Contesting - Part 5
A boy-meets-girl scene you won't soon forget
The following is the fifth part of an original series I’m writing and releasing exclusively as a serial to my audience on Substack.
It’s the pre-story to a thriller set in the not-too distant future.
A WOMAN and a MAN wake up in a room, wearing only their underclothes. They have no memory of who they are or how they got there. As they dialogue, faint memories of a common past materialize, as do strange objects that become clues to the tragic story of their arrival in the room. when start to piece together their history and the tragic events of the outside world, their quest for understanding becomes a fight for survival.
A WOMAN in her later 40s
A MAN of the same age who, like the woman, cannot remember his name
Paid subscribers can access behind the scenes audio notes from Andrew on the making of Contesting.
Contesting Part 5 - Rebuffed
WOMAN Well look at you, just free-flowing right now.
MAN We met in a hotel.
WOMAN Oh, here we go.
MAN I was naked.
WOMAN Okay. Let’s stop this.
MAN No, wait. I’m remembering this.
WOMAN I’m not.
MAN You should. Boy, it was so embarrassing at the time.
WOMAN Gee, I can’t imagine why...
MAN We had never met, and there I was...
MAN Locked out of my hotel room. I was standing there, in my socks and running shoes -
WOMAN Naked in the hallway?
MAN As the moon. I was alone, sorta panicking
WOMAN Well, yeah
MAN pleading with the door to open, because there was no one else inside the room and
WOMAN In just your running shoes? How did that happen?
MAN I don’t know. I think I was going out for a jog, or had just come back from one
WOMAN Without shorts on?
MAN No, there was a good reason for it.
WOMAN I’ll bet
MAN That was the funniest part of it all, but I can’t remember it. And then you appeared.
WOMAN There’s no way this is a love at first sight story
MAN You were leaving your room to head to the lobby. And here I was, this naked, stranded fool, covering myself with my hands, locked out of my room in that lonely hall. You got me a robe, from your room so that I could visit the concierge with some dignity. And... later that night
WOMAN Oh no no no no
MAN Later that night you returned to your room
WOMAN Please don’t say that you were still naked
MAN And there was a lovely bouquet of flowers waiting for you, with a basket of fruit and a note that said,
MAN and WOMAN TOGETHER “To my heroine in the hallway.”
MAN That’s how we first met.
WOMAN That sounds memorable.
MAN We had lots of memorable times. We were... well, we were -
WOMAN We’re not “were” yet. We’re still alive -
MAN Well, I just mean -
WOMAN You can be “were”... but I’m - I’m gonna be “am”. I am getting out of here.
MAN Okay, genius. You just go and save the day and use all your smarts.
WOMAN Are you picking a bone with me?
WOMAN Is this some old, recycled lovers’ argument that you’re remembering that I have no recollection of too?
MAN What are you talking about?
WOMAN That tone - yes, tone. That reflex, muscle memory laundry list of gripes you were just about to pull out.
MAN Umm... I was just saying that the odds are sort of stacked against you and your “way out” of here.
WOMAN Let’s just cut the nostalgia and think about the present, because whether what we’re remembering is true or not, I’m more worried about how we’re going to avoid that chair.
She gets busy looking around the room.
But it’s just like you, you know, to say that.
She stops cold in her tracks.
WOMAN Really lover boy? You’re gonna keep walking that line while I try to get us out of here?
She gets back to exploring the room and he stops to watch her in wonder.
MAN You’re amazing.
WOMAN You bet I am!
MAN So doggone sure of yourself. We’re locked in a jail cell at the end of the world and you’re still gonna find a way out. All on your own.
WOMAN And you can send me a bouquet of flowers to thank me for rescuing you again. But please, this time keep your clothes on.
He watches her until she becomes self conscious and ultimately gives up her search.
MAN Find anything?
MAN Maybe a latch or a secret trap door?
WOMAN No, okay?
MAN A rabbit hole to lead us outta here?
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial