Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

Long Story Short · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
Amongst the Ruins of the Brooklyn Bridge
SANDRA and JOCELYN are sat against a wall, in an alley outside a theatre at night. They are laughing breathlessly, and covered in blood.

SANDRA: Do… d’you remember his little speech about integrity?

JOCELYN: “There is nothing so important, so vital, so sacred, as an artist’s integrity.”

SANDRA: Yes! Yes yes yes! That’s exactly right!

JOCELYN: “As director, my vision is my integrity—”

SANDRA: Ohmygod.

JOCELYN: “—and so we must get each scene exactly right! So:

BOTH: “From ‘On the twenty-third of that December’!”

They collapse once more into laughter.

JOCELYN: God, how did we keep fucking that scene up?

SANDRA: We? You guys kept fucking up before you even got to my entrance!

Hey, Lyn?


SANDRA: What happens now? ‘Cos I keep thinking I’ve put it all out of my mind, that I’m can finally choose to move on, that it’s over, but…

SANDRA lifts her hand up so that it is at eye level. She is visibly shaking. JOCELYN takes SANDRA’s hand in their own.

JOCELYN: Now we tidy up. We tidy up and we clean ourselves up. And then we’re gonna show up to rehearsal tomorrow and we’ll be just as surprised as everyone else when it’s cancelled.

SANDRA: The play! God, what about the play? The others?

JOCELYN: There’ll be other plays.

SANDRA: Kenny said he always wanted to play Alfieri—

JOCELYN: He’ll land the role again.

SANDRA: —and he was so damn good and—

JOCELYN: He’ll land the role again. C’mon, Sandy, it’s not the end of the world. It’s a play. The world’ll always have plays.

You don’t regret it, do you?

SANDRA: No. Not even for them. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. You?

JOCELYN: I regret that I had to. I don’t regret that I did.

SANDRA: Yeah. That’s good.

JOCELYN: You really think so?

SANDRA hums in assent. They sit together in comfortable silence for a while.

SANDRA: This is nice.


SANDRA: Yeah, this. Us. I like being next to you, Lyn. In this city, wherever you are feels like home. I think you might be the best choice I’ve ever made.

What are we, Lyn?

JOCELYN: Murderesses?

SANDRA: Lyn! That’s not… you know… I didn’t… Fucking hell, Lyn, you have the weirdest sense of humor.

JOCELYN: You love it really.

SANDRA: That’s not the point. You know what I meant.

Do you regret us?

JOCELYN: No! God, Sandy, not even for one minute.

SANDRA: Neither do I. Hell, I think us… this… you might be the only reason I can’t bring myself to regret moving here. Everything else… I mean, it’s been great, of course it's been great, but…

JOCELYN frowns, but waits patiently. SANDRA takes a few, drawn-out breaths.

SANDRA: Sometimes… sometimes I feel like I’ve condensed a whole lifetime down into this last month, y’know? Like, so much has happened since I moved here, and it’s all happening so quickly. You know how they always have to cut bits out from a book when they make it into a movie, or a play? It feels like that, only so much has been cut out that I can’t really make sense of it. I’m like… a leaf in a hurricane, Lyn. Just a fucking leaf, blustering about and—and I don’t even know if I’m making my own choices any more.

I just wanna get out of here, Lyn. I just wanna get out. Can we do that?

JOCELYN leans their head on SANDRA’s shoulder. After a brief moment of calm, sirens can be heard outside the alley. JOCELYN begins to tremble; SANDRA kisses their forehead.
« Prev   7   Next »
#1 · 1
I would've preferred it if you had gone full scrip format with centered blocks of text. Also, the lack of (emotions) before each block seems like a bit of a wasted chance if you were indeed going for a script format. Still, I liked the hints towards a life left behind for the sake of starting anew, it made for a nice backdrop to the relationship of Jocelyn and Sandra.
#2 · 5
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>libertydude
I think, unfortunately, Sandra's assessment of her own life is a little too accurate. Too much has been cut out of this story for it to really gel effectively. There's some good heart and characterization here between our two leads and I can get into the majority of the emotions they are experiencing, but the nature of this murder ends up being a huge impediment to the enjoyment of the story, since my ability to really get into the characters kinda hinges on it.

Near as I can tell, they murdered their director because they got irritated with his insistence on getting the scene right, which kinda detracts from my ability to empathize with them and throws a big heaping helping of emotional dissonance into the workings. And that's ignoring the somewhat weird pivot on the "What are we, Lyn?" line.

I mean, I'm familiar with the emotional pivots that lead you to that train of thought, but they seem to be too in sync for that emotional movement to really feel natural to me. Like I'm not sure what really impels Sandra to question Lyn's interest in the relationship.

I dunno. Ultimately this ends up feeling less like a long story told short and more like a scene absent the remainder of its context.
#3 ·
I partially agree with both previous reviewers. On the one hand, I understand why you put that in dialogue/theatrical form, and I agree it makes the reader figure if what we're reading is not a play about theatre. Sort of meta-play. So well done for this.

On the other hand, I agree with Andrew here: we don’t have enough background to relate to both characters, and especially why they butchered the director. You try to fill us in with that last monologue, but it doesn’t really succeed as you’re severely cramped by the format, all the more that you squander one word on each line to name the speaker.

It’s a nifty piece, though, and the characters are nicely cut, even though I don’t really envision two girls who’ve just murdered a guy just sit on a corner and banter. Seems too… histrionic. And it definitely lacks context.
#4 · 3
These people feel too 'sane' to square with what just supposedly happened, I think. The implied murder feels like it's just out of square with this whole thing; If it was, say, feeding the director laxatives, you'd have basically the same story but with slightly out of control people, instead of murdering psychopaths. That would make the introspective paragraph hit harder, I think, since doing something a little crazy because you feel your life is running wild is a lot more relatable than straight-up murder.

Also, are the names switched around in that ending? Jocelyn trembles, Sandra kisses her forehead? That doesn't seem to match the preceding bit.
#5 · 1
Agreed on all points, especially the first one. I assumed, however—and don't ask why this occurred to me—that the two of them had killed their rapist, who may or may not have been the director.

Also, to save y'all a Google: the play this story is centered around is A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller.
#6 · 1
I have a lot of enthusiasm for this purely because of the content. I want to know much more about this relationship.

Ultimately I feel like it's hindered more than helped by being in script format. I really like your dialogue, which is great because dialogue has to be powerful and emotive in a script. But the final monologue... it has too much to explain in too little time and it doesn't succeed for me. It doesn't explain why they did it, and it's too long to ring true as a real, in the moment emotional confession (unless Sandra's a writer, I guess; my real life experience is that writers are the only people who'll even think to say something like, 'I feel like a leaf on a hurricane' out loud. ymmv).

I don't have suggestions for improving this that others above haven't already said, but I'd love to see it again if you choose to take this one further.
#7 ·
>>AndrewRogue has spelled out most of my opinions on the story perfectly. Too much is cut out to really make the story work, and the script format itself feels somewhat superfluous. The relationship between the two leads is the sole thing I enjoy, being a twisted situation that involves at least one murder. It’s interesting to say the least, and is definitely worth examining in a future revision.

Expand this into a longer story, and I think it'll work better.