A brief scene of distorted focus.
| "It was a terribly cold, blustery--"
"No adverbs." Kate smiled up at him from where she sat at the desk with her head propped up in her hands. "Rule's a rule."
"Fine." He frowned at her, brow dropped and knitted in a near grimace of contempt, not for her, but not for himself either. She was a relaxed woman with a sense of humor and he was a formal man driven to competition by self-destructive urges that he didn't know the origin of. Like so many things, it was tucked into the spaces in between things he knew and recognized. He prepared to start again. "It was a cold, blustery night. The roads were slick with rain and the..." he paused and licked his lips.
“I could write a novel,” he said. She focused on his upturned nose as he spoke. It was straight until it reached the point that took an abrupt turn up. She thought it was a marvelous nose. “I could write a story, a cohesive story, with plot points and character development and arcs all over the place.” He used his hands as he spoke. The more he spoke the more emphatic they became. Her eyes couldn’t help but be drawn down to them, to flit between fingers and palms while he continued on. “Oh, and you better believe it’d be completely devoid of adverbs, no -ly worlds for this guy.” His hands jerked into two fists with thumbs protruding sharply in his direction. Her eyes began to creep out of their sockets in anticipation of the next syllable dropped both carelessly and pointedly out of his mouth. The pace of his words turned up a notch.
“What’s your point though?” she asked when he began to slow and finally stopped. A fine but very shiny layer of sweat had crept out of his forehead as he ranted and rambled and now sat without dissipating, growing heavy on his brow. He sighed and brushed his forehead with his hand.
“Gimme a friggin break, would you? I’m trying, here. Can’t you see that? I’m genuinely trying to do something, something real, and you’re cutting me down. What good’s that doing you? Tell me that, missis smarty-pants.”
It was her time to sigh, so she did, rolling her eyes. He went on.