I wrote this using a prompt I had created: to write a conversation between two characters where each believes the other is hiding the same secret from them, but in reality neither of them is.
The taller man walked toward the shorter. “Jacobson,” he nodded, a suspicious look on his face.
“Williams,” the other man said, a similar expression crossing his own face.
“Did you hear about the burglary?”
“The one at the library?”
“Yes, and one of Dickens’ original manuscripts for Oliver Twist was stolen.”
“Wasn’t that one of the ones you said was your favorite?”
Williams blinked in surprise. After a pause, he responded, “Yes, that’s true, I do like that book, which is why I’m so upset that it was stolen.”
“You’d want me to think that, wouldn’t you?”
Another pause. “Well, yes, I do want you to think that, because it’s true.”
“I see. And why, then, did I see you outside the library hours after it closed?”
“I was going to return the copy of A Tale of Two Cities that I’d borrowed.”
“After the library was closed?”
“They have a book drop box. On that subject, why were you there?”
Jacobson paused this time. “I was, er, looking for my keys.”
“Oh, sure, I believe you. Thief.”
“You’re the thief! And a liar!”
Williams threw a punch at Jacobson. Jacobson responded in kind. They continued fighting until security was called and they were pulled off of each other. From across the hallway, I reached into my coat to make sure that Dickens’ original work was still there, and grinned as I walked calmly away.