Let's Talk Dialogue blogfest.
THANK YOU RONI for hosting such a useful blogfest!
There are a TON of bloggers on this blogfest, so to anyone who actually reads my junkie entry, THANK YOU! I'll try to read your crappy excerpt, too, and then neither one of us will feel so bad, eh.
I am mixing foreign languages. What I know about the language I'm writing -- Quechua of Bolivia -- they say almost every sentence ends with a modifier, such as I know for a fact or I suppose. I figure it's similar to the way Canadians might use Don't you know or Southerners would use If I recall.
In any case, it's challenging! Any help is much appreciated.
This is an early draft, and it's even a bit confusing to me the writer. Either that, or the beer's doing its job, eh.
Context: Bolivian street market. Two Americans discussing with a Bolivian husband & wife at their booth. POV is the Bolivian wife.
The Gladiator's Son by Eric Trant
By mid-afternoon the tourists had combed through most of her chocolates and taken up two of her husband's Fedora hats, including the one he had removed from his head. They seeped out from the hotel across the street, their faces so pale and their eyes so blue that the woman squinted in the glare of their reflections.
"You take Euro?" they asked.
She nodded. "Si. I take Euro."
The woman knew enough German to haggle, she knew her numbers, and her husband could speak a bit of English for the British and Americans who stopped by, laughing, drunk by lunchtime. Evita's husband helped with the French, though there were fewer and fewer of them as the years passed.
A tall woman with a short man stopped and smiled at the woman and her husband. "Allin sukha," the woman said in Quechua. Good afternoon.
The woman smiled back at them, as did her husband. "Allin sukha."
The tall woman with her short man edged up to the booth and the tall woman ran her fingers across the llama vests laid beside the remaining chocolates.
Both hatted with Fedoras, she in a traditional blue-green summer dress and a llama vest and many necklaces about her thin breasts, the man in jeans and a sweatshirt that looked like a university shirt, though the woman could not read it. She knew the shape of Texas, though, behind the letters, with a powerful bull standing atop the state.
"They look Runa," the woman said to her husband.
Her husband smiled and nodded and pulled one of the Fedoras off his staff and placed it on her head, and then another on his own.
Her husband waved to Evita to come out from behind the booth, and dragging his wife around the table he wrapped his arm around her waist and stood next to the white couple and motioned with his hands for Evita to take a picture of them.
The tall woman understood and together they stood in the street while Evita studied the camera and then took two careful pictures before handing it back to the tall woman.
"You have nice, mmm, chocolates?" the tall woman asked. She tried it in Quechua, using the Spanish word for chocolate.
"Si. You like to try?" The four of them standing in front of the booth, the woman broke off a piece of her chocolate and handed it to the tall woman.
"You are Runa, chufircha?" She licked her finger to clean the chocolate.
"Si. We are from the mountains. My husband and I have lived here many lifetimes. Always we return to the dirt and regrow from between the rocks, chufirmi. You are American, chufircha?"
"Si. Students. I study ethnology. That means I study native peoples. I went to Guatemala last year. We just got back from Chile."
"Si, si. You like the chocolate, chufircha?"
Her husband spoke to the short white man, his eyes slitted and gleaming. "She is a healer, my wife, chufirmi."
The woman nodded when the tall woman squinted her green eyes at her. "Si," she said to the Americans. "My sisters do not have the gift. Their wombs lie within their bellies, while mine lies within Pachamamma." The woman knelt and patted the dirt beneath her feet. "My womb lies here, chufirmi."
"Would you show us?"
"Si, si." The woman stood and slapped her hands against her dress, the same neon blue as the American woman's dress, but with deep red patches about the neck and shoulders. "I will bless you with a safe trip."
"You buy chocolates. You like, chufircha?"
"Then you buy chocolates."