Silence is a good enough answer (from Several Sides to Silence) by Honey Mustard

  • : women's lit
  • : some profanity


  1. Christa L

    Even though this is only Mona’s second appearance, she’s already becoming a strong character. You have such a way with your characters that even with just a few dialogue, the characters are distinct.

    Mona’s comment about Jessica made me wonder if there’s something going on between Michael and Jessica…

    And indeed, another form of ‘silence’ is portrayed here.

  2. Martin

    Hi Hanri

    This is a compelling scene, where the progress of the dialogue drew me along with it. I like how well you interpret the interplay between them, both vying for a victory. I think they both handle the accusation well, though it’s clear to see who is taken aback. I can see that this is heading somewhere next and there is a compulsion to turn the page.

    Which, I hope, says it all.


  3. Jan

    Hi Hanri,

    Indeed a boulder of a woman, blocking and crushing, obliterating everything in her path. When she’ll listen to the recording she might realise that things did not exaclty play out the way her young protegée had her believe. I’m looking forward to that – ultimately, it will end badly for both Mike and Peony, of that I am fairly certain.

    I loved the little details you wove in, “he felt violated”, he cleans his desk – he wants to restore order to his life, put those pens where they are within reach – have the familiarity closeby, and keeping the toga on – being defeated as the man Mike and embarrassed, he dons the shield of Mike the attorney in order to have an point of anchor to come back after the chaos that just played out.

    And silence is indeed an answer, maybe even more telling than anything else. He’s not really admitting guilt, but it’s written all over his face.

    Beautiful scene, very powerful! Well done on Nr 46!

  4. Leona Dawson

    Hi Hanri – adding Mona to this story adds another level of drama and conflict and she is a great counterfoil for Peony. I’ll be interested to see how you handle the Peony/Michael relationship in the era of #metoo and given the age/power differential. I like the use of an chaotic and confused mess in his normally tidy office space/clothing as a metaphor for his state of mind and emotions. You are showing Mona to be a force to be reckoned with and it will be interesting to see if Peony realises that her ally may not be easy to manipulate. Throughout this story Peony has presented as a young woman on a mission to further herself by whatever means she has at hand (her youth, her relationships, her sexuality) and I do wonder if she is really aware she is playing with fire given her age and inexperience. What, in her past, has carved this path for her?

  5. SM

    hi Hanri,
    I really like Mona. I hope you find a way to work her into some earlier scenes in your next draft. The last line was great because there are so many ways to interpret it.
    Also, it’s great that Michael stops himself from answering. She’s not really the truth seeker although at first it’s tempting to see her as such.
    Curious what effect hearing the recording that Peony made will have on Mona.
    Michael’s fear, detachment and shock are described very well. His PA is very kind to him, so we get to see that there is mutual respect there and probably he has been very kind to her in the past.
    Also, with Mona walking in, Michael doesn’t have a chance to wallow in self-pity–you’re setting us up for some kind of showdown–Really great scene!