Last night, as I lay in bed preparing for sleep, a bit of dialogue was running through my head, so I decided that I had better write it down to make sure it didn’t go away. 30 minutes later, I had this scene. Enjoy!
(Two men on a roof, standing by the edge and looking off into the distance. They are making no effort to conceal themselves.)
A: Yesterday some man on the street told me that I was ‘making a mockery’ of what I ‘stand for’. How can I make a mockery of it when I don’t even know what I stand for?
B: For that matter, how could he know what you stood for?
A: Exactly! Besides, I was just standing there.
B: Maybe you got him confused. Maybe he meant that you were making a mockery of what he stood for, id est, what he actually said was ‘You’re making a mockery of what I stand for!’
A: …No, no… that doesn’t sound right. In any case, I wasn’t mocking anything, I was just standing.
B: What if the act of standing was mockery in and of itself? Was he in a wheelchair? I could see how someone in a wheelchair might get sensitive about those sort of things… standing and the like.
A: No, no, he was standing perfectly well…. he was wearing pants, mind you, so he may have had a wooden leg under there, or prosthetics. It’s amazing… the things they can do with prosthetics.
B: Quite amazing. I saw a television special once…
A: Wait! Shh….
A: Is that him?
B: Him… who?
A: You know… Him.
B: Is that… particular inflection and timbre of your voice meant to tell me something more than when you said it the first time?
B: Oh. You mean HIM. …It’s… hard to tell from here. Binoculars?
B: They’re all smudged. What did you do, look with your fingers?
A: Never mind that. Is it Him?
B: Decidedly not. It is a woman with a cocker-spaniel.
A: A cocker-spaniel?
A: How could I confuse the two?
B: It’s quite a far distance.
A: No, no, that is unacceptable.
B: Also, it’s foggy and… the fog is… omnipresent as well as being rather greenish. Decidedly sinister.
A: Why do you keep saying ‘decidedly’?
B: It’s a good word. I’m trying to return it to popular use.
A: I said ‘Ah’. I really have no other response than that. Simply ‘Ah’.
A: We were talking about something, weren’t we?
B: Him! Over there! Here, take a look!
(Hands him the binoculars.)
A: Yes! It’s Him!
B: Excellent! Hand me the gun.
A: Gun. Check.
A: Just now.
B: Keep an eye on him. Is anyone watching?
A: The streets are clear. Completely.
B: Alright. One. Two. Three, and….
A: …Nicely done.
B: Thank you.
A: Took the top of his head right off, I think.
B: He was wearing a hat.
A: Well, yes, but there was a lot of blood.
B: Let me see.
B: Mmmm. Decidedly so.
A: Has anyone seen?
B: No. The streets are completely clear, just like you said.
A: Well, I mean… someone will notice soon enough, won’t they?
B: I suppose so.
A: How long should we give it?
B: Give what?
A: Well, I mean… how long should we wait?
B: Wait until what? You’re being much too vague!
A: …I’ll vague you!
B: …You’re being entirely senseless.
A: It was a threat nonetheless. Think about it further and you’ll find the threat.
B: Find the threat! Hah!
A: I think it would be terrible.
B: What, dying? Most likely.
A: Well, yes and no. Dying would be bad, but dying alone with no-one to notice would be worse.
B: We noticed.
A: Take us out of the equation.
B: Well, yes, that sum comes out to zero.
A: Zero. Exactly.
A: Perhaps we should tell someone.
B: Tell someone?
A: Well, we could make a discreet call…
B: If we give it enough time, someone will come along and notice. These are busy streets.
A: Really? Busy streets?
A: If these are busy streets, why is he the second person we’ve seen in three hours?
B: It must be an off day. Is it a holiday, perhaps?
A: If it was a holiday, I think we’d know.
B: We never get holidays.
A: Well, yes… that’s why we’d know. We’d be keenly aware of the fact that we were not, as it were, on holiday, when, well… you know… everyone else in the bleeding universe was.
A: Maybe not. How about ‘principality’?
B: That word has an antiquated sound to it.
B: In any case, he is dead, and we are not, and I am ready for my sandwich.
A: The sandwiches. I…
B: Come on, out with it!
A: I seem to have left them in the car. I’m terribly sorry.
B: (Sighs.) Well, we’ll just have to go and get them, I suppose.
(He begins to get up.)
A: That woman with the cocker-spaniel! She’s discovered the body!
B: (Looks through binoculars.) Half-right. Someone has discovered the body, but it’s a man in a priest uniform.
A: A priest?
B: It’s too early for Halloween, so… signs point to maybe.
A: A priest! Fancy that!
B: Ahem. Sandwiches…
A: Fine. Hand me the gun, will you?
(They start collecting their things and begin heading towards the exit.)
B: We’ll just have to climb right back up here, you know.
A: You don’t have to remind me. My knee is already acting up from this morning!
B: I thought that meant rain?
A: It has many meanings. None of them clear.