What if?: Mortal Coils ~ by Irrelephant

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mortal Coils ~ by Irrelephant

Mortal Coils

"So, didja bring the case?"

"My god, Vince, are you stupid or something? Keep your fucking voice down and get away from my desk! I'll meet you at the cooler."

"Sheesh, you don' t hav'ta be such a jerk about it."

"Leave, before I carry you out by your asshole."

"Yeah, yeah."

"Hold on, damnit, I'm coming. I swear, you are such a nit sometime. Here, get a cup, at least try and act like you're doing something."

"I never could get used to all this spy stuff. I mean, really George, why can't we just behave like normal people?"

"Vince, you are a mook. You've always been a mook. You always will be a mook. We are not normal people, not anymore. And nobody can find out what's in that case. If they did, my God, I'd hate to think of what it would be like."

"Wow, that would be quite a party, wouldn't it? I mean, if everyone..."

"Hi, Paula. Pretty dress. Sheesh, why don't you just tell everyone that we're standing here discussing the contents of my briefcase? Damnit Vince, why are you so thick? How the hell did I get mixed up with someone as thick as you?"

"You didn't have a choice, remember?

"Oh yes, all too well, thank you. Yeah, that's it, laugh it up. Christ on a crutch. The one time I bring someone home from work it had to be you. The one night they decided was the night to intervene you had to be in the car with me. Damnit. Damnit it all to Hell."

"So, didja bring it?"

"Uhm, let's see. I brought my lunch, remembered my fountain pen, my glasses, my tie, watch, wallet, no wait, what did I forget? My briefcase? With that...that THING in it. Christ Vince, do you think I'm stupid? Once a month for three years, like clockwork, yeah I fuckin' well remembered. It's under my desk."

"Same time as always?"

"Yes, my incredibly thick friend. Same time as always. I'll even be in the same car as last time. Damnit, YES same time as always."

"Yeah yeah, okay George, just making sure."

"Go on, I'll see you down there. My God, who would have thought it. Fucking eternal life, shared with a moron. Yeah, sorry man, didn't mean to throw it at you, didn't see you standing there. Sorry. Damn, got your shirt all wet too. I'm sorry."

"Sheesh. Eternal life, and I gotta spend it with that guy. What a ripoff."



Wow that was hard to do. I hadn't realised until I really started imagining the characters of Vince and George and their meeting at the water cooler how difficult it would be to try and fully develop a scene between any four people (I'm counting Paula because of her untimely interruption and the unnamed fourth character at the end, even though we never 'hear' them) and their actions without putting in anything but their speech. And trying to let each of the mains have their own voice, their own vocal mannerisms, without sliding into anything that smacked of stilted plot-development...I'm still sweating. And so desperate I was to include a third and fourth person, just to keep it in that sort of crowded office setting. Then I was trying to work into the story too much of THEM, what they looked like, their chance meeting, the fact that Vince was tall and lanky while George was stout, what they were wearing, all that simply wouldn't fit. It was an interesting time trying to pare it all down to the bare bones, to make it fit the assignment, and still try to get what I most like in my stories-- twin doses of whimsy and menace.

I found myself doing a poor imitation of William Gibson; trying to let YOU see what your imagination wanted to see, while not describing anything at all. Paula's 'pretty' dress, the briefcase, what was IN the briefcase, the wet shirt. Tough stuff to do.

Bonus points to anyone who can positively identify the four characters. *S* ~Irrelephant


Blogger Giovanna said...

Ok, I guess Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer. LOL

I am so bad at that.

I have to say, I felt cheated not knowing what the hell they were talking about, but I was never into Gibson beyond the episode he tried to pen for TXF. I think there was too much ambiguity. If I knew who (or what-ghosts? souls?) they were, or why they had the case, then the "what" might have been more fun to ponder.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

George makes me think of "Of Mice and Men."
I like their banter.

Bring someone home from work... intervene...
Nope, I'm stumped!

Angels? Devils? Something in between?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Irrelephant said...

I'm honestly surprised...I must have been being toooo esoteric. I knew it was a tough assignment, perhaps I should have been a little broader with the paintbrush strokes. I'll give the rest of the group a chance to read and react, and then I'll reveal the answers, and answer the questions raised, see if that helps clarify the story a little.

Perhaps a really hard re-write is in order.

5:13 PM  
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