Friday, August 03, 2012

The Quick Kiss Goodnight

I tend to do quite well in writing contests (Big Break, Red Planet, BBC writersroom) but only because I wait until I've written something and then if I go for a contest at all, I look first for the next one that fits what I've already done. It's not always true, but usually, and it usually works out.

Except the other day there was the 50 Kisses contest and the moment I read the brief, I had the whole thing in my head. It was a writing contest where you wrote a two-page scene set on Valentine's Day and presumably a kiss would be a good idea.

I wrote it in one go, sent it in immediately, entirely failed to win. Didn't even make the long list.

You can see where this is going, I know, and I do apologise in advance for selling you secondhand goods but I just had a really good time writing this and I want to share some fiction with you instead of incessant babbling about writing fiction. 

So. If you'll forgive the near-as-blogger-will-allow script layout, let me tell you a story.


CAUGHT by William Gallagher


SUSAN HARE and TOM BRYSON (both white, late twenties, smart) kiss like there is no tomorrow. Like there is no one else in the world. 

The kiss lasts and lasts and lasts.

Finally, they break lips -

- but it's only to catch a breath -

- and they are back in the single most important snog of their lives. 

The snog lasts and lasts and lasts.


REVEAL DANNY (7 years old) holding Tom's hand. He's squeezed in between Tom and Susan's legs. He's embarrassed by them. 

That's enough now, Danny. 

REVEAL CHARLOTTE: Tom's wife, standing some distance behind him. She's slightly older than him and has been carrying a bunch of Valentine’s roses he gave her. She slowly lowers them.


Danny wriggles away from his dad and goes to her.  Charlotte hangs on to him like you're-never-taking-him and at-least-I-can-trust-him.

But Tom and Susan are utterly unaware.

Susan, dear -

REVEAL MRS. HARE, Susan's mother - and MR HARE, her dad. Both dressed in Sunday best. 

Neither any happier than Charlotte. 

Tom and Susan eat each other. 

REVEAL a SOLICITOR (woman, 40s).

Ms Hare, we are waiting.

REVEAL the ‘we’ is herself and TWO UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS standing behind her.

REVEAL that behind them is a Court House.

Tom and Susan finally break their kiss.

But still hang on to each other.

Susan presses her hand against his chest.

Not seeing me at my best.

Always the same when you bump into someone on the street.

Ms Hare!

(to Solictor)
Right. Right.
(to Tom)
Listen. Whatever they tell you... I did do it.

I don’t care. At least I found you again.

This could be seven-years-away crazy.


I’ll wait.

(to police)

The police lead Susan toward the court.

Tom turns to Charlotte.

She holds up the roses and lets them drop to the street.

Hap-py valentine’s day.


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