Dialogue: The Dickens

Stratten appeared once before on this blog in a dialogue piece called Fish Market.


INT. STRATTEN’S BEDROOM

Stratten awakens from dreaming he was awake. A quick scan of the room confirms he is alone, but is quickly interrupted by the entrance of the Stranger.

Stranger: Hello.

Stratten quickly realizes that he is still asleep.

Stratten: AHHHHHHHHHH!

Burying his face in the pillow.

Stranger: Oh come on now. Let’s not be childish about this.
(pause)
Childish? Of course.

ANGLE ON: Stratten face down in pillow.

Mother: Oh, come on up off that floor.

INT. STRATTEN’S CHILDHOOD HOME – DAY
Raising his head from the pillow, Stratten finds himself in the kitchen of his childhood home. His Father is doing pushups as his family sits down to dinner.

Stratten: What is this?

Stranger: A flashback, of course.

Stratten: A flashback? What is this a Dickens novel.

Stranger: I do hate to perpetuate that stereotype. It seems every time one encounters this scenario there is always the obligatory childhood flashback culminating in a resurrection or at the least, a reaffirmation of the unconditional benevolence of the human spirit. Still, I thought you might enjoy returning to your youth. It always seems so helpful in other forums. Besides, I rather enjoy it.

Stratten: Well, if this is a flashback then where am I?

Stranger: Oh, you’re quite lost in the woods.

Stratten: Lost in the woods? Of course, this was a very traumatic day for me. I’m desperately lost in the woods and my family is so concerned about my fate that they immediately sit down to dinner.
(to family)
Why aren’t you out looking for me?

Mother: We didn’t know you were lost.

Stratten: (to Stranger) She can hear me?

Stranger: They all can. Do you believe everything you read?

Mother: How were we to know you were lost? You were always daydreaming out in those woods, losing track of time and coming home late.

Stratten: What do you mean you didn’t know? Of course, you knew! By the time I finally found my way home, you had already rented out my room to those two migrant workers.

LITTLE STRATTEN runs in the door as two men emerge from a back room.

Stratten: See!

Father: Migrant workers? Son, they were delivering the new washer.

Stratten: New washer!?! The new washer. Really? Well, nobody told me.

Mother: Only because you ran out as quickly as you ran in.

Little Stratten runs out the door.

See!

Stratten’s Father moves to look out the kitchen window.

Stratten: Well sure, I was going to run away.

Stranger: Excuse me, but now that I have run off and in consideration of my emotional disposition should you not be out searching for me?

Father looks out kitchen window.

Father: Yep, right to the dog house.

Mother: Didn’t think we knew about your secret hiding place, did you? You were so cute. Always running away and b-lining right to the dog house. You are so scared of the dark that you’d never actually go all the way in. Just sat there in the door pretending to be invisible.

Father: Made keeping track of you a whole lot easier. I’d watch you from this window right here. Then, I’d look out every so often and check on you until you’d become bored or hungry and find your way back in here.

(pause)

Whose your friend?

Stratten: I don’t know.

Mother: Are you staying for supper?

Stratten(to Stranger) What is it with them and food? Boy, my youth sure looks different in hindsight.

Stratten turns away from the Stranger to find himself returned to his bedroom.

INT. STRATTEN’S BEDROOM – DAY

Stratten: Look, who are you anyway?

Stranger: Well, I could be the Ghost of Christmas.

Stratten: Ghost of Christmas? Really. Are you the past, present or future ghost because you all look alike to me?

Stranger: Look, let’s not be racial about this. The very fact that you do not recognize me should gain you considerable insight into your own psyche.

Stratten: (waking up) Must be cabin fever, like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”. I definitely need a road trip, before I start doing Carson impressions.

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