DIALOGUE SAMPLE

This dialogue was originally part of a homework assignment for The Narrative Department's masterclass on game writing and narrative design. The assigment challenged us to create different levels of status from prompts; I chose to create a scene to utilize my work as well as pepper into it my range, knowledge of foreign languages, and dark sense of humor. Enjoy and feel free to send me any comments, plaudits, suggestions, or excoriating and vituperative missives at kylesmithlaird@gmail.com 


INT. NYC - LE BERNARDIN RESTAURANT - EVENING

At a well-situated table in NYC’s second most expensive restaurant sit DAHLIA Melpomene Darrington-Wexworth (late 50s crumbling trophy wife) and CYNTHIA Hypatia Cargill-MacMillan (late 50s catty, classy, cruel), having a liquid dinner. The SERVER (30s, servile, stressed) passes as Cynthia sharpens silverware.

CYNTHIA

Coffee. Black. Two sugars. Chop chop.

SERVER

It would be my absolute pleasure, ma’am. My apologies   

for keeping you waiting, ma'am. Right away. So sorry. 

The Server LEAVES and TRIPS. Cynthia and Dahlia erupt into laughter at her clumsiness.

DAHLIA

Oh, Cynthia! You’re positively incorrigible.

CYNTHIA

My ex-husbands said so too. And speaking of tightwads: 

it’s your turn to pay, Dahlia!

CUT TO:

INT. LE BERNARDIN RESTAURANT - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

We see the server through the order window. She bumps MARIA (30s, kind, supportive).

MARIA (jokingly)

¡Qué onda, we! (subtitles: what up, girl!) 

You got them two old putas again, amiga? 

The Server nods, reaches down, shows Maria something, and stirs. Maria gasps and puts her hand over her mouth. The Server smiles triumphantly.

CUT TO:


INT. BERNARDIN RESTAURANT - MAIN TABLE - CONTINUOUS

The Server returns, places each item down, then nods.

SERVER

Will there be anything else you would require, ladies, before I pass by again? 

CYNTHIA

Oh, no, dear. I’ll just scuttle back to the kitchen next time, dear. Grab an apron. Maybe I’ll bus tables too? Hm? Here's a tip: scram.

DAHLIA

And the check. Before we die of old age.

We follow the Server as she nods and leaves.

SERVER (sotto)

I should be so lucky.

CUT TO:

INT. LE BERNARDIN RESTAURANT - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

The Server rings up the bill. Maria swings by.

MARIA

Keep your cool. I know getting dumped by text sucks, but don’t let these pinche abuelitas (subtitles: cheap-ass grannies) get to you, girl.

SERVER

A girl can only take so much, Maria. 

She RIPS the check out of the register and returns to the table.

CUT TO:


INT. LE BERNARDIN RESTAURANT - MAIN TABLE - CONTINUOUS

Cynthia wraps up her story while Dahlia hangs on every word.

CYNTHIA

...and I was going 95 in a 25 school zone at seven A.M., mind you. Kids everywhere. It’s a miracle they didn’t run into me en masse. It took just forever for the police officer and those brats to apologize to me.

DAHLIA

Oh, my! How’d you ever manage that?

CYNTHIA

I looked at the officer and said: this will make my attorney a happy man, so do us both a favor and tear it up, savvy?

DAHLIA

Oh, you absolute scamp, you!

The Server places the bill down and leaves. Dahlia PRETENDS not to see the bill.

CYNTHIA

Dahlia, darling? Did God strike you blind? Do you not see the bill? 

Dahlia pretends to look until, under Cynthia’s withering stare, Dahlia “spots” the bill.

DAHLIA

Oh gosh, you mean that bitty thing over there? Good golly, Cynthia. Is it already my turn to pay? Well, I’m just aghast that I don’t have my wallet on me, dearest. All I have is my phone, and I simply don’t know how to pay with it. You know how it is. Do you mind picking it up just this once for little ol’ me? Pretty pretty please? For me?

Cynthia STANDS and GLOWERS at Dahlia.

CYNTHIA

Zelle me right now, Dahlia Melpomene Darrington-Wexworth, or I shall knock you unconscious, drive you out to my secluded cabin in the Hamptons, zip-tie you to a chair, and empty a loaded .54 Magnum into your flat chest, and then sit and watch you bleed out whilst enjoying a 1964 Chateau de la Tour, dear.

Dahlia MASHES frantically on her phone. Cynthia’s phone DINGS!

      CYNTHIA (cont’d)

Ah, quelle surprise! Well, see you at squash on Tuesday. Ta ta!


As Cynthia saunters out, the Server passes by. Dahlia DANGLES her coffee cup from one finger.


DAHLIA

Refill? Today, maybe? If you want your five percent gratuity, that is.


The Server TAKES the cup then PONDERS. 

SERVER

Since I’m going to quit my job tonight, I just have to ask: why do you hang out with her? She’s awful.

DAHLIA

(horrified) 

What did you just say? I can knock my sister down, but you? You? You, pissant! We have the same parents, and missy, cats don’t make fucking dogs. Manager! Bonjour? Manager?


SERVER

Now I’m glad I stirred your sister’s coffee and yours with my used tampon, you scurvy ass puta!

The Server storms out as Dahlia screams and vomits everywhere.

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