Flash Fiction: Haggling

This piece of flash fiction was written for Writer’s Digest’s 2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge Day 28. I spent an hour and some change; this is the third draft. The prompt: “Write a story using only dialogue.”

Image from Wikimedia Commons authored by Søren Niedziella


“That price be highway robbery!”

“That price is what the sword is worth. Take it or leave it.”

“It’s an enchanted sword capable of cleaving through the toughest of armor out there, and your offerin’ me a measly two-hundred gold for it. Do you take me for a fool, mum?”

“Do you take my emporium for a charity, master dwarf? I need to turn a profit on everything I purchase—”

“And how much do you intend to sell this sword for once I leave—a sword, I remind you, I pulled from the corpse of a wight, a bloody wight!”

“Given how stingy everyone is in this city of self-important copper-counters, I’ll be lucky to acquire three-hundred gold for it.”

“Aha! You are low ballin’ me. Two-hundred and seventy-five gold.”

“Like your adventuring self, master dwarf, I have expenses to pay. And payment will be impossible if I don’t make any money off my investments. Two-hundred and twenty gold pieces.”

“Two-hundred and tw—gah! I risked me life for that weapon, I braved hordes of undead—”

“Seven is hardly a horde.”

“—how did you know it was five?”

“Your companion visited earlier this morning and provided a more accurate retelling of your adventure than your drunken ramblings to the tavern last night were. She said you also fell ass first into a pit.”

“‘Twas a grave, thank you very much, with a bloody zombie at the bottom. Damn near chewed my arm off and gouged out—”

“And it didn’t because of the armor you purchased here a fortnight ago, yes?”

“. . . yes, that’s technically true. Alright, alright, alright. Two-hundred and fifty gold. I won’t take anythin’ less, you hagglin’ hag of an elf.”

“Two-hundred and thirty-five. That hag comment cost you.”

“That’s-that’s . . . fair. Two-hundred and thirty-five, and an apology. I’m sorry about the hag comment. ‘Twas cruel and untrue. You’ve been nothing but good to me all these three years.”

“Apology accepted. Here are your funds, two-hundred and forty gold pieces.”

“. . . you’re too good to me.”

“I’m well aware.”

“Yes, well, I appreciate it. I really do . . .”

“Is there something else you require?”

“Actually, uh, maybe. I don’t suppose you’d like to, well, what I mean is, would you fancy gettin’ a drink later?”

“You’re rather thick, aren’t you?”

“. . . yes, kind of. I’ll just be—”

“Two years of haggling and bickering over coppers and you still haven’t figured it out.”

“Figured what out—oh! So, that’s a yes then?”

“I’ll meet you at the Bottomless Barrel at sundown. Be sure to bring your coin purse because you’re paying.”

“Happy to!”

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