Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dialogue X

“Hey, what happened? What’s going on?”

“Sir,” the man said, picking up his pace when saw that Gordon wasn’t going to stay put. “Sir, please get back in your vehicle. There’s been an accident. The road’s closed.”

He [The man wore] was dressed in beige slacks and a polo t-shirt. He had short, blonde hair slicked back from his head. [From his head? Meaning the starting point of his hair was his head? He's clearly an alien.] Gordon didn’t recognize him. In fact, Gordon didn’t recognize any of these men. [How clearly can he see the other men?]

“Hey, you aren’t with the police. Where’s Chief Olson?” Gordon strained to see what was going on, but the man standing in front of him kept moving to block his view.

“Sir, you must get back in your vehicle. Everything is under control here –”

“Who the hell are you people? Where’s the police? Where’s the fire department?”

“I assure you, sir,” the man said, his tone calm and pleasant. “Everything is under control.” He grabbed Gordon by the arm and tried to guide him back toward the pickup.

“Get your damn hands off me, son!” Gordon roared and yanked[ing] his arm out of the man’s grasp. “I’m calling the police.” [Big mistake, Gordon. Now they can't let you live. Is Gordon really that stupid?] He spun on his heels and stalked back toward his pickup, trembling with fury.

--Joseph Shimerdla

Interesting dialogue. I wonder if Gordon would really react this way. Most people would just want to know how to get where they're going if the road's closed. And if they suspected a bunch of guys were engaged in criminal activity, they'd leave and phone the police, rather than starting a one-man investigation. Of course, if Gordon lives two houses past the accident, I can see not wanting to make a thirty-mile detour.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gordon comes off as being as paranoid confused and belligerent as my grandfather was in his dementia. Not sure if that was your intention.

whitemouse said...

I thought the dialogue worked well, but yes, the content of the conversation was a bit overstated. If Gordon was just a little more cool about it all, I think this scene would be fine.

The only thing that really didn't work for me was Gordon trembling with fury at the end. That seemed too extreme a reaction. I would think he should feel confused, wary, and indignant, but not violently angry (even if he's naturally hot-tempered.)

One nit-pick; you're missing the word "he" here:
...picking up his pace when [he] saw that Gordon wasn’t ...

Anonymous said...

EE's point is valid. I was really interested in the "son" that Gordon dropped--that implies an old geezer, and those are always fun to watch when they come across shady non-governmental organizations. I'd like to catch a glimpse of what was going on up the road, because unless G can see what's going on, his demands for fire fighters, police, etc seem like an overreaction.

--Detri (dialogue J)