A dark cafe, the setting for my story.

The prompt for the Chatham Writers Group this week was to write a piece that includes the following words: envy, beauty, hatred, insecurity, icon, compromise, reconciliation. My brief tale follows, I emboldened the words we needed to include. Also, I am working on trying to improve my skills writing dialogue, so this story is largely a dialogue between two people in a coffee shop, an actress and an entertainment reporter.


The couple sat in a corner booth in the coffeehouse, away from the lights over the counter and entryway.  The air was rich with the fragrance of hazelnut coffee and cinnamon rolls.  The other patrons thought the woman looked familiar, but all they could really see was her back as she leaned forward to talk to her companion.  Then she would lean back and disappear into the shadow of the booth wall.  The man she was with would take a sip of his coffee, then lean towards her, a bemused expression on his face.  They were not really a couple, he was asking questions, then jotting things down in a little notebook.

“So, tell me, why were you and your sister not on speaking terms?”

“I never said we were not on speaking terms. We exchanged birthday wishes, holiday greetings, things of that sort.  We spoke.”

“Superficially though.”

“I suppose…”

“Were you envious of each other?  I don’t understand why that would be the case.  You are both confident and accomplished actors, of equal beauty.” 

“Perhaps, there was some envy…”

“But why?  You’ve each been awarded two Oscars, been nominated two other times….”

“Three Oscars.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“My sister has three Oscars, she co-wrote a screenplay and won an Oscar for that.”

“Uh, oh, I’m sorry, I had forgotten…”

“Two Tony awards, and Emmy, Golden Globe..”

“So, are you envious of her achievements then?  I mean, you have been recognized as a leading actress for several years now.  Your sister has never had a leading role.  She has primarily been cast in character actor roles, or as a supporting actress.”

“She is SO DAMN GOOD in those character actor roles.  She is a greater scene stealer than Alan Hale ever was.  He was her favorite actor!  She got such a kick out of watching him steal scenes from Errol Flynn in all those old westerns and swashbucklers.”

“You acted together in one movie.  Did her presence, her being in the same scenes make you feel insecure?”

“I suppose.  Her comedic timing is precise, she is as skilled as a neurosurgeon in those comedy roles.”

“But that was a wonderful movie, you both displayed great comedic timing, you played off each other so well.  The roles of two women who were the play-by-play and color announcers of a minor league baseball team became iconic roles. It led to a TV series and a Broadway musical.  What was the problem?”

“She stole my scenes!  I was trying to use a dry wit to describe the incentives in the game program magazine. What the fans would win if a player hit a home run in a specific inning, like a meat tray from a local deli.  Then it would be her turn to describe incentives there were if the players on the home team accomplished a certain goal… like ‘Any Royalton Yankee who pitches a no-hitter, will win a free, rebuilt fuel pump from Tarducci’s Junk Yard’. But she did it with such great flourish.  She got all the laughs!  I hated her for it.”

“Why? That seemed insignificant.  And you were both nominated for Oscars.  You were both great.”

“That was her screenplay Oscar.  Do your research.”

“Ummm… I, …”

“Never mind.  I felt she wrote the best jokes for herself.”

“So that led to the falling apart.”

“I suppose.”

“What happened next?”

“A major studio expressed an interest in reviving the characters.  The two women had become so popular, they made it to the major leagues, broadcasting Pittsburgh Pirate games.  The city and team were all in for it.”

“Then what happened?”

“Our publicists and agents met and attempt to get us together for the roles.  I was reluctant, I promised to never star in another role alongside my sister.”

“Go on.”

“A compromise was reached.  My sister wrote the entire script this time and mailed it to me.  I was blown away.  The story line kind of paralleled our lives.  The two characters had gone through a falling out over a minor slight.  They reconciled and teamed up again, even better than they were in the minor leagues.  My character had become cynical and tough with the male ball players and coach.  I have some really good lines!”

“Wow.  That is fabulous news.”

“Ahh, here comes my sister now, I’ll let her fill you in on the plot details and when filming begins.”

Ernie Stricsek

The Chatham Writers Group

April 24, 2023

7 thoughts on “Sisters

    1. Tommy my friend! Thank you. I almost didn’t write anything. On Sunday night, I wrote 12 words and got stuck, I couldn’t think of anything else to write. On Monday morning, I decided I wasn’t going to write anything else and just not go. At 9:30 AM, my wife said give it one more shot. At 10:05 AM, I had my story written and was on my way to the library at 10:10 AM. Last minute inspiration hit me between the eyes! Thanks again.


  1. Hi Neil! Thank you very much for your kind words! Although the last two movies we saw were real stinkers and I felt I could write a better script, even given my fledgling status. Thank you again for following my blog! I enjoy your stories as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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