This week I posted my second podcast episode for Writing Is Hard Work, a podcast I'm hosting for this blog. I was privileged to sit down with a fellow indie writer, Michael Dean, who is shopping around a screenplay he wrote as well as working on other projects. We spent about thirty minutes talking about screenplay writing, so if you want to find out more about that, then pop on over to the podcast page and listen closely (we recorded the podcast in a somewhat noisy library, but the message came through).
I am leaving a sample of Dean's work on this post, a little short story he wrote several years ago that showcases Dean's ability to tell a good story. Ultimately that is the key thing needed when writing a screenplay.
Check it out!
“Please slow down, George. You’re driving too fast.” Doris said.
It was a short, simple phrase. That simple phrase was the tiny bit that finally pushed me over the edge. I was tired of Doris' nagging. There was nothing special about those words, but there was volumes of meaning behind it. The exact words didn’t matter. It was still nagging. The tone was not even important. It was still nagging. Just the simple act of informing me that I was driving over the speed limit was enough. It was more of her constant nagging. That was when that I decided that I had to kill her. Doris had to die.
I had tried everything I knew to stop Doris from nagging, but nothing corrected the problem. She kept track of every gauge, every dial, and heard every noise as I drove—and told me about them. When the gas gauge approached empty, she reminded me to stop at the next station. If anything…anything about the car was out of the normal range, Doris would let me know.
“The engine has been knocking, better use higher octane this time, George.” Nagging.
“The car is running rough, George. Time to get a tune up.” It would not have mattered if she had said “The air-fuel ratio is incorrect and requires professional maintenance.” It still would have been nagging.
Those eight simple words had finally pushed me too far. There really was no other choice. Even though I had invested ten years of my life with her, I had to do it. Doris had to die. It was not an easy decision, but I had done everything I could and her constant nagging was driving my crazy to the point where I hated to hear her voice or spend any time with her.
I could not just leave her, though. If I did that, the next man who was afflicted with her might not have my resolve and I could not, in good conscience, inflict her on another man. My feelings for her had kept me from doing this for far too long. Her nagging was driving me crazy and even with patience born of love, I could not continue to put up with it.
Lost in a tumultuous sea of emotions, I missed my turn off.
“George, you’ve just passed the exit.” Nagging.
“Shut up Doris,” I said, but it had no effect on her. I had known that it would not, but speaking to her that way had made me feel better. It was not enough, however, to get me to change my mind.
I took the next exit and backtracked on the city streets rather than getting back on to the highway.
“Take a left at the next intersection, George.” More nagging.
I steeled my resolve. Doris assumed I would miss this turn also and corrected me before I made another mistake. Nothing could have prevented the inevitable at that point. I made up my mind. I would take her out as soon as I returned home. A sudden peace came over me with that decision. It would be the best thing, I thought. All other men would reject Doris. It was only my feelings for her that I kept her around this long.
I pulled into my driveway. Doris, thoughtful as always, had triggered the garage door opener from down the block so I would not have to wait in the drive for it to open. I parked the car in the clear half of the garage, avoiding my workbench and an assortment of tools and parts that dominated the side closest to the house. Doris triggered the garage door to close and I got out and opened the hood.
“Please be careful, George. The engine is hot.” Still nagging.
I reached into the engine compartment and unclipped the black project box fastened there. I gave a mighty heave, and pulled loose the mass of wires that ran from it to sensors all over the car. I turned and slowly walked into the house, dropping DORIS into the waste can by the door as I went.