Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creative Writing Assignment #2: Dialogue

Runaway Train

Justin sits at his desk, staring distastefully at his Calculus homework. Jason is on a couch on the other side of the room, strumming absent-mindedly on an acoustic guitar. He stops playing for a moment and looks at Justin.

Jason: Why do you even bother with that bullshit class?

Justin, looking up, startled: How long have you been there?

Jason, playing a simple chord progression: A few minutes. Didn't you hear the guitar?

Justin: No, I'm too busy with my homework.

Jason: I asked you a question. Why do you bother with that bullshit class?

Justin: Calculus isn't a bullshit class.

Jason, messing up a chord and cursing under his breath: It isn't?

Justin: I have to take it. For my major.

Jason, starting into “Runaway Train” on his guitar: Ah, yes. Your major. Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. By the way, I've always wanted to ask, did you pick that 'cause it has a cool name, or do you actually like it?

Justin: I...I'm not sure. I've always been good at science, and MCDB is a good pre-med major, and...

Jason, interrupting him: Serial killers are good at killing people. Does that mean they should do it? On second thought, bad example. They usually enjoy it. But you get the idea, I'm sure.

Justin: Yeah, I get it.

Jason: So, do you really wanna be a doctor, or does it just sound like a good idea 'cause you think you'd be good at it?

Justin: I dunno, I don't think about things like this a whole lot. I'm sort of just going wherever life leads me, you know?

Jason, playing a bit louder and raising his voice over the sound of the guitar: Bullshit. You chose this path with no good reason, and you're sticking to it for no good reason. That's not following the whims of fate and chance, my friend.

Justin: Oh, you're probably right, like usual, but would you get off my back about this?

Jason, sighing: You do whatever you want, buddy. I guess it's not my place to complain.

Justin: So why do you always complain?

Jason: I just hate to see you ruining your life, is all.

Justin, closing his eyes and shaking his head: I'm not ruining my life!

Justin opens his eyes, and Jason is nowhere to be seen.

Justin, looking around the empty room and shaking his head: I have got to get a nicer hallucination.