to do it up.

‘Where exactly?’ I asked, looking at an expanse of grass in the distance. Closer to us was a water feature on an old stone wall, with water trickling down from some gothic gargoyle ornament into a pond.

‘Here!’ he said, pointing, though whether he was in front of the water feature, on it or behind it was still hard to determine. He was wearing an ill-fitting, mismatched maroon and lilac suit over a t-shirt covering a slightly rotund belly.

I sighed inwardly, while keeping a straight face, then walked over to where he was pointing.

‘You mean here?’ I asked, standing in front of the feature.

‘No, on it! I want the garden wall around the water feature, surrounding it and accompanying it.’

I tried to imagine his vision. ‘Flowers, grass, hedges. What colours were you after?’

The man was new money. He’d invented some new tech that I hadn’t fully looked into but within a few years he'd gone from designing something in his basement to an eight figure net-worth.

‘I want yellow, red and white surrounding the gargoyle.’

I managed not to shudder; it would look ghastly. Instead, I said out loud, ‘Daring choice. I think it has a lot of potential.’

‘Me too,’ the man said. ‘This is just the beginning though. I want garden walls everywhere, I want this place to be a maze.’

‘A maze?’ I asked, trying to clarify. ‘Like a hedge maze in your back yard?’

‘Exactly,’ he said, waving his arms extravagantly. ‘Can you make it so the pathways can be changed with minimal fuss? I want to keep my guests guessing.’

‘I can certainly look into it, but it shouldn’t be a problem,’ I reassured him. You never say 'No' to a client. You find 'work arounds' and this man’s extravagance could turn out to be a goose laying golden eggs.

‘I would like a hall in the centre, small enough not to be visible behind the garden wall but I want it to have a pool room, bar, good internet connection, bathrooms and a kitchen.’

A golden goose indeed, I thought, as we continued through the large estate and I found that this was just the beginning ...

Copyright: story by Stewart Adams; photos cv williams.

This emerging writers blog is made possible with City of Sydney assistance.



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