Sunday, October 25, 2009

Turned Around

This is a little something in keeping with the season. The challenge was to write a story with only dialogue. The rest you have to fill in on your own.



“Are you awake?”

“I’m trying to sleep.”

“What are we going to do in the morning?”

“What part of ‘trying to sleep’ is hard for you?”

“Well you weren’t asleep and you never said about tomorrow.  I don’t like being lost.”

“We’re not lost.”


“Ok, we’re lost.  Or we were lost.  I asked the guy at the desk, he can get us back on the main road in the morning.”

“You trust his directions?”

“Will you stop that?  He’s perfectly trustworthy.  And he doesn’t look like Anthony Perkins.”

“Yes he does.  And he’s got that creepy stare.”

“I make one joke about the Bates Motel and you won’t let it go.”

“You know I hate horror movies.”

“If I promise to never make another joke about serial killers that only go after blondes will you drop it?”

“You’re not funny.  And I’m only blonde for the next two months.  I don’t see why you have to keep-  What was that?!”

“What was what?”

“Something touched my leg.”

“Something cold?”

“Yes.  Do you think this place could be haunted?”

“Sure.  By the mystical creature that is my foot.  I moved it though, so I don’t think it’ll attack.”

“You know you could have at least gotten us a room with two beds.”

“This was all he had.”

“Right, those three other cars were full of football teams, took up all the rooms.”

“I got you extra blankets, didn’t I?”

“They smell funny.”

“They smell like moth balls.  They were just in storage.”

“It’s still gross.”

“Fine, it’s gross, it’s terrible, it’s a crime against humanity.  Now can we please go to sleep?   We’ve still got three hours to drive in the morning.”

“Not the way you drive.”

“You’d think I could get a little credit when I say I know where we are now.  Didn’t I do fine in Austria?  Were you the one doing the driving in France?”

“And here you managed to get us completely lost when all the signs were in English.”

“You know, if my navigator hadn’t fallen asleep after the first hour-“

“You could’ve woken me up.”

“I’ve heard it’s bad to wake up someone snoring that loudly.”

“I don’t snore.”


“Well at least I didn’t get us lost in the middle of hundreds of street signs.  How do you even get lost in the suburbs?”

“When they all blend into one huge town?  I mean the whole place looks the same, same stores, same restaurants, same gas stations.”

“Only about a hundred places to ask for directions.”

“Let me remind you that you were sleeping through the farms where there was no one to ask but some guys on the side of the road selling fruit.”

“Going to blame them now?”

“No.  I’m going to go to sleep.  And you’re going to go to sleep.  And in the morning we’re going to-“

“What was that?”

That was the radiator.”

“It sounded like someone banging on pipes.”

“Because that’s what radiators sound like.”

“It’s going to do that all night?”

“Probably.  You just have to try and ignore it.  When I-

“What was that?”


“It sounded like something at the door.”

“Well the radiator is next to the door.”

“No it was-“

“Ok, that was the door.”

“Go see who it is.”

“Why don’t you go check, maybe Mr. Perkins wanted to say hi.”

“He’s going to break the door.”

“It’s probably just some drunk football player who can’t remember which room is his.”

“Well. Go look.”

“I’m not getting up, my feet are finally warm.  Hey!  This isn’t your room man!”

“Very nice, I think I lost an eardrum.”

“At least the radiator won’t bother you now.  Just-“

“He’s still out there.”

“I can hear that.”

“So go tell him to leave.”

“Fine.  I’m getting up, I’m going to the door.  If he stabs me through it with a machete though, it’s all your fault.”

“Tell him you’ll call the manager, or the cops or something.”

“Hey!  This isn’t your room.  Try a few doors down.”

“So who’s out there?”

“Does it matter?”

“Just look, so we can describe him to the cops when he breaks the door.”

“Christ, he’s just a drunk, he’s not going to-“


“Get dressed.”

“What?  Why?”

“Because it’s not a football player.  Now get your damn clothes on.”

“Anthony, what?”

“Forget the clothes, grab my cell off the desk and help me hold the door.”


“Get over here and lean on it.  Shoulder right there.”

“What are there six of them out there?” 

“Something like that.  You can just call 911 here, right?”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

“Great.  Really dig your feet in and lean.  The lock’s about to give.”

“What do they want?”

“How the hell should I know?  You’re from around here, you ask.”

“Move and let me look.”

“I’m trying to lean for my life here.  Look over my shoulder.”

“Oh my god.”

“Right?  You know what this means?”

“We’re going to die?”

“Maybe.  But I was thinking that this is definitely the last time I go to New Jersey.”


  1. LMAO! I've lived in New Jersey and that is SO right on the money!

    The telling through dialogue is great. I love the way it makes my mind fill in the blanks. Well done, and thanks for posting to TT. Looking forward to seeing more on Thursdays!

  2. It's (very) loosely based on my first trip to South Jersey. Driving in NJ was quite an education coming from Florida.

  3. Very interesting mixture of realism with a fantastic (or is it?) situation. The dialogue is pretty crackling, and not clicheed.

  4. I wanted to leave what's outside up to the reader, but a friend of mine suggested zombie football players and I've always liked that answer.

    And hey! Another Platt! Given the initials I was briefly convinced my brother was reading my blog.


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